If you’re convinced that there’s simply no great fried chicken where you live, we’re thrilled to tell you that you are in fact wrong. Because believe it or not, spectacular fried chicken joints can be found in every state and Washington, D.C. How do we know? Because we tracked them all down.
When properly cooked, fried chicken is essentially the perfect food: tender and juicy, salty, crunchy, fatty. There's a reason why people travel from miles around to seek out the best fried chicken they can get their hands on: It’s delicious on an almost primal level, and it's much harder to get right than you might think. Some places, however, don't just get it right; they turn the dish into a transcendent experience.
In order to track down the best restaurant for fried chicken in every state, we started by consulting our own annual ranking of America’s 75 best restaurants for fried chicken, which is compiled every year with the help of an ever-growing panel of experts. We then set out on a hunt to find the absolute most raved-about fried chicken in each of the remaining states with help from online reviews by professional and amateur eaters alike. We looked for fried chicken that’s locally renowned, but it also had to hit a few criteria: made fresh to order using high-quality chicken, crisp on the outside and juicy on the inside, and, as they say, made with love. In the end, we were able to prove something that wasn’t certain even just a handful of years ago: That wherever you go, from coast to coast and from Alsaka to Hawaii, a great plate of fried chicken is never too far away.