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Two pieces of fried chicken.
Big Boss Spicy Fried Chicken makes diners sweat with its offerings.
Big Boss Spicy Fried Chicken

Where to Eat Fried Chicken in Chicago

Find the crispiest and tastiest birds around town

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Big Boss Spicy Fried Chicken makes diners sweat with its offerings.
| Big Boss Spicy Fried Chicken

Crispy chicken skin is right up there with life's greatest pleasures, alongside hot sauce and honey butter. Don't settle for anything less than a crunchy bite followed by the juicy flesh of a perfectly fried piece of chicken. From Nashville hot to Korean style, these 20 spots know their way around a fryer and promise to serve up a satisfying bird every time.

The latest additions to the list include Dominican fried chicken at Morena’s Kitchen, Cleo’s Southern Cuisine in Bronzeville, and Hello Jasmine’s Taiwanese-style popcorn chicken.

As of August 20, the city has mandated that everyone wear facial coverings while indoors. For updated information on coronavirus cases, please visit the city of Chicago’s COVID-19 dashboard. Health experts consider dining out to be a high-risk activity for the unvaccinated; the latest data about the delta variant indicates that it may pose a low-to-moderate risk for the vaccinated, especially in areas with substantial transmission. The latest CDC guidance is here; find a COVID-19 vaccination site here.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Evanston Chicken Shack

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1925 Ridge Ave
Evanston, IL 60201
(847) 328-9360
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Up in the northern suburbs, Evanston Chicken Shack has been frying terrific breasts, thighs, legs, and wings for more than three decades. A simple salt-and-pepper seasoning on the breading gives the bird its distinct flavor, and the lunch box specials are budget-friendly meals that come with chicken, biscuit or white bread, and choice of side for under $10.

2. Big Jones

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5347 N Clark St
Chicago, IL 60640
(773) 275-5725
Visit Website

The true test of a Southern restaurant’s quality is often measured in its fried chicken. Chef-owner Paul Fehribach recreates a classic Edna Lewis recipe at Big Jones, brining Amish chicken in herbs and spices and then frying it in leaf lard, ham drippings, and clarified butter. Online ordering is available here.

3. Roost Chicken & Biscuits

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1467 W Irving Park Rd
Chicago, IL 60613
(312) 261-5564
Visit Website

What started out as a food truck has now blossomed into multiple brick-and-mortar locations around town. Chef and owner Joe Scroggs, who’s originally from the South, serves two types of poultry. The first is a mild herb-seasoned chicken. But if folks love heat, the Nashville-style hot chicken is the one to try. It’s slathered with cayenne paste and has a hint of sweetness and loads of spice. Both options can also be enjoyed as sandwiches on buttermilk biscuits or Hawaiian rolls. Roost’s other outposts are in Wrigleyville and River West. Online ordering is available here.

Baskets of fried chicken with biscuits, chips, and mac and cheese.
The Roost offers both mild and Nashville hot chicken in addition to notable sides.
Roost [Official Photo]

4. Honey Butter Fried Chicken

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3361 N Elston Ave
Chicago, IL 60618
(773) 478-4000
Visit Website

This popular Avondale spot was conceived after diners raved about the honey-butter-covered chicken at pop-up dinners by Christine Cikowski and Josh Kulp. The pair rode that momentum into a restaurant dedicated to the sweet-and-savory specialty in 2013. Since then, they’ve put it on everything from nachos to sandwiches, but the deboned fried chicken still remains a favorite. Online orders can be placed here.

A tray of fried chicken with corn muffins and honey butter.
Honey Butter Fried Chicken is famous for its addictive condiment.
Honey Butter Fried Chicken [Official Photo]

5. Crisp

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2940 N Broadway
Chicago, IL 60657
(773) 697-7610
Visit Website

KFC has long been associated with the Colonel but at Crisp it stands for something completely different: Korean fried chicken. This Lakeview spot is renowned for its jumbo wings, which are twice-fried. They can be had plain or tossed in sauces like the signature Seoul Sassy. The sweet marinade — a blend of ginger, soy, garlic, and other spices — sets the chicken apart from the competition. Crisp’s wings are also available at Budacki’s Drive-In in Ravenswood. Online ordering is available here.

