Restaurants Worth Crowing About
LauriPatterson/istockphoto

Best Hole-in-the-Wall Spots for Fried Chicken in Every State

View Slideshow
Restaurants Worth Crowing About
LauriPatterson/istockphoto

Restaurants Worth Crowing About

When it comes to restaurants, looks can be deceiving. Great food can come from almost any kitchen, whether the restaurant is fancy or not. It's the unassuming spots that often prepare some of the best fried chicken, maybe because fried chicken is an unassuming dish itself. We examined customer reviews and expert recommendations to find fried chicken joints in every state that offer fantastic chicken in an unpretentious atmosphere. Next time you're in the mood for Southern-style fried chicken, check out these hole-in-the-wall joints, walk-up windows, drive-thrus, truck stops, and gas stations for a bucket of fried goodness — and maybe a side of mashed potatoes while you're at it.

Related: Best Hole-in-the-Wall Pizza Joints Across America 

Alabama: The Chicken Shack
Christopher T./Yelp

Alabama: The Chicken Shack

Luverne
The fried chicken at The Chicken Shack is a beautiful golden color with meat that falls right off the bone. It's also incredibly inexpensive: go at lunch time, and you'll only be paying $3 for chicken and $1 for soul-food sides like turnip greens, fried okra and field peas. Be sure to save room for pie or banana pudding.

Alaska: Lucky Wishbone
Toni T./Yelp

Alaska: Lucky Wishbone

Anchorage
For a heavy dose of nostalgia served up with fried chicken and hamburgers, head to Lucky Wishbone. It opened in 1955 and still sports a retro sign, diner feel, and family-friendly atmosphere. Grab a 3- or 5-piece meal, or a bucket of chicken to take home. Wash it down with a "famous milkshake" in flavors like root beer, orange, and strawberry.

Arizona: Ezekiel's Restaurant
Steve A./Yelp

Arizona: Ezekiel's Restaurant

Phoenix
Located in a strip mall space, Ezekiel's is a counter service Southern food spot decorated with a "family and friends wall of fame" featuring photos of sports stars who've stopped in. The menu is short and sweet, with fried chicken the star. The marshmallow topped sweet potatoes and creamy baked macaroni and cheese are top notch sides. 

Related: The Best Spot for Comfort Food in Every State

Arkansas: Monte Ne Inn Chicken Restaurant
Pam P./Yelp

Arkansas: Monte Ne Inn Chicken Restaurant

Rogers
Way in the northwestern corner of the state is Monte Ne Inn, which has been serving chicken for over four decades in a dining room with mauve vinyl tablecloths and antique farm tools on the walls. Everything is served family style, and the only entree choice is fried chicken, so you know it must be good. The chicken's coating is flecked with pepper, and the loaf of bread is freshly baked.

For more great restaurant guides and dining tips, please sign up for our free newsletters.

California: Tori's Place
Rich L./Yelp

California: Tori's Place

Sacramento
Tori's Place is simply a small building with a walk-up ordering window and a little covered porch if you want someplace to sit and eat. Southern food and gumbo are the specialties, along with fried chicken that's coated in seasoning with a craggy, crunchy crust. The delectable cornbread is also a must-have as it's hot-water style, so it looks more like a pancake than a bread.

Colorado: Juniper Valley Ranch
Denise M./Yelp

Colorado: Juniper Valley Ranch

Colorado Springs
Located in a Southwestern-style farmhouse building on a ranch, Juniper Valley Ranch is a family business that started in 1951. Chicken is fried in big cast-iron skillets and served family style with homemade biscuits and apple butter, okra casserole, slaw, and potatoes and gravy. On Thursdays and Sundays, you can get the chicken with a Nashville-style hot glaze.

Connecticut: Hen House Bar-B-Q
Jim C./Yelp

Connecticut: Hen House Bar-B-Q

Southington
Forget the barbecue in Hen House's name because fried chicken is what they're known for. The chicken is freshly fried when you order it, so while it takes a few minutes to cook, it's delivered fresh, hot, and crisp. The strip mall location with hand-painted sign above the counter isn't much to look at, but you'll be gazing at your chicken anyway. 

