The Most Popular Fried Chicken in Every State (#34 Has 11 Sauces!)

Embark on a finger-lickin' journey through the nation's beloved fried chicken hotspots.

A man eating chicken
Updated May 28, 2024
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From the satisfying crunch of the golden crust to the explosion of perfectly seasoned meat, fried chicken is a dish that transcends generations and unites palates.

We've scoured the nation, comparing countless restaurants in each state to crown the undisputed champions of clucking goodness.

So, whether you're looking to step up your travel game or a local seeking a new delicious adventure, get ready to embark on a journey of fried chicken nirvana.

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Alabama: Hattie B’s Hot Chicken (Birmingham)

Subbotina Anna/Adobe crispy fried chicken wings

Hattie B’s Hot Chicken has built their business (which offers nationwide shipping) on great food, time-tested recipes, and love.

Choose the heat level you like, combine it with sides like pimento mac & cheese or black-eyed pea salad, and sit down for a filling meal.

Alaska: The Chicken Coop (Palmer)

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The friend chicken at The Chicken Coop is noted for being tender, moist, and full of flavor.

You’ll find this small location offers some fantastic options in chicken pieces or sandwiches, served with waffle fries and cajun corn.

Arizona: Gus’ World Famous Fried Chicken (Phoenix)

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A noted, beloved destination in Downtown Phoenix, Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken offers the best food and hospitality in the area.

The chicken is never frozen, and they handle their own prep for everything from the mac and cheese to the cabbage for the homemade coleslaw.

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Arkansas: Monte Ne Inn Chicken (Rogers)

Sławomir Fajer/Adobe crispy fried kentucky chicken

Monte Ne Inn Chicken is an all-you-can-eat fried chicken destination noted for its simple decor and super-friendly staff.

With a family-style menu, it’s like eating a meal at grandma's, though you’ll likely need a reservation.

California: The Crack Shack (Costa Mesa)

fudio/Adobe crispy fried chicken

California has plenty of chain-like chicken restaurants, but The Crack Shack is one of the best modern counter-service destinations for truly fresh-made chicken plates.

It’s a unique menu that blends the planned perfection of fine dining with locally sourced ingredients and lots of love.

Colorado: 92 Chicken Colorado Springs (Colorado Springs)

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At 92 Chicken Colorado Springs, you’ll find both traditional fried chicken and some of the best Korean fried chicken in the region.

For sides, the eclectic menu offers everything from fried gizzard to calamari and coleslaw, most of which are made in-house.

Connecticut: Hen House BBQ (Southington)

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Hen House BBQ opened its doors in 1988 with the goal of offering low-key BBQ at its best. It’s noted for its hot wings and ribs, but the fried chicken here is the favorite among locals.

It’s an unpretentious location boasting bold flavors with homemade sauces. A passionate “chicken man,” the owner has become so in demand that they now offer catering.

Delaware: Lettie’s Kitchen (Hockessin)

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Lettie’s Kitchen has served the region since 2011 but is built on the recipes of Letti, born in 1922. They’re noted for their superior broasted chicken and homemade soups and salads.

The food is made with passion, high-quality ingredients, and through recipes created after years of perfecting them.

Florida: LoveBird Almost Famous Chicken (Lakeland)

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LoveBird Almost Famous Chicken creates incredibly juicy chicken thanks to its 24-hour brine and fresh cuts. They hand batter every piece using their homemade flour and spice recipe.

Don’t overlook their scratch-made sides, including Jalapeno Bacon Corn, Bourbon Baked Beans, and So Gouda Mac.

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Georgia: Chi Maek Chicken (Suwanee)

Aylin/Adobe little boy eats fried chicken

Chi Maek Chicken serves up fantastic Korean fried chicken with a wide range of sides. You can choose from a variety of sauces, including red hot for those who want spice.

On the side, make sure you try the fried dumplings and fried rice.

Hawaii: Overlord Chicken (Honolulu)

chinnarach/Adobe woman eats fired chicken

Overlord Chicken is an excellent choice for freshly made, locally spiced fried chicken. While the full chicken piece meals are popular, the fried chicken sandwich here gets rave reviews.

The no-frills menu includes lots of options, including sides like fries, along with options like tenders and chicken skewers.

Idaho: The Chicken Shanty (Boise)

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The Chicken Shanty is a large assortment of freshly made foods, including the coconut chicken basket. Everything here is hand-breaded and made fresh.

