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The Best Fried Chicken in Every State

Winner winner, chicken dinner! From traditional to anything-but-ordinary, these are the spots serving the best fried chicken recipe in each state.

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Alabama

Mama’s on Dauphin, Mobile

Bird’s the word in ‘Bama. And at this Dauphin diner, they know that behind every great piece of chicken is an even better brine. The chicken marinates overnight in a blend containing bay leaves, garlic and seasoning salt, which adds a serious punch of flavor to the end result.

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Lucky Wishbone Fried Chickenvia alaskaluckywishbone.org

Alaska

The Lucky Wishbone, Anchorage

Chances are you don’t think of fried chicken when you think of Alaska. But the Lucky Wishbone, an Anchorage institution since 1955, will prove you wrong. The state’s oldest single-family-owned restaurant is famous for “The Pop” which has a breast, thigh, leg, wing and back.

Bonus: The chicken is flown in fresh, never frozen.

3 / 50

Arizona

Mrs. White’s Golden Rule Cafe, Phoenix

It’s been featured on Food Network’s Best Thing I Ever Ate so you know this spot lives up to its name—aka the fried chicken is a gorgeous golden hue only true soul food enthusiasts can master. Make sure you save room for the peach cobbler at the end. Don’t miss our best fried chicken recipes!

4 / 50

Arkansas

Myrtie Mae’s, Eureka Springs

The first thing out of your mouth when the waitress comes to your table better be “Ozark Fried Chicken.” It’s what makes Myrtie Mae’s so popular…and for good reason. The three tender pieces you’ll get might be simple (no spice or heat) but when it comes to fried chicken, less can definitely be more.

5 / 50

California

Roscoe’s House of Chicken and Waffles, Hollywood

No one does this hearty breakfast dish better than Roscoe’s—even former President Obama (among many other famous folks) is a fan! In fact, you’ll see “Obama’s Special” on the menu: three crispy wings on top of a giant waffle. Can’t make it to Hollywood? Try our 4-ingredient chicken and waffles recipe.

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Colorado

The Post Brewing Co., Denver

Can fried chicken be gluten-free? The crew at The Post Brewing Co. say abso-“cluckin'”-lutely. After hours of research and spreadsheets on the perfect batter-to-chicken ratio (seriously), they’ve nailed it with their brine, buttermilk and seasoning process.

7 / 50

Connecticut

Greer’s Chicken, Bristol

Hidden on a side street, this Connecticut chicken shack is best known for its fried chicken chunks, which are bite-sized pieces of white meat that are coated in a secret batter and deep-fried to juicy perfection. And slathered in honey BBQ sauce? Yes, please.

8 / 50

Delaware

Lettie’s Kitchen, Hockessin

“Broasted” is the new fried at this Delaware diner. Their unique way of deep frying the chicken in a pressure cooker keeps it crisp on the outside while moist on the inside—and you’ll skip the extra oil that often comes with the territory. Dig into our best pressure cooker recipes.

9 / 50

Florida

KYU, Miami

Move over Kentucky Fried Chicken… there’s a different KFC in town: Korean Fried Chicken. Double fried and wood-fired, the spicy poultry dish on the menu at KYU (pronounced “Q”) offers the best of both worlds: less grease and more crunch.

10 / 50

Georgia

Cafe Sunflower, Atlanta

Vegans and vegetarians rejoice: You can chow down on America’s favorite finger-licking meal, too! At this award-winning restaurant, treat yourself to a waffle topped with fried chicken seitan and of course, a dollop of vegan whipped cream. Don’t miss all our Sunday brunch recipes.

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Hawaii

Side Street Inn, Honolulu

For a taste of true island fare, order the spicy garlic chicken, tossed in an Asian-inspired sweet and sour sauce. Forget the traditional side of a biscuit—instead, pair your chicken with Side Street Inn’s signature fried rice made with char siu, sausage, bacon and veggies. Never heard of char siu pork? Let’s fix that with this char siu pork recipe.

12 / 50

Idaho

Juniper, Boise

Chick-fil-A sandwiches have nothing on the “Chicken in a Biscuit” at Juniper. You’ll definitely need the steak knife that’s served with this brunch beauty—it’s fried chicken, bacon, egg and white cheddar between two halves of a biscuit and smothered in sausage gravy.

