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Greg Gatlin holding a tray of fried chicken, a biscuit, and a dipping sauce.
Platters of fried chicken and biscuits are a guarantee at Gatlin’s Fins & Feathers.
Lindsey Cooper

18 Houston Restaurants Serving Up the Finest Fried Chicken

Korean fried chicken to classic Southern style, here’s where to find the best fried yardbird in town

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Platters of fried chicken and biscuits are a guarantee at Gatlin’s Fins & Feathers.
| Lindsey Cooper

Of all the culinary creations that are universally loved, fried chicken is certainly one of them.

There’s really nothing better than a plate of crunchy, juicy fried chicken, or a hefty, crispy breast sandwiched between two slices of buttery bread (The Popeye’s chicken sandwich craze was proof of this). Fitting for fancy dinners, casual nights out, and everything in between, there’s no denying the appeal of a fried fowl, and especially in Houston, informally the U.S. capital of fried chicken, there’s no shortage of options or interpretations.

While the Waffle Bus has been removed from the list, this rendition of Houston’s fried chicken restaurant map is filled with even more options like Al Aseel Grill and Cafe and Gatlin’s Fins & Feathers to help get your fried chicken fix.

From shatteringly crispy Korean fried chicken to classic Southern bird, these 18 Houston restaurants serve up some of the city's finest fried chicken.

Is your favorite fried chicken joint missing from this map? Shout it out in the comments.

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Esther's Cajun Café & Soulfood

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Cajun and Southern comfort is the theme at this storied mom-and-pop cafe, and so fried chicken is a given. Pair the crispy, seasoned pieces with fluffy waffles, or the seemingly endless sides like mac and cheese, collard greens, yams, black-eyed peas, cabbage, and dirty rice. If this is your first trip, be sure to order the oxtails. It’ll guarantee a second visit.

Barbecue Inn

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This neighborhood institution makes all the “best of” fried chicken lists and for good reason: the made-to-order generously portioned and nationally recognized birds have fed locals comforting, homestyle plates since 1946. Choose from all dark, all white, or the “Southern Fried” mix of both, which is served with salad and your choice of french fries or a baked potato. Still hungry? Texans are also known to travel far and wide for the Inn’s fried shrimp.

Gatlin's Fins & Feathers

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An ode to Houston’s fish fries, pitmaster Greg Gatlin makes delicious fried chicken and fish the crux of this Independence Heights restaurant. Find expertly fried platters of chicken and fish, with hearty sides like red beans and rice, greens, mac and cheese, creamed corn and potato salad. Plus, a bunch more options that are meant to be devoured with your hands, including its robust H-Town Hot Chicken sandwich, that’s smothered in a spicy Viet-Cajun sandwich, topped with a basil cole slaw, and served with a side of fries.

Gatlin’s Fins & Feathers chicken sandwich, topped with a Cajun hot sauce and coleslaw on a bun.
Whether you want fried chicken in a sandwich or strictly on your plate, Gatlin’s has you covered.
Becca Wright

La Lucha

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Fried to order, this Heights restaurant is known for serving up a flavorful half or whole Southern-style fried chicken with two buttermilk biscuits and pickles, plus jam and a honey sambal sauce that hits on savory, sweet, and spicy flavor profiles. Add a half-pound of fried shrimp for $19, or a side of refreshing watermelon with tajin for $9.

Dak & Bop

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This Houston-born, Korean American establishment takes frying chicken extra seriously. Each tender, wing, and drumstick is double-dipped in the fryer, creating an extra crispy skin that is then hand-brushed with your choice of sweet or spicy sauce. Try the soy and garlic, Dak’s take on lemon pepper, or heat it up with Sriracha honey-lime.

