Anthony Bourdain’s Favorite Fried Chicken Joint Was Not What You’d Expect

Jacqueline Weiss
The acclaimed chef loved this surprising spot for fried chicken.

Anthony Bourdain traveled the world in the name of finding the best authentic foods, but his favorite spot for fried chicken hits closer to home than you might think. The late host of Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown visited diverse regions for his work (except this country), so it came as a shock when he shared that his favorite spot for fried chicken was none other than Popeyes.

This Is Why He Loved Popeyes

The former Brasserie Les Halles executive chef shared in an interview with People in May 2018 that all he wanted after returning from Bhutan and Hong Kong was Popeyes. He explained: "To me, Popeyes is exotica. I was eating noodles and roast goose and Chinese food for the past 10 days. So to be back and eat some Americana food, well, I will weep with gratitude at macaroni and cheese."

The particular Popeyes where the interview took place—located in Lafayette, Louisiana—is the last in the country with a buffet. At the time, the 61-year-old was in town to film a Cajun-themed episode for his CNN show.  Shockingly enough, he could have found the classic Americana chain in Bourdain's favorite city in the world.

What Was His Order of Choice?

Bourdain had a specific order because according to People he's done his research. During his third trip in three days to the fast-food chain, Bourdain had chosen mac and cheese, spicy fried chicken, biscuits and gravy, with a fountain Dr. Pepper.

The Ultimate Guilty Pleasure

For Bourdain, Popeyes was about more than just the fried chicken. He previously told The Boston Globe about his real dirty pleasure, the mac and cheese: "But my real guilty pleasure—my really disgusting, shameful pleasure—is the mac and cheese at Popeyes fried chicken."

Anthony continued, explaining that he feels so shameful about the indulgence, that he goes in disguise: "Late at night, I've been known to sneak in there with a hoodie on—and I always get nailed. People are like, 'Dude, I'm going to put this on Instagram.'" Guilty pleasures included, Anthony Bourdain changed how the world eats, and we remember his impact fondly.