Special Report

The 35 Best Fried Chicken Places in America

Honey Butter Fried Chicken
> Location: Chicago, Illinois
> Rating: 4

Humanely raised Miller Amish Farms chicken from Indiana is brined, battered, fried in canola oil, and served boneless (except for the drumsticks) here. Eight sauces, including Wisconsin blue cheese and candied jalapeño mayo, are available, and besides the chicken pieces — served with honey butter and corn muffins — there are four variations on the chicken sandwich theme.

Hot Chicken Takeover
> Location: Columbus, Ohio
> Rating: 4.5

Like so many other proprietors of hot chicken places, the owners of this three-unit Columbus mini-chain fell in love with the preparation in Nashville and brought the idea home with them. Their location in the North Market food hall is a customer favorite. Chicken in various forms (as well as seitan “not chicken”) is available four ways, from “Cold (hot in temperature, cool in spice)” to “Holy (#&@*%?!).”

Source: Hot Sauce and Panko

Hot Sauce and Panko
> Location: San Francisco, California
> Rating: 4.5

This operation is a combination hot sauce store and chicken-wings-to-go establishment. “No sit down, no dine-in and no waiter service,” warns the website. Also “There are no bathrooms, TV or wifi.” What there is, though, in addition to more than 30 variations on wings, are two superlative fried chicken sandwiches: one, on a toasted brioche bun, comes regular, bbq, or hot, with cabbage, pickles, and cheddar; the other is on a waffle, with cabbage, mayo, sriracha, and caramel sauce.

Source: Howlin' Ray's via Facebook

Howlin’ Ray’s
> Location: Los Angeles, California
> Rating: 4.5

This small counter-service Nashville-style hot chicken joint in L.A.’s Chinatown, which started life as a food truck, fries various hormone- and -antibiotic-free chicken parts in peanut oil and offers them with six degrees of heat, from “Country (no heat)” to “Howlin’ (can’t touch this).”

Source: The Kluckin Chicken via Facebook

The Kluckin Chicken
> Location: Sherman Oaks, California
> Rating: 4.5

Fried chicken with fries and slaw, fried chicken sandwiches on a French roll or “gourmet bun,” and a chopped chicken bowl are on the menu at this operation, opened in the fall of 2018, which shares quarters with Padrinos Pizza in the San Fernando Valley community of Sherman Oaks. A second location has just opened in West Hollywood.