As much as Americans love their burgers and French fries, there’s growing proof that there’s something this nation loves even more: fried chicken. Look around, and you’ll notice that fried chicken is ubiquitous on restaurant menus these days. KFC serves approximately 60 million buckets of its chicken in the United States per year, and fast food fried chicken sandwiches have never been in such high demand.
While fast food chicken is available on seemingly every corner, if you do your due diligence and find the best fried chicken in your state, the difference in quality could shock you. Instead of going with the most convenient fried chicken, do yourself a favor and go out and track down the best of the best. You’re worth it, and your taste buds will be eternally grateful.
To help you in this endeavor, we’ve located the best fried chicken in all 50 states by weighing reviews, awards, recommendations, and doing hands-on taste testing.
Alabama: Martin’s Restaurant
When delicious fried chicken is what you’re craving, Martin’s Restaurant is exactly what you need. While they have quite an extensive menu, their most popular item is called Martin’s Famous Fried Chicken. Try this amazing fried chicken once, and you’ll understand why it has gained fame and why we’ve selected it as the best the state of Alabama has to offer. You can find Martin’s Restaurant, which has been around since the 1930s, in the city of Montgomery.
Alaska: Lucky Wishbone
Lucky Wishbone is a landmark restaurant that has been the place to get the best fried chicken in Anchorage or anywhere in the state of Alaska since 1955. Their specialty is pan-fried chicken, and it’s so good that it will remind you of your grandmother’s cooking. If you’re hungry and ready to feast, say you want the Pop meal, and you’ll get five pieces of pan-fried chicken. The reviews for Lucky Wishbone are reliably outstanding, so order with confidence.
As the name of this eatery suggests, the very highly rated Bobby-Q is known primarily for its barbecue. However, locals will tell you that the real gem on the menu is the Southern Fried Chicken. This fried chicken, the finest in all of Arizona, is boneless, and it comes with a generous amount of gravy on top. All three of the locations of Bobby-Q restaurant are in Arizona — two in Phoenix and one in Mesa.
Arkansas: Monte Ne Inn Chicken Restaurant
The delectable, deep brown crust of the fried chicken at Monte Ne Inn Chicken Restaurant is so good that you’ll be a fan for life before your taste buds even encounter the meat. From there, the tastiness of the meat will only supercharge your dining experience. Monte Ne Inn Chicken Restaurant, which has a history dating back four decades, gets nearly perfect grades no matter where you look for reviews. You can find this place in Northwest Arkansas in the city of Rogers.
N’Gina Guyton, the general manager of South, was born in New Orleans, and this brilliant woman has successfully brought the best of Southern cuisine to Sacramento, California. While you can find everything from Creole Seafood Linguine to Sweet Potato Pie on their menu, it’s their fried chicken that takes top billing — and for good reason. It’s amazingly tender and truly finger-lickin’ good. No matter where you go, you simply can’t find better fried chicken anywhere in the state of California.
Colorado: Juniper Valley Ranch
The best fried chicken in the state of Colorado can be found in the middle of nowhere at a family farm that has been around for more than 100 years. Juniper Valley Ranch, located about 20 miles south of Colorado Springs, has been serving fried chicken since 1951, and patrons continuously sing their praises, with the fried chicken taking center stage. Order the yummy Skillet Fried Chicken, which comes with an appetizer, sides, a dessert, and a drink.
Connecticut: Black-Eyed Sally’s Southern Kitchen & Bar
For the top fried chicken that can be found anywhere in the state of Connecticut, your only choice is to visit Black-Eyed Sally’s Southern Kitchen & Bar in the city of Hartford. Their award-winning food includes multiple fried chicken options on their menu. If you have an adventurous palate, go with the amazing Nashville Hot Chicken that’s super spicy but comes with bleu cheese dressing to help cool things down a bit. If your taste buds aren’t quite that adventurous, the Southern Fried Chicken is made with buttermilk and comes with collard greens and mac and cheese.