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Honey Butter Fried Chickenvia honeybutter.com

Illinois

Honey Butter Fried Chicken, Chicago

Consider this “craft comfort food,” aka an upscale version of your favorite fried chicken dinner. Spread the glistening ball of honey butter all over your piping hot poultry and honeycomb corn muffins for a meal that takes finger-licking to a new level.

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The Eagle Fried Chicken in Indianavia eaglerestaurant.com

Indiana

The Eagle, Indianapolis

Spice up your life with the black pepper encrusted drumettes at The Eagle in Indy. And if that isn’t enough heat for you, dip your meaty pieces into the hot pepper honey that comes in a pitcher with your order.

15 / 50

Iowa

Bubba, Des Moines

Bubba is all about southern food, making their fried chicken some of the best around. Organic chicken is brined, seasoned, breaded and fried to order for a delicious dinner. Choose between 2-pieces, 3-pieces and half a chicken, each of which is served with pickles, mashed potatoes and two additional sides. If a fried chicken dinner isn’t enough, go for Bubba’s chicken and waffles dinner.

16 / 50

Kansas

Krispy’s Fried Chicken and Seafood, Wichita

Imagine plump pieces of chicken fried to golden perfection—that’s what you’ll find at Krispy’s where each order is prepared fresh on the spot. Breaded with flavorful seasoned flour and often served atop a fluffy waffle, it’s well worth the wait. 

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Kentucky

The Parkette, Lexington

There’s no shortage of amazing fried chicken in the Bluegrass State. But the one that stands out is what many have dubbed the REAL Kentucky Fried Chicken: the legendary lard-fried pieces from The Parkette. They’re the best kind of greasy—you won’t want to put ’em down. Here’s how to make fried chicken that’s better than KFC!

18 / 50

Louisiana

Willie Mae’s Scotch House, New Orleans

According to the Food Network and the Travel Channel, this isn’t just the best fried chicken in Louisiana…it’s the best in the whole country. Seasoned solely with salt and pepper, the skin is stuff of fast-food fantasies: a deep golden color and tantalizingly crispy texture.

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Figgys Takeout Fried Chickenvia figgystakeoutandcatering.com

Maine

Figgy’s Takeout, Portland

Time to get messy. At Figgy’s Takeout in Portland, the chicken—which is antibiotic- and cage-free—is so juicy, you’ll need all the napkins you can get. Opt for a whole bird or go with the A.A. Ron Sandwich, which is chicken layered with mashed potatoes and gravy on a buttermilk biscuit.

20 / 50

Maryland

Ekiben, Baltimore

This definitely is not your mama’s fried chicken. But Ekiben’s Asian fusion take on it is equally exquisite (super crunchy skin included). The “Neighborhood Bird” bento box comes with a Taiwanese curry fried chicken thigh on a steamed bun with spicy mayo and pickles. Place an online order and pick up curbside for dinner tonight.

21 / 50

Massachusetts

Cutty’s, Brookline

Be prepared to wait in line at Cutty’s. Once a month, the husband-and-wife-owned eatery opens for “Super Cluckin’ Sunday,” where the only thing on the menu is the buttermilk fried chicken sandwich topped with ranch, BBQ sauce and sweet onion with a side of housemade chips. While you’d normally have to get there early and be prepared to wait, the restaurant is now taking online orders for curbside pick up only.

22 / 50

Michigan

Eastside Fish Fry & Grill, Lansing

Take Guy Fieri’s word for it: This Michigan grill knows how to do a bird justice. After sitting in a secret spice dry rub for 48 hours, what’s known in the area as “crack chicken” is deep-fried to order. If you’re feeling exotic, try the fried frog legs…they taste like chicken! Guy Fieri calls these foods the real deal, too.

23 / 50

Minnesota

Revival, St. Paul

We’re drooling over the chicken at this popular Minnesota joint where the birds are marinaded for three days before being fried in lard. The end result? A crispy exterior that clings to the chicken, letting the full-bodied flavors shine through.

24 / 50

Mississippi

Old Country Store, Lorman

The only thing better than fried chicken is a fried chicken buffet. You’ll find it at this off-the-beaten-path restaurant, where the battered birds are stuff of legends. (Seriously, founder Arthur Davis has been dubbed the King of Chicken.) Alton Brown even described it as the best fried chicken he’s ever had in his life. Here are some of Alton Brown’s other favorite foods.

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Missouri

Hodak’s, St. Louis

Not all fried chicken is created equal. And Hodak’s half-bird special certainly stands apart from the rest. Not only is it piled on plates in giant portions, it also bucks the tradition and instead has a cornmeal crust, reminiscent of Grandma’s best cornbread.

