10 Best Restaurants for Fried Chicken in Metro Phoenix
Mrs. White's makes the most famous fried chicken in the Valley.
You might not realize it, but we bet you could go for a plate of fried chicken right now. It's true. We know because it's impossible (for most of us) not to enjoy a well-prepared plate of fried chicken. There's something deeply satisfying about picking up a piece of crispy meat that's covered in a crunchy, salty batter. Maybe it's the combination of grease and meat and eating with your hands, but the bottom line is that good fried chicken is always good.
The problem then becomes finding the good fried chicken -- and that's exactly where we come in. We've done the leg (and the breast, wing, and thigh) work and found the best places in town to indulge in this comfort food classic, whether you're looking for a traditional Southern-style version of the dish or something with a little bit more of a modern twist.
See also: 10 Best Places for Soup in Metro Phoenix
Mrs. White's Golden Rule Cafe
Hands down, Mrs. White's Golden Rule Cafe is where you'll find a plate of Phoenix's most famous fried chicken. It's even been featured on Food Network's The Best Thing I Ever Ate and once you try it, it's easy to understand why. In case you aren't familiar, know that Mrs. White's (named for owner and founder Mrs. Elizabeth White) has been serving classic soul food in downtown Phoenix since 1964. And not much about the place has changed since then. When it comes to fried chicken you can pick either dark or white meat but either way you'll get succulent chicken covered in a simple, lightly seasoned batter. For sides, we suggest the macaroni and cheese.
Bootleggers Modern American Kitchen
It hasn't been long since chef Stephen Jones (formerly of Blue Hound Kitchen in downtown Phoenix) took the reins at Bootleggers Modern American Kitchen. But luckily for diners, the chef wasted no time before making a few small but noticeable changes to the restaurant menu. The Monday night special of buttermilk fried chicken used to be less than stellar, but now includes two giant pieces of chicken over an utterly delicious jalapeno waffle. The moist, flavorful chicken gets covered in a thick batter. It doesn't require a fluffy, sweet and spicy waffle by any means, but the combination is pretty hard to resist.
Phoenix Public Market Cafe
You might think of Phoenix Public Market Cafe as a destination for healthy-ish eats like salads and light sandwiches -- and it is. But don't let that fact deter you from ordering the fried chicken. The dinner specialty, available only after 5 p.m., is one of best fried chicken dishes we've had in town and comes with three well-sized pieces of chicken, garlic mashed potatoes, and a kale salad. Chef Aaron Chamberlin's fried chicken features a salty, light, and crispy batter than falls off the moist chicken meat as you bite in. You'll want to pick up the extra bit and eat them on their own or with a bite of the irresistible mashed potatoes for a nice juxtaposition of textures.
Get the Food & Drink Newsletter
Our weekly guide to Phoenix dining includes food news and reviews, as well as dining events and interviews with chefs and restaurant owners.