With fried chicken places blowing up in Dallas faster than your waist size if you've been enjoying them already (or not, it's just as easy to fatten up on BBQ), we've done the dirty work of plucking out the best birds in the city so you can make the most of your deliciously unhealthy fried chicken forays. Here are the eight best spots to get your fix:
Just like going to Momma’s house -- but not Big Momma's House, fans of Martin Lawrence in drag -- Celebration brings it with locally sourced vegetables and sides, but the succulent fowl is unquestionably the star of the show. Do yourself a favor and order about a gallon of their jalapeño gravy for dipping. An exciting but cautionary note: much like Momma's house, they happily provide seconds.
Oddfellows could find its way onto a number of best-of-Dallas lists (mac 'n cheese, coffee, cocktails... ), but you must try the chicken, which is impossibly crispy on the outside and piping hot and flavorful on the inside, and equally at home being paired with waffles or a side of that mac 'n cheese.
The latest and greatest from Stephan Pyles, Stampede 66 churns out glistening honey glazed pieces of poultry glory, perfectly accompanied with house made pickles, a melt-in-your-mouth biscuit, and mashed potato tots (they’re as good as they sound). The name's apt as you currently have to wait weeks for a reservation, so get yourself in line.
Bishop Arts District
The thick-battered chicken is good enough to stand on its own, but for a mere $2 you can get a side of fried chicken gravy, which, trust us, is money well spent. Finish your meal off with a house-made fresh fruit popsicle and catch some live tunes coming from the stage made of recycled wooden palettes.
Max’s Wine Dive
At Max’s they have a saying, "Fried chicken and champagne? Why the hell not?" Because you can't think of any good reason "why not", better just go eat some chicken. Pro-tip: request the honey chipotle dipping sauce to add a sweet and spicy element to the textbook Southern fried chicken.
Sissy’s Southern Kitchen
They do just about everything well here, but fried chicken is something they do well that you can ALSO order in an enormous bucket, and the bottle of house hot sauce that comes with it will only make you cry tears of joy. Unless you're like, super spice-sensitive or something.
This no-frills chicken shack doesn't need any of said frills, because the fried chicken is the reason you're here. Pro tip: ask for extra seasoning and some secret sauce and you'll be even happier.
Babe’s Chicken Dinner House
A Dallas staple, Babe’s has been doing it right for the last two decades, nailing its menu of approximately five dishes (depending on which location you hit). You can get fried chicken, chicken fried steak, fried chicken tenders, fried catfish, or smoked chicken if you're not eating fried things for some insane reason like your personal well being.
Addendum: Jack’s Southern Comfort Food
So, you can't go running right over to Jack’s, as they are currently closed, they merited an honorable mention as they WILL BE re-opening, hopefully, in January of 2014. When they do, you will want to be there for impeccable fried bird and all-around Southern exquisiteness.
1. Celebration Restaurant4503 W Lovers Ln, Dallas
2. Rudy's Chicken3115 S Lancaster Rd, Dallas
3. Oddfellows316 W 7th St, Dallas
4. Stampede 661717 McKinney Ave, Ste 100, Dallas
5. Chicken Scratch2303 Pittman St., Dallas
6. MAX's Wine Dive3600 McKinney Ave, Dallas
7. Sissy's Southern Kitchen2929 Henderson Ave, Dallas
8. Babe's Chicken Dinner House6475 Page Rd, Frisco
Celebration serves up locally sourced vegetables and sides, but the delicious fried fowl is unquestionably the star of the show. Load up on their jalapeño gravy for dipping, but save room -- they happily provide seconds.
This no-frills chicken shack doesn't need any of said frills, just ask for extra seasoning and some secret sauce and you'll happy you came.
The shockingly coherent vision of eight Oak Cliff friends/acquaintances (from an attorney to a PR ace to the chef behind Eno's), Oddfellows is a wildly creative neighborhood diner that offers something for everyone in an airy space where blonde, unvarnished wood abounds. Brunch waits can get rather lengthy at this Bishop Arts District staple, so get there early or grab a drink and people watch on their front patio and bar as you wait.
This Uptown spot of like the classier brother of your favorite southern steakhouse franchise, and it's so Texas it hurts (in the good way). Hanging longhorns, cowhide seating, highway signs, and sculptures from well-know artists in the state are merely a backdrop for food that's equally Texan. Southwestern staples and American takes on Mexican fare like chicken tamales, tacos topped with beef brisket and fried oysters, and (of course) top-notch bbq offer up a new experience that manages to maintain that familial feeling one can only get in Texas.
Chrises Jeffers & Zielke tapped Smoke's Tim Byers to build the menu for this rustic-modern, quick-service shack, where you can dine in, or get a to-go plate, then grab beer from the next-door Foundry and sit at one of their picnic tables while listening to live music. Either way, you'll gorge on fried or rotisserie chicken, mac 'n cheese, and from-scratch, daily changing frozen paletas.
If you’re planning on heading to MAX’s leave your calorie counter at home and embrace the slogan, “fried chicken and champagne... why the hell not?” because that pretty much sums up the menu. This industrial, southern-style vinoteca features exposed brick, high top tables, and a whole wall wine of wine bottles that is almost as imposing as their wine list featuring vino from Italy, France, Spain, Portugal, and good ol’ Texas herself. They have beer on tap for those who prefer a different kind of bubbles as well as a full bar. MAX’s menu is all about the frier: expect chicken and waffles and honey-butter fried chicken benedict over biscuits at brunch, and classic fried chicken dishes among sinfully cheesey mac and cheese and Fried Lobster Risotto options.
Quit being a p-word about your diet, and hit Sissy's Southern Kitchen, where Lisa Garza's tapping her Memphis roots in a patio-equipped space where a trio of deer heads rule a wall replete with china, and the fixtures -- salvaged from the 1914 Neiman's inferno -- were crafted by Henry Potter, who despite being a Dallas blacksmith, was also the richest man in Bedford Falls.
This literal brick barn is a sight for sore eyes in Dallas' swanky Frisco suburb. The vintage tractors and mounted longhorns might not make for a believable fried chicken restaurant, but the quake-inducing crunch of the buttermilk coating on Babe's soft and tender chicken will assure you you're in the right spot, as will a hefty side of biscuits and gravy. And maybe a meringue pie for desert, if you brought your loose pants.