Like hot dogs, hamburgers, and turkey with stuffing, fried chicken is a quintessentially American dish. While many folks, especially those in the South, think of fried chicken as a Southern specialty, there are restaurants in all 50 states serving some perfectly battered and deliciously juicy fried chicken.
But the U.S. is a big country. And if you’re after good fried chicken, you’re going to want the best of the best.
The Daily Meal’s list of America’s 50 Best Fried Chicken Spots takes into account reader opinions while also consulting our staff and several national experts. After much deliberation and ranking based on the taste and quality of the fried chicken (as reported by customer reviews, critics, and firsthand knowledge); any awards or accolades the venue has received; any awards or accolades the dish itself has received; the décor and atmosphere; the price for the meal, as well as the overall ratings by diners across the country, The Daily Meal ranked Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken the best of the best.
The original Gus’s is in Mason, with a second location in the nearby city of Memphis. Both locations take their time when it comes to frying chicken, often taking twice as long to complete an order than the estimated time, but the wait is nothing once you take a bite of the heavenly chicken. The golden-brown crust on the outside locks in the juicy exterior, just as it should, and the seasoning of salt and cayenne shines through. So kick back at one of Gus’s gingham tablecloth–covered tables, listen to the tunes playing from the jukebox, and await the arrival of a meal well worth it.