The Best Chicken Sandwich in Every State

Unveil the mouthwatering chicken sandwich that reigns supreme in your state.

woman holding chicken sandwich
Updated May 30, 2024
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From fried to spicy and everything in between, from beloved diners to fancy food trucks, each state has its own version of the perfect chicken sandwich.

For chicken lovers, we scoured online reviews and ratings to find the best of the best across the country.

So grab your favorite travel credit card and buckle up for a mouthwatering journey to discover the best chicken sandwiches across the nation.

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Alabama: Eugene's Hot Chicken (Birmingham)

vaaseenaa/Adobe crispy fried chicken sandwiches

The competition for the best chicken sandwich in any Southern state is going to be steep, but Eugene’s Hot Chicken seems to be a consistent #1 in Alabama.

They have several chicken “sammiches” to choose from. Other menu items, like the catfish, are big hits as well.

Alaska: Bear Mace Bites (Anchorage)

ShafiAzim/Adobe spicy buffalo chicken sandwich

Bear Mace Bites has only been in the game for a few years, but the food truck’s signature hot chicken sandwich has already won it accolades.

The truck, which operates daily, doesn’t do much else, but it does its chicken sandwich very well.

Arizona: Lo-Lo's Chicken & Waffles (Phoenix)

Brent Hofacker/Adobe fried chicken and waffles breakfast

For more than 20 years, Lo-Lo’s has been serving delicious soul food in the Phoenix area.

And while it may be more well-known for its top-notch chicken and waffles, you can’t go wrong with Ya-Ya’s Honey Butta Chicken Biscuit.

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Arkansas: Big Orange (Little Rock)

Brent Hofacker/Adobe southern country fried chicken sandwich

Big Orange is a much-loved institution in Little Rock known for its burgers and cocktails — and, of course, its incredible chicken sandwiches.

Chicken lovers have two options, the Southern Fried Chicken Sandwich or the Hot ‘n’ Hot.

California: Howlin' Ray's (Los Angeles)

DeVon/Adobe fried chicken sandwich

Of all the top-notch restaurants to choose from in L.A., Howlin’ Rays is the go-to spot for chicken sandwiches, as the thousands of rave reviews on Yelp clearly illustrate.

The sandwiches are classic and come in six levels of spice, from Country (no heat) to Howlin’.

Colorado: White House Tavern (Aspen)

Jehangir Hanafi/Adobe zinger burger

The menu at White House Tavern is small but mighty — and there are over 1,000 reviewers on Yelp, so it is happily shared.

The crispy chicken is one of the more popular options. The restaurant is also known for its drinks and beautiful views.

Connecticut: Craftbird Food Truck (Hartford)

tisaeff/Adobe chicken sandwich with coleslaw

Known mostly for its chicken sandwiches, Craftbird is quickly becoming a staple in the Hartford area. Currently, you can find the truck at Gastropark on Wednesdays through Sundays.

While they have quite an eclectic menu, Yelp reviewers continue to rave about the chicken sandwiches.

Delaware: Farmer & the Cow (Wilmington)

Joshua Resnick/Adobe spicy hot chicken sandwich

Farmer & the Cow is a favorite among locals and well-known for its burgers, but the short but stacked menu offers many other delectable items.

This includes the “Closed On Sunday,” the joint’s take on the fried chicken sandwich.

Florida: Yardbird Southern Table & Bar (Miami Beach)

vaaseenaa/Adobe fried chicken sandwiches with coleslaw

Yardbird is an award-winning and much-loved (as the thousands of rave reviews on Yelp illustrate) institution in Miami Beach.

It's known for its fried chicken, and you can order it in many different, delicious ways — in a sandwich, a salad, in crispy chicken biscuits, and more.

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Georgia: The Marietta Local (Marietta)

Joshua Resnick/Adobe chicken sandwich

Specializing in Southern comfort food, the Marietta Local offers all the classics—from Nashville hot chicken to grits to delicious breakfast biscuits.

The award-winning fried chicken sandwich is classic and simple — and that’s precisely what makes it so delicious.

Hawaii: Fresh Bite Kauai (Hanalei)

timolina/Adobe chicken burger with lettuce and tomatoes

In just the past few years, Fresh Bite’s delicious food truck and “farm to beach” style menu has made quite the name for itself.

The menu, which includes mostly organic options, has plenty of hits, but chicken sandwich lovers may want to opt for the Hanalei Chicken.

Idaho: Republic Kitchen & Taphouse (Post Falls)

Joshua Resnick/Adobe fried chicken sandwich on plate

Republic Kitchen & Taphouse offers incredible food inside a beautiful, historic converted home.

The fried chicken sandwich is a huge hit with customers and can be ordered in standard, Southern, or Korean style.