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Roots Fried Chicken and waffles in Montanavia roostfriedchicken.com

Montana

Roost Fried Chicken, Bozeman

Discover a piece (pun intended) of the South at this Bozeman restaurant which uses a family recipe that came all the way from Tennessee. Don’t miss their unique “fried chicken on a stick,” a crave-worthy, crunchy bite topped with a buttery biscuit.

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Time Out Foods Fried Chicken in Nebraskavia timeoutfoods.com

Nebraska

Time Out, Omaha

Chances are that you’ll want to eat every last bit of flavorful fried chicken on your plate at this Midwestern must-visit. And you actually can! The breasts are deboned before frying so you get a huge chunk of juicy meat just waiting to be devoured.

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Blue Ribbon Fried Chickenvia blueribbonfriedchicken.com

Nevada

Blue Ribbon Fried Chicken, Summerlin

Spend 20 years perfecting your breading’s spice blend (hint: it includes basil, parsley, thyme, garlic, paprika, salt and a pinch of cayenne) then dredge your chicken through egg whites and matzo meal for extra crunch, and you’re bound to end up with a finger-licking good meal.

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Puritan Backroom Fried Chickenvia puritanbackroom.com

New Hampshire

The Puritan Backroom, Manchester

It’s been rumored that The Puritan Backroom is the birthplace of the chicken tender. One bite and you’ll know why—the strips are lightly battered and piping hot. Dip them into homemade sweet and sour sauce, which is served on the side.

30 / 50

New Jersey

Chicken Supreme, Paterson

“Always fresh, never frozen” is the motto at this Jersey joint. Each hunk of meat (seriously, the pieces are BIG!) is coated in crispy breading that gives way to a mouthful of juicy goodness inside.

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Nexus Brewery Restaurant Fried Chickenvia nexusbrewery.com

New Mexico

Nexus Brewery, Albuquerque

Chicken and waffles are a match made in brunch heaven. And at this brewery, they’re famous for their New-Mexico-meets-soul-food version of the classic combo. You’ll be handed a savory cornbread waffle topped with crunchy fresh chicken (don’t forget the cracklings!) and drizzled with butter pecan syrup.

32 / 50

New York

Pies ‘n’ Thighs, Brooklyn

The name says it all: You’ll chow down on crackling fried chicken pieces followed by sinfully sweet housemade pies at this hidden gem. One ingredient that’s definitely not lacking on the chicken or in the desserts? So. Much. Butter. (Trust us, it’s delicious.) Find out which butter brand won our blind taste test.

33 / 50

North Carolina

Mama Dips, Chapel Hill

In the pecking order of Southern soul food, this Chapel Hill landmark comes out on top. Don’t expect any frills or fancy ingredients: A little black pepper and some shortening is all Mama herself needed to whip up some of the best fried chicken you’ll ever eat.

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North Dakota

Hornbacher’s, Fargo

Go for the groceries, stay for the fried chicken. That should be the motto of Hornbacher’s, a regional supermarket that’s known more for delicious poultry that’s freshly breaded and fried. Convenience meets comfort food in the best—and juiciest—way possible.

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Belgrade Gardens Fried Chickenvia belgradegardenschicken.com

Ohio

Belgrade Gardens, Barberton

What better place to sink your teeth into the crispiest, crunchiest chicken than the “Fried Chicken Capital of the World”? Belgrade Gardens not only lives up to its city’s nickname with its juicy pieces (the owner was the first to serve the chicken back), it also offers a hot relish for dipping unlike anything we’ve tasted.

36 / 50

Oklahoma

Eischen’s, Okarche

Country cooking’s done right at the oldest bar in Oklahoma. Pan-fried in a cast-iron skillet, the chicken (which you can only order as a whole, not half) is picture-perfect and succulent enough to clean straight off the bone. P.S.: The sides—fried okra and white toast—are just as tasty.

37 / 50

Oregon

Toki, Portland

If you’re looking for Korean fired chicken in Portland, look no further than Toki. Opened by Peter Cho and Sun Young Park, the husband and wife team behind Han Oak, this modern restaurant offers four options for fried chicken wings: essence of instant ramen, Korean hot chicken, sweet garlic soy glaze and spicy gochujang and tamarind. If you can’t decide, you can also get a chicken wing flight with each delicious flavor!

