Crispy, chewy and juicy, fried chicken is the perfect comfort food. Whether you’re 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!
1/ Top Notch
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
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/ 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?