6. The Budlong

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1008 W Armitage Ave
Chicago, IL 60614
(773) 270-9005
Visit Website

Nashville-style hot chicken has taken off in Chicago in recent years and this specialist was at the forefront of the trend. Owner Jared Leonard offers spicy chicken coated in classic, hot, or extra hot sauce. It’s also available as tenders or in sandwiches and salads. Additional Budlong outposts are located in Lincoln Square, River North, Hyde Park, and Revival Food Hall. Online orders can be placed here.

7. Parson's Chicken & Fish

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2952 W Armitage Ave
Chicago, IL 60647
(773) 384-3333
Visit Website

Land and Sea Dept’s fried chicken and fish shack — modeled after the old-school ones on the city’s West Side — is a perennial hotspot for good reason. The chicken is brined and soaked in a buttermilk hot sauce before being dredged in flour and spices. This leads to juicy, flavorful pieces with a little bit of heat. Grab a seat on the always bustling patio and order a Negroni slushy to round out the experience. Additional Parson’s outposts are located in Lincoln Park, West Town, and Andersonville. Online orders can be placed here.

A variety of fried chicken, sides, and beverages spread out on a table.
Parson’s fried chicken, fun drinks, and expansive patio make it an attractive destination.
Parson’s [Official Photo]

8. Morena's Kitchen

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5058 W Armitage Ave B
Chicago, IL 60639
(773) 622-7200

Over in Belmont Cragin, owner and chef Miriam Montes de Oca whips up comforting Dominican dishes. Among her most popular items is pica pollo, or Dominican fried chicken. The birds are cut into smaller-than-usual pieces and marinated in secret spices for a few days. They’re then double-fried to order to produce a crispy exterior that envelops juicy meat. A spritz of lime and splashes of housemade habanero hot sauce help make the chicken even more irresistible.

9. Crazy Bird Chicken

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1160 W Grand Ave.
Chicago, IL 60642
(312) 877-5684
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Owner and chef Larry Tucker served the Lawndale community for years before relocating his business to a larger space in West Town. As a result, Crazy Bird has gained a new throng of fans who swear by its lightly-breaded, juicy Amish fried chicken. The sides are fantastic too and include mac and cheese and caramel pound cake. There are also tables set up outside to allow for patio dining. Online ordering is available here.

10. Sir Chicken

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401 N Milwaukee Ave
Chicago, IL 60654
(312) 243-3344
Visit Website

The team behind modern Korean restaurant Perilla also runs a fried chicken shop out of its kitchen. Dubbed “Sir Chicken,” the spin-off offers tenders and sandwiches. The X factor is the super crunchy crust that can be coated with a sweet and spicy sauce made from a blend of chili flakes and cayenne pepper. Sir Chicken is carryout and delivery only. Online ordering is available here.

11. Gus's World Famous Fried Chicken

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847 W Fulton Market
Chicago, IL 60607
(312) 733-1971
Visit Website

Hailing from Tennessee, this chain flew north to shake up Chicago's fried chicken scene in 2015. The skin is deep fried to a dark brown hue and provides a brittle-yet-flavorful outer layer for the juicy, cayenne-flecked meat. The secret family recipe yields a perfect balance of saltiness and spiciness, which leaves diners wanting more. A second location in River North is currently closed due to COVID-19.

A plate of fried chicken with beans, coleslaw, mac and cheese, mashed potatoes, and rice.
Gus’s popular fried chicken recipe originated in Memphis.
Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken [Official Photo]

12. Roister

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951 W Fulton Market
Chicago, IL 60607
(312) 789-4896
Visit Website

The Alinea Group’s approachable dining destination is chock-full of innovative New American plates, but its star item is undoubtedly the fried chicken. The meat is double dredged in seasoned cornstarch, buttermilk, and flour, giving it a shatteringly crisp exterior. It’s finished with a sprinkling of a special spice blend and served with a side of sunchoke hot sauce and gravy.