38 / 50

Pennsylvania

Federal Donuts, Philadelphia

Fried chicken has a new best friend: the doughnut. (Sorry, waffles!) Snag the sweet and savory duo at this Philly shop where you’ll walk away with a succulent twice-fried breast, thigh and drumstick with a homemade honey cake doughnut on the side.

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Rhode Island

Bucktown, Providence

The first rule of flawless fried chicken? Don’t season the breading. At least that’s what chef Ashley Faulkner believes—and what makes her signature chicken so well-known in the area. She uses some of the pickle brine in the flour mixture for extra flavor and flakiness.

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Yogi Bear Honey Fried Chickenvia yogifriedchicken.com

South Carolina

Yogi Bear’s Honey Fried Chicken, Hartsville

One word: thick. That’s the best way to describe the crust of this famous fried chicken, which tastes even better dipped in syrupy honey. It’s heavy, too, because the extra-dense exterior keeps all of the savory juices trapped inside. Steal the best cooking secrets from Southern kitchens.

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South Dakota

The Keg, Sioux Falls

Frying one piece of chicken at a time is what The Keg prides itself on, making every bite as mouthwateringly tender and crispy as possible. And while you can order everything from the breast to the thigh, you’ll definitely want to get a plate of their famous chicken gizzards.

42 / 50

Tennessee

Prince’s Hot Chicken Shack, Nashville

In Music City, you don’t get fried chicken… you get Nashville Hot Chicken! If you think you can handle the heat, head to Prince’s, the place where it all began. Just make sure you order a cold soda and creamy coleslaw to soothe your burning mouth afterward.

43 / 50

Texas

Chuy’s, Austin

People go crazy over the Elvis Green Chile Fried Chicken at Chuy’s (which has now become a national chain). Smothered in spicy green chile sauce and cheddar cheese, the chicken itself gets its crunchy coating from one special secret ingredient: Lay’s potato chips. We can’t get enough Lay’s! Find out our favorite flavors.

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Utah

Curry Fried Chicken, Salt Lake City

Indian takeout and Southern home cooking: Not a combination you would think would be good together. But after one bite of this sizzling, curry-infused fried chicken, you’ll be sold! It gives “spicy chicken” a whole new meaning.

45 / 50

Vermont

Chicken Charlie’s, Burlington

The next time you have a hankering for fast food fried chicken, pop into Chicken Charlie’s. Their tender birds are the right amount of greasy to satisfy your craving—and we’ve heard their Cajun-spiced chicken is just like what you’d find in the deep South.

46 / 50

Virginia

Tanglewood Ordinary Country Restaurant, Maidens

Put some South in your mouth at this historic hotel where you’ll find all-you-can-eat piles of glistening fried chicken. The breading is light enough to add that crackling texture while still allowing the juicy meat to really steal the show.

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Heaven Sent Fried Chicken with a roll, sauce and drinkvia heavensentfriedchicken.com

Washington

Heaven Sent Fried Chicken, Seattle

Are the breaded birds at this Northern chain really sent from above? No… but they definitely taste like they are. With meat so tender it almost melts in your mouth, you’ll understand why chef Ezell Stephens was flown to Chicago to make his famous fried chicken for Oprah herself. Here’s what else Oprah loves to eat.

48 / 50

West Virginia

Sumthin’ Good Soul Food, South Charleston

For a supper (that’s dinner in West Virginia speak) as wonderful as the state itself, stop in for the made-to-order fried chicken at Sumthin’ Good Soul Food. The crisp and crunchy exterior is seasoned to perfection.

49 / 50

Wisconsin

Graze, Madison

You can feel good about ripping into this farm-to-table fried chicken sourced from local pastures. They offer a Midwestern take on the Nashville Hot Chicken, bringing it to you on a thick waffle with a pot of maple syrup to soothe the heat of the cayenne butter.

50 / 50

Wyoming

Bodega, Jackson Hole

Yes, it’s from a food truck. But the chicken sandwiches from Bodega are everything you’ve dreamed of. Choose from one of six fried chicken sandwich options, each featuring a hand-cut piece of meat soaked in buttermilk, breaded and not just fried…but triple fried. Don’t miss the Top 10 fast-food fried chicken joints next!

Amanda Tarlton
As both a freelance lifestyle writer and editor for a national teen magazine, Amanda spends most of her time creating #content. In those (rare) moments when she's not at her desk typing furiously, she's likely teaching a hot yoga class, reading the latest chick-lit or baking a batch of her famous scones.