There might be no better site than someone walking through the front door with a delicious order of fried chicken to share with the entire household. There’s no arguing that. This list is to ensure that every “chicken night” is a special one and that no one ever goes without good fried chicken. So to help on that quest, here are the Top 10 Fried Chicken Chains In America!
10. Pollo Campero
To kick things off is a restaurant that very few people have had the pleasure of enjoying, but the lucky ones are unlikely to forget the incredible feast they probably had at Pollo Campero. Unlike many other “southern comfort” fried chicken restaurants, Pollo Campero’s origins go all the way to Guatemala. Instead of regular home-style sides, Pollo Campero offers some incredibly fresh and flavorful sides like corn salad, Campero beans, and Campero rice, all specific to the brand. Any french fry fan has to try the exclusive Yuca fries and sweet plantains. They’re simply indescribable. The incredibly flavorful food has created a demand that continues to spread across the United States. As of right now, Pollo Campero is mostly available in only a few select locations in the eastern United States, but don’t be too surprised if you see one in your town soon, as it is guaranteed to win over the hearts and stomachs of all who try it! According to reviewers, when the first location opened in Los Angeles, there were lineups around the block, and some locations even required security guards! Now that’s one celebrity chicken! No pictures, please! Pollo Campero even opened a location at Disney World in Orlando! It seems everyone in America is chasing this chicken!
9. Lee’s Famous Recipe Chicken
One of the earliest franchised fried chicken restaurants in America is Lee’s Famous Recipe Chicken. There is absolutely no reason why you should miss out on their incredibly delicious home-style fried chicken dinners. It’s just so too good. The flavor comes from chicken that’s seasoned and hand-dipped in a honey coating before being cooked to perfection. According to some customers, the famous recipe’s spicy version offers even more flavor and is even better than the original recipe, but that’s just speculation, of course. You would need to try some and decide for yourself which version takes the top prize. It’s not often that a restaurant offers a menu option that can stand up to the original item when it comes to taste. Still, Lee’s continually proves that they are not to be dismissed in the fried chicken showdown. There’s also one special menu option that’s sure to make them stand out from the competition: fried livers and gizzards! Not the most appetizing image, I know, but it’s supposedly, to die for. Although the company has struggled in recent years to establish itself as a brand ready to thrive in the 21st century, the chicken’s incredible flavor has kept fans coming back for more year after year. In fact, Lee’s Famous Recipe Chicken celebrated 50 years of service just less than five years ago in 2016. This means that multiple generations have now been blessed with Lee’s Famous Recipe Chicken, and they aren’t planning on slowing down anytime soon. With the focus being placed on franchise development and expansion, it may not be long before you see Lee’s Famous in your hometown. And if you don’t already have one, this delicious chicken joint might just be worth a road trip.
Continuing on a track of international fried chicken options, it’s an absolute must that this list include the wildly popular Jollibee restaurants. Originating in the Philippines, this global franchise has had its eye on the North American market and has worked over the last decade to bring Jollibee’s incredibly diverse menu to U.S. citizens, from coast to coast. Jollibee is already established in Europe, Southeast Asia, and Hong Kong. So what makes Jollibee so special? Well, it’s the diverse flavors that the distinct Philippines-inspired menu offers. Whether you’re in the mood for the classic chicken, spaghetti, a Yumburger, or a mushroom-smothered steak, it’s hard to imagine not being able to find something incredible from this exciting menu. There really is something for everyone. And no meal from Jollibee is complete without one of their iconic Peach Mango Pies for dessert. Considering this restaurant originally started out as an ice cream store before branching out into serving entrees, they have perfected both the meal and the dessert portion of the fried chicken experience. Keep your eyes out for a Jollibee in your town as they’ve recently continued expansions in the North American market with some new Canadian locations. With the franchise planning on opening 171 new restaurants with increased delivery and take-out options, for the new demands of 2020, Jollibee may soon be your fried chicken restaurant of choice! (If it’s not already the case.)