Delaware: Kick n’ Chicken
Kick n’ Chicken is more than a rhyme, it’s the place to go in Delaware for the ultimate fried chicken that has won multiple awards. The secret to the tastiness of their chicken is that their birds are fresh and never frozen. Additionally, they don’t even start making their fried chicken until you order it. That freshness is very apparent when you’re chowing down on their fried chicken. Kick n’ Chicken has three locations in Delaware in the cities of Lewes, Long Neck, and Milford.
Florida: The Regional
The greatest fried chicken in Florida can be discovered at The Regional, a restaurant in West Palm Beach. The Regional’s founder and chef is a woman named Lindsay Autry, who is regarded as one of the best chefs in the nation. Try the Fried Chicken Thighs that are brined in sweet tea, and you too will fall in love. You can also get a Fried Chicken Bucket at The Regional that comes with 12 pieces of chicken, a pint of coleslaw, and bread and butter pickles. Come home with this bucket, and you will be the hero of your household.
Georgia: Mrs. Wilkes’ Dining Room
Located in Savannah, Georgia, Mrs. Wilkes’ Dining Room began in 1943 when Sema Wilkes took charge of a boarding house in the city’s historic downtown. It didn’t take long before her Southern cooking became a big hit. More than 75 years since Mrs. Wilkes opened the doors for the first time, this place is still known for having the top fried chicken in all of Georgia. While the menu here is relatively limited, all you need to focus on is the chicken and how great it tastes.
Hawaii: Shiro’s Saimin Haven
How about some fried chicken with a side of sushi? That’s exactly what you could get at Shiro’s Saimin Haven in Aiea, Hawaii. This eatery, which opened in 1969, is a fusion of different influences, including Japanese, American, Korean, and, of course, Hawaiian. When you have fried chicken on the brain, what you need to order is the Shiro’s Original Crispy Chicken, and then be prepared to join the happy customers who have left positive reviews. You can’t find better fried chicken in Hawaii.
Idaho: Honey Eatery and Social Club
If you’re in Idaho and you want the best fried chicken in the state, you just need to remember one word: Honey. Once you recall that honey is the key, you’ll know to go to Honey Eatery and Social Club and order the Honey Fried Chicken. The scrumptious chicken is fried twice and served with potato salad, coleslaw, jalapenos, and, yes, honey from a local source. As you would expect from something called Honey Fried Chicken, it has a pleasant sweet taste that your taste buds will ask for again and again.
Illinois: Evanston Chicken Shack
Evanston Chicken Shack has been serving up award-winning fried chicken for over 30 years. They hand-batter all of their made-to-order chicken and never use warmers. The result of their dedication tastes so good that you will nod your head in agreement that this Evanston, Illinois, restaurant is indeed the best spot for chicken in the state. While the fried fish at Evanston Chicken Shack is also quite popular, stick with their glorious fried chicken, and you will guarantee yourself a joyous meal.
Indiana: Fireside Inn
In Southeastern Indiana, fried chicken is such an universal obsession that it’s unlike anywhere else in the United States. In fact, they love it so much there that they have something called the Chicken Trail that connects 40 fried chicken restaurants in the area. The first stop (and, as luck would have it, the best stop) on the Chicken Trail is Fireside Inn in the city of Greensburg. Patrons insist this is the best fried chicken anywhere — and it’s difficult to disagree.
Bubba is the name of a highly regarded restaurant in Des Moines that is home to the preeminent fried chicken in all of Iowa. To enjoy their fried chicken at its yummiest, order the Chicken & Waffles. You’ll get buttermilk fried chicken and a rice waffle that is served with honey butter. The pairing is perfect. Alternatively, you could go with the Chicken & Bacon Wrap. For this dish, Bubba takes a grilled tortilla and wraps it around fried chicken, bacon, cheese, tomato, lettuce, and onion. Yum!
Kansas: Hays House Restaurant
Take a delicious step back in time to the year 1857. That’s the year that Hays House Restaurant was founded in Council Grove, Kansas, which makes it the oldest restaurant that has been continuously in business that you can find anywhere in the country west of the Mississippi River. How has this restaurant survived for so long? It probably helps that they have the best fried chicken in Kansas — and they have for a long, long time. In addition to their excellent fried chicken, don’t miss their stupendous desserts.
