Willie Mae’s is a taste of New Orleans with history. I stopped in recently and ordered the three-piece dark meat dinner with rice and Butter Beans. It was delicious. The chicken, which is considered by some to be the best in the country, was spicy and perfectly fried. The Butter Beans were equally good.
Willie Mae’s Scotch House was established in 1957 in the Treme neighborhood. After a year, the bar moved to their current location on St. Ann Street and it included, a barbershop and beauty salon in the front and the bar which served food in the back. In the early 1970’s the beauty salon closed and the bar and restaurant took over. Willie Mae’s bar customers could not resist the aromas of Mississippi and Louisiana cuisine emanating from the kitchen. It filled the air and brought on a demand for her (Willie Mae) delicious food. Their demand was met and the rest is history. Ms. Willie Mae Seaton was honored with the prestigious James Beard Award for “America’s Classic Restaurant for the Southern Region.” in 2005. The local neighborhood eatery became a nationally recognized restaurant.
That same year, Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans and damaged the restaurant. With the help of the Southern Foodways Alliance and many other organizations, they reopened in 2007. Since then Willie Mae’s has gotten praise from the Food Network and the Travel Channel as “America’s Best Fried Chicken.” Today, Kerry Seaton Stewart, Ms. Willie Mae’s great-granddaughter now runs Willie Mae’s and they’re still serving up “America’s Best Fried Chicken.” They say, “We welcome all, love what we do and put love into everything we make for you!”
2401 St. Ann Street • New Orleans, LA 70119
Phone: (504) 822-9503
Monday – Saturday 10:00AM – 5:00PM