Illinois: Honey Butter Fried Chicken (Chicago)

christie/Adobe nashville hot chicken sandwich

Yelp is filled with thousands of rave reviews for Honey Butter Fried Chicken — and their chicken sandwiches are a particular hit.

You can get the original, spice it up with “The Bubbe,” try their namesake with the “Honey Butter,” and more.

Indiana: The Eagle (Indianapolis)

altitudevisual/Adobe chicken sandwich without toppings

The Eagle is known for its delicious fried chicken and Southern sides, and thousands of Yelp reviews prove it lives up to that reputation.

The star of the show is the fried chicken sandwich, but the sides — from the fries to the spoonbread — are big hits as well.

Iowa: Smitty's Tenderloin Shop (Des Moines)

vaaseenaa/Adobe chicken sandwiches with coleslaw salad

Smitty’s has been the go-to spot for fresh tenderloins since it opened its doors in 1952.

To this day, visitors rave about how they can’t get enough of the delicious chicken sandwiches, fresh onion rings, and more.

Kansas: Joe's Kansas City Bar-B-Que (Kansas City)

Natalia/Adobe bourbon bbq chicken sandwich

Joe’s has become such a beloved institution that there are now three locations in the Kansas City area.

There are close to 5,000 reviews on Yelp praising the delicious BBQ — and if it’s chicken you’re after, try the pulled chicken breast sandwich or the “Chicken Z-Man.”

Kentucky: Royals Hot Chicken (Louisville)

Sławomir Fajer/Adobe pulled chicken sandwich

Finding the best fried chicken sandwich in Kentucky is no easy feat, but Royals is certainly a top contender.

The restaurant has made quite the name for itself in just a few years, and visitors can customize their heat level from “some heat” to “Gonzo.”

Louisiana: Toups’ Meatery (New Orleans)

Joshua Resnick/Adobe sandwich with coleslaw and french fries

In a little over a decade, Toups has made a name for itself by excelling at all things meat and Louisiana classics.

The Buttermilk Fried Chicken Sandwich certainly lives up to Toups’ stellar rep, but you’ll have to pop by at lunchtime to try it.

Maine: Wilson County Barbecue (Portland)

Brent Hofacker/Adobe homemade spicy nashville sandwich

Wilson County Barbecue brings the delicious, smokey tastes of Southern BBQ to Maine, and the fried chicken sandwich is a particular favorite.

Yelp is filled with rave reviews for the BBQ joint, but visitors are warned that the chicken sandwich is huge and messy, so come prepared.

Maryland: Ekiben (Baltimore)

Anastasiia/Adobe crunchy fried chicken sandwich

This isn’t your average chicken sandwich, but Ekiben, an Asian fusion joint with three locations around Baltimore, will certainly satisfy any fried chicken craving.

“The Neighborhood Bird,” with Taiwanese curry fried chicken, is a messy must-try.

Massachusetts: Underdog Hot Chicken (Boston)

Joshua Resnick/Adobe chicken sandwich on brioche bun

Simple, spicey, and delicious — Underdog Hot Chicken has made quite a name for itself in the Boston area.

Yelp is filled with reviews praising their hot chicken sandwich, and you can choose your level of spice. The joint is also known for top-notch fried Oreos.

Michigan: Detroit Wing Company (Eastpointe)

Brent Hofacker/Adobe nashville chicken sandwich

While Detroit Wing Company may be known for its wings and stellar sauces, fans rave about the chicken sandwiches as well.

You can try their signature honey butter hot chicken sandwich or opt for the classic crispy or plant-based option.

Minnesota: Revival (Minneapolis)

grinchh/Adobe sandwich with coleslaw pickled gherkins

Revival has three locations around Minnesota and is focused on bringing Southern barbecue to the Midwest.

While the menu is packed with BBQ classics, their fried chicken sandwich is one of their most popular dishes, with one reviewer even calling it the “best in the Twin Cities.”

Mississippi: The Pig & Pint (Jackson)

Teri/Adobe barbeque pulled pork sandwiches

The Pit & Pint is known for its BBQ, its craft brews, and, of course, its incredible chicken sandwiches.

There are a few excellent options, including the BBQ Chicken Sandwich, the Smoked Chicken Salad Sandwich, and, an honorable mention, the Smoked Chicken BBQ Tacos.

Missouri: Gobble STOP Smokehouse (Creve Coeur)

seba tataru/Adobe tasty chicken burger with fries

In just over a decade, Gobble STOP has made quite the name for itself as the go-to spot for smoked turkey and chicken.

Diners can choose from several delicious chicken sandwich options, from the classic fried chicken to a smoked pulled chicken sandwich.

Montana: Backslope Brewing (Columbia Falls)

Joshua Resnick/Adobe spicy nashville sandwich

Just outside of stunning Glacier National Park, Backslope Brewing serves up delicious, handcrafted beer and delectable dining options.

