The 25 Best Fried Chicken Restaurants in America

There’s nothing quite like biting into a crispy, juicy piece of fried chicken. Whether enjoyed out of a bucket with a smattering of sides or photogenically placed atop a fluffy golden waffle and drizzled with hot honey or maple syrup, fried chicken is a comfort dish that strikes the perfect balance between taste and texture.

Fried chicken is a popular enough American dish that countless restaurants across the country make it. However, not all fried chicken is created equal. Fried chicken may not be hard to find, but certain dining spots go the extra mile and knock it out of the ballpark when it comes to whipping up the comfort food. We’re talking about renowned establishments with locally sourced ingredients, scratch-make sauces, and dishes that date back years.

From decades-old establishments with rich histories to newer spots gaining attention for delicious, innovative recipes, these are 25 of America’s best fried chicken restaurants. Don’t be surprised if you start planning a road trip after scrolling through this list.


With seven locations in the Los Angeles area, Roscoe’s is synonymous with excellent fried chicken. Founded in Hollywood by Harlem native Herb Hudson in 1975, Roscoe’s is famous for its fried chicken and waffles, served with sides such as potato salad, candy yams, red beans, macaroni and cheese, and grits. Through the years, Roscoe’s has been a favorite of celebrities, including Stevie Wonder, Snoop Dogg, and former U.S. President Barack Obama.

RELATED: 11 Restaurant Chains That Serve the Best Fried Chicken & Waffles

Willie Mae’s Scotch House

louisiana willie mae scotch house

The original Willie Mae’s Scotch House in New Orleans’ Sixth Ward opened its doors more than 65 years ago. Famous for its fried chicken platters, the joint has garnered plenty of recognition. The esteemed James Beard Foundation named it as America’s Classic Restaurant for the Southern Region in 2005, and it’s been featured on the Food Network and Travel Channel as one of the country’s best fried chicken restaurants. Nowadays, the restaurant is run by founder Willie Mae’s granddaughter, Kerry Seaton Stewart. Its New Orleans location is temporarily closed, but its second location in Los Angeles is open.

Honey Butter Fried Chicken

assorted food from honey butter fried chicken.

Honey Butter Fried Chicken opened in Chicago more than a decade ago and remains a must-visit spot. Founded by chef Josh Kulp and co-chef/managing partner Christine Cikowski, Honey Butter Fried Chicken features a wide variety of fried chicken-centric dishes, including sweet chili barbecue fried chicken strips, a fried chicken sandwich with honey butter, and a fried chicken French toast dish perfect for brunch. Even better? The restaurant uses only antibiotic-free and humanely raised chicken and has three locations in the Windy City.

RELATED: Kroger vs. Publix: Which Has the Best Fried Chicken?

The Jerk Shack

Fried chicken from the Jerk Shack on a plate

Less than a 20-minute drive from downtown San Antonio, the Jerk Shack is one of the area’s best spots for fried chicken. Started in 2018 by chef Nicola Blaque and her husband Cornelius Massey, the Jerk Shack offers several chicken dishes, including its famous chicken plate, served with three large pieces of chicken, and a sticky chicken option that’s tossed in a sweet and spicy sauce and served with a side. The Jerk Shack was featured recently on the popular Food Network series “Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives.”

Prince’s Hot Chicken

Prince's Hot Chicken

Prince’s Hot Chicken has next-level fried chicken and a rich history. As the story goes, the famous restaurant started more than 100 years ago when Thornton Prince, known as “the father of Nashville hot chicken,” ate a dish of extremely spicy fried chicken made by a vengeful lover. His partner thought he would writhe in pain when he tasted how hot the dish was, but instead, Prince enjoyed it so much that he asked for another serving. It was then that his hot chicken empire was born. Today, Prince’s great-niece, Andre Prince Jeffries, runs the restaurant with eight locations across the South.

RELATED: 8 Fast-Food Chains That Serve the Best Hot Chicken

Le Chick Miami

Crispy Buttermilk Fried Chicken served with Jalapeño Maple Syrup and Housemade Ranch at Le Chick Miami

If you want fried chicken in an upscale setting, head to Le Chick in Miami’s artsy Wynwood neighborhood. Known for using only the freshest, highest-quality ingredients, Le Chick serves fried chicken dishes with an elevated edge. For example, there’s a fried chicken dish drizzled with spicy maple syrup, house-made ranch dressing, and roasted honey mustard, and there’s a sandwich piled high with butter lettuce, house pickles, and Swiss cheese on a soft brioche bun.

