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The Native’s Guide to the BEST Fried Chicken in New Orleans

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A couple of weeks ago, asked the good people of New Orleans for their opinion of the best fried chicken places in the city to which they narrowed down to the top five: Mr. Ed’s, Willie Mae’s Scotch House, Popeyes, Chubbie’s Fried Chicken, and Dooky Chase’s.
There were some we agreed with and others we didn’t, some we’d never heard of, and some we want to try. And, of course, in the never-ending war of who’s got the best fried chicken in New Orleans, there were some blaring omissions.
So here’s The Native’s Guide to the Best Fried Chicken in New Orleans (and let the arguing commence!):
1. McKenzie’s Chicken in a Box (3839 Frenchmen St.)
Lawd, have mercy. Lawd, have mercy. Lawd, have mercy. Did y’all hear us?! We said, “McKenzie’s Chicken in a Box. Lawd, have mercy!” If you can’t tell, McKenzie’s Chicken in a Box is the BEST fried chicken in New Orleans. When you open that yellow bag to see that white box with the grease stains on the outside, you know heaven is inside. Just the right amount of seasoning, perfect coloring, the skin at the perfect crunch consistency, THIS is fried chicken.

2. McHardy’s Chicken & Fixin’ (1458 N. Broad St.)
Now, McHardy’s Chicken & Fixin’ is certainly a CLOSE second to McKenzie’s. When you walk in, be prepared to smell like fried chicken for the rest of the day (but that ain’t such a bad thing). Like McKenzie’s, McHardy’s is kind of a hole in the wall, which usually translates to good food. Again, McHardy’s chicken is seasoned perfectly with that extra special crispiness that you thought only your grandmother or auntie could do.

3. Manchu Food Store & Chinese Kitchen (1413 N. Claiborne Ave.)
If you’ve ever been to a New Orleans baby or wedding shower, Super Bowl party or birthday party, then you’ve most likely had Manchu’s drumettes (chicken wings). Now, Manchu's is another hole in the wall, actually in a big purple building with bulletproof glass to order, but when you put those little wings of goodness in your mouth, all that extra stuff just fades away. Manchu’s fried chicken is cheap (no, CHEAP) and we’re not so sure that it’s actual chicken. But hey, that’s a discussion and investigation for another day.

4. The Munch Factory (6325 Elysian Fields Ave.)
On the opposite end of the spectrum from McKenzie’s, McHardy’s, and Manchu is The Munch Factory, an actual sit down restaurant (and the recent winner of the Millennial Restaurant Destination award). Now, the fried chicken at The Munch Factory is gonna be different than your typical fried chicken, and we’re sure some will say that it shouldn’t even be on this list…but too bad for them. The Munch Factory makes a delicious dish called ‘Fine’s Herb Chicken,’ which is half of a chicken that is first pan-fried then oven roasted and topped with a creamy herb sauce. The texture of the fried chicken versus the cream sauce is delicious!

5. High Hat Café (4500 Freret St.)
In the same vein as The Munch Factory, High Hat Café is also a sit down restaurant offering up some great fried chicken. Usually served on Wednesdays, when you taste the fried chicken from High Hat Café, you’ll feel as if you’ve had their fried chicken for years. Juicy and tender, their fried chicken just feels so familiar, basically some good home family cooking.

Well, there you have it, New Orleans. You can find the BEST friend chicken at McKenzie’s Chicken in a Box, McHardy’s Chicken & Fixin’, Manchu Food & Chinese Kitchen, The Munch Factory, and High Hat Café.  
Think we’re outta our minds? Think we missed one? Agree with the choices? Let us know in the comments below!

Last modified on Tuesday, 26 August 2014
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