Special Report

These Are the Best Fried Chicken Places in America

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

Like so many other proprietors of hot chicken places, the owners of this four-unit mini-chain (three in Columbus, one near Cleveland) 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: 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, sells whole-bird fried chicken, wings, and boneless breast sandwiches in six degrees of heat, from “Country (no heat)” to “Howlin’ (can’t touch this).” The hot chicken and waffles dish is available on weekends.

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,” a chopped chicken bowl, and battered and fried pickle spears are on the menu at this operation, opened in the fall of 2018 in the San Fernando Valley community of Sherman Oaks. There is a second location in West Hollywood.

Source: instantvantage / Flickr

Mad For Chicken
> Location: Flushing, New York
> Rating: 4

The Flushing (Queens) location of this Korean fried chicken place opened in 2006 (there are now two other Queens locations and one in Brooklyn). Wings, drumsticks, and boneless breasts are offered, with soy garlic or spicy garlic sauce. There are also Buffalo wings and scallion chicken, described as “deep-fried boneless breast with scallion, red onion, and sweet mustard sauce.”

Source: Mike's Chicken via Facebook

Mike’s Chicken
> Location: Dallas, Texas
> Rating: 4.5

What the Dallas Observer called “the crispiest, juiciest Dallas fried chicken” comes from an eatery at one end of a laundromat. Both operations are owned by Tram and Son Dao, a Vietnamese couple who immigrated to the U.S. in the 1990s. The point here is good fried chicken, not heat — but all the various chicken parts are available spicy if desired.