Food & Drink

The Best Fried Chicken in Denver: 13 Must-Have Birds

Published On 05/05/2015 Published On 05/05/2015
Bonanno Concepts
Ruth Tobias/Thrillist
Ruth Tobias/Thrillist
Ruth Tobias/Thrillist
Ruth Tobias/Thrillist
Ruth Tobias/Thrillist
Ruth Tobias/Thrillist
Ruth Tobias/Thrillist
Ruth Tobias/Thrillist
Ruth Tobias/Thrillist
Ruth Tobias/Thrillist
Ruth Tobias/Thrillist
Big Red F
Ruth Tobias/Thrillist
Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
1. Lou's Food Bar 1851 W 38th Ave, Denver, CO 80211 (Sunnyside)

Lou's Food Bar serves up a menu of French-inspired American comfort food, ranging from burgers and sandwiches to fried organic chicken and fresh fish. This family-centric eatery also offers occasional cocktail classes and charcuterie lessons.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
2. Welton Street Cafe 2736 Welton St, Denver, CO 80205 (Five Points)

This soul food spot has some of Denver's best fried chicken. So natural is Welton Street’s frying technique that the expertly seasoned crust becomes a second skin, clinging fast to meat that’s juicy through and through, the breast no less than the leg. It’s all greaseless, too -- but just in case, the kitchen sets the pieces atop slices of white bread to act as paper towels, which is funny because it’s true. Of course the platter also comes with actual, edible bread (as well as two sides): the dense, almost-sweet sticks of fried dough they sensibly call frybread will make you swoon like a church lady in a heat wave.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
3. African Grill & Bar 18601 Green Valley Ranch Blvd #100, Denver, CO 80249

This traditional African restaurant offers up delicious native food from Ghana. Be sure to try the fried chicken; cooked in soybean oil, it boasts a light, almost flaky exterior to contrast the luscious dark meat within -- the fact that it comes on the same plate with such fantastic stuff as black-eyed pea loaf and vegetable-fried rice makes you look good just for being smart enough to order it. Especially if you ask for a side of the smoky, cough-inducingly spicy condiment called shito, too.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
4. Asian Cajun 2400 W Alameda Ave, Denver, CO 80223 (Southwest)

Serving a culinary combo that makes Pizza Hut/Taco Bells look downright traditional, this Vietnamese/Cajun 70-seater has a "down-home Southern" look, and plates 10 different phos (like eye round steak/ well-done brisket and beef meatballs); Creole cuisine like fried seafood baskets of soft-shell crab, shrimp, catfish, or tilapia with fries; and even one fusion-y dish with crawfish in an Asian sauce, marking the first time anyone will confusingly call one a "crawdad-son".

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
5. Funny Plus 2779 S Parker Rd, Aurora, CO 80014

Funny Plus means serious business poultry-wise. Stick with the plain chicken, so you can add chili sauce as you go. Oh, and order the "rice cake simmered in chili sauce," too.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
6. Jamaican Grill 708 W. 8th Ave, Denver, CO 80204

This colorful little cafe-slash-Bob Marley shrine has some of Denver's best fried chicken. The friendly owners call their concoction "Jamaican barbie fried chicken," presumably alluding to the island’s style of barbecue rather than the Urban Dictionary definition of "Jamaican barbie," and certainly the copious topping will remind you of barbecue sauce: sweetish and slightly spicy. As for the breading beneath, it doesn’t get soggy because it’s thin as lacquer, glossy and crackling over tender meat that slips off the bone with satisfying ease.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
7. Kirk's Soul Kitchen 14107 E Colfax Ave, Aurora, CO 80011

This bona fide Southern-fried counter joint lays its batter on pretty thick. So how the hot wings retain their snap, pop, and sizzle even under a lava flow of fierce, vinegary pepper sauce is a mystery. A mystery you should probably get to the bottom of, no matter if you have to order them every single day for weeks. Maybe alongside the regular fried chicken for comparison’s sake, with extra-creamy, gravy-daubed mashed potatoes and meaty collard greens as palate-cleansers -- you know, to keep your tastebuds sharp. (Or you could just ask the staff to explain how they do it. But way to miss the point.)

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
8. Jus Cookin’s Restaurant 840 Tabor St, Lakewood, CO 80401

Jus Cookin's in Lakwood has earned a reputation over the years for its amazing fried chicken. It presents such a lovingly prepared, borderline-delicate take on the classic, velvety gravy and all, that you can almost picture the recipe handwritten in faded ink by someone’s great-great grandma from Iowa.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
9. Jezebel's Southern Bistro + Bar 3301 Tejon St, Denver, CO 80211 (Highland)

Cooking up southern-style eats, Jezebel's brings LoHi everything from catfish to chicken to tomatoes fried up and delicious.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
10. The BSide 1336 E 17th Ave, Denver, CO 80218

In the old building of Serioz Pizza and Pasquini's, Bside is a casual bar and restaurant. Homestyle cooking with a twist on good old American comfort food is the theme, and the coconut milk fried chicken is not to be missed. There are old school favorites like Salisbury Steak and Meatloaf Wellington, as well as some interesting dishes that will be your new favorite, like chicken chicharrones. There are 30 beers on tap so there is definitely something to be paired with every single dish.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
11. Block & Larder 4000 Tennyson St, Denver, CO 80212

The Forgy brothers know what’s up, and they’ve got all the fundamentals down cold. Hit-makers range from the pink-tinged, bone-in pork chop to the pressure-fried chicken in spicy honey glaze to an over-the-top, pork rib-enriched burger, punctuated by inventive sides like coffee-salted steak fries or deep-dish pizza panzanella. And, as you’d imagine from the owners of Freshcraft, the bar has all its craft-beer and cocktail ducks in a row.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
12. The Post Brewing Co. 105 W Emma St, Lafayette, CO 80026

This Lafayette brewery has a great selection of beers, but their fried chicken is not to be missed. Gaining inspiration from a cross-country research tour, the chefs here took pride in developing a painstaking fried-chicken recipe built on brine, buttermilk, and good old-fashioned elbow grease, and you can taste it in every bite. Uh, pride, that is, not elbow grease. Of course, beer pairings courtesy of brewmaster Bryan Selders -- who came to The Post from Dogfish Head -- are just more gravy.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
13. CoraFaye's Cafe 2861 Colorado Blvd, Denver, CO 80207 (Park Hill)

CoraFaye's Chef-owner Priscilla Smith can somehow fry even a breast that’s half the size of a human’s head without drying out the meat or overdoing the skin, which is perfect: light gold and glistening yet still crisp, with a zesty dusting of pepper and salt. And the price of perfection? Ten bucks tops, including your choice of bread and two sides.