Special Report

The Best Fried Chicken Places in America

Source: Boxcar Betty's via Facebook

Boxcar Betty’s
> Location: Charleston, South Carolina
> Rating: 4.5

With three locations in South Carolina (like this one in Charleston’s West Ashley neighborhood), Boxcar Betty’s is a chicken sandwich specialist, offering both grilled and fried fowl in three variations — the Boxcar (with pimiento cheese, peach slaw, house pickles, spicy mayo), the Chicken “Not So Waffle” (bacon jam, maple syrup, pimiento cheese, tomato), and the Buffalo (blue cheese sauce, tomato, bibb lettuce).

Source: Courtesy of Lucie B.

Champy’s World Famous Fried Chicken
> Location: Chattanooga, Tennessee
> Rating: 4.5

Champy’s has grown from this original location near the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, opened in 2009, to an eight-unit chain (four in Tennessee, four in Alabama). The specialty is straightforward Mississippi Delta-style fried chicken, served with baked beans and slaw. Hot tamales, a non-chicken Delta specialty seldom seen elsewhere in the South, are available as a starter.

Source: Courtesy of Paul M. via Yelp

Chicken House
> Location: Olpe, Kansas
> Rating: 4.5

“Our famous home-style chicken” is the specialty here. The menu offers two-, three-, and four-piece assortments of what a fan from nearby Topeka called “finger-licking must-have fried chicken” on Yelp. Chicken dinners include potatoes, salad, bread, and coffee or tea. The website KansasTravel notes that Chicken House “is the kind of place where diners converse across the dining room, most of the men wear hats.”

Source: Cross Street Chicken and Beer via Facebook

Cross Street Chicken and Beer
> Location: San Diego, California
> Rating: 4.5

This Korean-style fried chicken place sells oversize chicken wings, as well as drumsticks, thighs, boneless breast strips, and a plant-based chicken alternative. Sauces include Thai chili and soy garlic, and among the sides are Korean noodle soup and pork belly kimchi fries. There is a second location in Carlsbad, California, north of San Diego.

Source: Gerardo D. via Yelp

Dave’s Hot Chicken
> Location: Los Angeles, California
> Rating: 4.5

A strong entry on the Southern California hot chicken scene, Dave’s has six locations up and running (the East Hollywood restaurant gets the nod here) and five more in the works. Tenders and fried chicken sliders are the offerings, and there are seven grades of seasoning available, from “no spice” to “reaper” (presumably a reference to the Carolina Reaper, very likely the world’s hottest chile).

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