Related: The Best Seafood Restaurant for Takeout in Every State

Delaware: Walt's Flavor Crisp Chicken Express
Brenda C./Yelp

Delaware: Walt's Flavor Crisp Chicken Express

Wilmington
After learning the fried chicken business at a mentor's restaurant, the owners of Walt's Flavor Crisp Chicken Express opened their version in an adorable storefront home trimmed in bright green. Fried chicken comes in boxes, meals, buckets and as a delicious chicken and waffle combination with maple syrup and hot sauce.

Florida: Dixie Fried Chicken
Ne'Vishia O./Yelp

Florida: Dixie Fried Chicken

Belle Glade
The building housing Dixie Fried Chicken is nondescript and looks like it could have been a small office building in a past life. But the dated, no-frills counter service spot serves up juicy fried chicken in 2-, 3- and 4-piece meals and buckets. Fried chicken liver and gizzards are also available for those that want something old school.

Georgia: Newt's Fried Chicken
Agustin F./Yelp

Georgia: Newt's Fried Chicken

West Point
Some of the best food can come from places you least expect. Case in point: Newt's Fried Chicken. This counter serves up delicious, dark brown chicken from a counter inside a gas station. And when you think about it, fried chicken is the perfect road trip food, so the location makes sense. It's cheap, eaten with your hands, and is just as good cold as hot from the fryer. 

Related: 50 Best Restaurants for RV Road Trips

Hawaii: Itchy Butt
Scott H./Yelp

Hawaii: Itchy Butt

Honolulu
Don't let the name fool you: the only odor coming out of Itchy Butt is the fragrant garlic fried chicken. Takeout boxes at this walk-up window are full of chopped fried chicken pieces coated in shoyu, green onion, or the popular sticky, pungent garlic sauce. Don't bother asking for the usual sides because your box comes with Korean radish, corn salad, and gooey wonton-wrapped fried cheese sticks. (And in case you're wondering, the owner's daughter named the eatery when she was 3!) 

Related: The Best of Hawaii on a Budget

Idaho: The Depot Grill
John L./Yelp

Idaho: The Depot Grill

Twin Falls
The Depot Grill has been serving up family favorites to Twin Falls residents for over a century. Their fried chicken is called Golden Glow, and it's hand breaded and pressure fried to keep the meat tender and moist. Grab a chicken dinner in the unassuming diner-like building, grab a bucket to take home, or visit on Tuesdays for the all-you-can-eat fried chicken special.

Illinois: Fast Eddie's Fried Chicken
Eboni H./Yelp

Illinois: Fast Eddie's Fried Chicken

Alton
The first thing you'll notice when you drive up to Fast Eddie's Fried Chicken is the charming chicken-sporting-a-top-hat-on-a-pole sign. There's no interior to this restaurant — it's just a walk-up window — so you'll be enjoying that sign from your car while you munch on deep brown chicken and crinkle fries from a cardboard box. The whole experience is quaint, humble, and made memorable with great chicken.

Indiana: Wagner's Village Inn
Shanda B./Yelp

Indiana: Wagner's Village Inn

Oldenburg
Inside a wood-paneled bar and restaurant called Wagner's Village Inn is some of the best fried chicken in Indiana. It's coated in a crisp, crumb-like coating with lots of big flecks of black pepper throughout. It's served family style along with slaw, rolls, canned green beans, and mashed potatoes with cream gravy. When you're full, kick back for a drink at the bar.

Iowa: Sneaky's Chicken
Dave N./Yelp

Iowa: Sneaky's Chicken

Sioux City
Since 1979, Sneaky's has been serving up broasted chicken, another name for pressure fried. It occupies its own building in a strip of highway-adjacent chain restaurants, but the big chicken statue sets it apart. Chicken dinners come in red checkered paper-lined baskets with sides like their own broasted potatoes. And just in case you're wondering: Sneaky is the restaurant's raccoon mascot, and you can see a stained glass version of him above the bar.

Kansas: Down Home Family Restaurant
Peter Q./Yelp

Kansas: Down Home Family Restaurant

Independence
Down Home Family Restaurant is in an adorable country building with a decorative antique pickup-truck-turned-planter out front. They cook up all kinds of down home favorites, but the "chicken fried chicken" is top notch. Munch on it at the wooden slat booths after making a run to the enormous salad and dessert bar that includes deviled eggs, pickled beets and sweet dessert salads.

