Where to Eat Great Fried Chicken from Coast to Coast

Fried chicken – once a Southern specialty – has made its way onto restaurant menus across the country. Chefs from Boston to San Francisco are brining, buttermilk-soaking, boldly spicing and frying it up with winning results. Here's where you'll find Food Network's favorites.

Fried Chicken Feasts

Fried chicken -- once a Southern specialty -- has made its way onto restaurant menus across the country. Chefs from Boston to San Francisco are brining, buttermilk-soaking, boldly spicing and frying it up with winning results. Here's where you'll find FoodNetwork.com's editors' favorites. Whether they're served with cream gravy and collards, waffles and syrup, or Sriracha and kimchi, these birds all have one thing in common: They're downright irresistible.

Atlanta: Watershed on Peachtree

The menu changed when this beloved institution moved, but the fried chicken recipe never will. On Wednesday nights, locals show up early for birds that are salt-brined for two days, buttermilk-soaked for another 24 hours, then, on the fourth day, fried in lard, butter and ham. The uniquely porky chicken is served alongside biscuits and family-style sides. One bite and you'll see why they tend to run out by 7:30.

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Boston: Trina's Starlight Lounge

At this retro diner in a Boston 'burb, you'll find comfort foods like flavor-packed fried chicken (a piece each of white and dark meat) atop a plate-size buttermilk waffle. Before you dig in, be sure to drizzle on the diner's signature hot pepper syrup. This sweet-savory-spicy combination hits the spot any time of day — it's a favorite on the brunch and dinner menus.

More About: Trina's Starlite Lounge

Dallas: Babe's Chicken Dinner House

The original Roanoke, Texas, location has expanded to several Texas towns, but the quality of Babe's fried chicken remains consistent. Some outposts have expanded menus, but locals know it's all about the golden-brown, juicy chicken with cream gravy and a side of buttermilk biscuits.

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Denver: Tom's Home Cookin'

It's all about simplicity at this lunch-only weekday spot, where you'd better make it an early lunch if you want to dig into piping-hot fried chicken before it runs out. Seasoned with nothing more than salt and pepper, it's lightly dusted with flour and fried until the super-crunchy coating reaches a deep shade of copper.

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Miami: Yardbird Southern Table & Bar

With a name like Yardbird, the skillet-fried chicken at this South Beach restaurant better be good. And it is. The secret "27-hour" recipe yields supremely tender meat and crispy skin. Try it tucked into buttermilk biscuits with pepper jelly, or enjoy it as a main plate with Tabasco-spiked honey.

Photo by David Cabrera

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Minneapolis: Left Handed Cook

At a little counter in the Midtown Global Market, Thomas Kim and Kat Melgaard are serving up fried chicken that's worth a special trip. Cloaked in 21 spices, the boneless pieces are served with Asian-accented dipping sauces like gochujang-soy. There's not much room to sit in the market, so this chicken is perfect for takeout — but it'll take willpower not to dig in right on the spot.

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Nashville: Prince's Hot Chicken Shack

Nashville fried chicken is its own subspecies of the Southern tradition: They like it hot. At Prince's, fall-off-the-bone chicken comes in four heat levels, and even the mild version has a kick. Graduate to medium, hot or extra-hot (we warned you!), and you'll be grateful for the cooling dip of ranch dressing and a pile of napkins to wipe the tears from your eyes. The fiery spice blend is a closely guarded secret.

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New York: Momofuku Noodle Bar

When you book a table for Momofuku's epic fried chicken feast, a parade of condiments arrives first: mu shu pancakes, Bibb lettuce, shiso leaves, crunchy radishes and sauces ranging from spicy bibim to savory-sweet hoisin. They're all accompaniments for the main event: a towering pile of fried chicken prepared two ways, Old Bay-spiked Southern and triple-fried Korean.

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Philadelphia: Federal Donuts

Chef-owner Michael Solomonov's ode to the deep fryer has just three items on the menu: doughnuts, fried chicken and coffee. Customize your twice-fried, Korean-style chicken with a choice of dry seasonings (try the Middle Eastern za'atar) and glazes (chili-garlic or honey-ginger). Each order comes with a handmade honey doughnut. 

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Phoenix: Mrs. White's Golden Rule Cafe

Old-school comfort food doesn't get much better than a plate of fried chicken and two sides at Mrs. White's, a beloved soul-food eatery in downtown Phoenix. The chicken is always piping hot and golden brown, leaving you with only two decisions to make when you walk in the door: white or dark meat, and which sides to pick from a roster scrawled on the wall.

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San Francisco: Brenda's French Soul Food

New Orleans native Brenda Buenviaje's cozy cafe is a cult favorite for brunch, when San Franciscans line up to chow down on her Southern-accented fare, like fried chicken eggs Benedict with Creole hollandaise. That secret-recipe chicken can be found as B.F.C. (best fried chicken) on the lunch and dinner menus, served with hot pepper jelly and a biscuit. The title may be self-imposed, but it's well-deserved.

More About: Brenda's French Soul Food

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