The Best Fried Chicken in Los Angeles: From Kid-Pleasing Tenders to Fiery Hot Wings
Los Angeles does many things better than any other city—beaches, theme parks, and even bagels. Now we can add fried chicken to the list! That's because of the amazing variety of fried birds available, like Nashville hot fried chicken, Korean fried chicken, those crazy popular fried chicken sandwiches, and even vegan options. If you've had enough pizza this year and are looking for a new family-friendly meal, check out these spots that serve everything from toddler-tempting tenders to a super-spicy version for those who like it hot.
Make sure to drizzle some extra honey on the fries. (So good!) Photo courtesy of 24 Hot Chicken
The Best Fried Chicken on the Eastside and the Valley
24 Hot Chicken—Studio City
This is the perfect spot for a family with diverse tastes. The “breakfast anytime” fried chicken stop is also known for its vegan tenders and vegan chicken sandwich options. For the meat-eating crowd, go for the Sanday Sandwich: fried chicken breast, coleslaw, pickles, and Comeback Sauce on a butter bun. The kid-pleasing kids' meal is a giant tender with fries. Other dishes and sides include waffles, Nashville chicken tacos, coleslaw, and mac ‘n’ cheese. When ordering, choose from heat levels: Country Style, Mild, 24 Hot, Pull the Fire Alarm, and Video This.
Sweet Blessings—Van Nuys
For soul food in the valley, visit Sweet Blessings and order the Cluck and Surf plate—fried catfish, fried chicken, two sides, and a roll. Side dishes rotate daily and include fries, mac ‘n’ cheese, Jambalaya, cheese grits, fried Brussels sprouts, gumbo, and greens. The kid’s meal is a chicken leg, one side, and a juice box. Chicken and waffle dishes come with your choice of cinnamon, red velvet, or “flavor of the day” waffles. Peach cobbler is a must. Order Porch Punch and sweet tea to wash it all down with something cold.
Holdaak means “Madly in Love!” in Korean, and that's what you'll be with this chicken. This no-frills spot offers bench seating outside the storefront. Popcorn chicken or chicken strips are just right for the kids. Older palates can sample the spicy chicken sandwich or wings drenched in Original, Caramel Soy, or Spicy sauce. Everything comes in spicy or original, and kids will also adore the "Shake Fries" which are a bag of fries and a side of seasoned salt, so you can add just the right amount of seasoning and shake them up yourself. The original location is in Fullerton, and more spots are opening soon.
This is our LA editor's favorite fried chicken. Photo courtesy of Gus's World Famous Fried Chicken
The Best Fried Chicken Mid-City
Roscoe’s Chicken and Waffles—Hollywood
Roscoe's House of Chicken and Waffles is a classic with lines around the block at many locations. Kids will love slathering their chicken plate with maple syrup, parents might prefer the fried chicken smothered with gravy. All the sides are worth a try: biscuits and gravy, grits, collard greens, mac ‘n’ cheese, red beans and rice, potato salad, and cornbread, too. We like the Hollywood location best, but there are 7 other locations from Pasadena to Long Beach.
Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken—Mid-City
Fried pickles with ranch dressing for the win. Or fried green tomatoes, if you prefer. Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken was born in Mason, Tennessee in 1973, and in 2001, GQ named it one of the top ten meals in the United States worth flying for. Luckily, we don't have to fly anywhere. Plates of fried chicken come with baked beans, coleslaw, and white bread. Kids' meal options include chicken, grilled cheese, and PB&J. The dessert menu looks just like you’d expect: pecan pie, chess pie, chocolate chess pie, and sweet potato pie. There are also SoCal locations in Burbank, Long Beach, and Santa Ana. This chicken really is some of the best anywhere. For kids with allergies, note that everything here is fried in peanut oil.
Café Gratitude—Larchmont Village
Think your vegan family can't enjoy a fried "chicken" meal? Café Gratitude serves up an impressive list of plant-based dishes. Try the chick-fried mushroom sandwich with lettuce, tomato, pickles, Buffalo sauce, and ranch dressing on a brioche bun; or the spicy Korean pulled mushroom sandwich with BBQ sauce, Korean coleslaw, and fried shallots. Kids also love the nachos, black bean burgers with fries, and warm chocolate chunk cookies. Enjoy patio dining and a gorgeous brunch in a great walkable part of the city. Other locations are in Venice, DTLA Arts District, and Newport Beach.
This Koreatown fried chicken joint serves its own special kind of everything. The menu includes fried chicken tacos, steak-cut fries, and Korean macaroni salad. Basic chicken options (that don't taste basic) include chicken sandwiches, wings, and chicken tenders. Mom and dad enjoy the spicy challenge while kids feast on popcorn chicken. Spicy levels have some fun names: original – Little Kick; medium – Slap in the Face; hot – Recommended; extra hot – Punch in the Face; Michin spicy – WTF. Let your kids order the sauces for you, it'll be the highlight of their day!
Choose your perfect spice level. Photo courtesy of Main Chick Hot Chicken/Instagram
The Best Fried Chicken in the South Bay and Westside
Blazin’ Hens—Redondo Beach
Blazin’ Hens shares its space with a Slider Stop that offers gourmet sliders and burgers, and multiple choices in one location means everybody wins. Loaded tots, truffle tots, sweet potato tots, dessert waffles, and a $5 kids' meal are a few tempting offerings. But the star is the juicy fried chicken that comes in mild and increments of hot measured with Scoville units – the hottest is 1,569,300 Scoville units. Order if you dare!
Top Tenders & Wings—Torrance
Top Tenders doubles up on the sauce selection. Order chicken tenders and wings plain or tossed in Nashville-hot dry rub, lemon pepper, garlic parmesan, buffalo, Asian sweet chili, or BBQ sauce and then choose a dipping sauce for the side (“TT,” honey mustard, buttermilk ranch, sweet smoky BBQ, or Alabama white BBQ). Order extra Texas toast – you’ll find out why. Waffle fries are thick and just the right amount of salty; coleslaw is perfectly sweet. Enjoy generous portions, outdoor seating, fun drink choices, and a $3.75 kid’s meal. (Seriously, is anything $3.75 anymore?)
Main Chick Hot Chicken—Long Beach
Nashville-style fried chicken is served Naked, Mild, Medium, Spicy, or Supreme. Seasoned crinkle-cut fries and creamy mac’ n’ cheese are must-eats. Chicken is served on the bone, as tenders, and in sandwiches with coleslaw on Hawaiian buns. The original location is in Pasadena, and there are other spots in Koreatown and West LA; we just happen to like the patio in Long Beach best.