Flickr/Sean Russell
Joseph Woodley
Facebook/Bolton's Spicy Chicken & Fish
Facebook/Two Boots
Facebook/Pepperfire
Kristin Luna
Facebook/400 Degrees Hot Chicken
Facebook/Acme Feed & Seed
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1. Prince's Hot Chicken Shack 123 Ewing Dr, #3, Nashville, TN 37207 (East Nashville)

Although you might have to wait awhile to get into this Dickerson Pike spot, it's totally worth it to try their succulent cooked-to-order chicken that comes in varying degrees of hotness, from "hot" to "medium" to "extra hot", the last of which will probably leave you crying. It's known as the first hot chicken spot in the city, around since the 1930s and remaining mostly unchanged in the time since. Be prepared for a wait that could last hours, and don't be caught at the register without cash. All things considered, a visit to Prince's is a process for a reason...a very delicious reason.

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2. Hattie B's Hot Chicken 112 19th Ave S, Nashville, TN 37203

Hattie B’s is one of Midtown’s best for hot chicken, in sandwich form or otherwise. The Nashville-born sandwich is served with coleslaw, a kosher pickle, and your choice of side... but we highly recommend the pimento mac & cheese. Waiting in line is inevitable here, but on the bright side, the longer you wait, the more time you have to decide which heat level you can handle. Intensities range from Southern (no heat) to Shut the Cluck Up, a fiery spice combo that'll require a side of that $5 gallon of sweet tea.

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3. Bolton's Spicy Chicken & Fish 624 Main St, Nashville, TN 37206 (East Nashville)

Famous for their chicken-on-a-stick, this East Nashville eatery also doles out terrific seafood (done up in their spicy chicken treatment), including dishes of whiting, grouper, catfish, and tilapia. With classic southern sides like mac and cheese and collard greens, Bolton's provides a hearty meal on simple styrofoam. But beware: it has spicy in its name for a reason; even the mild flavor can pack a kick.

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4. Two Boots 1925 Broadway, Nashville, TN 37203

Two Boots in Midtown is first Southern outpost of the New York City pizza chain. The “boots” in the name refer to the shapes of the state of Louisiana and the country of Italy because spicy Cajun flavors meld with Galbani whole milk mozzarella to create piquant pies. The local favorite here is "The Kitty,” a white pie topped with hot chicken procured from neighbor Hattie B's, jalapeños, and blue cheese.

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5. Pepperfire 2821 Gallatin Pike, Nashville, TN 37216 (East Nashville)

Offering a great mix of flavors, like pepper and cumin, and a respectable level of heat, this East Nashville resto is beloved by locals, but it's not as known among the tourists coming to town in hopes of a hot chicken fix.

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6. The Farm House 210 Almond St, Nashville, TN 37201 (Downtown)

This farm-to-table favorite in SoBro serves up a mix of contemporary Southern fare featuring many ingredients from their own local garden. There’s a giant chalkboard hanging inside of the restaurant that tells you exactly where all of the food on your plate came from. Chef Cioccia is a Nashville native and has worked at quite a few local restaurants before opening up his own. Contemporary barn decor accents the space, from grand wooden doors to skillets used as plates.

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7. 400 Degrees Hot Chicken 319 Peabody St, Nashville, TN 37210 (Sobro)

This can't-miss stop for the true hot chicken lover is located inside a food court in SoBro and it features varying levels of hotness in its chicken from 100 (quite mild) to 400 (crazy-hot).

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8. Acme Feed & Seed 101 Broadway, Nashville, TN 37201 (Downtown)

If you're wandering Lower Broad and have a hankering for poultry, try Acme and their Hot Chicken Sandwich with green peppercorn aioli, American cheese, and pickles, served true American-style between two slabs of white bread. Chicken's certainly not your only option, though; The menu here is divided by meat, so just take your pick of chicken, beef, pork, fish or vegetarian and you're sure to find a modern spin on a classic American dish. Pair it with an affordable cocktail or a domestic draft from their impressive list.

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