12 Fried Chicken Sandwiches to Eat in Philadelphia Right Now
Fried chicken sandwiches might just be better than plain old fried chicken. Here are our favorite spots in Philadelphia.
We can all agree: There’s a difference between great fried chicken and a great fried chicken sandwich. A fried chicken sandwich needs a perfect bun, perhaps a sauce, maybe a pickle. It has to be boneless, so the cook must decide: boneless thigh or breast? And since sandwiches are portable, it has to be able to resist sogginess for long enough for it to get where it’s going. All these elements lead to a complicated matrix of decisions that can easily go wrong, which is why we’ve got this list of the best fried chicken sandwiches in Philadelphia.
Ummi Dee’s Burger Bistro, Strawberry Mansion
At Ummi Dee’s, the chicken is battered with buttermilk batter for a tangy, fried to order sandwich that approximates the Popeye’s sandwich. You can be sure the sandwich isn’t sitting under a heat lamp: everything is fresh, including the house-cut fries.
Love & Honey Fried Chicken, Fishtown
Two northerners making fried chicken? We were skeptical, but we have to admit the fried chicken is very good. The sandwich brings a craggy buttermilk-fried chicken breast, plus spicy slaw, sweet pickles, and house made ranch on a brioche bun. You’ll need napkins.
Huda, Center City
Chef Yehuda Sichel left his gig at Abe Fisher in 2020 to open Huda, a sandwich shop that focuses on house made sourdough and milk bread as the foundation for his dishes. The chicken sandwich is a star, with spicy pickled chilis and tangy southwest dressing on a pillowy milk bun. Vegetarians should check out the fried maitake mushroom sandwich, which gives all the meaty richness and crunchy fried-ness of a fried chicken sandwich, with none of the meat.
Redcrest Fried Chicken, East Passyunk
Redcrest understands that fried chicken doesn’t need to be gussied up or improved. It just needs to be done right. They do six different chicken sandwiches, all on potato rolls, with various house made sauces. We go for the classic Redcrest chicken sandwich because we love the red curry mayo, but you should probably try all of them to pick your favorite.
Lovebird, Bryn Mawr, Doylestown, Newtown
Fried chicken is almost always made with a flour-based batter, which means it’s typically not gluten-free. At Lovebird, all the chicken is gluten-free, battered with a mixture of rice flour and cornstarch. They’ll put the sandwich on a regular bun if you ask for it, but the fryers are completely sans gluten.
Chick-A-Boom, multiple locations
Chick-A-Boom specializes in sandwiches piled high with crunchy fried chicken and specialty flavors like sweet Thai chili, buffalo, honey mustard, and jalapeño honey. They also serve waffle fries, chicken and waffle combinations, and milkshakes. Owner Brittany Tolliferreo has big plans for Chick-A-Boom, expanding the business as far and wide as she can, so keep an eye out for new locations in your neighborhood.
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Baology, Center City
Judy Ni’s fast-casual Taiwanese spot makes a mean fried chicken gwa bao, a steamed bun that makes a perfect backdrop for their fried chicken, which comes with a tangy lemon aioli and a few leaves of Thai basil.
Chef Big Rube’s Kitchen, Fishtown, West Philly
Did you want a red velvet waffle fried chicken sandwich? Perhaps you didn’t know you did, but chef Big Rube did. It comes drizzled with cream cheese icing and maple syrup, for an added brunch-y twist. They also made a couple of more classic sandwiches, all drizzled with his signature “baby mama” sauce.
Cluckwerks is take-out only pop-up run out of Wanda BYOB over in Haddonfield. They serve a handful of sandwiches, with your choice of grilled or fried chicken, plus a few appetizers and salads. Call to place your order.
Federal Donuts, multiple locations
FedNuts does two things: fried chicken and donuts (and coffee, but that doesn’t really count). Both are excellent. The chicken sandwich dusted with ranch seasoning and topped with American cheese, dill pickles and spicy mayo? Better than excellent.
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SouthGate, Fitler Square
We love SouthGate for their chill vibe, excellent drinks, and Korean gastropub menu. They’ve got fried chicken on the small plates menu, but the Seoul hot chicken sandwich — like Nashville hot chicken with a Korean bend — that’s a must-order whenever you’re here. A must, must, must-order.
Wishbone, multiple locations
Wishbone understands that fried chicken belongs in every sandwich. Take your pick between their classic signature sandwich, their Nashville-style hot chicken sandwich, a BLT and a banh mi.