You’ll want to add a side of Shmakin Fries, which are topped with pimento cheese, chicken, ranch, and buffalo sauce.

Illinois: Dell Rhea’s Chicken Basket (Willowbrook)

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Dell Rhea’s Chicken Basket has long been a must-stop along Historic Route 66, and with good reason.

While their pizza and salad bar are solid choices, their fried chicken dinners are noted for being huge and nice and crispy.

Indiana: Shani’s Secret Chicken (Indianapolis)

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What isn’t a secret about Shani’s Secret Chicken is how succulent it is. Choose from a number of sauces, including the Spicy Garlic Mango Sauce.

With a Thai flavor profile, the menu offers dozens of options from spicy, freshly made, and locally sourced meals.

Iowa: Sugapeach Chicken & Fish Fry (North Liberty

Aylin/Adobe boy eats fried chicken

When you stop in at Sugapeach Chicken & Fish Fry for a meal, you’ll enjoy true Southern charm, spicy chicken, perfectly tender collard greens, and buttery cornbread.

This southern-style fried chicken destination is also noted for its affordable prices. It's soul food made with love.

Kansas: Stroud’s Restaurant & Bar (Wichita)

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Over in Wichita, you’ll find a family-friendly restaurant known for its super tender fried chicken, made fresh from never-frozen chicken.

Founded in 1933, Stroud’s Restaurant & Bar is unique because it pan-fries its chicken, paying careful attention to each piece.

Kentucky: Joella’s Hot Chicken (Lexington)

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Joella’s Hot Chicken has the best fried chicken in the state, not to mention some fabulous waffles, wings, and mac & cheese.

This counter-service destination serves only 100% antibiotic-free, hormone-free, all-natural chicken.

Louisiana: Chicken On The Bayou & Boudin Shop (Breaux Bridge)

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From the exterior, Chicken On The Bayou & Boudin Shop is a small, easily missed destination, but this local favorite spot offers some of the best fried chicken in the state.

Noted for its Cajun cooking, this unfussy location has a menu of goodness and a few interesting options, like Pork Boudin Balls, crawfish, and alligator (sold by the pound).

Maine: Noble Barbecue (Portland)

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While Noble Barbecue is noted for its smoked meats sold by the pound, the fried chicken here is superior to most in the area.

A rustic bar setting, this destination aims to bring good Southern cuisine up north with its menu of griddled corn muffins, old-school coleslaw, and collard greens.

Maryland: Connie’s Chicken and Waffles (Baltimore)

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Connie’s Chicken and Waffles has a fun menu with options like Oreo and chocolate chip waffles, but it’s the fried chicken that comes with them that truly makes a statement.

Their menu has become so in demand that they now sell kits so you can make your own tasty waffles from home.

Massachusetts: Buttermilk & Bourbon (Boston)

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For a New Orleans spin on fried chicken, check out Buttermilk & Bourbon, a restaurant created by local chef Jason Santos, who set out to bring Southern hospitality to the heart of Boston.

Book reservations for this more upscale option in fried chicken dining. Try the House Special Buttermilk Fried Chicken with hot, sweet, or BBQ syrup.

Michigan: Ma Lou’s Fried Chicken (Ypsilanti)

Farknot Architect/Adobe french fries and fried chicken

A small, counter-service fried chicken restaurant, Ma Lou’s Fried Chicken offers saucy, tangy fried chicken at its best.

The Chicken & Waffles with maple syrup is the perfect choice for sweet lovers. For others, the Fried Chicken Plate with collard greens and baked beans is a filling, memorable meal.

Minnesota: Mama Sheila’s House of Soul (Minneapolis)

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Mama Sheila’s House of Soul offers exceptional fried chicken covered in jerk seasoning and fried to a golden crisp.

The location calls itself a museum-styled restaurant that showcases the highlights of African American history in a stunning destination.

Mississippi: Ms. Audrey’s Southern Kitchen & Catering (Gulfport)

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The fried chicken at Ms. Audrey’s Southern Kitchen & Catering is the Southern-style chicken you’re looking for when you want flavor, freshness, and a hearty portion.

The homemade fried chicken here is based on 25 years of experience by Ms. Audrey, the owner and chef. She’s sure to offer a smile, too.

Missouri: Hen House Fried Chicken Company (St. Robert)

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Hen House Fried Chicken Company focuses on “soulful country cooking” with a focus on bringing back home cooking memories from childhood.

Seasoned properly, full of herbs, and crispy makes this a top choice. Make sure to check out their house-made sides and honey butter biscuits.