“The fried chicken here is to die for,” one Yelp reviewer wrote, while another noted, “Came here for lunch with my friends and got the fried chicken, it was SO GOOD, and everyone that goes there should definitely try it!”

Howlin’ Ray’s

howlin rays hot chicken

It should be no surprise that the founder of Howlin’ Ray’s, Johnny Ray Zone, has created some of the best Nashville-style fried chicken in the country. After all, he worked with renowned chefs, including Gordon Ramsay and Nobu Matsuhisa. Zone started Howlin’ Ray’s as a fried chicken truck in Los Angeles nearly a decade ago and now runs two sit-down restaurants in southern California with his wife, Amanda Chapman. Expect juicy fried chicken (always fried in 100% peanut oil) and tasty sides, including collard greens, vinegar slaw, and shells and cheese. As it stands, Howlin Ray’s has more than 7,000 Yelp reviews with an impressive 4.7 average rating.

RELATED: The #1 Unhealthiest Fried Chicken Dish at 10 Major Restaurant Chains

Mike’s Chicken

mike's chicken fried chicken, french fries, and corn

The Dallas Observer has named Mike’s Chicken one of the best fried chicken restaurants in north Texas, and it’s pretty easy to see why. Started in 2014, the family-run business is lauded for its made-to-order hand-breaded chicken dishes, house-made sauces, and daily sides, which include baked beans, creamy corn, french fries, mashed potatoes, and green beans. “I am so glad my friend told me to check this place out because wow, it’s been a week & im still thinking about that chicken,” one Yelp reviewer posted.

Wagner’s Village Inn

wagners chicken sandwich on a plate.

An adorable dining room, a packed menu, and a James Beard Award—what more could you want in a fried chicken restaurant? Owned and operated by the same family since the 1960s, the beloved Wagner’s Village Inn in Indianapolis is famous for its pan-fried chicken. Besides chicken, diners can expect comfort foods like pickle fries, mozzarella cheese sticks, macaroni and cheese bites, and corn fritters. There’s also a “naked fried chicken” option if you prefer to eat your fried chicken sans breading.

“This restaurant is small and cozy,” shared one Tripadvisor reviewer. ” It opened in 1968. The staff is amazing. The coleslaw is excellent and I am picky when it comes to coleslaw. The gizzards are good but a bit spicy. The fried chicken is excellent.”

RELATED: 7 Restaurant Chains That Serve the Best Fried Chicken

Pies ‘n Thighs

fried chicken, biscuit and mac n cheese from pies n thighs.

More than 1,100 customers have given Pies ‘n Thighs in Brooklyn, N.Y., a five-star rating on Yelp. Founded in the popular Williamsburg neighborhood nearly 20 years ago, Pies ‘n Thighs has cemented itself as one of the area’s best restaurants for fried chicken. There’s really nothing like its combination of crunchy fried chicken dishes, flaky buttermilk biscuits, and scrumptious pie selections, all in a cozy dining room.

“The meat is juicy and far more delicious than any $11 plate of chicken has any right to be,” New York Times food critic Pete Wells wrote of the locale in his 2010 review. Even though prices have gone up since then, not much else has changed in flavor and quality—it’s all still delicious.

Clinton Street Baking Company

clinton street fried chicken dishes being carried by a server.

Getting a reservation at Clinton Street Baking Company in New York City’s Lower East Side is tricky but worth it. What makes the almost 25-year-old restaurant so iconic—and hard to get into—is the work that goes into each dish. For example, it sources only the highest quality ingredients from local purveyors, serves sustainable coffee, and uses cage-free poultry. The fried chicken is a must-have. Order it in a sandwich prepared with lemon-pepper mayo, shredded romaine lettuce, and pickled green tomatoes, or go all-out and try the fried chicken and waffles platter made with a crispy Belgian buttermilk waffle and warm maple butter.

RELATED: The Best Way to Cook Fried Chicken in an Air Fryer, According to Chefs

Chick Chick

Chick Chick fried chicken sandwich held aloft in New York City

For Korean-inspired fried chicken, head over to New York City’s Chick Chick, which received Michelin’s Bib Gourmand honors in 2022 and 2023. Nestled in Manhattan’s Upper West Side neighborhood, Chick Chick was founded by owner chef Jun Park, the mastermind behind Chelsea’s Jun-Men Ramen Bar. Its menu has many exciting options, including honey soy garlic chicken bites, Nashville hot chicken sandwiches, and pan-fried chicken ramen.