Kentucky: Merrick Inn Restaurant
Merrick Inn Restaurant is without a doubt the top spot for fried chicken in the state of Kentucky. This establishment, located in the city of Lexington, has been around for more than four decades and gets exceedingly high marks from loyal patrons. On the menu, look for the Southern Fried Chicken that’s expertly breaded by hand. You can order it with dark meat or white meat. By the time you’re done with the meal, you’ll be proclaiming that it’s the best of the best.
Louisiana: Willie Mae’s Scotch House
Willie Mae’s Scotch House was born in the historic Treme neighborhood of New Orleans back in 1957. It soon moved to its current location in the Sixth Ward, which is just outside of Treme and the world-famous French Quarter. Not only does Willie Mae’s Scotch House have the best fried chicken in New Orleans, it’s the best anywhere in Louisiana. Order The Willie Mae, and you’ll get a fried chicken breast along with sides of honey, pickles, and purple cabbage with slaw sauce.
Maine: Figgy’s Takeout
For fried chicken so good that it garners perfect grades and is routinely called the most outstanding fried chicken in the state of Maine, hop on over to Figgy’s Takeout. At this highly rated Portland eatery, you will find fried chicken that’s prepared in a skillet and made from antibiotic-free and cage-free birds. Select the Whole Bird from Figgy’s Takeout, and you’ll get two breasts, two drumsticks, two thighs, and a pair of buttermilk biscuits. It’s so yummy that you’ll be soon going back for more.
Maryland: The Food Market
The Food Market is a hip, modern hotspot in Baltimore, Maryland, that serves fancy yet approachable comfort food. While the presentation of the food is definitely aesthetically pleasing, it’s the great taste of their fried chicken that will have you telling your friends about this joint. Though their dinner menu is lengthy and can be intimidating, what you want to do is go with the Pickle Brined Fried Chicken Breasts. In addition to the fantastic fried chicken, you’ll get liquid cornbread, bacon-flavored greens, hot honey, and gumbo gravy.
Massachusetts: Brassica Kitchen + Cafe
Brassica Kitchen + Cafe is the premier spot in Boston or anywhere in Massachusetts to go for spectacular fried chicken. What exactly you should order from the menu depends on the time of day. For brunch, the Chicken & Waffles with hot sauce is absolutely glorious. If you go during lunch, the Crispy Chicken Sandwich can’t be beat. These sandwiches feature fried chicken, pickled green tomato, and honey. If you visit Brassica Kitchen + Cafe for dinner, go with the B.K. Fried Chicken that gets glowing reviews.
Michigan: Green Dot Stables
Green Dot Stables has two locations in Michigan in the cities of Detroit and Lansing. This highly regarded eatery is best known for its scrumptious sliders. Specifically, the Fried Chicken slider is amazing. You get a crispy filet of fried chicken that has been doused with maple syrup. This bad boy tastes even better than it sounds. If you enjoy chicken and waffles, you’ll adore these sliders. While you’re here, take advantage of their $3 cocktails and their wide selection of beer.
Minnesota: Brass Rail
With a history dating back all the way to 1969, Brass Rail has a long history of having the best fried chicken in the state of Minnesota. In fact, it’s not even a close competition. The fried chicken here is broasted, which basically means the chicken is cooked by combining everything you love about deep frying and pressure cooking. You can find Brass Rail in the tiny town of Grandy, which has a population of fewer than 100 people.
Mississippi: Old Country Store
The choicest fried chicken in the state of Mississippi can be found at the Old Country Store in the city of Lorman. You may have seen this restaurant featured on the Travel Channel or the Food Network, so you won’t be surprised to learn that this legendary eatery has such fantastic reviews. The owner, a man named Arthur Davis, claims to have the best fried chicken in the world — and no one who tastes his food denies his proclamation. In fact, Alton Brown agrees that the fried chicken found at the Old Country Store is the absolute best.