Montana: Revelry (Bozeman)

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With locally sourced pub fare, Revelry may not seem like the best spot for fried chicken in Montana, but it has plenty to offer in its intensely flavored menu.

Stop in for happy hour and settle on the Japan Chicken, a hand-dredged fried chicken topped with a sweet chili sauce and togarashi. Stay for the apple cobbler.

Nebraska: Bird Shack Fried Chicken (Omaha)

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The perfect combination of crispy fried chicken paired with creamy, homemade mac and cheese makes Bird Shack Fried Chicken a solid choice.

It’s a counter-service restaurant tucked into a gas station but is highly regarded as one of the most beloved destinations in the state.

Nevada: Mama Bird Southern Kitchen (Las Vegas)

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Southern fried chicken served in the heart of Las Vegas doesn’t get better than Mama Bird Southern Kitchen.

A noted smokehouse, their Dixie Fried Chicken has a big, bold flavor. Pair it with sides like cream corn, grits, or collard greens.

New Hampshire: Sweet Chix Kitchen (North Hampton)

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Sweet Chix Kitchen has crisp, juicy fried chicken that’s handmade each day after being brined overnight and then cooked to order.

This locally owned friend chicken destination has a unique lavender and thyme seasoned flour that gives it a sweet taste of uniqueness.

New Jersey: Heavenly Chicken and Ribs (Jersey City)

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Over in Jersey City, you can get a touch of Southern flavor at Heavenly Chicken and Ribs.

With a flavorful blend of seasoning and sides like Old Fashioned Baked Beans and Corn Bread, this hearty meal is ready to enjoy.

New Mexico: Golden Pride East (Albuquerque) a piece of fried chicken

Golden Pride East is an affordable, fantastic destination noted for its barbeque, all-day breakfast burritos, and it’s fried chicken.

Established in 1972, their fried chicken is a tempting treat that’s only made better when you pair it with their spicy beans or mashed potatoes, all made fresh.

New York: 375 Degrees Chicken ‘N Fries (New York City)

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With several locations throughout town, 375 Degrees Chicken ‘N Fries claims it developed its menu through “gastronomic experimentation,” and the results are incredibly delicious.

Choose what works for you — fried chicken sandwiches, chicken and waffles, or tenders with the sauce that fits your mood.

North Carolina: Rocky’s Hot Chicken Shack (West Ashville)

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Rocky’s Hot Chicken Shack does chicken in every way possible — fried, rotisserie, grilled, and sides of all types.

Choose just how spicy you want, and then choose from their numerous scratch-made dips and dressings. Don’t forget the Coca-Cola Cake on your way out.

North Dakota: Brew Bird (Fargo)

Bryan/Adobe fried chicken and chips

Since 2019, Brew Bird has been serving up the best fried chicken in the state from a retro tow truck station that has become a mainstay in the town’s food scene.

They offer “funky fried chicken” along with a sauce bar that has 11 options you can try, plus a heavily gluten-free menu. They don’t skimp on portions or flavor here.

Ohio: Soho Chicken + Whiskey (Cleveland)

Joshua Resnick/Adobe woman holding crispy chicken sandwich

In the heart of Cleveland’s food scene is Soho Chicken + Whiskey, an establishment that offers a modern Southern menu noted for its super funky cocktails and fried chicken specials.

Choose to have yours with rosemary waffles or bourbon gravy. They also make a version with smoked gouda mac and cheese, hammy collards, and lots of homemade BBQ sauce.

Oklahoma: Ray’s Chicken Kitchen (Oklahoma City)

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Ray’s Chicken Kitchen began in a food truck that eventually led Chef Ray to move to a brick-and-mortar location to meet the demands of his passionate clientele.

The buttermilk-marinated fried chicken is hand-breaded and served with the type of sauce you love, from hot and spicy – to sweet versions.

Oregon: Screen Door Eastside (Portland)

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Screen Door Eastside is a refined Southern destination offering buttermilk-soaked fried chicken that’s hard to beat (including the massive portions they serve).

They opened their doors in 2006 and haven’t stopped offering exceptional food since that time. It’s a walk-in restaurant, but reservations for their popular weekend brunch are a must.

Pennsylvania: Masser’s Chicken Shack (Paxinos)

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With a simple menu and fried chicken made the same way for 40 years, you can’t go wrong with Masser’s Chicken Shack.

Buy it by the bucket or piece, choose the sauces you have to have, and then pick from several sides, including mashed potatoes, garlic parmesan fries, or creamy cucumbers.

