Deep fried, pan fried or pressure fried. Crunchy, juicy or crispy. Legs, wings, breasts or thighs. No matter how you like fried chicken, one thing is certain: Fayetteville’s got it.
A popular thing to do for travelers is experiencing the local culture, and what better way to do so than through food. After all, “you are what you eat,” right? Foodies visiting Fayetteville are always in for a treat, since Fayetteville has such a variety of culinary options, from fine dining to eclectic restaurants to farm-to-table to food-truck courts. Luckily for fried-chicken lovers, pretty much every kind of eatery in Fayetteville has delicious fried chicken.
Being in the South, and with a strong poultry industry in Northwest Arkansas, Fayetteville offers guests plenty of options for fried chicken. Here are some popular places to get you started on your quest for the greatest comfort food.
Southern Food Company
As their name suggests, Southern Food Co. specializes in Southern staples like Mom used to make. One of their dinner specials is a Memphis style bone-in fried chicken served with mashed potatoes, vegetables and skillet cornbread. However, we also recommend you check out the Southern Food. Co. eggs benedict from their brunch menu: a buttermilk biscuit with spinach, spicy pan-seared chicken, eggs sunny side up and a jalapeno hollandaise sauce. You’re welcome!
Chef Chrissy Sanders of Mockingbird Kitchen was recently included on USA Today’s list “50 States: 50 Female Chefs.” They serve new American cuisine, utilizing local and seasonal ingredients, and are regularly listed among the best restaurants in Northwest Arkansas. Mockingbird’s fried-chicken entree features two brined and fried Forester Farmer's Market chicken thighs served over sautéed greens, parsnip-potato smash and bacon gravy.
Fayetteville has several food-truck courts across the city, including Shulertown on the famed Dickson Street and the Yacht Club on College Ave., as well as food trucks strategically located outside breweries, like the Container Kitchen outside Fossil Cove Brewing Co. and Chunky Dunk (a milk-and-cookies truck!) next to Columbus House Brewery.
Some great fried chicken can be found at Frickin’ Chicken in Shulertown (perfect before or after a night on Dickson), Dot’s Nashville Hot Chicken in the Yacht Club (pictured above) and South In Your Mouth, which is usually next to Columbus House Brewery but also can be found at the Fayetteville Farmer’s Market on Saturdays on the Historic Downtown Square.
Slim Chickens can literally be found around the world now that it’s opened a location in Kuwait, but it all started right here in Fayetteville, Arkansas. The one on College Ave. was the first, and now they’re all over the South, Southwest, Mid-South and Mid-West, proving that Arkansas fried chicken is a thing of beauty and cannot be contained! Whether you’re in the mood for tenders, wings, a salad, sandwich or wrap, you can’t go wrong. There’s nearly 20 sauces to choose from, but we never get tired of the original Slim sauce.
Located right off the University of Arkansas campus, Leverett Lounge has quickly become a local favorite. Space is tight, but the food is big. Their Korean fried chicken (KFC) is comprised of boneless chicken thighs battered and fried, rolled in sweet chile sauce, and served with mung bean salad. They also serve several beers from the Fayetteville Ale Trail — Ozark, Fossil Cove, New Province — and make a mean cocktail.
Best known for their fried catfish, this legendary Fayetteville restaurant has been filling up Razorback fans for years. However, the Catfish Hole’s fried chicken fillets are also excellent, and come served with french fries and “fixins” so you know it’s going to leave you full.
Trying to eat on the lighter side? Take a look at our list of the best salads in Fayetteville.