Kentucky: Joe's Drive-In Chicken
©TripAdvisor

Kentucky: Joe's Drive-In Chicken

Isom
In the very eastern part of Kentucky near the Virginia border is Joe's Drive-In Chicken. They have been serving up fried chicken for over 50 years, and have a lot of locals that eat here every day. The building has only a walk-up window, but it's been that way since it opened. Heed the light-up arrow on the roof of the building to find beautiful, orange-brown chicken and curly fries. 

Related: How Drive-In Restaurants Are Catering to Customers Amid the Pandemic

Louisiana: Willie Mae’s Scotch House
Dan T./Yelp

Louisiana: Willie Mae's Scotch House

New Orleans
Willie Mae's in the Sixth Ward is beloved for spending more than a half-century as a neighborhood institution. Once a salon, barber shop, and bar, Willie Mae's began its restaurant business around 1970 and rode its founder's fried chicken recipe to a James Beard Award in 2005. You get three pieces and one side, and you won't need more. Currently, service is to-go.

Maine: Flatlander's
©TripAdvisor

Maine: Flatlander's

Greenville
Just off Moosehead Lake is Flatlanders, a small pub that's busy with tourists in summer and a place where locals can warm up and get something good to eat in winter. Their marinated, broasted chicken is lightly dusted in flour, cooked under steam pressure, then browned in oil for an extra crunchy finish. The hand-cut fries on the side are just as tasty. 

Related: 20 Amazing Seafood Shacks Across America

Maryland: Thurmont Kountry Kitchen
©TripAdvisor

Maryland: Thurmont Kountry Kitchen

Thurmont
Thurmont Kountry Kitchen serves a little bit of everything in a homey dining room, from pancakes to quesadillas. The broasted chicken is a standout, though. It's got a thin, smoother coating than most fried chicken, letting the meat be the star. It comes with chunky, skin-on broasted potato wedges that are light and fluffy in the middle.

Massachusetts: Duguay's Chicken and Seafood
Rene L./Yelp

Massachusetts: Duguay's Chicken and Seafood

Gardner
What began as a farm store next to a poultry farm in 1968 has bloomed into a restaurant serving fried seafood and chicken. Though the original Duguay's building burned down, the new, simple dining area still has a comfortable feel with wood paneled walls and a fireplace. The chicken is a deep golden color, and it's the perfect pair with thick wedges of their "Jo-Jo" potatoes.

Michigan: Iva's Chicken Dinners
Chris M./Yelp

Michigan: Iva's Chicken Dinners

Sterling
Iva Ousterhout originally started serving fried chicken dinners in 1938 to oil rig workers who would rent rooms from her. Today, her family is still operating Iva's in the same family home. It's incredibly cozy because the dining tables are set up throughout the various rooms of the home. The fried chicken is rolled in flour, pan fried and steamed in an iron skillet, then served family style with a huge number of sides, including chicken noodle soup and dressing. 

Related: 20 Chef Secrets for Crisp, Juicy Fried Chicken

Minnesota: Brass Rail
Amy P./Yelp

Minnesota: Brass Rail

Grandy
Though the Brass Rail is large, there's nothing fancy about it, with beer signs and chicken tchotchkes on the walls. They opened in 1969 and are still cooking up crunchy broasted chicken with a light, irregular coating of breading. The broasted potatoes that go along with the chicken are unusual: They're cut crosswise into big, thick coins instead of wedges.

Mississippi: Old Country Store
Julianne M./Yelp

Mississippi: Old Country Store

Lorman
The Old Country Store restaurant is full of personality because it's housed in the middle of a craft mall in a building over 130 years old. There are shelves of items for purchase lining the walls, with the dining tables in the middle of the room. The food is all served on a buffet, including mounds of fried chicken and other Southern favorites like black eyed peas. The chicken used is never frozen, and the frying oil is changed often for the best flavor.