Left: A cook at Dak & Bop lifts a large basket of freshly fried chicken out of the fryer. Right: A cook brushes pieces of chicken with sauce.
Double-fried, Dak & Bop’s chicken always has an audible crunch.
Arnea Williams

Mico's Hot Chicken

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Nashville hot chicken spots are popping up all over Houston, but Mico’s, which opened in late 2019, claims to be directly inspired by the original Prince’s Hot Chicken, founded in Tennessee a century ago. Take your pick of tenders, loaded fries riddled with fried chicken bits, a buffalo tender salad, or the crowd favorite — a thick and tender chicken “sammich,” seasoned with a blend of cayenne, chili powder, garlic, and paprika, and heat levels ranging from none to extra hot. Add waffle fries or cooling cole slaw on the side to temper the heat. If your lips are still tingling, treat yourself with the vanilla ice cream or Mico’s housemade banana pudding.

Michy's Chino Boricua

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Michelle Lao brings Chinese-Puerto Rican food to Houston, including her family’s recipe for juicy, all-dark meat fried chicken, which is seasoned with oregano and a delightful fusion of spices. Though the fried chicken meals already come with fries, spring for the pork fried rice, or the crispy tostones, which are especially dangerous when dipped in the “mayoketchup.” Don’t forget a slice of the fried guava cheesecake.

Chicken frying in a wok at Michy’s Chino Boricua.
At Michy’s, chicken is seasoned with Latin spices and oregano before fried in a wok.
Annie Mulligan

The ToreOre

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Tucked inside the food court at H-Mart, ToreOre is the definition of a hidden gem. Conveniently, diners can shop while they wait since the extra crispy, double-fried, Korean chicken is prepared fresh to order. The 7-piece meal is a mix of boneless nuggets and wings, with the option of sauces like original, garlic, chili barbecue, and hot and spicy, all of which pack a flavorful punch. Don’t forget a side of daikon radish, a refreshing way to clear your palate.

MAX's Wine Dive

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Max serves up its fried chicken in several satisfying ways, including a gluten-free option, making sure those with some diet restrictions don’t miss out. Main events include the three-piece meal served with mashed potatoes, collard greens, and Texas toast with your choice of chipotle honey or hot sauce for $23; the spicy H-Town Hot-style chicken that’s dipped in hot cayenne butter; and the hot chicken sandwich, which is topped with kale slaw and lemon aioli. Craving breakfast? Go for the jalapeño-buttermilk marinated chicken tenders with a Belgian-style waffle, or the honey butter chicken benedict, with a poached egg atop a flaky biscuit with sausage gravy.

A spread of fried chicken and sides of mac and cheese, mashed potatoes, and biscuits with a side of syrup at Max’s Wine Dive.
Fried chicken always comes in a spread at Max’s Wine Dive.
Becca Wright

The Cookshack

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This Fort Worth import has made a name for itself in the Houston area for having consistently crunchy and flavorful fried chicken in five different heat levels, all offered in the form of tenders, sandwiches, tacos, salads, with waffles, or as a combo with ribs.

The Cookshack plates of chicken and waffles with syrup, smoked ribs, tenders and French fries, and chicken tacos and waffle fries.
Get your fried chicken with a side of ribs at the Coockshack.
Dylan McEwan

Gus's World Famous Fried Chicken

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Memphis-style fried chicken found a home in Houston in 2018, when Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken opened up an outpost at Washington Avenue. This place is all about the spicy chicken, rounded out into an excellent meal with sides like baked beans and crispy fried okra.

Gus’ fried chicken wings served with a side of greens and mac and cheese.
Though Memphis born, Houstonians still love Gus’s.
Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken

Dish Society

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Indulge in the massive fried chicken buttermilk biscuits topped with house gravy available during breakfast on weekdays or until 3 p.m. on weekends. For a more veggie-packed option, go for the crispy chicken kale caesar salad, or go during lunch or brunch for the Houston hot sauce and honey-drizzled fried chicken sandwich on a pretzel bun.