13. Uncle Remus Saucy Fried Chicken

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5611 W Madison St
Chicago, IL 60644
(773) 261-7311
Visit Website

As the name implies, this West Side favorite specializes in crunchy fried chicken covered in mild sauce. The heavily peppered crust is offset by a sweet sauce that’s judiciously poured over the chicken. Be prepared to wait for the saucy goodness, or order ahead of time. The Austin location is temporarily closed for renovations but there are three other outposts in Grand Boulevard, Broadview, and Bolingbrook.

A plate of saucy fried chicken with fries, fried okra, and coleslaw.
The sauce takes the chicken to another level at Uncle Remus.
Uncle Remus [Official Photo]

14. Hello Jasmine

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2026 S Clark St unit c
Chicago, IL 60616
(312) 988-0920
Visit Website

Although many folks visit for just the bubble teas, Hello Jasmine’s food menu is equally impressive. It features a variety of Taiwanese street fare, including fried chicken. The version here, commonly known as popcorn chicken, is made with boneless, bite-sized pieces of well-seasoned poultry. An optional golden cheese sauce can be added, and there are also other choices like fried chicken steak and traditional fried wings and drumsticks. Online ordering is available here. A second location is in Lincoln Park.

A variety of fried chicken, sides, and bubble teas spread out on a table.
Hello Jasmine focuses on bubble teas and Taiwanese-style fried chicken.
Hello Jasmine [Official Photo]

15. Big Boss Spicy Fried Chicken

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2520 S Halsted St
Chicago, IL 60608
(312) 877-5031
Visit Website

A colorful, eye-catching exterior attracts passersby into this Bridgeport restaurant for fiery fried chicken. Owner Jassy Lee’s cooking style is influenced by both Belize and Nashville, and she seasons the poultry overnight with a blend of chilies before breading it and applying a spicy sauce. Five levels of heat are available, ranging from mild to extremely hot.

Two pieces of fried chicken.
Big Boss brings the heat with its chicken.
Big Boss Spicy Fried Chicken [Official Photo]

16. Cleo's Southern Cuisine

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4248 S Cottage Grove Ave
Chicago, IL 60653
(773) 575-7120
Visit Website

Classic soul food with Creole twists draws diners to Cleo’s in Bronzeville. Chef-owner Kristen Harper’s tantalizing fried chicken is the highlight of the menu and offered several ways. Get the “Sauced Six” for flavor-packed wings drenched in mango habanero, sweet red chili, and spiced bourbon sauces or go all out with the “Pon’Yard” and feast on a Belgian waffle and two boneless thighs topped with Creole-buttered lump crab. Online orders can be placed here. The restaurant is also one of the vendors inside Time Out Market Chicago.

17. Harold's Chicken Shack

Copy Link
1208 E 53rd St
Chicago, IL 60615
(773) 667-9835

Chicago’s iconic chicken chain has been at it for decades and is one of the city’s most quintessential experiences. There are multiple Harold’s across town, the majority of which are found on the South Side, and celebrities frequently extol its virtues. Though the consistency of the food varies by location, it doesn’t deter locals from ordering half chicken or wing dinners with mild sauce — a sweet and tangy condiment that’s just as important as the bird.

18. Mini Hut

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6659 W Archer Ave
Chicago, IL 60638
(773) 586-2115

Garfield Ridge’s Mini Hut is short on frills, but niceties aren’t necessary when there’s phenomenal fried chicken involved. The secret? The meat is brined overnight, dredged in butter-flavored flour, and pressure fried for 25 minutes. The result is golden pieces of crackling bird that’s juicy to the bone and worth the wait. Just make sure to call ahead.

19. 5 Loaves Eatery

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405 E 75th St
Chicago, IL 60619
(773) 891-2889
Visit Website

A Jean Banchet Award winner for Best Ethnic Restaurant, 5 Loaves Eatery delivers good food that nourishes the soul. The menu highlights Southern staples and the fried chicken is a best seller. It’s a well-seasoned, extra crispy version that gets marinated for 24 hours before meeting the fryer. Online orders can be placed here.

