10 Most Hype-Worthy Fried Chicken Restaurants
All of a sudden, fried chicken is taking over the culinary scene. If you’re ready to get in on this delicious trend, we’ve got 10 fried chicken restaurants that are not only worth the hype, but they’re worthy of a road trip. Yum.
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The Crack Shack
It’s safe to say that Los Angeles went squawking wild when The Crack Shack finally opened a location in Century City, but make no mistake, this is no chicken joint. Celebrity chef Richard Blais (you know, from Top Chef) opened this fast-casual eatery in San Diego in 2015 to celebrate both the chicken and the egg, using only antibiotic-free, locally raised chickens. Today, there are four locations, with a fifth on track to open in Pasadena later this year, keeping patrons salivating thanks to its savory, and proprietary, “crack spice” blend.
Lucy’s Fried Chicken
A favorite in Austin, Lucy’s Fried Chicken has been expanding, opening its fourth location in July, even adding an oyster bar to the newest restaurant in Cedar Park. Here you’ll find all kinds of fried chicken, from chicken baskets to fried chicken spaghetti to chicken n’ waffles. There’s also the uber-popular Bucket O’ Chicken that’s served with pickles and jalapenos. Sides are all you’d imagine, including black-eyed peas, fried okra, and collard greens. Pair your fried chicken with one of the multiple hand-crafted cocktails, like the Juicy Lucy, a frozen watermelon margarita.
Southern hospitality landed at the Jersey Shore in January thanks to the opening of Modine, a flavorful, homestyle restaurant in one of Asbury Parks’ most historic buildings. Serving up crunchy fried chicken that is smoked, buttermilk-pickle brined, then fried, it’s no wonder the chicken, which can be ordered half, whole, or on a biscuit, is receiving rave reviews. And, oh the hot honey drizzle. Yum. Make it a meal with a side of fried green tomatoes, crispy pork belly, or an heirloom cucumber salad. Modine makes an impressive vegan chicken platter, too.
The hot chicken at Hattie B’s is so incredible that you’ll find multiple copycat recipes across the web. However, for the original hot chicken, you’ve got to go to Nashville, though the restaurant does now have outposts in Atlanta, Memphis, and Birmingham. The most recent opening in July in Atlanta garnered the expected out-the-door lines for made-to-order hot chicken available in six heat levels, ranging from Southern (not hot) to Shut the Cluck Up (extremely hot). Pair your hot chicken with a side of crinkle cut fries and finish off your meal with banana pudding.
If you had no idea that there was such a thing as Korean Fried Chicken (you know, the other KFC), then you’d best get to Andy’s Chicken in Philadelphia. Since 2015, this take-out chicken joint has been serving up eight varieties of extra crispy chicken, including sweet chili, honey garlic, and golden soy. The chicken is so good, in fact, that you’ll want to call ahead to reserve a half or whole chicken for dinner. Add a side of onion rings or butter egg rice to round out your meal.
Good ‘N Plenty
For delicious family-style dining, in a farmhouse no less, make a beeline for Good ‘N Plenty in Lancaster County’s Pennsylvania Dutch Country. You can order from a menu, of course, but the most popular option is all-you-can-eat style among friends on a long dining table with a plastic checkered tablecloth. Eat all the crispy fried chicken you want, but save room for mashed potatoes, sweet corn, butter noodles, and shoo-fly pie. A popular stop among bus tour groups, you may find yourself rubbing elbows with guests from Ottawa, Pittsburgh, or even Baltimore.
Beasley’s Chicken + Honey
In Raleigh, North Carolina, the place to go for outrageously delicious honey fried chicken is Beasley’s Chicken + Honey. Considered among the best restaurants in town, lines are frequently out the door, often for the classic chicken sandwich that comes on a potato bun and is topped with a special house-made sauce that so many wish they could replicate. For brunch, come for the chicken and waffles. You’ll have no regrets, except maybe that you hadn’t gotten there earlier and didn’t have to wait for the sweet and savory deliciousness that is Beasley’s.
Ezell’s Famous Chicken
For soul food in Seattle, the place to go is Ezell’s Famous Chicken, a chicken joint visited (and loved) by both Guy Fieri and Oprah. A signed photograph of Oprah hangs next to the cash register noting she can’t decide which she likes more, the fried chicken or the sweet potato pie. Order up a plate of their famous chicken and make it a combo with creamy coleslaw or mashed potatoes. Like Oprah, add a slice of their home-baked sweet potato pie to decide which you like best.
The Eagle may call itself a “food hall featuring fried chicken,” but don’t be fooled, the fried chicken is a stand-out and a major draw. This Midwest restaurant mini-chain specializes in delicious comfort food and uses only cage-free, free-roaming chickens from local farms. Choose from a whole, half, or quarter chicken that’s brined, double-dredged in seasoning, then fried. You’ll be wowed by the spicy hot honey that sits alongside the chicken, as well as a la carte sides like collard greens, succotash, and homemade biscuits with blackberry jam and honey butter.
Zehnder’s of Frankenmuth
Less than 90 minutes from Detroit, Zehnder’s of Frankenmuth is worth the drive for its “world famous” family-style chicken dinners, which include golden fried chicken, egg noodles, mashed potatoes, soup, and soft serve ice cream. The delicious crispy chicken here may be famous, at least according to Zehnder’s, but that’s not keeping them from sharing the secret recipe with fans. In fact, you can buy a bottle of their chicken seasoning to make their world-famous fried chicken in your own home, just in case you’re not up for making the drive to Michigan.