Rhode Island: The Chicken Coop Kitchen and Bar (Johnston)

bnenin/Adobe woman eating chicken wings

Stop in to watch the game at The Chicken Coop Kitchen and Bar and enjoy some massively delicious fried chicken.

A locally owned and operated location, they offer a scratch-made menu that’s packed with sauce options, freshly prepared and well-seasoned chicken, and lots of sides.

South Carolina: Bernie’s Chicken (Columbia)

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Bernie’s Chicken aims to make broasted chicken with care, cutting it in-house, marinating it, and then using a special blend of spices to bread it.

Since 1979, they’ve been creating some of the juiciest fried chicken around, all with careful attention to detail.

South Dakota: Dakota Broasted, LLC (Custer)

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It’s easy to fall in love with the massive-sized chicken tenders here, but the fried chicken at Dakota Broasted, LLC is where the real flavor lies.

It’s actually broasted chicken that helps to create a tender inside and crispy exterior. If you want something different from the menu, choose the gizzards basket.

Tennessee: Grandaddy’s Original Hot Chicken Shack (Old Hickory)

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They are the original, they claim. Grandaddy’s Original Hot Chicken Shack has a following that’s hard to beat but easy to understand when you check out their food.

It’s a simple menu, a no-frills counter-service location, and the best location for fried okra.

Texas: Whistle Britches (Dallas)

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Not only is the fried chicken loved by many at Whistle Britches but this location’s biscuits and Belgian waffles are by far the best in the area.

What makes their scratch kitchen so unique is that it pickle brines its chicken for the most flavorful punch of flavor possible.

Utah: Kluck’s Krispy Chicken (Orem)

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Kluck’s Krispy Chicken has juicy, hot fried chicken with incredible sauce options to go with it. It’s not a big location, but it can get crowded, thanks to its fan following.

You’ll find plenty of options, including a secret special sweet and savory sauce.

Vermont: The Rollin’ Rooster (Pittsford)

Atstock Productions/Adobe waiter putting fried chicken

The Rollin’ Rooster is an excellent choice for chicken and waffles or just really well-seasoned and carefully prepared fried chicken on its own.

They use the freshest ingredients available and always focus on offering a menu that’s both affordable and filling. Don’t miss their food truck, too.

Virginia: BoBo’s Fine Chicken (Virginia Beach)

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BoBo’s Fine Chicken is a local favorite known for the best fried chicken and some of the best greens, potato salad, and mac and cheese out there.

It’s common to hear guests say it’s “just like mom’s” here, thanks to their tried-and-true recipe. It’s an award-winning local fried chicken restaurant boasting virtually everything scratch-made.

Washington: Fat’s Chicken and Waffles (Seattle)

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There are a few reasons why Fat’s Chicken and Waffles stands out, including its traditional southern cuisine made fresh.

Consider the fried chicken sandwich, which places a huge piece of chicken between two biscuits, topping it with gravy.

With its New Orleans-style seasoning and chill vibe, it’s a must-try destination.

West Virginia: Sumthin’ Good Soul Food (South Charleston)

Atlas/Adobe eating with fried chicken

The intense flavor profile here, matched with outstanding service, makes Sumthin’ Good Soul Food a destination for those who want authentic Southern cuisine at its best.

Though there’s nothing better than the fried chicken, they also have numerous other specialties, including decadent desserts and scratch-made sides.

Wisconsin: Tipsy Cow (Madison)

Atlas/Adobe chicken on white textured table

Tipsy Cow is a brewpub noted for its huge selection of beer and its fried chicken. Alongside the fried alligator bites and Korean beef fries, the fried chicken is among the best in the state.

A bit more refined than other destinations, the Tipsy Cow has been open since 2011 and offers fresh menu options made with locally sourced, high-quality ingredients.

Wyoming: Johnny J’s Diner (Casper)

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At Johnny J’s Diner, you’ll find a menu full of American-style favorites, from burgers to pot roast. However, it’s the broasted chicken that has a lot of people talking.

Available only for dinner and after 12 on Sundays, it’s served with sides like real mashed potatoes and gravy, corn on the cob, and diner-style green beans.

Bottom line

Brent Hofacker/Adobe homemade crispy popcorn chicken

So next time you're craving comfort food, remember that a perfectly fried chicken experience isn't just a regional treasure, it's a national one.

So grab your best travel credit cards, gather your loved ones, and embark on your fried chicken adventure across the USA.

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