1. The Regional Kitchen & Public House
Liz Petoniak, Senior Editor
Chef Lindsay Autry knows fried chicken. At The Regional, the North Carolina native’s signature sweet tea–brined fried chicken thighs, served with a side of bread and butter pickles, have gained a loyal following. It’s easy to see why: Light, crispy breading complements each succulent bite of chicken for a non-greasy, guilt-free indulgence.
2. Fran’s Chicken Haven
Mark Spivak, Wine & Spirits Editor
As a child, Chris Stuart visited Fran’s Chicken Haven with his father. In 2013, he purchased the South County institution and reinstated Fran’s original recipe—a secret combination of spices and sugar-sweetened batter, fried to order and delicately crisp. His motto: “If the Colonel had our recipe, he’d be a general!”
3. The Gafford
Daphne Nikolopoulos, Editor in Chief
This little gem in downtown Stuart serves a long list of Southern favorites, but Mabel’s fried chicken is arguably the best. Two breasts are fried golden and crisp and served with garlic confit Yukon gold mash. The authentically Southern black dot gravy elevates the dish.
Mary Murray, Managing Editor
While many folks flock to Nashville for country music and bachelorette parties, culinary travelers go for one thing: hot chicken. Locally, Clare’s in Grandview Public Market slings up a remarkable rendition of this blisteringly spicy delicacy. For something tamer, order the Korean fried chicken sandwich, a sinfully good handheld topped with a tangy slaw and the eatery’s signature “Gimme” sauce. West Palm Beach