Missouri: Grace Meat + Three
Grace Meat + Three is well-known in St. Louis for having the best fried chicken in all of Missouri. Pick Rick’s Famous Fried Chicken, and you’re guaranteed to be enthralled. It comes with house pickles, and you can opt to have it Original or Hot and Spicy. If you enjoy spiciness, don’t hesitate to go the spicy route. It’s fabulously enjoyable from the first bite to the final bite. The Original fried chicken won’t let you down, but it’s not quite on the same level as the Hot and Spicy version.
Montana: Roost Fried Chicken
The fried chicken at Roost Fried Chicken is so good that they put it in their name. Located in Bozeman, Montana, you can’t find better fried chicken for miles and miles. With praise flowing in everywhere from the Los Angeles Times to Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives on the Food Network, this place is quickly becoming a restaurant you need to add to your bucket list. At Roost Fried Chicken, you can order the Southern Fried Tasty Chicken as Classic Southern, Nashville Hot, or Sweet Heat. No matter which avenue you travel, you will be thrilled with your meal.
Nebraska: Jack & Mary’s Restaurant
Jack & Mary’s Restaurant’s fried chicken has been routinely voted as the best in Omaha — and there aren’t many people who disagree. This place has been mastering the art of fried chicken for more than 30 years, and all their recipes are made from scratch. If you’re in the mood for some unconventional surf and turf, pick the Shrimp & Chicken. In addition to the best fried chicken in Nebraska, you’ll get three fried shrimp that are jumbo both in size and taste.
Nevada: The Black Sheep
Between all that sinning and winning, take a break the next time you’re in Las Vegas and hit up The Black Sheep for some of the best fried chicken you can find anywhere. This restaurant is a unique combination of Vietnamese food and American comfort food. When you want one of a kind fried chicken, opt for the Black Sheep Hot Chicken. This majestic meal features spicy fried chicken on honey toast with honey mustard seed, pickled Japanese cucumber, and green onion.
New Hampshire: Puritan Backroom
Manchester, New Hampshire, is where you’ll locate the best fried chicken in the entire state. Puritan Backroom is the name of the restaurant, a family-owned eatery that has been around since 1917. What you’ll want to order here are the Fried Chicken Tenders. While you can make them spicy, buffalo, or coconut, stick to the original. These things are simply outstanding. If you’re extra hungry, opt for the Fried Chicken Tenders Parmigiana, which means you get the tenders served over either ziti or spaghetti.
New Jersey: Treesy’s Soul Food Cafe
For delicious fried chicken in New Jersey, Treesy’s Soul Food Cafe is the first and only stop you need to make. While Ashley’s Buffalo Fried Chicken is great and Ebony’s BBQ Fried Chicken is epic in its own right, you can’t top Linda’s Fried Chicken. The crispiness of the skin gives this fried chicken a memorable texture, and the taste of it will make you crave it for the rest of your days. Treesy’s Soul Food Cafe gets great grades from their overjoyed customers.
New Mexico: Loyal Hound
Loyal Hound is number one when it comes to the ultimate fried chicken restaurants in the state of New Mexico. Located in Sante Fe, their Southern Fried Chicken is both yummy and inventive. You get boneless thighs atop a buttermilk chive waffle, along with green chile apple slaw and a maple syrup that is pleasantly spicy. If you want to turn up the heat even more, get the spectacular Spicy Southern Fried Chicken Sandwich that features fried chicken that was dipped in hot sauce and then topped with white barbecue sauce.
New York: Bobwhite Counter
For fried chicken that is the absolute best in New York, head straight to Bobwhite Counter. This Manhattan eatery has only been around since 2012, but they’ve quickly grown to become the place to be when you want the best fried chicken in the Big Apple. Whether you want your fried chicken in a wrap, in a sandwich, in a biscuit, or flavored with buffalo or barbecue sauce, you can find those options on Bobwhite Counter’s lengthy menu. If you don’t know what to order, go with the Three Piece & a Biscuit that includes two drumsticks and a thigh.
North Carolina: Dame’s Chicken and Waffles
Dame’s Chicken & Waffles has three locations in North Carolina in the cities of Durham, Greensboro, and Cary. As the name of the restaurant suggests, this place has killer chicken and waffles options. The creme de la creme is called the Quilted Buttercup. This godly meal featured fried chicken between a pair of sweet potato waffles that have been smeared with a maple pecan syrup. You can’t find better fried chicken anywhere else in the state of North Carolina.