Dave's Hot Chicken

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With several locations in the Houston area, this California chain is a great option when looking for hefty chicken sandwiches, sliders, and tenders with a side of fries on the go. The milkshakes can be a lifesaver depending on the spice level you choose for your chicken, which increases from a timid “no spice” to the largely unbearable reaper.

a tray of hot chicken tenders and sliders.
Can you handle the spice?
Dave’s Hot Chicken

The Breakfast Klub

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This Midtown icon has arguably the best chicken and waffles brunch in the city. Fluffy Belgian waffles are topped with battered wings that are lip-smackingly seasoned and outrageously juicy. A drizzle of warm maple syrup adds sweetness to the savory for a balanced bite.

The Breakfast Klub’s chicken and waffles with strawberries.
The Breakfast Klub’s wings are iconic.
The Breakfast Klub

Al Aseel Grill and Cafe

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With seasonings imported from Jerusalem, this Palestinian restaurant has been lauded for years for having the best fried chicken in Houston. Find crispy chicken seasoned with sumac, oregano, and za’atar, served with a cucumber-tomato salad and a side of earthy, yellow rice.

Multiple large pieces of fried chicken topped with chopped herbs sit atop a bed of rice on a platter as a person peers into Al Aseel’s wood-fired oven.
Broaden your fried chicken horizons with a fried chicken platter from this Palestinian restaurant.
Arnea Williams

Frenchys Chicken

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For quick and legendary chicken, it’s hard to beat this local franchise with a recipe inspired by its founder’s New Orleans roots. Expect thin but thoroughly seasoned chicken skin bursting with Creole spices and a range of Louisiana-style sides like gumbo, dirty rice, and jambalaya.

Frenchy’s fried chicken with french fries, roll, and jalapeno
Frenchy’s is a sure-fire staple when it comes to fried chicken in Houston.
Frenchy’s

Himalaya Restaurant

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Get ready for a mouth explosion at this Indo-Pakistani restaurant. Staff marinates whole chickens in tantalizing Indian spices for three days before frying them up and serving its pieces piping hot on a platter, with a side of tangy “magic mustard” sauce.

Wearing a black chef’s coat, Himalaya restaurant chef and owner Kaiser Lashkari holds a plate full of crispy-craggy fried chicken. In the background, a colorful mural of people at a celebration hangs on the wall surrounded by other framed portraits and certificates.
Himalaya’s HFC is top-tier.
Arnea Williams

Jollibee

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The original Houston location of this cult-favorite Filipino chain, near Reliant Stadium and the Astrodome, has been serving up ultra-crispy fried bird since 2013. Jolibee’s signature dish is the Chickenjoy, a bucket of juicy chicken seasoned with a host of secret spices, then breaded and fried to crispy perfection and served with adobo rice.

Esther's Cajun Café & Soulfood

Cajun and Southern comfort is the theme at this storied mom-and-pop cafe, and so fried chicken is a given. Pair the crispy, seasoned pieces with fluffy waffles, or the seemingly endless sides like mac and cheese, collard greens, yams, black-eyed peas, cabbage, and dirty rice. If this is your first trip, be sure to order the oxtails. It’ll guarantee a second visit.

Barbecue Inn

This neighborhood institution makes all the “best of” fried chicken lists and for good reason: the made-to-order generously portioned and nationally recognized birds have fed locals comforting, homestyle plates since 1946. Choose from all dark, all white, or the “Southern Fried” mix of both, which is served with salad and your choice of french fries or a baked potato. Still hungry? Texans are also known to travel far and wide for the Inn’s fried shrimp.

Gatlin's Fins & Feathers

An ode to Houston’s fish fries, pitmaster Greg Gatlin makes delicious fried chicken and fish the crux of this Independence Heights restaurant. Find expertly fried platters of chicken and fish, with hearty sides like red beans and rice, greens, mac and cheese, creamed corn and potato salad. Plus, a bunch more options that are meant to be devoured with your hands, including its robust H-Town Hot Chicken sandwich, that’s smothered in a spicy Viet-Cajun sandwich, topped with a basil cole slaw, and served with a side of fries.

