From tears-inducing hot to grandma-approved recipes, fried chicken is an eternal vehicle for comfort (or, in the case spicy bird, discomfort but in a good way). So here we have some Dallas favorites, both old and new, to help satisfy a chicken craving. Without further ado, in particular order, here are 11 places to get fine fried chicken.
In Deep Ellum, where watering holes are plenty and restaurants multiply at a break-neck pace, Brick & Bones continues to deliver to the goods. What are the goods? A solid dive bar and quality fried bird. Chicken is brined for 24 hours, which makes for tasty fried chicken inside and out—flavor cannot merely be crispy-skin deep!
Tender is the chicken coming out of this small shack on Maple Avenue in Oak Lawn. Mike’s peppery fried chicken tenders are done right, which is to say, they’re hand cut daily, hand battered to order, and dunked in refined peanut oil. What arrives to the table or to-go bag are crackly shells bearing juicy chicken tenderloins. You can (and should) get breasts, wings, and extra buffalo sauce on the side.
Something magical happens between two perfectly squishy brioche buns at this Old East Dallas joint. On the Bomb Squad menu—which is what it calls its gourmet sandwich lineup—dwell an array of buttermilk fried halal chicken sandwiches. The Cardi keeps things simple with dill mayo and pickles, whereas the Cardi B kicks it up a notch with spicy special sauce and jalapeño slaw.
The name of this Medical District drive-thru comes from the bronzed color of the crispy chicken—so don’t expect honey, unless you pour it on top. Do expect salty, savory, perfectly fried pieces of chicken over a bed of french fries, pickles, and jalapeños. It’s simple and it’s executed perfectly. You’ll want to eat it on the trunk of your car.
Dallas native Ricky Tran opened Ricky’s Hot Chicken in Richardson at the beginning of 2020, the year of comfort food. The A-bomb level packs a deadly combo of jalapeño, habanero, ghost, scorpion, and reaper peppers, so ask for a sample before you commit. If their creamed corn is on the menu, be sure to get it.
With two outposts and growing, Lucky’s is becoming a Dallas hot chicken go-to. Take your pick of five sauces: cheese, honey mustard, jalapeño ranch, Mike’s hot honey, and the classic Nashville hot chicken condiment, comeback sauce. Save room for the cinnamon bread pudding.
The South Korean chicken chain has relocated its headquarters from New York to Dallas, which hopefully means more crisp-skinned, double-fried bird and parmesan-dusted crinkle cut fries for us.
They serve their birds fried with a well-seasoned shaggy golden coat. Plates come with the usual salvo of sides. Black-eyed peas, mashed potatoes under a mild cream gravy, and a refreshing coleslaw with jicama and green apple. Classic Pillsbury-style biscuits are pillowy in a comforting way.
During Sunday brunch, you’ll find the usual morning suspects—stack of pancakes, crab cake Benedict—but we have to point you to Granny Fearing’s ‘Paper Bag Shook’ Fried Chicken on the menu. Get pancakes if you must. Wash it down with a mimosa if necessary. But do not skip Granny’s chicken!
Big, juicy hunks of chicken—thigh and breast and wing—with ultracrispy skin beckon us to Deep Ellum, where the Memphis chain has come to roost. Here, the batter clings and adheres, tight and smooth, then fried to a bronze color, ruddy with spices. It comes with packets of Crystal hot sauce—the cardinal red sauce that is in all honesty the ideal partner to fried chicken.
Palmer’s Hot Chicken, which set roots in Lakewood, pays homage to the creator of the dish, Thorton Prince of Prince’s Hot Chicken in Nashville, which has had the whole nation hot and bothered since 1945. Order a pitcher of frosé or a mint julep to start, then trade the white bread for a waffle and take your pick of white or dark bone-in meat. Oven roasted is an option, but why?