One of the first restaurants that comes to mind when thinking about Fried Chicken is most likely the house of the Colonel himself: Kentucky Fried Chicken. One of the main reasons for KFC’s immediate recognition is the fact that they trail only McDonald’s when it comes to the total number of locations. With locations on every continent – except Antarctica – there are few places where people haven’t had the pleasure of trying to figure out the Colonel’s 11 Secret Herbs and Spices. The marketing for this international growth was made significantly easier when, in the 1990s, the company chose to forgo the original restaurant name in favor of a less greasy and faster title: KFC. Since then, all branding has been directed towards the “KFC” name. A must-try from KFC is certainly the Original Recipe Chicken itself. Whether you’re planning on ordering a lunch deal or sharing a family bucket to feed everyone after work, KFC’s delicious chicken will have everyone at the table feeling full and happy. The Colonel’s delicious fried chicken has had such an intense impact on some families that it has become their Christmas dinner staple! Apparently, in Japan, this chicken brand has become so popular that families have to order their KFC Christmas dinner feast weeks in advance! This just goes to prove that no matter what time of year it is, whether it’s for a summer picnic or Christmas Day itself, it’s always a good day for a bucket of KFC!
6. Dixie Lee Fried Chicken
This is one of the lesser known chicken restaurants on this list, but it’s still packed with all the same delicious flavor as some of the more popular chains – and guarantees a fraction of the greasy aftermath that typically follows suit. Dixie Lee Fried Chicken has placed special care to ensure that their homemade chicken is low on the grease yet high on the flavor. It’s not very often you can feel like you’re making a smart choice when it comes to eating fried chicken, but that’s exactly what Dixie Lee sets out to achieve – incredible flavor with no greasy taste or texture. In addition to the promise of little grease, the restaurant boasts its use of simple and pronounceable ingredients. This chicken is made with all-natural white meat, and the menu offers a plethora of side dishes made in-house daily with locally sourced ingredients. This is a restaurant where customers can really feel good about their choices – personally and for the community! Although it’s based in Canada, the brand is continually expanding, adding more and more locations every year and they now have over 100 locations, including in Texas and New York! When it comes to fantastic fried chicken like this, there are no borders!
5. Mary Brown’s Chicken & Taters
Next up is a restaurant that many Canadian chicken aficionados will probably know: Mary Brown’s. This delicious fried chicken chain got its start in the maritime province of Newfoundland, where over 25% of the franchises currently reside. Despite its growing popularity in Newfoundland over the last 50 years, Mary Brown’s has expanded all across Canada, and there are now over 150 locations to choose from. With increasing popularity in the Greater Toronto Area, more and more Canadians are getting their chance to try this phenomenal fried chicken! Something even more exciting is the fact that, in 2017, Mary Brown’s expanded into the American market and opened its first location in Florida. About two years later, CEO Greg Roberts was interviewed and stated that the brand was interested in expanding into the European, South American, and Middle Eastern markets as well! Aside from the jaw-dropping, freshly made chicken, the absolute must-try menu item is the taters. And the best part is, their crispy wedges are available with skin-on or off, providing two incredible options. A side of gravy is the perfect way to top any of Mary Brown’s meals. Enjoy!
When a restaurant claims to be “the home of the original chicken sandwich,” they better be prepared to back that statement up with tasty proof. Chick-Fil-A does not disappoint when it comes to delicious chicken. With only three ingredients in the iconic chicken sandwich – chicken, a buttered bun, and two pickle slices – you might be disappointed at first by the lack of toppings. However, don’t be fooled; this should not be cause for concern. The flavor of this chicken makes up for any lack of toppings and sauces you might usually need to enjoy your sandwich. Also, the chicken nuggets are basically a bite-size version of the juicy chicken, and they’re both available in a healthier, grilled option as well! What else makes the Chick-Fil-A dining experience so special? Unlike many of the other restaurants, the Chick-Fil-A staff are actually one of the most notable features. There are viral videos online documenting employees going above and beyond the usual fast-food call of duty to serve their customers with the best care possible. Whether it’s a franchise owner having a graduation ceremony for staff members or a drive-thru worker giving someone a little extra assistance while placing the order, Chick-Fil-A employees ensure that not only customers’ stomachs will leave full, but their hearts as well. As the second highest-grossing restaurant in 2019, and despite some controversial headlines, the public’s love for this chicken just keeps on growing every day!