Missouri: Cookin' From Scratch
Cookin From Scratch/Yelp

Missouri: Cookin' From Scratch

Newburg 
Cookin' From Scratch is a large restaurant with a Route 66 theme, but it's unusual because it's attached to a gas station. Unlike a lot of gas station restaurants though, it's full service, so you can take a load off while you eat their pan-fried chicken that's "just like Grandma's!" according to their menu. Plan ahead and order a freshly baked pie to take home with you.

Montana: Double Front
©TripAdvisor

Montana: Double Front

Missoula
You can't miss the big, vintage "Double Front" neon sign, unless of course you're at the other entrance to the building. There are two fronts to quirky Double Front, but either will get you closer to fried chicken heaven. They've been frying chicken since 1961, and it takes about a half hour because they hand batter and cook it fresh for every customer. Unlike most places, leg and thigh pieces are served joined together, as are breast and wings.

Nebraska: GrannyWeavs Soul Food and Catering
GrannyWeavs Soul Food & Catering/Yelp

Nebraska: GrannyWeavs Soul Food and Catering

Lincoln
Named after the matriarch of the Weaver family who moved to Nebraska when she was 35, GrannyWeavs serves up Southern specialties. The restaurant is just a tiny counter service strip mall spot, but you can definitely feel the love in the fried chicken. A big 4-piece chicken dinner is less than 10 bucks, and it includes two sides like baked mac and cheese, collard greens with smoked turkey, and sweet potatoes.

Nevada: EllaEm's Soul Food
Michael U./Yelp

Nevada: Ella Em's Soul Food

Las Vegas
Ella Em's Soul Food brings a little bit of elegance to an otherwise nondescript storefront. You order at the counter, but the dining area is warm and cozy with maroon walls and framed art on the walls. The fried chicken pieces have a thin, golden brown coating. Get them as a combo with Southern sides, or try the chicken and waffles.

Related: 20 Bucket List Restaurants in Las Vegas

New Hampshire: Farr's Famous Chicken
Dillon L./Yelp

New Hampshire: Farr's Famous Chicken

Hampton
Just a block away from the beach is Farr's Famous Chicken, a quirky, fun little restaurant that's painted bright yellow with multicolor trim. Though it opened in 1979, it was reopened in 2015 using the same original fried chicken recipe with a deep brown crust. Chicken dinners here include coleslaw, baked beans, and jo-jos, the chunky fried potato wedges.

New Jersey: Galore Fried Chicken and Pizza
Christine T./Yelp

New Jersey: Galore Fried Chicken and Pizza

Somerset
Pizza and fried chicken aren't the most common combination, but it's working out well for Galore, a majority takeout spot that also serves cheesesteaks, pasta, and sandwiches. The chicken pieces are large and have a crackly batter. Dinners come with fries, mashed, or homemade yellow rice, but why not go for an order of mozzarella sticks or disco fries instead?

New Mexico: Big Daddy's Diner
Liz B./Yelp

New Mexico: Big Daddy's Diner

Cloudcroft
Located in the Lincoln National Forest near a camping and resort area, Big Daddy's Diner gets a lot of tourists and visitors. They all get to enjoy country cooking in a restaurant that feels like a home inside, with lots of knick-knacks and photos on the walls. The fried chicken is called Henny Penny here, and it's got a lightly colored coating that's flecked with spices and served alongside wedge "taters."

New York: Randy's Restaurant
Andrew W./Yelp

New York: Randy's Restaurant

Old Forge
Randy's Restaurant is located in an adorable little shack in upstate New York. It's a little cramped inside, but it's comfortable and full of interesting signs to look at. They offer all kinds of home-style dinner, including "Randy's Chicken" which is pressure fried to keep the meat juicy. Family meals and buckets are also available for takeout.

North Carolina: Becky's & Mary's Restaurant
Victor C./Yelp

North Carolina: Becky's & Mary's Restaurant

High Point
Two sisters run Becky's & Mary's along with other family members. There's no sign for the restaurant, so don't blink or you might miss the office-looking building with those molded plastic seats attached to the floor. The menu is hand written on a whiteboard, and the crunchy skillet-fried chicken is served on styrofoam plates along with sides like potato salad and greens. Don't skip the banana pudding for dessert.

