Chicago, the Windy City, is known for its deep-dish pizzas, iconic architecture, and vibrant music scenes. But did you know that the city also boasts a thriving fried chicken culture? Yes, you heard that right. If you’re on the hunt for the crispiest, most succulent fried chicken in town, you’re in luck. This guide will walk you through the five best places in Chicago where you can satisfy your fried chicken cravings to the fullest.
Honey Butter Fried Chicken: Where Sweet Meets Savory
Located in the quaint neighborhood of Avondale, Honey Butter Fried Chicken offers an unforgettable fried chicken experience. This spot has earned its reputation by incorporating two key elements: locally sourced, quality ingredients and a unique twist on the classic fried chicken recipe. When you visit, don’t forget to slather your crispy fried chicken with the restaurant’s signature honey butter to achieve a blend of sweet and savory that dances on your palate. The chicken itself is crispy, tender, and juicy—cooked to perfection every time. They also have an array of house-made sauces and side dishes, like pimento mac and cheese, that you can pair with your chicken for a complete meal.
- Signature honey butter
- Locally sourced ingredients
- Pimento mac and cheese as a popular side
Parson’s Chicken & Fish: Casual Dining at its Best
Located in the hipster paradise of Logan Square, Parson’s Chicken & Fish offers not just some of the best fried chicken but also an environment to relish it in. The restaurant’s casual ambiance—featuring picnic tables and a large patio—is perfect for those sunny Chicago days. But let’s talk about the star attraction: the fried chicken. The exterior is crunchy, while the meat within remains juicy and well-seasoned. The dish goes perfectly with their famous Negroni Slushy—a must-try.
- Negroni Slushy
- Casual, outdoor dining
- Crispy exterior with a juicy interior
The Budlong Hot Chicken: For Spice Enthusiasts
Are you a fan of Nashville hot chicken? If the answer is yes, then The Budlong Hot Chicken is your go-to spot in Chicago. With multiple locations scattered across the city, it’s never too far away when the craving hits. The chicken is fried until it’s crisp and then coated with a customizable spice blend. You can choose your heat level, from “Classic” to “X-Hot” if you’re feeling adventurous. Every bite promises a mix of crispy, spicy, and juicy goodness.
- Customizable spice levels
- Multiple locations
- Authentic Nashville hot chicken experience
Big Jones: A Heirloom Recipe with a Story
Set in Andersonville, Big Jones serves Southern American cuisine inspired by heirloom recipes. Their fried chicken is made using a traditional recipe that’s been passed down through generations. It’s known for its crispy texture and succulent, flavorful meat. On weekdays, they offer a special fried chicken meal that includes three pieces of chicken, cornbread, and a choice of two sides—a filling and satisfying experience.
- Heirloom Southern recipe
- Weekday specials
- Cornbread and choice of two sides
Crisp: The Korean Connection
For those who love Korean fried chicken, Crisp is a must-visit. Located in Lakeview, this spot offers double-fried chicken that ensures an extra-crispy experience. Their “Seoul Sassy” chicken is a local favorite, dressed in a glaze that’s sweet, tangy, and just a little spicy. The chicken is crispy but not greasy, providing a lighter option for those who want to indulge without feeling overly stuffed.
- Double-fried for extra crispiness
- Sweet and spicy “Seoul Sassy” option
- Lighter, less greasy experience
Whether you’re a traditionalist looking for Southern-style fried chicken, a spice aficionado eager for some Nashville heat, or a culinary explorer keen to try the Korean version, Chicago has something for everyone. Each of these restaurants offers a unique take on the classic dish, promising not just a meal but an experience worth savoring.
So go ahead, explore these culinary landmarks, and sink your teeth into some of the crispiest, most delectable fried chicken Chicago has to offer. Just remember, with fried chicken this good, it’s always a good idea to make a reservation!