20. Hienie's Shrimp House

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10359 S Torrence Ave
Chicago, IL 60617
(773) 734-8400
Visit Website

South Side fry house Hienie’s is known for its hot sauce as much as it is for chicken. Called “Hienie’s Hot Sauce” (but not actually produced by the restaurant), the neon orange condiment is a potent mustard-vinegar mix that cuts right through the grease. It nicely complements the fried chicken’s aggressive seasoning and golden, crispy skin.

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1. Evanston Chicken Shack

1925 Ridge Ave, Evanston, IL 60201

Up in the northern suburbs, Evanston Chicken Shack has been frying terrific breasts, thighs, legs, and wings for more than three decades. A simple salt-and-pepper seasoning on the breading gives the bird its distinct flavor, and the lunch box specials are budget-friendly meals that come with chicken, biscuit or white bread, and choice of side for under $10.

1925 Ridge Ave
Evanston, IL 60201

2. Big Jones

5347 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60640

The true test of a Southern restaurant’s quality is often measured in its fried chicken. Chef-owner Paul Fehribach recreates a classic Edna Lewis recipe at Big Jones, brining Amish chicken in herbs and spices and then frying it in leaf lard, ham drippings, and clarified butter. Online ordering is available here.

5347 N Clark St
Chicago, IL 60640

3. Roost Chicken & Biscuits

1467 W Irving Park Rd, Chicago, IL 60613
Baskets of fried chicken with biscuits, chips, and mac and cheese.
The Roost offers both mild and Nashville hot chicken in addition to notable sides.
Roost [Official Photo]

What started out as a food truck has now blossomed into multiple brick-and-mortar locations around town. Chef and owner Joe Scroggs, who’s originally from the South, serves two types of poultry. The first is a mild herb-seasoned chicken. But if folks love heat, the Nashville-style hot chicken is the one to try. It’s slathered with cayenne paste and has a hint of sweetness and loads of spice. Both options can also be enjoyed as sandwiches on buttermilk biscuits or Hawaiian rolls. Roost’s other outposts are in Wrigleyville and River West. Online ordering is available here.

1467 W Irving Park Rd
Chicago, IL 60613

4. Honey Butter Fried Chicken

3361 N Elston Ave, Chicago, IL 60618
A tray of fried chicken with corn muffins and honey butter.
Honey Butter Fried Chicken is famous for its addictive condiment.
Honey Butter Fried Chicken [Official Photo]

This popular Avondale spot was conceived after diners raved about the honey-butter-covered chicken at pop-up dinners by Christine Cikowski and Josh Kulp. The pair rode that momentum into a restaurant dedicated to the sweet-and-savory specialty in 2013. Since then, they’ve put it on everything from nachos to sandwiches, but the deboned fried chicken still remains a favorite. Online orders can be placed here.

3361 N Elston Ave
Chicago, IL 60618

5. Crisp

2940 N Broadway, Chicago, IL 60657

KFC has long been associated with the Colonel but at Crisp it stands for something completely different: Korean fried chicken. This Lakeview spot is renowned for its jumbo wings, which are twice-fried. They can be had plain or tossed in sauces like the signature Seoul Sassy. The sweet marinade — a blend of ginger, soy, garlic, and other spices — sets the chicken apart from the competition. Crisp’s wings are also available at Budacki’s Drive-In in Ravenswood. Online ordering is available here.

2940 N Broadway
Chicago, IL 60657

6. The Budlong

1008 W Armitage Ave, Chicago, IL 60614

Nashville-style hot chicken has taken off in Chicago in recent years and this specialist was at the forefront of the trend. Owner Jared Leonard offers spicy chicken coated in classic, hot, or extra hot sauce. It’s also available as tenders or in sandwiches and salads. Additional Budlong outposts are located in Lincoln Square, River North, Hyde Park, and Revival Food Hall. Online orders can be placed here.