These include the classic fried chicken sandwich, which Yelp reviewers can’t seem to get enough of.

Nebraska: Block 16 (Omaha)

Cloudyew/Adobe delicious chicken sandwich

Block 16’s menu is packed with unique takes on classic dishes, and it’s a huge hit in the area.

“El Guapo” is their take on the fried chicken sandwich. They toss it in house guajillo hot sauce and serve it with delicious ginger scallop slaw and honey lime aioli.

Nevada: Fukuburger (Las Vegas)

Food Shop/Adobe chicken zinger burger with fries

Fukuburger is known for serving burgers with Japanese-inspired twists.

Their take on the chicken sandwich, the “Chicken Katsu,” includes panko-crusted chicken with shredded cabbage, katsu sauce, and “crack sauce.”

New Hampshire: KC’s Rib Shack (Manchester)

fahrwasser/Adobe pulled pork sandwich with bbq sauce

KC’s may be known for its hickory-smoked ribs, but they crank out quite a selection of top-notch chicken sandwiches as well.

The much-loved BBQ joint offers an original pulled chicken sandwich, a BBQ pulled chicken sandwich, and even a Chicken Cordon Bleu “D’Lux” sandwich.

New Jersey: Hoagitos (Belmar)

Martin Funk/Adobe chicken burger on a fluffy bun

Hoagitos got its start with a stand on the Asbury Park boardwalk and expanded to Belmar in 2016.

While they’re also known for excellent subs, Hoagitos really shines with its array of delectable chicken sandwiches, from the “Dude Ranch” to the “Nashville Hot.”

New Mexico: Nexus Brewery & Restaurant (Albuquerque)

Joshua Resnick/Adobe grilled chicken sandwich with chips

Nexus Brewery & Restaurant specializes in soul food — and their chicken sandwich, which you can get either grilled or Southern fried, is a particular favorite among diners.

The sandwiches and their other delectable menu items pair well with their award-winning brews.

New York: Bobwhite Counter (New York City)

Fahad/Adobe buffalo chicken wrap with lettuce

Bobwhite Counter is a no-frills joint that specializes in delicious, juicy chicken. It has several locations in the NYC area.

They have quite a few delicious chicken sandwiches to choose from, including a classic fried chicken, spicy chicken, buffalo wrap, and more.

North Carolina: Beasley's Chicken + Honey (Raleigh)

Aleksandrs Muiznieks/Adobe chicken fillet burger with tomatoes

There’s no shortage of excellent chicken sandwiches in North Carolina, but thousands of Yelp reviewers will tell you Beasley’s has a particular edge.

They offer unique takes on Southern classics and have several top-notch chicken sandwich options, from classic to hot and beyond.

North Dakota: Brew Bird (Fargo)

Erb / Dufault Photo/Adobe buttermilk chicken fried sandwich

The vibes are excellent in this tow truck station turned eatery, and the chicken sandwiches are plenty (and delicious, too).

From the classic crispy chicken sandwich to Fargo Hot, these sandwiches are a big hit — as is Brew Bird’s extensive sauce bar.

Ohio: Hot Chicken Takeover (Columbus)

FomaA/Adobe sandwich with french fries and sauce

If you’re looking for a classic Nashville hot chicken sandwich in the Midwest, Hot Chicken Takeover is the place to be.

In fact, they’ve become so popular that in just over 10 years, they’ve expanded to six locations around Columbus and one near Cleveland.

Oklahoma: The Drum Room (Oklahoma City)

Oguzhan/Adobe zinger burger with a side of chili fries

While the theme is rock ‘n’ roll and the restaurant has a full bar, the real focus at The Drum Room is fried chicken.

They also have a few top-notch chicken sandwiches to choose from, including a tangy BBQ chicken sandwich and a chicken and waffle sandwich.

Oregon: Basilisk (Portland)

Joshua Resnick/Adobe sandwich with coleslaw

A simple chicken counter with a menu as legendary as it is simple, Basilisk offers excellent fried chicken in many forms.

The classic fried chicken sandwich is their lifeblood, but they have some incredible other options too, like the hot chicken plate and the fried tofu sandwich.

Pennsylvania: Federal Donuts (Philadelphia)

promolink/Adobe saucy chicken sandwich

Weirdly, one of the best places to get a chicken sandwich in Philly is a donut shop.

Federal Donuts has locations throughout the Philadelphia area, and in addition to their delectable array of donuts, they serve top-notch Korean-style, twice-fried chicken.

Rhode Island: The Point Tavern (Providence)

robertsre/Adobe sandwiches with pulled pork

The Point Tavern is known for excellent vibes, a fully stocked bar, and a seriously massive chicken sandwich.