3. Church’s Chicken
As the list of top fried chicken chains narrows down, credit must be given to one of the ultimate names in American style fried chicken: Church’s. All you need is one single bite of this flavorful crispy chicken to become a member of the Church’s chicken congregation for life! You cannot get a meal from Church’s without a side order of their hot and fresh honey-glazed biscuits. The chicken and the biscuits are specifically hand-made and cooked in small batches to ensure their freshness, hotness, and deliciousness for every customer who walks through the door. This chain started in Texas in the 1960s, so there’s no doubt they’re serving up some truly original southern comfort flavors that most people crave. In fact, many may be surprised to know that the original Church’s chicken was located right across the street from the Alamo itself! This chain is not strictly Texan, though, despite its strong roots. Church’s has even expanded globally with some locations in Canada, Mexico, Honduras, and Venezuela! Citizens from around the globe are now craving the delicious Texas fried chicken and tasty sides that Church’s has to offer. Anyone who hasn’t tried Church’s definitely needs to add this stop to their list. Don’t forget to get an ice cream treat to finish off the meal! It’s the only real way to finish a meal in the Texas heat or at your local Church’s Chicken!
2. Cracker Barrel
Taking a little detour from the “fast-food” style restaurants, Cracker Barrel is more of a fast-casual family-style chain. If you’re looking for delicious home-style fried chicken, there is no better place to go than Cracker Barrel itself. They make fried chicken exactly how grandma would. Sitting down at this restaurant and biting into a crisp, flaky, and tender piece of chicken will send anyone back to their childhood. What’s the best part of this restaurant? With hundreds of home-style meals to choose from, there’s plenty to keep everyone, including the fried chicken fans, fully satisfied. You can also enjoy your chicken with a ton of sides like cornbread or biscuits. Every year, Cracker Barrel sells over 210 million biscuits and over 13 million pounds of chicken tenders! It’s fair to say that Cracker Barrel has used the “practice makes perfect” method when crafting their unique recipes. Don’t forget to add a glass of Cracker Barrel’s amazing, freshly brewed Iced Tea or Lemonade – the perfect way to wash down a delicious southern feast. Everyone who’s been to Cracker Barrel knows that one of the best parts of the meal is the shopping at the end! You can visit the gift shop and pick up some candy, games, furniture, snacks, clothes – basically everything you can think of!
1. Popeye’s Louisiana Kitchen
The number one fried chicken chain on this list has to go to Popeye’s Louisiana Kitchen. One of the best aspects of Popeye’s? Not only do they serve mouth-watering, crispy, and tasty fried chicken, but they also offer incredible deep-fried shrimp and fried fish options. Popeyes is a delicious choice when it comes to satisfying your surf-and-turf cravings at a fraction of the cost than other competing restaurants. With plenty of choices in terms of side dishes, like the creamy mac n’ cheese and their buttery biscuits, there’s more than enough to satisfy everyone’s cravings. If you’re in need of a quick southern comfort fix, Popeyes is the necessary stop. For the ultimate Popeyes fans, there’s a truly salivating experience to behold. Lafayette, Louisiana, is currently home to the only Popeye’s buffet in the world! You can pile up plate after plate of crispy chicken – along with all the best sides, of course. Popeyes may be one of the stops on your next road-trip, but maybe it should be the destination itself! Eaters, beware! The spicy chicken is as delicious as it is hot, so you should eat it at your own risk.