1008 W Armitage Ave
Chicago, IL 60614

7. Parson's Chicken & Fish

2952 W Armitage Ave, Chicago, IL 60647
A variety of fried chicken, sides, and beverages spread out on a table.
Parson’s fried chicken, fun drinks, and expansive patio make it an attractive destination.
Parson’s [Official Photo]

Land and Sea Dept’s fried chicken and fish shack — modeled after the old-school ones on the city’s West Side — is a perennial hotspot for good reason. The chicken is brined and soaked in a buttermilk hot sauce before being dredged in flour and spices. This leads to juicy, flavorful pieces with a little bit of heat. Grab a seat on the always bustling patio and order a Negroni slushy to round out the experience. Additional Parson’s outposts are located in Lincoln Park, West Town, and Andersonville. Online orders can be placed here.

2952 W Armitage Ave
Chicago, IL 60647

8. Morena's Kitchen

5058 W Armitage Ave B, Chicago, IL 60639

Over in Belmont Cragin, owner and chef Miriam Montes de Oca whips up comforting Dominican dishes. Among her most popular items is pica pollo, or Dominican fried chicken. The birds are cut into smaller-than-usual pieces and marinated in secret spices for a few days. They’re then double-fried to order to produce a crispy exterior that envelops juicy meat. A spritz of lime and splashes of housemade habanero hot sauce help make the chicken even more irresistible.

5058 W Armitage Ave B
Chicago, IL 60639

9. Crazy Bird Chicken

1160 W Grand Ave., Chicago, IL 60642

Owner and chef Larry Tucker served the Lawndale community for years before relocating his business to a larger space in West Town. As a result, Crazy Bird has gained a new throng of fans who swear by its lightly-breaded, juicy Amish fried chicken. The sides are fantastic too and include mac and cheese and caramel pound cake. There are also tables set up outside to allow for patio dining. Online ordering is available here.

1160 W Grand Ave.
Chicago, IL 60642

10. Sir Chicken

401 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60654

The team behind modern Korean restaurant Perilla also runs a fried chicken shop out of its kitchen. Dubbed “Sir Chicken,” the spin-off offers tenders and sandwiches. The X factor is the super crunchy crust that can be coated with a sweet and spicy sauce made from a blend of chili flakes and cayenne pepper. Sir Chicken is carryout and delivery only. Online ordering is available here.

401 N Milwaukee Ave
Chicago, IL 60654

11. Gus's World Famous Fried Chicken

847 W Fulton Market, Chicago, IL 60607
A plate of fried chicken with beans, coleslaw, mac and cheese, mashed potatoes, and rice.
Gus’s popular fried chicken recipe originated in Memphis.
Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken [Official Photo]

Hailing from Tennessee, this chain flew north to shake up Chicago's fried chicken scene in 2015. The skin is deep fried to a dark brown hue and provides a brittle-yet-flavorful outer layer for the juicy, cayenne-flecked meat. The secret family recipe yields a perfect balance of saltiness and spiciness, which leaves diners wanting more. A second location in River North is currently closed due to COVID-19.

847 W Fulton Market
Chicago, IL 60607

12. Roister

951 W Fulton Market, Chicago, IL 60607

The Alinea Group’s approachable dining destination is chock-full of innovative New American plates, but its star item is undoubtedly the fried chicken. The meat is double dredged in seasoned cornstarch, buttermilk, and flour, giving it a shatteringly crisp exterior. It’s finished with a sprinkling of a special spice blend and served with a side of sunchoke hot sauce and gravy.

951 W Fulton Market
Chicago, IL 60607

13. Uncle Remus Saucy Fried Chicken

5611 W Madison St, Chicago, IL 60644
A plate of saucy fried chicken with fries, fried okra, and coleslaw.
The sauce takes the chicken to another level at Uncle Remus.
Uncle Remus [Official Photo]

As the name implies, this West Side favorite specializes in crunchy fried chicken covered in mild sauce. The heavily peppered crust is offset by a sweet sauce that’s judiciously poured over the chicken. Be prepared to wait for the saucy goodness, or order ahead of time. The Austin location is temporarily closed for renovations but there are three other outposts in Grand Boulevard, Broadview, and Bolingbrook.