Their take on the classic is topped with house spicy honey mayo and served on a Portuguese sweet bread roll.

South Carolina: Boxcar Betty's (Charleston)

Brent Hofacker/Adobe homemade pulled chicken sandwich

Betty’s has two locations in South Carolina and one in Chicago — and is a hit no matter where you get it. They offer a few variations of their delicious fried chicken sandwiches, including a more traditional “Boxcar,” a “Chicken ‘Not So Waffle’” (with jam and syrup), and a buffalo chicken sandwich.

South Dakota: Bread & Circus Sandwich Kitchen (Sioux Falls)

FomaA/Adobe southern style fried chicken sandwich

A laid-back spot to grab some excellent fare and craft brews, Bread & Circus Sandwich Kitchen offers quite a unique take on the much-loved chicken sandwich.

Known as the “Vietnamese Fried Chicken” sandwich, it’s topped with nuoc cham, bahn mi pickles, and cilantro aioli.

Tennessee: Hattie B's Hot Chicken (Nashville)

Brent Hofacker/Adobe homemade spicy nashville

It’s hard, near impossible, to pick the best chicken sandwich in Nashville — but Hattie’s seems to be a top choice on nearly every “best of” list.

You can get the sandwich grilled or fried and choose your heat level (go with the “Shut the Cluck Up” level at your own risk).

Texas: Las Abuelas (Austin)

fahrwasser/Adobe chicken tender sandwich

In just a few years, this food truck has established itself as quite the player in the Austin food scene.

Their menu can be described as Southern-Mexican fusion, and their unique takes on the fried chicken sandwich are top-notch (though their original is near perfect as well).

Utah: Pretty Bird (Salt Lake City)

Sławomir Fajer/Adobe burger with chicken bacon

The love labor of award-winning Chef Viet Pham, the menu at Pretty Bird is simple, the chicken sandwich is enormous and equally delicious (as thousands on Yelp can attest to).

If you want a bit of variety, try the crispy tender roll instead.

Vermont: Worthy Kitchen (Woodstock)

aicandy/Adobe mouth watering fried chicken sandwich

Worthy Kitchen is a delightful farm-to-table joint with an excellent selection of craft beers.

The menu is packed with delicious, locally sourced dishes — and the “OG Chicken Sandwich” is a particular hit (plus, it can be tossed in buffalo, BBQ, or maple bacon sauce).

Virginia: Wooboi Hot Chicken (Herndon)

altitudevisual/Adobe fried chicken sandwich without toppings

Wooboi has three locations throughout Virginia and plenty of top-notch chicken sandwich options.

The fan favorite seems to be “The Sando,” Wooboi’s classic chicken sandwich, which one Yelp reviewer noted may even be “the best chicken product I’ve had.”

Washington: Ma'ono (Seattle)

Joshua Resnick/Adobe spicy nashville hot chicken

Ma’ono has several locations around Seattle, including one located inside Rachel’s Gingerbeer at University Village.

The restaurant’s Yelp page is filled with reviewers saying Ma’ono cranks out some of the best hot chicken they’ve ever tasted. The crispy fried chicken sandwich is a particular favorite.

West Virginia: Hillbilly Hot Dogs (Lesage)

Wirestock/Adobe chicken sandwich on paper

As their name suggests, Hillbilly may be known for its hot dogs, but they have quite the selection of excellent chicken sandwiches as well, including the Barnyard Bird Dog (fried chicken on a hot dog bun) and the standard fried chicken sandwich.

Wisconsin: Butcher & Baker Provisions (Port Gamble)

Kit Leong/Adobe deep fried chicken sandwich

As the name suggests, this excellent locally sourced restaurant also has a butcher shop and a bakery — and, of course, some excellent chicken sandwich options.

The fried chicken sandwich (which is topped with bacon) and the grilled chicken BBQ sandwich are both excellent options.

Wyoming: Liberty Burger (Jackson)

DAVID/Adobe fried chicken sandwich

Liberty Burger, which has a few locations throughout Texas, Montana, and Wyoming, may be known for its burgers, but its “The Traitor” grilled chicken sandwich is also a must-try.

It’s topped with applewood smoked bacon, avocado, garlic aioli, and more.

Bottom line

perevalovalexey/Adobe young woman eating delicious burger

While Kentucky and Nashville have earned a reputation for their mouthwatering fried chicken, delicious fried chicken sandwiches can be found all across the country.

So, no matter how you decide to step up your travel game, you're likely to find a satisfying and affordable option to quench your craving.

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Laura Gesualdi-Gilmore

Laura Gesualdi-Gilmore is a seasoned freelance writer who also teaches writing courses at Rutgers University. She's based in Jersey City and enjoys travel, live music and, of course, spending quality time with her pup.