North Dakota: Brew Bird
Brew Bird is a super cool restaurant located in Fargo, North Dakota. They have the best fried chicken in the state, and their chicken tenders live up to the hype. Favorites on their menu, beyond their unbelievable tenders, include the Hot as Cluck sandwich that featured fried chicken that has been bathed in habanero hot sauce and topped with flavorful white barbecue sauce. For a meatless option, their Cauliflower Wings are surprisingly great and widely recommended by loyal patrons.
Ohio: Boomtown Biscuits & Whiskey
Cincinnati is home to Ohio’s finest fried chicken. The restaurant you need to look for is called Boomtown Biscuits & Whiskey, and the meal you want to order is their Yukon sandwich. This sandwich comes complete with fried chicken, crispy bacon, smoked cheddar, and sawmill gravy inside of a tasty biscuit. You can also add an egg to it — and that only adds to the savory goodness of this amazing sandwich. Customers couldn’t grade Boomtown Biscuits & Whiskey much better than they already do.
Oklahoma: Eischen’s Bar
Eischen’s Bar has been around since 1896 but didn’t start serving their fantastic fried chicken until the 1960s. Today, this Oklahoma bar is known to have the top fried chicken in the state. While the menu at Eischen’s Bar doesn’t have many choices, that’s because they value quality over quantity. Try the Whole Fried Chicken that comes with dill pickles, sweet pickles, white bread, and onions. It’ll blow your expectations out of the water. While you’re at it, don’t skip their fried okra. It’s also the best around.
Oregon: FOMO Chicken
A food cart that specializes in fried chicken, FOMO Chicken serves food that draws inspiration from both America and South Korea. While their gluten-free Southern Fried Chicken is excellent in its own right, it’s the Sweet Garlic Korean Fried Chicken that is the real showstopper. This fried chicken is exploding with flavor and gets great reviews. FOMO Chicken is located in Portland, and their fried chicken tops anything else you can find in the state of Oregon.
Pennsylvania: Bud & Marilyn’s
Chef Marcie Turney and co-founder Valerie Safran have a great restaurant going in Philadelphia called Bud & Marilyn’s. This place has great fried chicken, the best in all of Pennsylvania. The Nashville Hot Fried Chicken has half a chicken, potato bread, scallion ranch, pickles, and a hot dip. It’s outstanding and will leave you craving for more. If your taste buds can’t handle the spice, you also can’t go wrong with Marilyn’s Fried Chicken that’s served with honey butter, dill pickles, and a biscuit.
Rhode Island: Winner Winner
For the ultimate chicken dinner, visit Winner Winner in Newport. Rhode Island’s best fried chicken joint might just serve the finest fried chicken north of the Mason-Dixon line. In fact, it’s been described as fried chicken heaven — and that isn’t much of an overstatement. At Winner Winner, you can order combo platters or buckets. Either way, you’ll be overjoyed with their fantastic fried chicken. Even if you don’t think you like Brussels sprouts, try the outstanding Brussels sprouts from Winner Winner before you finalize that opinion.
South Carolina: Edmund’s Oast
Edmund’s Oast has the ultimate fried chicken found in Charleston or anywhere else in the state of South Carolina. Their Four-Piece Chicken Dinner comes with collard greens and a pasta salad. For the fried chicken, you get your choice of flavors: New Orleans BBQ, Korean, Garlic Crab, Spicy, or Original. All five of those flavors are spectacular. It doesn’t matter which one you pick because you’ll go back over and over again until you’ve tried all five.
South Dakota: The Keg
You would think that a restaurant named The Keg would be all about beer. However, it’s actually all about what they call deep fat fried chicken. Located in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, The Keg offers fried chicken by the piece — from two pieces to 100 pieces. That will allow you to order exactly how much of their delicious fried chicken you need to satiate your hunger. South Dakota’s best fried chicken restaurant also has yummy sides like potato wedges and baked beans.