5611 W Madison St
Chicago, IL 60644

14. Hello Jasmine

2026 S Clark St unit c, Chicago, IL 60616
A variety of fried chicken, sides, and bubble teas spread out on a table.
Hello Jasmine focuses on bubble teas and Taiwanese-style fried chicken.
Hello Jasmine [Official Photo]

Although many folks visit for just the bubble teas, Hello Jasmine’s food menu is equally impressive. It features a variety of Taiwanese street fare, including fried chicken. The version here, commonly known as popcorn chicken, is made with boneless, bite-sized pieces of well-seasoned poultry. An optional golden cheese sauce can be added, and there are also other choices like fried chicken steak and traditional fried wings and drumsticks. Online ordering is available here. A second location is in Lincoln Park.

2026 S Clark St unit c
Chicago, IL 60616

15. Big Boss Spicy Fried Chicken

2520 S Halsted St, Chicago, IL 60608
Two pieces of fried chicken.
Big Boss brings the heat with its chicken.
Big Boss Spicy Fried Chicken [Official Photo]

A colorful, eye-catching exterior attracts passersby into this Bridgeport restaurant for fiery fried chicken. Owner Jassy Lee’s cooking style is influenced by both Belize and Nashville, and she seasons the poultry overnight with a blend of chilies before breading it and applying a spicy sauce. Five levels of heat are available, ranging from mild to extremely hot.

2520 S Halsted St
Chicago, IL 60608

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16. Cleo's Southern Cuisine

4248 S Cottage Grove Ave, Chicago, IL 60653

Classic soul food with Creole twists draws diners to Cleo’s in Bronzeville. Chef-owner Kristen Harper’s tantalizing fried chicken is the highlight of the menu and offered several ways. Get the “Sauced Six” for flavor-packed wings drenched in mango habanero, sweet red chili, and spiced bourbon sauces or go all out with the “Pon’Yard” and feast on a Belgian waffle and two boneless thighs topped with Creole-buttered lump crab. Online orders can be placed here. The restaurant is also one of the vendors inside Time Out Market Chicago.

4248 S Cottage Grove Ave
Chicago, IL 60653

17. Harold's Chicken Shack

1208 E 53rd St, Chicago, IL 60615

Chicago’s iconic chicken chain has been at it for decades and is one of the city’s most quintessential experiences. There are multiple Harold’s across town, the majority of which are found on the South Side, and celebrities frequently extol its virtues. Though the consistency of the food varies by location, it doesn’t deter locals from ordering half chicken or wing dinners with mild sauce — a sweet and tangy condiment that’s just as important as the bird.

1208 E 53rd St
Chicago, IL 60615

18. Mini Hut

6659 W Archer Ave, Chicago, IL 60638

Garfield Ridge’s Mini Hut is short on frills, but niceties aren’t necessary when there’s phenomenal fried chicken involved. The secret? The meat is brined overnight, dredged in butter-flavored flour, and pressure fried for 25 minutes. The result is golden pieces of crackling bird that’s juicy to the bone and worth the wait. Just make sure to call ahead.

6659 W Archer Ave
Chicago, IL 60638

19. 5 Loaves Eatery

405 E 75th St, Chicago, IL 60619

A Jean Banchet Award winner for Best Ethnic Restaurant, 5 Loaves Eatery delivers good food that nourishes the soul. The menu highlights Southern staples and the fried chicken is a best seller. It’s a well-seasoned, extra crispy version that gets marinated for 24 hours before meeting the fryer. Online orders can be placed here.

405 E 75th St
Chicago, IL 60619

20. Hienie's Shrimp House

10359 S Torrence Ave, Chicago, IL 60617

South Side fry house Hienie’s is known for its hot sauce as much as it is for chicken. Called “Hienie’s Hot Sauce” (but not actually produced by the restaurant), the neon orange condiment is a potent mustard-vinegar mix that cuts right through the grease. It nicely complements the fried chicken’s aggressive seasoning and golden, crispy skin.

10359 S Torrence Ave
Chicago, IL 60617

Related Maps