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Philly's fried chicken game is strong, so check these out.
Philly's fried chicken game is strong, so check these out.

10 Fried Chicken Dishes to Try Before You Die

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Philly's fried chicken game is strong, so check these out.

Federal Donuts wasn't the first to pair fried chicken and doughnuts, but it's certainly the most successful with a burgeoning empire that's even expanded to that haute-food-wasteland, the ballpark.

FedNuts' fried chicken, admiringly spotlighted in the New York Times, is golden and juicy, served either seasoned—dusted with tart buttermilk ranch—or glazed—coated in sticky-sweet honey ginger sauce, served in a cardboard box with with a warm honey donut along for the ride. Incidentally, the shop is celebrating National Fried Chicken Day on July 6 by giving away 10 Golden Tickets at both the Pennsport and Center City sites.

But, Philly's finger-licking-good fried chicken game is strong all over town, from Chef Anne Coll's perennial Korean fried chicken special at Meritage to the cult favorite KFC at Cheltenham's Cafe Soho, which was actually the inspiration behind Mike Solo's FedNuts birds. But, enough talk. Here are the 10 Fried Chicken Dishes to Try Before You Die, in no particular order.


All Fried Chicken Coverage [~EPHI~]
All Eater Guides [~EPHI~]

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Cafe Soho

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468 W Cheltenham Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19126
(215) 224-6800
Cafe Soho’s crispy Korean Fried Chicken has found so much success -- Tony Bourdain featured it on his Travel Channel show The Layover -- that the crew was able to open a second location in Blue Bell.

2. Meritage Restaurant & Wine Bar

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500 S 20th St
Philadelphia, PA 19146
(215) 985-1922
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On Thursdays, fried chicken gets an upgrade thanks to Meritage’s Korean Fried Chicken special. For $17, you get two sides and twice-fried spicy sesame-glazed chicken.

3. REX 1516

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1516 South St
Philadelphia, PA 19146
(215) 735-1116
Southern-inspired Rex 1516 takes its fried chicken seriously. Chef Justin Swain brines drumsticks and thighs in sweet tea for 24 hours before dredging them in flour and spices, dipping them in buttermilk and house hot sauce, dredging again, then frying to golden-brown perfection.

4. Chick-a-licious

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138 S 11th St
Philadelphia, PA 19107
(215) 925-8881
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Ignore the dumb name and let the double-fried Korean chicken -- 6 wings for $7, 4 drumsticks for $6.50 -- speak for itself. Bonus: they’re open until 10 p.m. seven days a week.

5. Jones

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700 Chestnut St
Philadelphia, PA 19106
(215) 223-5663
Jones’ classic fried chicken and waffles, blanketed in warm gravy, doesn’t disappoint.

6. Resurrection Ale House

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2425 Grays Ferry Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19146
(215) 735-2202
The extra-crunchy double fried chicken at Resurrection Ale House, recognized by Bon Appetit a few years back, is served with spicy honey and a side of cornbread. It’s as good as you’ve heard.

7. Khyber Pass Pub

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56 S 2nd St
Philadelphia, PA 19106
(215) 238-5888
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The fried chicken po-boy -- also available vegan -- is served on a real-deal Leidenheimer roll shipped from New Orleans topped with lettuce, tomato, pickles, mayo, and creole mustard.

8. Alla Spina

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1410 Mount Vernon St
Philadelphia, PA 19130
(215) 600-0017
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The maple glazed fried chicken with mozzarella curd mashed potatoes is so good you’ll want to die. Marc Vetri, you can do no wrong.

9. Warmdaddy's

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1400 S Columbus Blvd
Philadelphia, PA 19147
(215) 462-2000
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The Southern fried chicken dinner at Warmdaddy’s is worth the trip out Columbus Boulevard. You get all four pieces -- leg, breast, wing, and thigh -- served juicy on the inside, crispy on the outside. Or order it with waffles, topped with gravy and syrup.

10. Federal Donuts

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1219 S 2nd St
Philadelphia, PA 19147
(267) 687-8258
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The best of the bunch, Federal Donuts keeps making national headlines for good reason -- it’s just that freaking good. See above.

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1. Cafe Soho

468 W Cheltenham Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19126
Cafe Soho’s crispy Korean Fried Chicken has found so much success -- Tony Bourdain featured it on his Travel Channel show The Layover -- that the crew was able to open a second location in Blue Bell.
468 W Cheltenham Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19126

2. Meritage Restaurant & Wine Bar

500 S 20th St, Philadelphia, PA 19146
On Thursdays, fried chicken gets an upgrade thanks to Meritage’s Korean Fried Chicken special. For $17, you get two sides and twice-fried spicy sesame-glazed chicken.
500 S 20th St
Philadelphia, PA 19146

3. REX 1516

1516 South St, Philadelphia, PA 19146
Southern-inspired Rex 1516 takes its fried chicken seriously. Chef Justin Swain brines drumsticks and thighs in sweet tea for 24 hours before dredging them in flour and spices, dipping them in buttermilk and house hot sauce, dredging again, then frying to golden-brown perfection.
1516 South St
Philadelphia, PA 19146

4. Chick-a-licious

138 S 11th St, Philadelphia, PA 19107
Ignore the dumb name and let the double-fried Korean chicken -- 6 wings for $7, 4 drumsticks for $6.50 -- speak for itself. Bonus: they’re open until 10 p.m. seven days a week.
138 S 11th St
Philadelphia, PA 19107

5. Jones

700 Chestnut St, Philadelphia, PA 19106
Jones’ classic fried chicken and waffles, blanketed in warm gravy, doesn’t disappoint.
700 Chestnut St
Philadelphia, PA 19106

6. Resurrection Ale House

2425 Grays Ferry Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19146
The extra-crunchy double fried chicken at Resurrection Ale House, recognized by Bon Appetit a few years back, is served with spicy honey and a side of cornbread. It’s as good as you’ve heard.
2425 Grays Ferry Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19146

7. Khyber Pass Pub

56 S 2nd St, Philadelphia, PA 19106
The fried chicken po-boy -- also available vegan -- is served on a real-deal Leidenheimer roll shipped from New Orleans topped with lettuce, tomato, pickles, mayo, and creole mustard.
56 S 2nd St
Philadelphia, PA 19106

8. Alla Spina

1410 Mount Vernon St, Philadelphia, PA 19130
The maple glazed fried chicken with mozzarella curd mashed potatoes is so good you’ll want to die. Marc Vetri, you can do no wrong.
1410 Mount Vernon St
Philadelphia, PA 19130

9. Warmdaddy's

1400 S Columbus Blvd, Philadelphia, PA 19147
The Southern fried chicken dinner at Warmdaddy’s is worth the trip out Columbus Boulevard. You get all four pieces -- leg, breast, wing, and thigh -- served juicy on the inside, crispy on the outside. Or order it with waffles, topped with gravy and syrup.
1400 S Columbus Blvd
Philadelphia, PA 19147

10. Federal Donuts

1219 S 2nd St, Philadelphia, PA 19147
The best of the bunch, Federal Donuts keeps making national headlines for good reason -- it’s just that freaking good. See above.
1219 S 2nd St
Philadelphia, PA 19147

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