Federal Donuts & Chicken

a chicken sandwich from federal donuts with a coffee.

Who knew that fried chicken and doughnuts would be such a mouth-watering combination? With 10 locations throughout Philadelphia, Federal Donuts serves up its famous fried chicken sandwich, fried chicken salad, and to-die-for doughnuts (cinnamon brown sugar, cookies n cream, chocolate orange glazed, to name a few) in a laid-back setting. It was founded in 2011 by a group of food experts, including James Beard Award-winning restaurateurs Michael Solomonov and Steve Cook. It is a must-visit if you ever find yourself in the City of Brotherly Love.

RELATED: 5 Best Fried Chicken Spots in the South, According to Chefs

Hattie B’s Hot Chicken

Hattie B's Hot Chicken

Hattie B’s is another fried chicken restaurant with multiple locations. What started as a cafeteria-style restaurant in Franklin, Tenn., has grown into one of the country’s most famous fried chicken joints. Its menu features dark meat chicken, white meat chicken, legs, and wings, all fried to perfection and prepared to your spice liking—choose “southern” if you’re not into spicy foods and “Shut the Cluck Up!” if you can’t get enough heat. Besides chicken, Hattie B’s serves southern-style comfort foods like fried pickles, banana pudding, pimento mac and cheese, and bacon cheddar grits.

Mrs. Wilkes’ Dining Room

mrs wilkes' fried chicken on a plate.

Sometimes, you want to enjoy a heaping plate of fried chicken in a historic setting. Located inside a townhome that served as a boarding house more than 75 years ago, Mrs. Wilkes’ Dining Room is a beloved local institution in Savannah, Ga. Although the establishment is still open for lodging, it’s the communal dining room that people can’t get enough of. Here, visitors gather to enjoy southern dishes made using high-quality ingredients and served family-style. Sema Wilkes, who ran the space until 2002, famously sourced her ingredients from local farmers. Today, the Wilkes family owns and operates the restaurant known for its tasty dishes, including fried chicken, beef stew, meatloaf, butter beans, candied yams, and mashed potatoes.

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Rocky’s Hot Chicken Shack

rockys hot chicken platter with coleslaw

With three locations in North Carolina and South Carolina, Rocky’s Hot Chicken Shack excels at making Nashville-style hot chicken and southern soul food. Its menu options include fried chicken (with customizable heat levels), scratch-made dips and dressings, and a dozen sides. Rotisserie and grilled chicken are also available for those who may not love fried chicken.

Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken

Gus's Fried Chicken

At Gus’s Fried Chicken, visitors can expect hand-battered fried chicken made to order each time. Founded more than 60 years ago in Mason, Tenn., Gus’s is famous worldwide for its southern-style spicy fried chicken. The Travel Channel ranked Gus’s at No. 12 on its list of “Tastiest Places to Chowdown,” and GQ magazine listed Gus’s as one of the top 10 restaurants in the world worth flying to try.

One Tripadvisor reviewer who visited Gus’s Los Angeles location wrote, “Simple: The fried chicken was the best I have eaten in a restaurant – period. It would only be beaten by my Great-Aunt Sis who only cooked for family. So if you do not know Aunt Sis, go to Gus’s.”

RELATED: 6 Fried Chicken Chains Where Chefs Actually Eat

Colleen’s Kitchen in Austin, Texas

colleen's fried chicken on a plate.

The picture-perfect Colleen’s Kitchen in Austin, Texas, was named one of the area’s best fried chicken spots by Austin Food Magazine. Once you try its buttermilk fried chicken, you’ll know why. The buttermilk fried chicken entrée comes with two juicy pieces of boneless chicken and chilled green beans and radish salad drizzled with a Creole mustard vinaigrette—the perfect blend of savory flavors and bright notes. There are fried chicken biscuits, served with pickled mustard seed mayo, cayenne honey, and pickles, and fried chicken and waffles with powdered sugar for something more daring.

Monte Ne Inn Chicken

monte ne inn fried chicken and veggies on a plate.