North Dakota: Schatz Crossroads Restaurant
Lynell B./Yelp

North Dakota: Schatz Crossroads Restaurant

Minot
Schatz Crossroads looks kind of like every other truck stop in the Midwest, with shades of brown and beige the predominant color scheme, but lots of light coming in the windows to cheer it up. Make a pitstop at the attached convenience store and gas station, then head to the 24/7 restaurant where they serve up all kinds of hearty fare for cheap, including a crispy deep-fried half-chicken dinner. The dessert counter filled with pie and cheesecake will be extremely tempting on your way out. 

Related: 12 Best Truck Stop Restaurants Across America for Hungry Travelers

Ohio: Miller's Chicken
M C./Yelp

Ohio: Miller's Chicken

Athens
For over 60 years, Miller's has dished up fried chicken in a long, narrow building with a beautiful, eye catching painted sign above the windows. Check out the menu board above the counter and place your order for fried chicken with an evenly browned, superb crust. Besides the standard white and dark meat pieces, they also sell fried gizzards, liver and most unusually, hearts, by the pound.

Oklahoma: Eischen's Bar
Phoebe S./Yelp

Oklahoma: Eischen's Bar

Okarche
Northwest of Oklahoma City is the oldest bar in the state: Eischen's, first opened in 1896. The bar and dining area are dim and full of neon signs that give everything a surreal glow. Fried chicken was added to menu in the 1960s and comes in orders of a whole chicken (8 pieces) only, along with sliced white bread, pickles, and raw onions. The tender chicken has attracted some celebrities to visit the bar, but it still remains pretty under the radar.

Oregon: Rainbow Cafe
©TripAdvisor

Oregon: Rainbow Cafe

Pendleton
The Rainbow Cafe feels like a cross between a bar and a diner, stuck right in the middle of a small town American Main Street (and it is actually on Main Street!). It's got Western decor, with taxidermy and stirrups on the walls, and it was founded way back in 1884. Though breakfast is popular, the fried chicken is the real draw here with a thick, crunchy crust that shatters when you bite into it.

Pennsylvania: Florida Fryed Chicken
Paul L./Yelp

Pennsylvania: Florida Fryed Chicken

Tioga
With a vaguely beachy atmosphere, Florida Fryed Chicken is a roadside restaurant worth the stop. You can order straight from the selection in the heated case under the decorative palm frond awning, or order a pick-your-pieces bucket and sides of potato and macaroni salad from the menu. Either way, the deeply bronzed chicken dotted with spices is some of the best you can find.

Rhode Island: Broaster House
Joanna R./Yelp

Rhode Island: Broaster House

Woonsocket
Broaster House, near the border with Massachusetts, is a family-run restaurant in a brick building. The interior is dim and a little cave-like, with enough TVs to make it feel like a sports bar. The broasted, orange-hued chicken and potatoes are served family style, though individual dinners are available too. Ziti pasta with marinara sauce is a popular, unique side choice here and comes with all family meals.

South Carolina: Bertha's Kitchen
©TripAdvisor

South Carolina: Bertha's Kitchen

Charleston
Housed in a humble blue-painted building in Windsor Place, Bertha's Kitchen offers classic  Lowcountry soul food at a very reasonable price. The local favorite has been frying up chicken since 1979. You can expect a long line, but sides like red rice, sweet corn bread and lima beans make it worth the wait. 

Related: Restaurants with Crazy Lines That Are Still Worth the Wait

South Dakota: Cluckin' Good Chicken & BBQ
Arthur C./Yelp

South Dakota: Cluckin' Good Chicken & BBQ

Sioux Falls
Cluckin' Good Chicken moved into a former Topper's Pizza location, so while the space is modern and chain-like, it's got only a couple small tables and some bar stools for dining in. The golden broasted chicken and potato wedges are worth getting takeout for though, and the crunchy exterior stands up well to being packaged. If the barbecue is also tempting, get a combo family meal with fried chicken and ribs.

