Crispy, chewy and juicy, fried chicken is the perfect comfort food. Whether you’re into chicken fried steak, diving in by the bucketful or chomping on wings, this deep fried goodness never goes out of style. Austin is no stranger to the art of oil, breading or poultry, so here are five great spots to get fried chicken in Austin.
This list includes regular menu items and traditional “bone-in” chicken only. Local, readily available and designed to be eaten like cave people would!
Best Fried Chicken in Austin – 5 Top Places
1/ Top Notch Fried Chicken
While Top Notch may have the most “standard” chicken offering on my list, the setting is a blast. Nothing better than cruising into this 50’s-style eatery with your best gal or fella as Elvis croons on the radio. The fact they’ve been kicking since 1971 is no accident.
With fried chicken available in a variety of pieces and meats, I got the three piece combo. Much like the restaurant itself, the chicken is like a classic car. It doesn’t have many frills, but it’s damn reliable. While the breading dominates the meat and the dark runs on the greasy side, it’s still a fine bit of old school heaven.
All Top Notch baskets come with two sides. I recommend the thin, crispy sweet potato fries and tater tots Napoleon Dynamite would be proud of. Finish it off with a complimentary side of Texas toast and you have a fried chicken dinner that has stood the test of time.
7525 Burnet Road – Website
2/ Lucy’s Fried Chicken in Austin
One of the few spots in town dedicated to fried poultry, Lucy’s is an Austin institution. Featuring an extensive menu of fried chicken variations, such as chicken boudin and fried chicken spaghetti, Lucy’s has something for everyone. They even sell it cold (and who doesn’t like cold chicken?).
The traditional chicken offering is a four-piece basket of dark served with a jalapeño and a pickle spear. The chicken is a satisfying combination of crispy breading hiding a juicy, but never slimy, meat. Give it a touch of complimentary honey for a kick of sweetness.
The basket is enough for two to share, especially if paired with one of their excellent sides. My recommendation: the best collard greens I’ve had in town. Made with apple cider vinegar, brown sugar, molasses, white onion and bacon, it’s the June Carter to this restaurant’s Johnny Cash.
2218 College Ave. and 5408 Burnet Road – Website
3/ Ms P’s Electric Cock
If Ryan Gosling is a fan, you know you’ll be too. Parked in the middle of the Rainey Street madness, Ms P’s funky food truck is a mecca for fried up goodness.
For the sake of my waistline (which took a hit during the writing of this article), I went with the standard three-piece option. Two legs and a wing greeted me, and they did not disappoint. Light yet crispy breading was a welcome departure from the deep fry of other spots, and it still kept the meat moist and tender.
With sides like decadent truffle mac and cheese (my first choice) and delectable shoestring fries, there’s plenty to complement the delicious fried chicken. That, and Ms P is an amazing person. Good food served up fresh by awesome people. ATX, through and through.
80 Rainey St. – Website
4/ Southern Hospitality
While I generally avoid buffets like the bird flu or a Miley Cyrus song, Southern Hospitality is one of the few exceptions. Hidden in a shopping center off I-35, this eatery serves up comfort food in a homey atmosphere.
The fried chicken itself is about as authentic to the style as it gets. A nice balance of lightly seasoned breading and tender meat gives this chicken a home cooked feel. Classic sides like rich potato salad and black-eyed peas ramp up the down home vibe.
Because it’s so hidden from the road, you’ll drive by three times before finding it. But Southern Hospitality is worth the trek for its classic food and home style charm. And they have a karaoke stage. Awesome.
6700 Middle Fiskville Road (next to Galaxy Highland Theater 10) – Website
5/ Fried Chicken at Little Barrel and Brown
A few blocks away from the Hopdoddy/Home Slice madness of South Congress sits this chilled out bar and grill. Full of good people and good food, Little Barrel and Brown adds a touch of clean, unfiltered class to the SoCo scene.
They also feature a great menu full of locally sourced options. Their Texas free range buttermilk fried chicken plate brings four pieces of dark to the party. While the meat is a nice balance of firm and tender, the real star is the delicious breading. Crumbly with a touch of sweetness, it gives the chicken a sophisticated pop.
The meal is complemented by a delicious celery root salad and a small jar of Frank’s Red Hot, which pairs wonderfully with the sweet chicken. Add a robust wine list and a host of rocking appetizers (all hail the blistered shishito peppers) and you have rock solid entry to the ATX chicken family.
1716 South Congress Ave. – Website
While there are other spots in Austin to get quality fried chicken, The Austinot is dedicated to hyperlocal businesses that were originally founded here. We encourage you to eat local by trying one of these five joints. Together, we can keep Austin weird!
@BillTuckerTSP wants to know:
Where do you go for your fried chicken fix in Austin?
These are all terrific, for sure. One nice thing about Lucy’s is it’s also terrific cold! That’s a feat. But the best Fried Chicken in my experience is the RUSTY ROOSTER in Luling! Just a drive in there that we stumbled into on our way to the coast, but we found absolutely THE BEST Fried Chicken I’ve ever had. Also fried fish and shrimp, all hand battered in front of you while you order. Truly delicious. It’s honestly worth a trip on its own.