What’s not to love about a fried chicken restaurant that offers family-style dining? At Monte Ne Inn Chicken in Rogers, Ark., visitors pay one price to dig into tasty dishes passed from person to person—all you have to pay extra for is drinks and desserts. This all-you-can-eat fried chicken extravaganza includes sweet corn, mashed potatoes, gravy, seasoned green beans, coleslaw, home-baked biscuits, and more.

“After several years of passing by the restaurant to visit extended family, we finally made it in,” one Tripadvisor shared. “Love the family style meal with fixings of bean soup, green beans, corn, bread, mashed potatoes with gravy and the best fried Chicken in the state. Absolutely delicious!!! Really enjoyed my two rounds of chicken and mashed potatoes.”

RELATED: 8 Fast-Food Chains That Serve the Best Fried Chicken


yardbird fried chicken and waffles and watermelon on a blue plate.

Miami-founded Yardbird is in a league of its own. With more than 6,200 Yelp reviews and a 4.4-star rating for its Miami location, Yardbird is the definition of a top-tier fried chicken restaurant. One of its standout dishes is Lewellyn’s fine fried chicken, featuring half a bird flavored with honey hot sauce. Another must-have menu item is the chicken and waffles special, made with honey hot sauce, a Vermont sharp cheddar cheese waffle, and bourbon maple syrup.

RELATED: Popeyes vs. KFC: Which Has the Best Bone-In Fried Chicken?

Martin’s Restaurant

martin's fried chicken dinner.

Recognized as one of Alabama’s best fried chicken spots, Martin’s Restaurant in Montgomery is an old-school locale that knows a thing or two about fried chicken. It opened in the 1930s and has been the must-visit spot to get fried chicken ever since. Although fried chicken is one of the most ordered items on its menu, other must-try dishes include the sweet potato casserole, roast beef, and coconut cream meringue pie.

“Martin’s is a must-go when in Montgomery,” one Yelp reviewer shared. “The fried chicken is famous, as is the sweet tea. The place was packed, the food came out quickly, and it was good to catch up with old friends. My only disappointment: they ran out of collard greens!”

Buttermilk and Bourbon

a hand holding fried chicken from buttermilk and bourbon.

You know it will be good with a name like Buttermilk and Bourbon. Located in Boston’s Back Bay neighborhood, Buttermilk and Bourbon is a stylish New England restaurant that serves hearty dishes prepared with a southern flare. One of its specialties is buttermilk fried chicken, prepared with chicken wings or boneless fried thighs tossed in a Nashville-inspired hot, sweet, and spicy sauce, barbecue syrup, or white barbecue sauce. For something smaller, there’s also the fried chicken sliders made with avocado, shredded lettuce, cheddar, and spicy miso mayo.

RELATED: 10 Restaurant Chains That Serve the Best Classic Cheeseburgers

The Eagle

Fried Chicken on a shiny platter at The Eagle restaurant

Founded in Cincinnati, The Eagle is a food and beer hall that specializes in fried chicken. Its menu features options such as whole fried chicken, fried chicken BLT, fried drumsticks, spicy pulled chicken dip, grilled cheese, a fried chicken sandwich, and more. Beyond Ohio’s Queen City, the restaurant also has seven other locations, including Detroit, Pittsburgh, Charlotte, N.C., and Louisville, Ky.

Hard Knox Cafe

hard knox cafe fried chicken dinner.

Started by chef/owner Tony Hua in 1999, Hard Knox Cafe is a San Francisco restaurant lauded for its delicious soul food and fried chicken. Here, guests can dig into heaping platters of juicy fried chicken, fried chicken sandwiches prepared with coleslaw and house-made aioli sauce, collard greens, cut corn, and more.” We wanted Southern food and this restaurant didn’t disappoint,” one Tripadvisor reviewer wrote. “The fried chicken, the ribs, and the sides were delicious. It deserves a visit.”

RELATED: Every Burger King Chicken Sandwich, Tasted & Ranked

The Crack Shack

assorted meals from the crack shack.

Chef-driven dishes, attractive dining rooms, and locally sourced ingredients—what more could you want in a restaurant? The Crack Shack, opened by the team behind San Diego’s Juniper and Ivy restaurant, is famous for its fried chicken, which is prepared using only locally raised, antibiotic-free chickens. Beyond fried chicken, the spot has excellent deviled eggs, chicken oysters, and Mexican-style poutine. The restaurant currently has locations in southern California and Las Vegas.

The post The 25 Best Fried Chicken Restaurants in America appeared first on Eat This Not That.

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