Top 10 Local Fried Chicken Meals of 2020

Wear your masks and support Austin’s restaurants


Bird Bird Biscuit (Photo by John Anderson)

Seoulju Korean Kitchen and Bar Whether you're picking up at their Kitchen United spot or ordering delivery (including late night), you can't go wrong with a half-pound of Korean fried thigh nuggets and all the sauces, plus bulgogi kimchi waffle fries and corn cheese and several different soups and ramen. And, of course, soju. www.seouljuatx.com

Chicken Salad Shoppe This pandemic flex of Vanilla Orchid Catering provides – stop the presses – the best chicken salad we've ever had. And the birdy goodness comes in a variety of styles: fried on Texas toast and more – from pesto to buffalo, salads to wraps, with blueberries on croissant, even veggie options like apricot chickpea. The broccoli gouda soup is luscious, and, oh yeah, they make monster half-pound cookies. www.chickensaladshoppe.com

Happy Chicks Rare is the find of legit fried chicken tenders and legit fried VEGAN chicken tenders, but these chicks, they nail it – original, spicy, grilled, or on a salad. Even better, for all you condiment queens out there, they have 16 choices for sauces. www.happychicks.com

Chicken as Cluck A ghost kitchen that first opened in San Francisco before recently adding a second location on I-35, the Cluck specializes in cheeky item names and Nashville hot chicken, plus quite a few fun additional options like huge jalapeño poppers and cheesecake. If you think you're a pepperhead, try the Evil Ex Girlfriend. www.chickenascluck.com

Hoover's Cooking An Austin classic, Hoover's has perfected all kinds of chicken dishes: classic fried, roasted, smoked, green chile, barbecue, étouffée, and more. They also make one of our all-time favorite sides – creamed jalapeño spinach – and some hella good cucumber margs. www.hooverscooking.com

Hiwings Chicken House It's in the name: They know how to make damn good chicken. Some of our faves include the sweet garlic bread, Tae's green onion chicken, and the garlic parmesan tater tots. www.hiwingsatx.com

Bird Bird Biscuit The biscuits are just as important as what you stuff 'em with, and this Manor Road fan favorite (with a second location slated for 2021) is just what the doctor ordered (that, and social distancing). The big fried beaut is a winner, but we're also in love with the house-made chicken sausage. www.birdbirdbiscuit.com

Tumble 22 Salty Sow's chef/owner Harold Marmulstein makes a mean cayenne and special spice blend for his golden fried bird, and they serve it up with four heat levels from Wimpy to Cluckin' Hot. Grab a family pack and some sides like collard greens and creamy mac, plus comeback sauce and PIE, and head off for a picnic to enjoy al fresco. www.tumble22.com

Sassy's Vegetarian Soul Food If you've yet to try Andrea Dawson's totally vegetarian food truck and her special fried "Chicon" (seitan), you have not been doing the pandemic right. Even poultry-eaters will love the golden nuggets, especially with cajun mac (and vegan sausage), refried black-eyed peas, and hot water cornbread. sassys-vegetarian-soul-food.business.site

Two Special Nights We're cheating with a double-whammy, but you must simply know that on Wednesdays, Peached Tortilla lets you enjoy Fried Chicken & Whiskey Wednesday with umami fried chicken, mixed grilled corn, kimchi mac & cheese, and biscuits and honey. And on Sundays, head to Dai Due for a dinner your grandma would be proud of (or get their massive ghee-toasted bun and crispy goodness any other day). www.thepeachedtortilla.com; www.daidue.com

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Top 10s 2020, Seoulju Korean Kitchen and Bar, Chicken Salad Shoppe, Happy Chicks, Chicken as Cluck, Hoover's Cooking, Hiwings Chicken House, Bird Bird Biscuit, Tumble 22, Sassy's Vegetarian Soul Food, Peached Tortilla, Dai Due

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