Gatlin’s Fins & Feathers chicken sandwich, topped with a Cajun hot sauce and coleslaw on a bun.
Whether you want fried chicken in a sandwich or strictly on your plate, Gatlin’s has you covered.
Becca Wright

La Lucha

Fried to order, this Heights restaurant is known for serving up a flavorful half or whole Southern-style fried chicken with two buttermilk biscuits and pickles, plus jam and a honey sambal sauce that hits on savory, sweet, and spicy flavor profiles. Add a half-pound of fried shrimp for $19, or a side of refreshing watermelon with tajin for $9.

Dak & Bop

This Houston-born, Korean American establishment takes frying chicken extra seriously. Each tender, wing, and drumstick is double-dipped in the fryer, creating an extra crispy skin that is then hand-brushed with your choice of sweet or spicy sauce. Try the soy and garlic, Dak’s take on lemon pepper, or heat it up with Sriracha honey-lime.

Left: A cook at Dak & Bop lifts a large basket of freshly fried chicken out of the fryer. Right: A cook brushes pieces of chicken with sauce.
Double-fried, Dak & Bop’s chicken always has an audible crunch.
Arnea Williams

Mico's Hot Chicken

Nashville hot chicken spots are popping up all over Houston, but Mico’s, which opened in late 2019, claims to be directly inspired by the original Prince’s Hot Chicken, founded in Tennessee a century ago. Take your pick of tenders, loaded fries riddled with fried chicken bits, a buffalo tender salad, or the crowd favorite — a thick and tender chicken “sammich,” seasoned with a blend of cayenne, chili powder, garlic, and paprika, and heat levels ranging from none to extra hot. Add waffle fries or cooling cole slaw on the side to temper the heat. If your lips are still tingling, treat yourself with the vanilla ice cream or Mico’s housemade banana pudding.

Michy's Chino Boricua

Michelle Lao brings Chinese-Puerto Rican food to Houston, including her family’s recipe for juicy, all-dark meat fried chicken, which is seasoned with oregano and a delightful fusion of spices. Though the fried chicken meals already come with fries, spring for the pork fried rice, or the crispy tostones, which are especially dangerous when dipped in the “mayoketchup.” Don’t forget a slice of the fried guava cheesecake.

Chicken frying in a wok at Michy’s Chino Boricua.
At Michy’s, chicken is seasoned with Latin spices and oregano before fried in a wok.
Annie Mulligan

The ToreOre

Tucked inside the food court at H-Mart, ToreOre is the definition of a hidden gem. Conveniently, diners can shop while they wait since the extra crispy, double-fried, Korean chicken is prepared fresh to order. The 7-piece meal is a mix of boneless nuggets and wings, with the option of sauces like original, garlic, chili barbecue, and hot and spicy, all of which pack a flavorful punch. Don’t forget a side of daikon radish, a refreshing way to clear your palate.

MAX's Wine Dive

Max serves up its fried chicken in several satisfying ways, including a gluten-free option, making sure those with some diet restrictions don’t miss out. Main events include the three-piece meal served with mashed potatoes, collard greens, and Texas toast with your choice of chipotle honey or hot sauce for $23; the spicy H-Town Hot-style chicken that’s dipped in hot cayenne butter; and the hot chicken sandwich, which is topped with kale slaw and lemon aioli. Craving breakfast? Go for the jalapeño-buttermilk marinated chicken tenders with a Belgian-style waffle, or the honey butter chicken benedict, with a poached egg atop a flaky biscuit with sausage gravy.

A spread of fried chicken and sides of mac and cheese, mashed potatoes, and biscuits with a side of syrup at Max’s Wine Dive.
Fried chicken always comes in a spread at Max’s Wine Dive.
Becca Wright

The Cookshack

This Fort Worth import has made a name for itself in the Houston area for having consistently crunchy and flavorful fried chicken in five different heat levels, all offered in the form of tenders, sandwiches, tacos, salads, with waffles, or as a combo with ribs.

