Food & Drink

The 8 Best Fried Chicken Spots in Philly

fried chicken thrillist
Sebastian Davis

Next to sweatpants, you'd be hard-pressed to find anything as comforting as fried chicken (and we're pretty damn good at wearing sweatpants). Whether it's served on its own, or on top of waffles at one of Philly's best boozy brunches, our town batters birds better than anyplace outside the Deep South, and these 8 local restaurants have all the proof you need.

The Fat Ham fried chicken
Vanessa Beahn/The Fat Ham

The Fat Ham

Old City
Now open for lunch, this Southern-style joint does extra-juicy and extra-spicy fried chicken that's plated on ranch-covered bread that really isn't meant to be eaten, only to counteract the spiciness (but go ahead, did you hear us say it's got ranch on it?!).

fried chicken at jones
Stephen Yaeger/Jones

Jones Restaurant

Center City
If you're jonesing for something more than just deep-fried protein AND buttery Belgian-style carbs, know that JR tops its chicken and waffles with a thick chicken noodle soup-style gravy that might be just as good on its own.

Federal Donuts

Old City
There are 74 types of federal buildings you can line up to get inside, but the only one you actually want to line up to get inside is this much-lauded fry shop where they're serving up dry-cured and double-fried Korean-style bird, and, as the name suggests, some of the city's best fresh-fried cake-rings.

The Twisted Tail

South Street
When you get bored with the same old waffle underneath your chicken, this little piggy has chicken and sweet potato waffles to try for Sunday brunch. Not only that, they tout an awesome selection of suds that wash it down well.

Sbraga

Rittenhouse Square
Nashville hot chicken, a Tennessee staple, is made with birds brought in from Griggstown Farms, that're brine'd in buttermilk, covered in cayenne-spiced flour, and after they hit the fryer, paired with Southern classics like ranch dressing, coleslaw, and pickles.

Rex 1516

South Street West
Chicken thighs and drumsticks soak in sweet tea for 24hrs, then get coated in flour and hot sauce buttermilk, and dropped in the fryer (twice!), before being plated with the kind of down-home food (tater tots, collard greens, etc.) that totally Rex appetites if you're not careful.

The Industry Bar

Old City/Pennsport
These birds get a three-day bath before getting all gussied up in flour and deep-fried grease, finished with some honey glaze and sambal, and dropped on a skillet of cornbread, or potato salad, though you should probably skip the latter, unless Chris Rock is wrong and there is something wrong with the former.

Percy Street BBQ

Washington Square West
Opened by the crew behind Zahav and Xochitl, this authentic Texas-style BBQ spot does meat by the pound/half-pound, plus beers by the gallon/half-gallon in a red & beige 150-seater that's also a go-to for some sweet chicken, which they'll Q-up whole, or fry and make badass biscuit sandwiches with, obviously.

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