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Top Picks: Fast Food Fried Chicken Chains, Ranked

Fried chicken is a beloved staple of fast food, offering crispy, juicy goodness that’s hard to resist. With numerous chains across the country, each boasting its own unique flavors and styles, it can be tough to decide where to get your fried chicken fix. In this blog post, we rank the top fast food fried chicken chains, considering taste, texture, and overall satisfaction.

1. KFC


Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) is arguably the most iconic fried chicken chain globally. Founded by Colonel Harland Sanders in 1952, KFC has perfected its secret blend of 11 herbs and spices, creating a distinctive flavor that sets it apart from competitors. The chicken is known for its crispy, golden-brown coating and juicy, tender meat. KFC’s menu also offers a variety of sides, such as mashed potatoes with gravy, coleslaw, and biscuits, making it a comprehensive meal experience. The chain has maintained its popularity over the decades, thanks to its consistent quality and widespread availability.

2. Popeyes

Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen, founded in New Orleans in 1972, is famous for its spicy fried chicken. The chain’s Cajun-inspired seasoning and crispy batter deliver a flavorful punch that keeps customers coming back for more. Popeyes’ chicken is marinated for at least 12 hours, ensuring a deep, rich flavor that permeates every bite. In addition to its signature fried chicken, Popeyes offers popular items like spicy chicken sandwiches, biscuits, and red beans and rice. The chain has earned a loyal following for its bold flavors and satisfying portions, making it a top contender in the fried chicken arena.

3. Chick-fil-A

Chick-fil-A, established in 1946, is renowned for its high-quality chicken and exceptional customer service. While the chain is best known for its chicken sandwiches, its fried chicken nuggets and strips are equally delicious. Chick-fil-A’s chicken is pressure-cooked in 100% refined peanut oil, resulting in a lighter, crispier coating that appeals to many. The menu also features a variety of dipping sauces that complement the chicken perfectly. Chick-fil-A’s commitment to using fresh, quality ingredients and its friendly service have made it a favorite among fast food enthusiasts.

4. Raising Cane’s

Raising Cane’s, founded in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, in 1996, has quickly gained a reputation for its simple yet delicious menu focused on chicken fingers. The chain’s hand-battered, cooked-to-order chicken fingers are consistently crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. Raising Cane’s signature Cane’s Sauce adds a unique flavor, making the chicken even more enjoyable. The limited menu, which includes crinkle-cut fries, Texas toast, and coleslaw, ensures that every item is executed to perfection. Raising Cane’s dedication to quality and consistency has earned it a loyal customer base.

5. Church’s Chicken

Church's Chicken

Church’s Chicken, established in 1952 in San Antonio, Texas, is known for its crunchy, golden fried chicken and hearty sides. The chain’s chicken is marinated in a special blend of seasonings, providing a flavorful and juicy bite. Church’s also offers a variety of fried chicken options, including spicy and boneless versions, catering to different preferences. Popular sides like honey-butter biscuits, fried okra, and jalapeño cheese bombers complement the chicken perfectly. Church’s Chicken’s commitment to providing tasty, satisfying meals has made it a beloved choice for fried chicken fans.

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6. Bojangles’

Bojangles’ Famous Chicken ‘n Biscuits, founded in Charlotte, North Carolina, in 1977, is celebrated for its Southern-style fried chicken and buttermilk biscuits. The chicken is marinated, hand-breaded, and fried to perfection, offering a unique blend of spices that sets it apart from other chains. Bojangles’ menu also features delicious sides like dirty rice, Cajun pintos, and seasoned fries, which pair wonderfully with the chicken. The chain’s breakfast menu, available all day, includes popular items like chicken biscuits and Bo-Berry Biscuits. Bojangles’ dedication to Southern flavors and hospitality has garnered a devoted following.

7. Zaxby’s

Zaxby’s, established in Athens, Georgia, in 1990, offers a variety of chicken dishes, including wings, fingers, and sandwiches. The chain’s fried chicken is known for its crispy coating and flavorful seasoning. Zaxby’s menu includes a range of sauces, from mild to extra hot, allowing customers to customize their meals to their taste. Popular sides like crinkle-cut fries, Texas toast, and coleslaw complement the chicken perfectly. Zaxby’s commitment to providing quality chicken and a diverse menu has made it a favorite among fried chicken enthusiasts.

8. Wingstop

Wingstop, founded in Garland, Texas, in 1994, specializes in chicken wings with a variety of flavors and sauces. While the chain primarily focuses on wings, its boneless wings and tenders are also popular choices. Wingstop’s fried chicken is known for its crispy texture and bold flavors, with options ranging from classic Buffalo to unique flavors like lemon pepper and garlic parmesan. The chain’s menu includes sides like seasoned fries, coleslaw, and veggie sticks, making it a complete meal experience. Wingstop’s dedication to providing high-quality wings and a wide range of flavors has earned it a loyal customer base.

9. Jollibee


Jollibee, a Filipino fast-food chain established in 1978, has gained international acclaim for its crispy, juicy fried chicken known as Chickenjoy. The chain’s unique seasoning and perfectly fried chicken have won the hearts of customers worldwide. Jollibee’s menu also features Filipino-inspired dishes like spaghetti with sweet-style sauce and palabok, a traditional noodle dish. Popular sides like Jolly Crispy Fries and buttered corn add to the meal’s appeal. Jollibee’s commitment to providing flavorful, satisfying meals with a touch of Filipino hospitality has made it a global favorite.


Fast food fried chicken chains offer a variety of flavors and styles, catering to different tastes and preferences. From the iconic KFC to the bold flavors of Popeyes and the Southern charm of Bojangles’, each chain has something unique to offer. Whether you prefer spicy, crispy, or tender chicken, there’s a fried chicken chain out there to satisfy your cravings.