Just as beauty is in the eye of the beholder, good fried chicken is subjective. If you were born in New Jersey, your idea of fried chicken will not be the same, as say, someone who grew up in South Carolina.
Well, we’re southerners, and our bar is high. We’re not looking for fancy-pants fried chicken, we’re looking for the fried chicken you get at church, or the chicken your grandmother makes for you. And that’s exactly what we’ve found, with one foodie exception. After polling the best of the best in the greater Raleigh area, we found the three top restaurants for fried chicken.
1. Willie Mae’s Country Kitchen Knightdale, NC – Country cooking at its finest. Don’t go here if you’re not prepared to eat your meal in a Styrofoam container. Just sayin’. By the way, the folks here sure are friendly. (Knightdale is not Raleigh… but close enough.)
2. Chicken Hut Durham, NC – Bare bones interior, but somebody’s grandmama is seriously in the back frying this chicken. Served cafeteria-style, the Chicken Hut’s in your face unpretentiousness may not be for everyone, but if you care about authentic fried chicken as soul food art, you should get thee to the Chicken Hut.
3. Beasley’s Chicken & Honey Raleigh, NC – If you’re looking for your southern food with a nice side of hipster, here ya go. James Beard-award winning chef Ashley Christensen’s love song to the south delivers delicious gourmet southern fare in a cool enviro. Prepare to wait, this place is always packed but your meal will be worth the wait. Everything, including the fried chicken is good here.
What’s your criteria for the best fried chicken? Do you know a place we should check out?