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The Best Fried Chicken in Los Angeles

Los Angeles has no shortage of fried chicken, that's for sure. But when it comes to fried chicken, there are so many ways to get the job done. I tried as many options as possible, from shawarmas to more traditional sandwiches, and deep-fried chicken thighs smothered in delicious sticky sauces to classic tenders. In the end, these are the restaurants that made it into my list of the best lip-smacking fried chicken in Los Angeles, CA.

Top 5 Fried Chicken Joints in Los Angeles

🎶 Vibe: "Fried Chicken and Gasoline" by Southern Culture on the Skids

Let's get this out of the way from the start: I am a chicken tender girl; I don't need bones slowing me down when I am devouring a delicious piece of crisp, crunchy, golden-brown chicken. Now that we have an understanding, let's talk about daybird. daybird is the first fast-casual Szechuan Hot Chicken restaurant located in Silver Lake Plaza in Los Angeles, CA.

They have some of the best chicken tenders I have tried in all of Los Angeles. And it's all because of the seasoning. Their chicken tenders are fried to perfection and then coated with one of the most delicious spice blends. They are paired perfectly with a daybird sauce that has subtle undertones of soy sauce. Dipping their tenders into that sauce is quite literally a match made in heaven. It's sheer perfection.

🎶 Vibe: "Mediterranean Sundance" by Al Di Meola

I warned you all that this wouldn't be your ordinary fried chicken list. I dove deep into research to uncover the absolute best options, and Dune delivered with their Fried Chicken “SHAWARMA” Sandwich that completely blew my mind.

Typically, you wouldn't expect to find many scratch-made and incredibly fresh ingredients, like herbs and veggies, at a fast-food joint. However, Dune defies expectations by offering freshly made house flatbread, free-range fried chicken, and unbelievably fresh seasonal greens and herbs. None of those wilted pieces of parsley you might find elsewhere. No, no, no, Dune does things right. Freshness is the name of the game when ordering anything off their menu.

In 2015, Dune opened its doors in the Atwater Village neighborhood of Los Angeles. Their vision was simple: to honor the food they love using the freshest, cleanest, and most local ingredients possible. Their mission is simple: to craft their own unique fusion of the street food of the Levant and the Eastern Mediterranean.

Jumbo Tenders. Photo by Jessica Nichole.

🎶 Vibe: "Good Times" by CHIC

I'm not going to lie to y'all. Lucky Bird was not on my original list, but the universe had other plans in store. I was inside Grand Central Market one evening waiting in line for pizza. Too hungry to wait, I made my way over to Lucky Bird. I'm so glad I did because those juicy jumbo tenders with the flaked sea salt on top were exactly what I wanted.

Their fried chicken tenders are perfectly crunchy, and that flaked sea salt takes the flavor to a whole new level. Once you dip it in one of their delicious sauces, it's a game changer. I opted for the hot honey and honey mustard. Let me tell you, the sweetness of the honey, spiciness of the chilies, and saltiness of the batter combine to make an unbelievable flavor explosion. While I was too full to try one of their sandwiches, I saw someone eating a HOT HONEY SAMMIE, which is made with Mary’s Free Range Organic Chicken breast, dipped in hot honey sauce, then topped with pickled jalapeños, cheese, and buttermilk herb dressing, served on a milk bun. Talk about drool worthy! I'll definitely be returning to give it a try myself.

🎶 Vibe: "Fireball" by Pitbull featuring John Ryan

I recently tried the Spicy Chicken Bun from Silverlake Ramen, and let me tell you, it is SOOOOOOO GOOD! This delectable creation features Spicy Chicken Karaage, which is perfectly crispy and juicy, paired with a fiery ghost pepper kimchi that adds just the right amount of heat. The green onion brings a fresh crunch, while the teriyaki sauce adds a touch of sweetness that balances all the flavors beautifully. Each bite is a burst of savory, spicy, and umami goodness. If you haven't tried this bun yet, you're missing out on a seriously mouthwatering treat!

3 Piece Tenders. Photo by Jessica Nichole.

🎶 Vibe: "Chicken Fried" by Zac Brown Band

Truth be told, I'd heard about Gus' Fried Chicken long before setting foot in Los Angeles. It seemed like everyone was talking about it online and on podcasts, so I knew I had to give them a shot.

Their fried chicken tenders definitely give off a homemade vibe, just like mama makes them, with no flour coating, just seasoning and hot grease. A little history: over 60 years ago, in the small community of Mason, Tennessee, Napoleon “Na” Vanderbilt created something amazing – fried chicken that could unite a community. In an era of divisive racial attitudes, the residents of Mason found that they could all – black and white – agree on how much they loved Na’s fried chicken.

PS. That potato salad was FIRE! 🤤🫶🏾


That's A Wrap!

After tasting my way through Los Angeles' fried chicken scene, I've found some real gems that you just have to try. Whether you're into shawarma spices, sticky sauce-smothered thighs, or classic crispy tenders, there's something for everyone. These spots truly showcase the creativity and passion of LA's food scene. So, whether you're a local or just passing through, make sure to hit up these places for some seriously delicious fried chicken. Trust me, you won't be disappointed! Enjoy!


Jessica Nichole, PhD


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