Where can you find the best fried chicken in America to mark National Fried Chicken Day? Certainly not in California or New York, even if they come coupled with the finest champagne and wine – and they definitely do!
No. Fried Chicken is a southern specialty and they just how to make them homey, crunchy on the outside, and perfectly juicy in the inside. They have inspired some innovative chefs around the country to come up with some lip smacking recipes of their own.
If you are looking for the best fried chicken in America, tuck in your napkin, wash your hands, and prepare to savor our top picks of the true American fried chicken that you will want to dig your teeth into right now.
1. Yardbird Southern Table & Bar – Miami, FL
Warm weather, waterfront excitement, and exotic everything. That what you knew of Miami. Now you can add fried chicken to the list. In fact, Yardbird Southern Table & Bar is a hidden gem in Miami’s multicultural food scene that you must sample as soon as possible. Yardbird offers unique dishes such as the Llewellyn’s Fine Fried Chicken, rubbed with spicy Tabasco honey, and the Chicken N’ Watermelon N’ Waffles — a mix of bourbon-maple-syrupy waffles, chilled watermelon, cheese, and spiced honey sauce.
2. Top Notch – Austin, TX
Austin might be the liberal heart of Texas, but its food is conservative, traditional and authentic. That goes for its signature BYOB BBQ as much as the spicy fried chicken. Top Notch makes old-school chunk of chicken, spiced and crisped to perfection. Exactly what you will need to survive spring break, the summer festivals, and all the fun Austin provides year round.
3. Stroud’s Oak Ridge Manor – Kansas City, MO
You may know Kansas-City-style barbecue, now here comes the best Kansas-City-style fried chicken. But you will only find it at Stroud’s Oak Ridge Manor, a 1829 log cabin and farmhouse that has been serving the great people of KC with amazing pan-fried chicken since 1933.
4. Shirley Mae’s Cafe – Louisiana, KY
For more than a quarter of a decade, Shirley Mae’s home-cooking cafe has been pleasing fried bird aficionados with cheap full lunch that feature jumbo pan-fried wings, delicious mashed potato salad, and the house’s famous hot-water cornbread.
5. Willie Mae’s Scotch House – New Orleans, LA
Half-a-century old and Katrina might have worn the building down but it still houses one of the best fried chicken of NOLA, if not the whole South. Day after day, an impressive queue of locals and tourists alike line up at Willie Mae’s Scotch House to taste the tender meat along with smoky red beans and rice.
6. Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken – Memphis, TN
The best way to judge the quality of a restaurant’s offering is by the demand. Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken is definitely in demand everywhere lacking good appetizing fried chicken.
After taking over Tennessee and the South with paprika and cayenne-spiced fried chicken, Gus has decided to introduce its fingerlicking spicy nuggets to the rest of America. New locations will be opening in LA and Chicago to complete the dozen locations they have across the South.
7. Root & Bone – NYC, NY
It’s no secret. New York City has the best of all worlds, including this outstanding Southern fried chicken in the heart of Manhattan. Citrusy, juicy, and brined in sweet tea, the fare that comes out of their multicultural kitchen smells and tastes like Southern hospitality. Root & Bone is a hidden gem in NYC’s world-class and diverse food scene.
8. Mama Dip’s – Chapel Hill, NC
Travefy mentioned Chapel Hill as an essential pit stop on a North Carolina craft brewery tour. Well now, Mama Dip’s is our top flavorful reason to visit Chapel Hill.
From breakfast to dinner and Sunday brunch, Mama Dip delights patrons with toothsome fried bird accompanied with granny-approved greens, black eyed beans, and other Southern comfort food, in a homey decor that will make you never want to leave.
9. Hollyhock Hills – Indianapolis, IN
This revered Indiana restaurant has been serving their “famous, Hoosier, pan-fried chicken” since 1928. Hollyhock Hills is now considered a fine dining institution more than a comfort food shack, but the fried bird remains true to Southern traditional recipes. Once you’ve tried it, it would be hard if not impossible to move to anything else.
10. Raising Cane’s – Lincoln, NE
Don’t ask Lincolnites what they think of Raising Cane’s, their opinion would be biased. Instead, come at 2am to look at the overflowing line of late-night snackers, partygoers, and students here to have their fix of the most fingerlicking fried chicken fingers in the Midwest. Raising Cane’s fried chicken comes with fries, Texas toasts, coleslaw and their addictive homemade Cane’s sauce.
Fried Chicken is the most versatile American comfort food out there and we can only hope this post made you want to get out there and dig your teeth into the best servings near you on this Fried Chicken Day. What is your favorite fried bird spot? Tell us in the comments.