Willie Mae's Scotch House
There are endless variations on the list of essential New Orleans restaurants, but none of them are likely to overlook this beloved city institution. Those words are not used lightly, given that volunteers rebuilt the place as soon as they could after Katrina, all so that the kitchen could once again start serving up its famed fried chicken. You have to edge off the tourist path into the Fifth Ward and sit in one of the two small dining rooms in a small, house-like property. The decor isn't much beyond its beer selection and the small matter of its James Beard Award. The chicken, though, is divine: cooked to order, moist and crispy and everything in between.