Three Great Chicago Restaurants for Fried Chicken
Whether you want your fried chicken to be the ultimate in comfort food or a trendy twist on a classic, the Windy City has you covered. Here are three distinct takes on this Southern staple.
1 The Roost Carolina Chicken Devotees pack this 30-seat restaurant in Lakeview until it's standing room-only while waiting for the specialty bone-in fried chicken. Owner Joe Scroggs, a native of Pittsboro, North Carolina, uses his family's heirloom technique: bathing each piece for more than 20 hours in buttermilk brine, onions, garlic, sugar and Louisiana hot sauce. Then he adds more heat by dredging the bird in cayenne-laced flour before frying it crispy. A fluffy homemade buttermilk biscuit comes on the side. (312) 261-5564; theroostcarolinakitchen.com
2 Honey Butter Fried Chicken Chicago's Avondale neighborhood produces some seriously good eats. Lucky for fried-chicken fans, Honey Butter Fried Chicken is now a permanent fixture there. Born from a series of pop-up dinner events, this corner restaurant draws patrons hungry for its boneless chicken pieces seasoned with garlic, cayenne pepper, onion powder and, postfryer, smoky paprika. Join the masses and slather your chicken with creamy honey butter (served with each meal) and pair it with a side of pimento mac 'n' cheese. (773) 478-4000; honeybutter.com
3 Chicken Shop London-import Chicken Shop gained a reputation for tender, golden-brown rotisserie chickens. But it's fried chicken and waffles that make this stop a weekend hot spot. The shop starts with boneless thighs marinated overnight in buttermilk, thyme and the restaurant's homemade hot sauce. During brunch, they're fried to order, layered on top of a crispy waffle and served with butter, maple syrup and white gravy. Wash down the sweet and savory dish with the Bourbon Time cocktail, made with Very Old Barton, beer and lemon. (312) 754-6941; chickenshop.com/chicago