Tennessee: Chandler's Deli
Erin D./Yelp

Tennessee: Chandler's Deli

Knoxville
Located in one of those unmistakable brick former Taco Bell buildings, Chandler's Deli is a soul food cafeteria where you pick and choose what you want from the hot case. The fried chicken pieces are always massive and have a spicy crust, so they're a local favorite. Super creamy mac and cheese and broccoli rice casserole are must-try side dishes. (Note: The restaurant is temporarily closed due to a recent fire, but it plans to reopen in the next several weeks.)

Texas: Barrera's Fried Chicken
Ana R./Yelp

Texas: Barrera's Fried Chicken

Robstown
Attached to the back of a building housing a religious gift and book store is Barrera's Fried Chicken. The white shack with red trim is walk-up only, so head to the window under the hand-painted "One bite… we got-cha!" sign when you're ready to order. The deeply browned chicken coating is uneven and bubbly, making it super crunchy. Once it's cooked, it's sprinkled with a secret seasoning blend along with the french fries.

Utah: Kevin's Fried Chicken
Eric L./Yelp

Utah: Kevin's Fried Chicken

Murray
The owners of Kevin's Fried Chicken used to run a chicken chain franchise, but figured they could do it better with their own recipe, so they made it their own. The location in a gas station and convenience mart means there's always people coming and going, and now people come just for the chicken, too. The frying oil is changed every day, so the golden coating on the chicken and potato wedges tastes fresh every batch.

Vermont: Chicken Charlie's Rotisserie, Grill & BBQ
©TripAdvisor

Vermont: Chicken Charlie's Rotisserie, Grill & BBQ

South Burlington
Though it's mostly known for rotisserie-style chicken, the folks at Chicken Charlie's know their way around a fryer, too. The counter service restaurant has the feel of a fast food place, but it's been locally owned since 2000. The chicken is marinated overnight in Cajun seasonings, then battered with a thick coating and fried to order.

Virginia: Wayside Takeout and Catering
Ashley W./Yelp

Virginia: Wayside Takeout and Catering

Charlottesville
Wayside has been cooking up amazing fried chicken for over 50 years. The building houses just a small space for the ordering counter, plus a narrow row of booths, hence the "Takeout" in their name. The batter on the chicken is thin, dark brown and flecked with black pepper. It's available in 2- and 3-piece meals, or get "THE BIG EATER" with 5 pieces of chicken and sides. Hushpuppies and onion rings make excellent partners to the chicken.

Washington: The Park Inn
©TripAdvisor

Washington: The Park Inn

Spokane
Established in 1932, the Park Inn is the oldest bar in Spokane. It's got separate bar and dining areas, but both feel appropriately divey and welcoming for a place this age. Though the menu is large and includes everything from pizza to club sandwiches, the crackly broasted chicken served with jo-jo potatoes is always a crowd pleaser here. 

Related: 30 Historic Dive Bars Across the Country

Rossy's Place Chicken and Waffles
Janetta E./yelp.com

West Virginia: Rossy's Place

Charles Town
When Yelp listed its best fried chicken spots for this year's National Fried Chicken Day in June, the restaurant review site bypassed eateries in the state capital of Charleston for Rossy's Place in tiny Charles Town in the eastern part of the state, not far from Washington, D.C. Rossy's bills itself as a casual American bistro, and its country fried chicken garners heaps of praise along with its chicken and waffle meal featuring sausage gravy. 

Related: 25 Places to Find Amazing Waffles Across the Country

Wisconsin: The Dover Inn
Tim H./Yelp

Wisconsin: The Dover Inn

Kansasville
Broasted chicken is big in the Midwest, and you can find one of the greatest versions at The Dover Inn. It's a typical Wisconsin tavern that's full of worn dark wood, Packers memorabilia, and friendly locals. The broasted chicken is highly seasoned with an uneven, crunchy coating and comes with fries or the speciality, potato pancakes. A dinner and buckets of chicken are served all the time, but broasted chicken is on special on Sundays.

Wyoming: Dash Inn
©TripAdvisor

Wyoming: Dash Inn

Buffalo
The Dash Inn occupies an unassuming building on a strip of road lined with motels and gas stations. Check out the menu board and order at the counter. They've got everything from tacos to spaghetti, but the fried chicken, which is speckled with spices and served with potatoes and creamy slaw, is fantastic.