Tennessee: Prince’s Hot Chicken
To get the best Nashville hot chicken, it makes sense to head to Nashville, doesn’t it? Prince’s Hot Chicken is so good that it’s clearly the best chicken eatery in Nashville or anywhere in the state of Tennessee. At Prince’s Hot Chicken, it’s a given that you’ll be ordering their hot chicken. The only question remains is how hot you want it. While the hottest option is called XXXHOT, you really don’t want to go much beyond Hot unless you know what you’re doing. Then again, even their spiciest fried chicken is so flavorful that you won’t mind the discomfort.
Texas: Frenchy’s Chicken
If you’re listing the best fried chicken joints in Texas, Frenchy’s Chicken deserve to be at the head of the class. This restaurant was created by a native of New Orleans back in the 1960s. While fried chicken wasn’t on the original menu, these days, Frenchy’s Chicken is known primarily for its delicious fried chicken. Pick up one of their Family Boxes on your way home, and you’ll be greeted with wide smiles at the dinner table.
Utah: Pretty Bird
In Utah, the place to visit when you need the best fried chicken dinner in the state is Pretty Bird in Salt Lake City. This place is known for their spicy fried chicken that gets glowing marks from their happy customers. When you order fried chicken from their menu, you need to specify the spiciness level you prefer. You have five options: Hot Behind, Hot, Medium, Mild, and No Spice. While even the No Spice chicken is really, really good, you don’t want to miss out on the gloriousness of their spicy chicken.
Getting the premier fried chicken in Vermont takes some planning. You can find it at Nectar’s. However, Nectar’s only serves fried chicken on Friday. However, all it will take is one bite of their unbelievable fried chicken for you to agree that it was well worth the wait and the extra planning. Nectar’s can be found on Main Street in the city of Burlington and, beyond their Friday fried chicken, they are known for having entertaining live music.
Virginia: Mama J’s
The state of Virginia simply doesn’t have better fried chicken than what can be found at Mama J’s. Their fried chicken is so phenomenal that you’ll struggle to go to any other restaurant in the city of Richmond. When you order the fried chicken at Mama J’s, you get to pick either white meat or dark meat. Plus, you can pick between dinner rolls and corn muffins. Reviews for this eatery in Virginia are routinely outstanding, with satisfied patrons pointing to the great service and, of course, the great food.
Washington: King’s Hardware
King’s Hardware is not only the restaurant to visit for the best fried chicken in Seattle, it’s the place to be for the best fried chicken anywhere in the state of Washington. Their Crispy Chicken Sandwich is leaps and bounds better than the typical fast food chicken sandwich. This King’s Hardware sandwich comes with a fried chicken breast that is amazingly crispy, along with pickles, lettuce, a special sauce, and a side of waffle fries. Reviewers love the Crispy Chicken Sandwich, and you will too.
West Virginia: Olde Country Diner
Olde Country Diner is a very highly rated restaurant in Martinsburg, West Virginia, that serves delicious fried chicken that customers can’t stop talking about. Order the Fresh Fried Chicken, and you will get to pick two vegetables to pair with their great chicken. Other notable items on the Olde Country Diner menu include the Chicken Tenders and the Chicken Bacon Ranch sandwich. You can find the small city of Martinsburg about 90 miles northwest of Washington DC.
Wisconsin: Bassett Street Brunch Club
The best fried chicken in Wisconsin is an appetizer at Bassett Street Brunch Club. Their Chicken & A Donut is as magical as it sounds like. You get multiple pieces of fried chicken along with a glazed donut. The marriage of the savoriness of the fried chicken with the sweetness of the glazed donut at Bassett Street Brunch Club is heavenly. Try it once, and you’ll understand why this Madison hotspot known for their fried chicken gets such strong reviews.
Wyoming: Pitchfork Fondue
Is America’s best fried chicken located in Pinedale, Wyoming? That’s what has been said more than once. Pitchfork Fondue specializes in authentic Western cookouts and has been featured on the Cooking Channel. This place is only open in the summer when the weather is good (apart from their year-round catering business), so it’s not exactly easy to get your hands on their great fried chicken. That said, it’s worth the extra effort to try what could very well be the best fried chicken in the nation, depending on who you believe.