In the 1960s and before, fried chicken was considered a gourmet dish. Then, just as they did to the hamburger, the mass-production restaurants moved in on fried chicken and ruined its reputation. Fortunately, good fried chicken still exists. Below are the dozen restaurant’s I think fry the best chickens in the New Orleans area.

The main criterion for fried chicken excellence is the crust. Different from most fried foods, a crispy coating on fried chicken is not necessarily essential. More important an interesting flavor dominated by herbs, with pepper as a background flavor.

The next two hallmarks of great fried chicken are that it comes out hot and greaseless. Frying to order is the trick there. But frying a chicken takes fifteen or twenty minutes. Being told that it will take awhile to is a good sign. Fried chicken on a buffet is to be avoided.

1. Dooky Chase. Mid-City: 2301 Orleans Ave. 504-821-0600. One of the great names in Creole cooking, Leah Chase’s fried chicken isn’t her signature dish, but it stands up with the best of them.

2. Jacques-Imo’s. Riverbend: 8324 Oak. 504-861-0886. This is the chicken recipe of the late Fried Chicken Master of the Universe, Austin Leslie. He worked at Jacques-Imo’s when it first opened, and left the recipe behind.

3. Mr. Ed’s. Metairie: 1001 Live Oak. 504-838-0022. Fried to order, generously abetted with sides, just like you remember from the days when every neighborhood restaurant made fried chicken.

4. L√ľke. CBD: 333 St Charles Ave. 504-378-2840. The fried chicken turns up at lunch and brunch here, with waffles!

PorterLuke-FriedChicken

5. Porter & Luke. Old Metairie: 1517 Metairie Road. 504-875-4555. Wherever Chef Vincent Manguno goes, her is accompanied by his first-class fried chicken, fried to order, served mouth-burning hot. A half-bird with a salad is just over $10.

6. Deanie’s on Hayne. New Orleans East: 7350 Hayne Blvd. 504-606-1458. An obscure but long-running seafood house in the oldest part of New Orleans East, the fried chicken is always on the menu. Which they were open for dinner more often than just Fridays. Not associated with Deanie’s in Bucktown.

7. Joey K’s. Uptown: 3001 Magazine. 504-891-0997. Few restaurants around town are more adept at frying than Joey K’s. Although they’re best known for their fried catfish and seafood platters, they’re also good at fried chicken. It comes out hot and well seasoned.

Sal&Judys-FriedChicken-

8. Sal and Judy’s. Lacombe: 27491 Highway 190. 985-882-9443. What is fried chicken doing in an Italian restaurant? Don’t know, but there it is, all four pieces, right out of the fryer, Pretty good with some spaghetti marinara on the side.

9. Willie Mae’s Scotch House. Mid-City: 2401 St Ann. 504-822-9503. Happy to serve the people in her neighborhood for four decades, Willie Mae Seaton became one of the most famous restaurants in New Orleans overnight in the aftermath of Katrina. Suddenly, it was the best fried chicken in America and a James Beard award winner. The crush of new customers stressed the nonagenarian Willie Mae, but her third and fourth generation descendants have got things under control. The chicken is a little heavy in the crust, but the flavor’s good.

10. Praline Connection. Marigny: 542 Frenchmen. 504-943-3934. Excellent chickens, both fried and baked, with the city’s best crowder peas on the side.

11. Cafe 615 (Da Wabbit). Gretna: 615 Kepler. 504-365-1225. Not only good fried chicken, but wonderful barbecued chicken, too. Very, very busy.

12. Fury’s. Metairie: 724 Martin Behrman Ave. 504-834-5646. “Honey, that’s going to take twenty minutes,” they’ll tell you. Pass the time with a cup of gumbo or a pile of onion rings. And tell them to season it a lot more than they usually do.

10 Readers Commented

Join discussion
  1. if you would i need the three or so best in our area for seafoob gumbo and roast beef po boy. also would like you to visit Palmettos we have work really hard. Thanks

  2. Bill Weber on May 13, 2014

    Thought Willie May’s would be on the top 12. Decent place, but try Parenton’s on Ellen St. in Metairie on Tuesdays. Only served as a lunch special that day. My personal favorite. Schnell’s on the west bank does a great job too.
    Also, Lil Dizzy’s onPoydras has closed.

  3. iris on June 11, 2014

    Was dining with friends and one ordered the fried chicken
    (1/2) only to find there was NOT a thigh on the plate . When she showed the waiter he said he
    would show her plate to the chef. Now you know a thigh bone is a very distinctive bone. Well the chef sent back this message I quote” she doesn’t know what a thigh bone looks like” The four ladies at the table were astonished . We were very disappointed at the attitude . This was not my first time dining there and it will be my last Too many good places to eat in this area and in the metro area

  4. iris on June 11, 2014

    sorry I didn’t mention the restaurant it was PORTER AND LUKE’S

  5. bob bolin on June 11, 2014

    Some of these truly are great but the best chicken can also be found in some of the little convenience stores around town or little hole-in-the-wall diners….no need to pay 3 times the price.

    • Tom Fitzmorris on June 13, 2014

      Having worked for several years in a convenience store that fried chicken, I accuse you of wishful thinking. No way a fried food of any kind can survive in its full delectability for more that a few minutes after frying, especially in any kind of warmer. If you don’t happen to walk in the minute it comes out of the fryer, you will have inferior chicken.

      Tastefully yours,
      Tom Fitzmorris

  6. India Amacker on June 12, 2014

    Am a Gordon Ramsey fan and watching for the second time the episode re Oceania, do you believe that a family owned unlike a franchise restaurant is likely to have lower cleanliness standards? I mean who are they anserable to ? Public Health as in overworked underpaid civil servants? On all these episodes the kitchens are deplorable. Yet when I’ve seen episodes of franchise businesses, the cleaning is exceptional, i.e Undercover Boss – Popeye’s and Subway ‘s episodes there was a lot of attention paid to clean. Love New Orleans Restaurants but just wondering.

    • Tom Fitzmorris on June 12, 2014

      When you start believing what you see on television, you will come up with some very strange suppositions. In fact, Louisiana has one of the most stringent and best-enforced sanitary codes for restaurants in America. The scores the restaurants get are posted on line, somewhere in the Department of Health and Hospitals. Look it up and see if you can find an indication that chains are cleaner than independent restaurants. I can’t.

      Tastefully yours,
      Tom Fitzmorris

  7. C.A.Hayes on July 1, 2014

    Chef at Porter and Luke is very caustic. He was the same at Nuccios in Harahan. That’s the reason I do not go to Porter and Luke .

    • Tom Fitzmorris on July 5, 2014

      I have never encountered this, nor has anyone else reported this in the many calls I get on the air about the place. What do you mean by “caustic”?–as in, what exactly did he do? Details, please.

      Tastefully yours,
      Tom Fitzmorris

HAVE SOMETHING TO SAY?