Eat This Now: Love & Honey’s Fried Chicken

It's Roots-tasted and Questlove-approved.

Photo by Alex Jones

Last year, we reported that chefs Todd and Laura Lyons would be opening a fried chicken-centric restaurant in their Northern Liberties neighborhood.

Last month, Love & Honey Fried Chicken debuted in a cute, cheery storefront at 1100 North Front Street.

I’m excited to report that you should absolutely eat this now.

If you follow Love & Honey — or Questlove — on Instagram, you already knew that this chicken is something special. The Roots drummer and notorious food-lover regrammed a shot of their ultra-crispy, deep golden brown fried chicken and cornbread last week, noting that he had heard it was “legit.”

That free promo was followed by an order placed by a Roots rep for chicken, cornbread and pies that Laura delivered to the Roots Picnic backstage on Saturday. (While she didn’t get to meet the band, she was assured by an event manager that they were onsite and that “everyone is enjoying it very much.”)

The initial buzz that led up to Love & Honey’s opening — and now, social media attention from one of Philly’s favorite sons — has led to a few sellout nights since service started at the small, scratch-made spot a little more than three weeks ago.

Love & Honey’s menu (which also includes pies and sides) is built around a fried chicken recipe that Todd, a former R&D chef for Campbell’s, has been refining for years. Laura, a culinary marketer by trade — the two met while he was a student at the Culinary Institute of America and she was working there — went back to pastry class to master pie crusts. Their chicken is raised without antibiotics, and each piece goes through an eight-hour brine before it’s coated and fried.

That fried chicken is the star of the menu. Its crust, kicked with celery seed and drizzled with a little honey before serving, shatters just like fresh-out-of-the-fryer chicken should. The flesh is flavorful and juicy — downright brothy — thanks to the brine. And each order of chicken comes with a tender square of just-slightly-sweet cornbread and honey butter, too.

To get your own from-scratch comfort food feast, make the time to get there early (check their Facebook and Instagram for sellout announcements on busy weekends) and be prepared to pay a little more than at your neighborhood Crown Fried for quality. (The Lyons use no-antibiotics-ever chicken sourced from Coleman Natural.)

Questlove’s intel was correct: Love & Honey Fried Chicken is indeed legit, and you should eat it now.

Love & Honey Fried Chicken [Official]