We love our fried chicken, and have been seeking out the very best Dallas has to offer. We scoured the streets and found some with an ethnic twist, others are straight forward crispy fried and juicy.
We had to eliminate a few that didn’t qualify as traditional, such as Bon Mua’s fried Cornish hen, which is still worth making the drive to Carrollton. In making our list we were shocked at how many plates of fried chicken we had sampled over the past months. Col Sanders would have said he was too drunk to taste that chicken after just a few of these places.
Enjoy our list which is in no particular order. We tried to give a good mix between the more refined and the more obvious yard birds.
Babes: The standard by which all fried chicken should be judged. The location in Roanoke seems more authentic, but there are plenty of locations, including the cousin store, Bubba’s. Brined so it carries saltiness and served up with some amazing sides including fluffy biscuits and plenty of house-made cream corn.
Bonchon: New to the Dallas fried chicken scene and is a Korean chain specializing in fried chicken and beer. Bonchon specializes in fried chicken in the form of wings, drumsticks and strips, with either a spicy red chili sauce or a soy-garlic sauce. The crust is whisper thin, and the spicy sauces can be extreme. Also look for other familiar Korean offerings such as bibimbap, bulgogi, and some terrific seafood scallion pancakes.
Celebration: This home-cooking Mecca has been in business a fast and friendly forty years serving up chicken fried steaks, meatloaf, catfish and southern fried chicken. The sides are sturdy and the chicken is light and crispy. For those with a “get in me belly” outlook on lunch, you may order as many plate refills as you can sample.
Rathbun’s Blue Plate Kitchen: The Sunday fried chicken offered at brunch is a direct rip of Kent’s grandmother Minnie’s recipe. This is a perfect example of fried chicken. The crispy crust that stays close to the meat that is moist and extremely tender. Grab the breast first, it is boneless and extra good.
Rudy’s Chicken: If you enjoy a little theater with your dinner, Rudy’s is the place to check out. This Oak Cliff hot spot serves its fried chicken simple, hot and delicious. Served atop a few slices of white bread (presumably to soak up any extraneous grease) and a side of spicy peppers, Rudy’s is inexpensive and delicious. For less than three dollars you can get a meal of fries, two pieces of chicken and those peppers. The seasoning that is added after is salty and addictive. Be on the lookout for the entrepreneurial type that will want to sell you today’s catch in the parking lot. 3115 S Lancaster.
Fearing’s: This version is paper bag shook and a favorite recipe of Dean Fearing’s grandmother. Who can argue with that? This chicken is only served on Sunday and most likely gets its extra bit of goodness from that paper bag; but whatever the logic it is one of the best in the city.
Max’s Wine Dive: Nothing pairs better with fried chicken than a nice bottle of Dom Pérignon. No, seriously. The iconic French champagne is served by the glass, along with plenty of other labels you would not expect from a place that served late night fried chicken. And to boot, the chicken is pretty wonderful. Very wonderful.
Chicken House: This is your basic fried chicken done very well. The crust is substantial, well-seasoned and perfected amiably. This is another example of ghetto bird that will have you driving circles around the building for a closer inspection, but all is good in the house of hen. 4839 Gaston Road
Sissy’s Southern Kitchen: Sissy’s has garnered plenty of accolades, and for good reason. The chefs here are deft at the art of chicken and make a fine example. The dark fried crust is light and airy, while the juicy meat squirts with piquancy. The sides are not to be missed especially the fried okra and creamed corn. Both are decadent.
Pecan Lodge: We have you looking twice, right? Yes, this is home to some pretty terrific brisket and made our top five list for the BBQ. But, the Fourton’s make some damned good chicken. The pieces are mammoth and served fresh with each order.
Hatties: The buttermilk chicken that is served with a tasso gravy on the brunch menu at Hattie’s serves as a shining example of southern fried glory. Enjoy this dish along with other southern favorites such as the very best shrimp and grits in Dallas.
Stampede 66: This is the holy mother of fried chicken. Pyle’s version will no doubt be the best you have ever tried, and it is actually injected with honey for that insanely good flavor. Your fist bite will reveal a shower of juiciness, and droplets of that injected honey. An obligatory ‘yeehaw’ is due about right here.