Hand-Selected Recipes and Stories Straight to Your Inbox

Fried chicken

Photo credit: Ideabar Austin

Plate of fried chicken


Our 13 picks for the best fried chicken outside of the South

There’s no denying the South has some of the best fried chicken in the country. But the secret's out and all around the country chefs are frying up some great fried chicken. Here are our picks for the 13 best.

If you find yourself craving fried chicken in upstate New York, Portland, Oregon or California, we’ve got you covered. Some of these restaurants are serving up classic Southern fried chicken or putting their own twist on our fried favorite. Either way, all of these restaurants will satisfy your fried chicken craving. The Crack Shack
San Diego

Founders Michael Rosen and Atlanta transplant Richard Blais had a bold, but simple vision when they created The Crack Shack: Southern California fried chicken and eggs. And with their “crack spice” and locally raised free-living chickens, the menu at The Crack Shack reimagines these classic dishes. While the menu varies at each location, the delicious fried chicken stays the same.
Ma’Ono Fried Chicken & Whisky

Ma’Ono’s serves up a different kind of fried chicken. While it may not be in the classic Southern style, Ma’Ono’s fried chicken is some of the best in Seattle. Full of umami and fried twice, the Hawaiian-style fried chicken is served with kimchee and rice and brings tropical flavor to the Northwest. Motor City Soul Food

The line is usually long at Motor City Soul Food in Detroit, as everyone wants a bite of its fried chicken. The menu is full of Southern classics, but the fried chicken is one of the top sellers. Motor City Soul Food was also featured on Travel Channel’s Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern in spring 2017.Hattie's
Saratoga Springs, New York

For almost 80 years, Hattie’s has been serving up Southern charm in upstate New York. With checkered tablecloths and a screen door, you’ll be hit with a wave of Southern charm when you walk through the door. The fried chicken has been prepared the same way and with the recipe since 1938.Pine State Biscuits
Portland, Oregon

After moving from North Carolina to Portland, Kevin Atchley, Walt Alexander and Brian Snyder couldn’t find the buttery, flaky biscuits they had grown up eating. So they set off to create the best biscuit in Portland. While the focus is on biscuits at Pine State Biscuits in Portland, you’ll want to try the fried chicken as well. Many of the biscuit sandwiches are topped with the restaurant's signature buttermilk breaded fried chicken. 
Miss Ollie’s


Miss Ollie’s serves up Caribbean dishes with Southern influence in Oakland, California. On the menu, diners will find a pickle plate, cornmeal fritters and skillet-fried chicken. The four-piece fried chicken dish gets a burst of heat from a jerk spice blend massaged under its skin and is served with an also-excellent potato salad and field greens in a lemon pepper dressing.  Sweet Chick

In a cool, casual setting in Brooklyn, Sweet Chick serves up some of the best fried chicken and waffles in New York City. Its inventive flavors include The General, fried chicken topped with General Tso’s sauce and served on a waffle made out of rice and broccoli; salted caramel; and fried chicken Parmesan, which is served on a tomato sauce, mozzarella and Parmesan waffle. The restaurant has expanded to the Lower East Side, Queens and Los Angeles.Screen Door
Portland, Oregon

The menu at Screen Door gives the Northwest a taste of classic dishes from around the South. Screen Door’s buttermilk battered fried chicken is served at breakfast with sweet potato waffles or as an entrée with ham hock collard greens at dinner. When Southern Kitchen’s Editor Kate Williams lived in Portland, this was one of her favorite places to eat fried chicken. Pies 'n' Thighs

This unassuming Williamsburg joint nails the vibe and the heart of a classic comfort food eatery. Offering humanely raised, hormone free birds, Pies ‘n’ Thighs brings a contemporary philosophy to the traditional flavors of fried chicken. Biting into a juicy drumstick with a perfect balance of salt and black pepper makes us feel like we were only a short saunter from the Mississippi, instead of the nearby East River.Roister

Roister serves up a platter of chicken in three different ways: poached, braised and fried. The fried chicken created by chef Andrew Brochu is the best on the plate. “The recipe involves dredging the chicken in cornstarch, buttermilk and flour and finishes off with a deep-dish massage (really),” reported TimeOut Chicago. 

Federal Donuts

We’ve heard of (and made, of course!) chicken and waffles, but at Federal Donuts, the fried chicken comes with a side of doughnuts. In 2011 chef Michael Solomonov, along with his business partners Steve Cook, Tom Henneman, Bobby Logue and Felicia D’Ambrosio, opened the first Federal Donuts in Philadelphia. According to Eater, the fried chicken is “inspired by Korean fried chicken at Cafe Soho [and is] a double-fried chicken with 'teeth-shattering' crispy skin.” Low Country Kitchen

Feeling homesick, Katy and Brian Vaughn decided to bring the South to Colorado by opening Low Country Kitchen in 2014. Using high-quality ingredients, they filled the menu with classic Southern dishes, but the standout item on the menu is the buttermilk fried chicken, which you can order as an appetizer, on a biscuit or as a main entree. Make sure to add a side of Anson Mills antebellum grits topped with cheddar. 

The Crack Shack: Facebook 
Offical Motor City Soul Food: Facebook
Hattie's Restaurant: Facebook
Pine State Biscuits: Facebook
Miss Ollie's: Facebook
Sweet Chick: Facebook
Screen Door: Facebook 
Pie's and Thighs: Facebook 
Roister: Yelp 
Federal Donuts: Facebook 
Low Country: Website 

Author image

Rachel Taylor is a staff writer at Southern Kitchen. She moved to Atlanta earlier this year after graduating college in Maryland, and has been a digital audience specialist at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Politically Georgia, as well as a freelance writer for publications such as USA Today and the Delmarva Daily Times on Maryland's Eastern Shore. She has lived in France and Italy, and loves to travel.