The 9 Best Fried Chicken Sandwiches in Chicago

You could eat Popeyes or Chick-fil-A, or you could eat something better

The Budlong Chicken Sandwich
The Budlong's superlative Hot Chicken Sandwich is just one of Chicago's best fried sandos.
The Budlong
By Amanda Topper / October 1, 2019 10:01 am

This August, a new viral fast-food item emerged to give Chick-fil-A a run for its money: the Popeyes chicken sandwich. The crispy, juicy sando took social media by storm and quickly led to cross-country outages. 

But whether you’re team Chick-fil-A or team Popeyes, one thing’s for sure — there are certainly better fried chicken sandwiches to be found across this wonderful city (ones that you can actually purchase, too). 

That’s why we’re calling out nine of the best chicken sandwiches in Chicago to tide you over until the great Popeyes shortage of 2019 is over.

The Budlong

The Chicago mini-chain has perfected the Nashville hot chicken sandwich, offering four types with your temperature preference. We recommend the classic hot chicken sandwich with Budlong comeback sauce, farmslaw and pickles, served on brioche. It’s consistently good, no matter where you pick it up, meaning it’ll be there for you in a pinch when that chicken sandwich craving hits.

Multiple locations
www.thebudlong.com

Honey Butter Fried Chicken

Honey Butter also keeps it classic with its “The O.G.” fried chicken sandwich featuring chicken strips smothered in candied jalapeno mayo and crunchy slaw. More of a purist? Opt for the Honey Butter fried chicken sandwich with, you guessed it, a heaping dollop of honey butter.

3361 N. Elston Ave.
www.honeybutter.com

Fry the Coop

The suburban fave has now landed in Chicago with its own signature Nashville hot chicken sammies. Fry the Coop’s birds are dipped in beef fat and finished with spices like paprika, cayenne, garlic, onion and brown sugar. Its signature sandwich pairs coleslaw, pickles, special sauce and a heaping piece of fried chicken on a soft brioche bun.

Multiple locations
www.frythecoop.com

Roister

Brunch used to be the only time you could snag a taste of Roister’s famous fried chicken in sandwich form, but the recently-launched lunch menu means you can enjoy it every day of the week. It’s one of the best deals in town for such a high-caliber sandwich. The lightly battered chicken is topped with togarashi hot sauce and chamomile mayo to add a nice sense of balance.

951 W. Fulton Market
www.roisterrestaurant.com

Parson’s Chicken & Fish

The signature fried chicken sandwich at Parson’s is so simple, yet so satisfying. Take a brioche bun, top it with a large fried chicken thigh, pile on a slightly-melted square of American cheese, a dash of Parson’s own hot sauce, slaw, aioli and pickle slices, and you’ve got yourself one tasty sandwich.

Multiple locations
www.parsonschickenandfish.com

The Roost Carolina Kitchen

The Roost offers one of the more extensive fried chicken sandwich menus around, with four varieties, plus the option to build your own, and four levels of heat: Original, Spicy, Nashville Hot or XXX. We prefer to stick to the House Style spicy chicken sandwich layered with dill pickles, coleslaw and gooey chipotle ranch on a flaky biscuit.

Multiple locations
www.roostisgood.com

DryHop Brewers

While DryHop is better-known for its beers, it has a sleeper hit fried chicken sandwich that makes for a great pairing. The buttermilk-brined chicken is fried to a crisp and slathered with white cheddar pimento cheese, sweet pickles and house slaw, and cradled inside a pillowy-soft brioche bun. Good luck choosing between the fried chicken and DryHop’s equally delicious burger.

3155 N. Broadway
https://dryhopchicago.com

Big Jones

Andersonville’s Big Jones serves up Southern hospitality with its fried chicken sandwich. Stop by for lunch and try the chicken thigh, house mayo, lettuce and chow chow on an egg bun. The brunch version keeps things interesting with a sweet and spicy fried chicken thigh plus pickles and a sunny side egg atop a scratch-made biscuit.

5347 N. Clark St.
https://bigjoneschicago.com

Chicken & Farm Shop

The fried chicken sandwich at Chicken & Farm Shop inside Soho House is piled so high you’ll definitely need a bib. Try the original fried chicken sandwich nestled between a soft bun and layered with lettuce, white cheddar, avocado aioli and pickled peppers. They’ve also recently launched a Nashville hot chicken sandwich if you’re looking to curb your hot and spicy chicken sandwich appetite.

113-125 N. Green St.
www.chickenshop.com