America’s Best Fried Chicken

Fried chicken is of those ubiquitous American meals that can serve any purpose, from Sunday night family dinner to a leisurely picnic in the park. And there are probably as many different recipes for fried chicken as there is places to eat it. Some lucky folks at Thrillist had the chance to scour the country in search of the best fried chicken in America, and it turns out there’s a few places on their list that are in Stay Alfred cities (and a couple in cities we’re looking at)! We thought we would share these finds with you, in fact you’ll probably get to try them before we do!

The following was published 2/20/15 by Kevin Alexander and Liz Childers at Thrillist:


Portland, OR: The People’s Pig

“People’s Pig answers a question few have asked, yet probably should: what would bacon taste like if bacon was made from fried chicken? The answer is the Smoked Fried Chicken at this food cart turned brick-and-mortar, which gives the boneless bird a light wood-based sauna session before it’s dunked in batter and fried. Not bad for a place that made its name with porchetta and BBQ. There’s a lot of great fried chicken in Stumptown (big love to Dub’s and Reel M Inn), but the People’s Pig gets mad love for taking something as beloved as fried chicken and transforming it into something utterly different and magnificent.”


Nashville, TN: Prince’s Hot Chicken Shack

“Yes, we know it’s technically hot chicken. But that hot chicken is fried, right? And Prince’s, on the North side of Nashville, just happens to be the best damn spicy fried chicken in America. If you can spare a couple of hours to deal with the line, hit up Andre Prince’s ode to the spicy side of the bird and get a whole chicken, some extra pickles, and bread. We like it “hot,” which is just enough to make us sweat, but not enough that it feels like you’re being punished for eating. And don’t worry about finishing the whole bird. We just wanted to leave you enough to take some home with you.”


Willie Mae's Fried Chicken. Flickr/the foodhoe
Willie Mae’s Fried Chicken. Flickr/the foodhoe

New Orleans, LA: Willie Mae’s Scotch House

“New Orleanians are wont to throw around words like ‘legendary’ and ‘institution’ and ‘classic’ when it comes to their restaurants that can lay any kind of claim to those adjectives. But, well, Willie Mae’s fried chicken deserves it. That crispy, spicy chicken was enough to drive crowds of volunteers to tend to the nearly half-a-century old restaurant after Katrina flooded through, and its melt-in-your-mouth skin and juicy meat are enough to beckon even the most tourist-averse locals to wait in the lunch line on a weekday for a plate, plus a side of salty, smoky red beans and rice. So, yes, Willie Mae’s Scotch House is a legendary, classic institution — not just of NOLA, but of the South.”


Austin, TX: Top Notch

“Sure, you can’t start any conversation about Top Notch without mentioning its iconic placement in Dazed & Confused, but there’s a damn good reason the old-school drive-up joint’s in the movie to begin with. Since 1971, it’s made Austin’s finest fried bird. And as the city’s food scene has evolved into more haute takes on comfort classics, Top Notch still does what it’s always done: it makes a perfectly crisp, salty, old-school chunk of chicken that’s golden fried and bursting with juice. That’s the good thing about Top Notch. You keep getting older, but that chicken stays the same.”

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