That sounds like an awesome day trip, @oliverparks:disqus. Thanks for sharing!
Lucy’s is incredible cold. Ahhh, chicken right out of the fridge. Keeps the crispiness and the tenderness. When doing this article, I did exactly that. Took half it home and had it for lunch on the weekend. Thanks for reading!
Mrs P’s and Lucy’s made this list but Gus’ World Famous didn’t? What?
If I’ve learned one thing in the course of this article, Gus’ is Austin’s favorite chicken joint and it’s for good reason. They are incredible! Problem is, Gus’ is NOT an Austin original, hence we can’t include them in the list. They were born in Memphis and have seven locations around the country.
Thanks for reading!
Lucy’s is terrible if you’re wanting chicken off the bone. Their chicken salad and bowls are filled with small pieces of bone. When I said something to the wait staff they just shrugged and said that was NORMAL! This local joint was a major let down for me.
That’s a shame, JC but my experience was really positive. I’d reach out to the management and let them know of your experience. The folks there are generally really customer focused. Thanks for reading!
Is there any update on the proposed Youngblood’s? Most anxious to see if they can live up to the name!
As far as i can research, the new location in Muller is scheduled open this month, but that’s as much as I’ve heard about it. Still, I’m with you. Super excited to see if they live up to their reputation!
Gus’s World Famous should definitely be on the list
If they were an Austin only restaurant, they’d be at the top! Unfortunately, they are an Austin based “chain” with seven locations around the country, which is why we can’t include them. Remember, we are all about Austin only!
Gus’s actually started in Memphis. That’s in Tennessee. Austin is just one of the chicken-fried spokes in their wheel.
Gus is a Memphis joint, Bill–not Austin-based
D’oh….that was a typo. Meant to type Memphis, not Austin. I’ve actually been to the Memphis location and it’s pretty amazing. Great catch and thanks for reading!
We went to the Memphis location this winter. Standing room only, the line stretched outside, even in January! Delicious spicy chicken though.
Lucy’s Fried Chicken is Uhmmmmmmmazing! I normally eat 2 or 3 pieces anywhere else. But at Lucy’s I eat past failure and go for all 4 pieces. They are super tasty EVERY TIME. Plus the Juke Box is loaded.
I’m all for supporting Austin-based businesses but Gus’s World Famous Chicken should be on a list called “7 Great Spots to Get Fried Chicken in Austin”. As a franchise, I’m sure the owners live here in Austin and just wanted to bring in a great product to the city. Maybe the franchise takes 10% and the rest is recycled into the Austin economy. I maybe wrong but worth mentioning.
You make a very fair point but when doing our articles, we have to keep true to our mission: highlighting Austin originals. Small chains are a grey area but, for this piece, Gus’ isn’t even a Texas original. They originated in Memphis.
Still, you make a good point in that just because Gus’ is an out of downer, doesn’t mean it isn’t good. Maybe the article title could have been a bit more clear.
Thanks for reading!
I just went to Southern Hospitality, and I can’t tell you what a fantastic recommendation that was! It is adorable and family run (making it homey and comfortably informal). I also avoid buffets, but this one is so worth breaking the no buffet rule. Lastly, the price is so affordable for such delicious food! You gotta try it!!!
They are open for another 3 weeks!
Yikes! we must have hit a bad day at Gus. Worst fried chicken dinner ever… Love Lucy’s chicken and the collard greens!
$18 for fried chicken? WTF has happened to Austin? Stop being a wannabe San Francisco. SF sucks; I know.
My town is dead. It’s been killed by pretentious latte sipping assclown “foodies.” FFS!
$18 fried chicken is way steep. Max’s tries to do the same thing. This place is trying to be cute and kind of posh but it’s just pretty ok. $18 at a fried chicken joint should get you and your date f*cked up on chicken hah.
Tony’s Fried Chicken at Hyde Park Bar & Grill, Monday & Tuesday after 5pm. Served on those slower nights only so, as Tony says, there is time to put in the love. 10.99 with 2 sides & a biscuit.
Thai Kun. It’s hand’s down, the best in town. Glad you have Red Star Southern here though.
The headline is “7 Great Spots to Get Fried Chicken in Austin” and your article lists 7 Great “Austin-Only For Some Reason Known Only To Us” Spots to Get Fried Chicken in Austin. I’d rewrite the headline, or accept that great Austin restaurants include restaurants that are also elsewhere. Gus’s for example, as many have noted.
Don’t forget Lucy’s on the Lake, their newest location. It’s classic Lucy’s but with a whole lot more parking and a gorgeous view. Def my fave place to eat.
Don’t sleep on Trudy’s Cholula Honey Chicken.
Flyrite Chicken for the win
Bahadi’s (Pflugerville), the Rolling Rooster, and Trailer Tumble 22 are some nice recent additions to the area.