The Cookshack plates of chicken and waffles with syrup, smoked ribs, tenders and French fries, and chicken tacos and waffle fries.
Get your fried chicken with a side of ribs at the Coockshack.
Dylan McEwan

Gus's World Famous Fried Chicken

Memphis-style fried chicken found a home in Houston in 2018, when Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken opened up an outpost at Washington Avenue. This place is all about the spicy chicken, rounded out into an excellent meal with sides like baked beans and crispy fried okra.

Gus’ fried chicken wings served with a side of greens and mac and cheese.
Though Memphis born, Houstonians still love Gus’s.
Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken

Dish Society

Indulge in the massive fried chicken buttermilk biscuits topped with house gravy available during breakfast on weekdays or until 3 p.m. on weekends. For a more veggie-packed option, go for the crispy chicken kale caesar salad, or go during lunch or brunch for the Houston hot sauce and honey-drizzled fried chicken sandwich on a pretzel bun.

Dave's Hot Chicken

With several locations in the Houston area, this California chain is a great option when looking for hefty chicken sandwiches, sliders, and tenders with a side of fries on the go. The milkshakes can be a lifesaver depending on the spice level you choose for your chicken, which increases from a timid “no spice” to the largely unbearable reaper.

a tray of hot chicken tenders and sliders.
Can you handle the spice?
Dave’s Hot Chicken

The Breakfast Klub

This Midtown icon has arguably the best chicken and waffles brunch in the city. Fluffy Belgian waffles are topped with battered wings that are lip-smackingly seasoned and outrageously juicy. A drizzle of warm maple syrup adds sweetness to the savory for a balanced bite.

The Breakfast Klub’s chicken and waffles with strawberries.
The Breakfast Klub’s wings are iconic.
The Breakfast Klub

Al Aseel Grill and Cafe

With seasonings imported from Jerusalem, this Palestinian restaurant has been lauded for years for having the best fried chicken in Houston. Find crispy chicken seasoned with sumac, oregano, and za’atar, served with a cucumber-tomato salad and a side of earthy, yellow rice.

Multiple large pieces of fried chicken topped with chopped herbs sit atop a bed of rice on a platter as a person peers into Al Aseel’s wood-fired oven.
Broaden your fried chicken horizons with a fried chicken platter from this Palestinian restaurant.
Arnea Williams

Related Maps

Frenchys Chicken

For quick and legendary chicken, it’s hard to beat this local franchise with a recipe inspired by its founder’s New Orleans roots. Expect thin but thoroughly seasoned chicken skin bursting with Creole spices and a range of Louisiana-style sides like gumbo, dirty rice, and jambalaya.

Frenchy’s fried chicken with french fries, roll, and jalapeno
Frenchy’s is a sure-fire staple when it comes to fried chicken in Houston.
Frenchy’s

Himalaya Restaurant

Get ready for a mouth explosion at this Indo-Pakistani restaurant. Staff marinates whole chickens in tantalizing Indian spices for three days before frying them up and serving its pieces piping hot on a platter, with a side of tangy “magic mustard” sauce.

Wearing a black chef’s coat, Himalaya restaurant chef and owner Kaiser Lashkari holds a plate full of crispy-craggy fried chicken. In the background, a colorful mural of people at a celebration hangs on the wall surrounded by other framed portraits and certificates.
Himalaya’s HFC is top-tier.
Arnea Williams

Jollibee

The original Houston location of this cult-favorite Filipino chain, near Reliant Stadium and the Astrodome, has been serving up ultra-crispy fried bird since 2013. Jolibee’s signature dish is the Chickenjoy, a bucket of juicy chicken seasoned with a host of secret spices, then breaded and fried to crispy perfection and served with adobo rice.

Related Maps