Food & Drink

Louisville's 8 best fried chicken spots

Published On 12/17/2014 Published On 12/17/2014
Fried Chicken
Anthony Raspberry/The Silver Dollar
Flickr/J. Brian Reese
Yelp/Eat O.
Loop 22
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1. The Silver Dollar 1761 Frankfort Ave, Louisville, KY 40206

Situated inside a former firehouse, this redbrick Crescent Hill whiskey temple models itself after the old-school honky-tonks of Bakersfield, California (in the 1930s, Southerners migrated to SoCal and, shunned by native Californians, formed their own subculture known as the "Bakersfield Sound"), merging modern takes on traditional Southern fare with vintage country records and craft cocktails. Silver Dollar's spirit menu is laden with bourbon selections sorted by distillery, plus moonshine, rye, and seasoned bourbon -- all from the Bluegrass State. You can pair your drink with hearty dishes such as Cajun shrimp & oyster stew, hickory-smoked beef brisket, chicken & waffles, and brunch specialties like cornbread pancakes and a fried oyster sandwich.

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2. Harvest 624 E Market St, Louisville, KY 40202

You know you're in for a fresh meal at Harvest, because the walls are adorned with large photos of the various Kentucky farmers who grow and raise the ingredients you’ll find on your plate. The team here knows a thing or two about fried chicken, crafting a buttermilk-soaked, battered, and fried breast and thigh served over a savory hoecake, drizzled with creamy gravy and topped with spicy greens. It’s heaven on a plate. And if you're not in the mood for chicken, they also have one of the best burgers in Louisville: a local beef patty topped with tomato jam, triple-cream brie, and lettuce on an addictive pretzel bun.

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3. Sway 311 S 4th St, Louisville, KY 40202

This hotel-backed restaurant (Hyatt Regency) tries harder than anyone might expect to provide quality food and a distinct point of view. The name Sway is short for “Southern way”, and they call their Southern Fried Chicken their signature dish, with Southern greens and natural gravy listed alongside the creamy mashed potatoes on the plate. So if you’re going to expense it, go for something special.

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4. Four Pegs Beer Lounge 1053 Goss Ave, Louisville, KY 40217

This may be a beer hot spot, but that doesn't mean it doesn't dole out tasty eats. Saddle up with a plate of the famous chicken and waffles while sitting back and relaxing in the homey pub atmosphere.

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5. MilkWood 316 W Main St, Louisville, KY 40202

MilkWood, Downtown’s Actors Theater restaurant, is Top Chef alum Edward Lee's ode to Southern fare and the Asian spice pantry in a flavor-forward dining experience. With hybrid ingredients like gochujang butter and green apple-ginger zest, and dishes like Korean Griddle Buns, Mushroom and Grits, Collards and Kimchi, and Togarashi Cheesecake, the cuisine is elegant, elevated, and rooted in culture. The down-home favorites have prevalent Asian influence, but neither is compromised in their marriage. To reiterate the importance of flavor to guests, the cocktail menu is laid out by beverage type, and how it will play on the palate -- wine, beer, and cocktails alike.

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6. Shirley Mae’s Café 802 S Clay St, Louisville, KY 40203

Located in Smoketown, Shirley Mae's is down home cooking at its finest. Everything is made by hand daily and if you want some of the best fried chicken in town, you gotta order it here.

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7. Loop 22 2222 Dundee Rd, Louisville, KY 40205

Loop 22 brings classic Southern fair to Douglas Loop, specializing in all things rotisserie. The restaurant also fires up non-rotisserie dishes for its Sunday brunch, such as eggs Benedict casserole, a fried green tomato BLT, and fried chicken and waffle nachos.