Where to Find the Best Fried Chicken in Raleigh, N.C.
Thursday, April 11, 2019, 10am by Kristen Baughman Taber
It's no surprise that the origins of fried chicken can be traced to the South. In the Raleigh area you'll find some version of it on seemingly every street corner—usually paired with biscuits, barbecue, beer and more. Here's a roundup of some of our go-to spots for a crispy, tender fix.
Located in Lafayette Village, Driftwood Southern Kitchen was born out of their strong love for Southern ingredients and Southern hospitality, showcasing rustic farmhouse cooking at its best, with favorite Southern dishes you know and love. The chicken-fried chicken (also known as "comfort on a plate") is served with a healthy dose of sausage gravy and mashed potatoes. The result is delicious, crispy-but-gooey, stick-to-your ribs country cooking that we can't get enough of.
A hot-spot in Cary for locals and visitors, Dame's “almost world famous” chicken and waffles pair world-class, comfort food combinations meant to fulfill your appetite's and heart's desire. Here's how it works: choose your waffle type (classic, sweet potato, vegan and more), a cut of chicken, a shmear (flavored butter that you will make you forget syrup) and final toppings (nuts, sauces and other goodies) to create the ultimate chicken and waffle dish that's screaming your name.
Opened in 2011 by Raleigh native Sean Fowler, Mandolin takes classic Southern options up a notch (or two)—the restaurant was recently named one of the best 50 Southern restaurants in America by OpenTable. Our favorite go-to dinner menu item, the chicken and waffles, uses a buckwheat waffle and is served with braised greens, topped with a bacon and mushroom emulsion and truffle honey. The chicken and biscuits at brunch, served Sat. and Sun., are equally impressive.
A fried chicken-focused restaurant from James Beard Award-winning chef Ashley Christensen? Count us in! Beasley's Chicken + Honey has racked up numerous accolades since opening in 2011 in downtown Raleigh—Food & Wine named the chicken and waffles among the best in the U.S., and Garden & Gun placed the restaurant on their fried chicken bucket list. With a variety of different chicken dishes and delicious Southern sides, there’s something for the whole family. From the chicken and waffles to the hot chicken sandwich (made with the infamous Carolina Reaper pepper), you can get your fried chicken fix anyway you like!
Soo Cafe is a wildly-popular Korean restaurant thanks to their deliciously-crispy, sticky Korean fried chicken wings. Tailor the sauce to your level of heat tolerance. For a more mild wing, try the SOGA (soy-garlic) sauce, or if you’re looking for some spice, try the H&S (hot and spicy) for a melt-your-face-off level of heat! You’ve been warned.
Opened on New Year’s Day of 1938, Clyde Cooper’s is one of the oldest barbecue restaurants in the state and a local treasure in downtown Raleigh. Not only do they have some of the best Carolina-style 'cue, but they also serve up delicious fried chicken with your choice of dark or white meat—pair it with some hushpuppies and collard greens for the ultimate Southern meal. Come hungry, but make sure you bring cash because Clyde Cooper’s sticks to their cash only tradition.
The longest standing restaurant in Apex, N.C., the name says it all for Dallas Famous Chicken. Country Southern cooking at its finest, the menu is filled with all the breakfast and Southern side staples you'd expect—streak biscuits, home fries, grits, green beans, okra and more—but the fried chicken (and biscuits they're paired with in a variety of ways) is the reason some customers have been coming here nearly every day for decades now. Take your pick of white or dark meat, don't shy away from the hot sauce and be sure to grab some napkins!
Since 1997, Joyce & Family Restaurant (headed up by Joyce Statton—or "Miss Joyce" as locals call her—who's known to many as one of the friendliest faces in Fuquay-Varina) has offered up some of the best home-style country cooking and soul food around. Everything is made fresh in their kitchen with hard work and passion—from their fried chicken to their buttered baby lima beans, you’ll feel right at home. Need some crispy fried chicken for a future event? They also have a catering service that will deliver their delicious food!
One of Raleigh's oldest restaurants, the State Farmers Market Restaurant has a history that dates back to 1955. Known as one of the city's most comforting breakfast and lunch spots—checkered vinyl table cloths, covered by plates piled high with hushpuppies and buttermilk biscuits, is the typical scene—this popular restaurant dishes out all kinds of farm-fresh Southern staples. The chicken and waffles are a crowd favorite, along with the biscuits, omelettes and much more! Check their daily specials for the fried chicken plate, which comes with two veggies and a complimentary dessert.
Started with the dream of a place where people could sit and talk all day, Angie Mikus opened that very spot in 2011 in Garner. Go for lunch on Thursdays for the fried chicken special, which is served with your choice of two sides and includes tea or coffee and dessert. Not only do they have amazing fried chicken, but there are also all sorts of Southern comfort food options like fried steak and country ham. As an added bonus, breakfast is served all day long.
Located in the heart of downtown Raleigh in the Raleigh Marriott City Center, Rye Bar & Southern Kitchen takes a refined and modern approach to Southern cuisine, using fresh ingredients from nearby farms. To get your fried chicken fixin’, we suggest dining at lunchtime when you'll find a tasty fried chicken sandwich with a honey mustard aioli highlighting the menu. Pair it with their grilled green beans for some real comfort food. Craft beers, uncommon cocktails and premium wines head the liquid refreshment line-up.