You might come here for the burgers, but there’s also a Southern Chicken Sandwich on the menu! The sandwich has all the right ingredients but the execution is not great. The chicken was too thin and relatively tough on the outside (not overly dry on the inside though). But the main issue with the sandwich was the bun. The bottom bun was extremely soggy. At first we thought this was because of the slaw but the burgers at this place come like that, too. A real bummer since the other ingredients on the sandwich weren’t bad at all - the pickle coleslaw was good and the hot sauce mayo had the perfect amount of spiciness.
In terms of what to pair your sandwich with you have plenty of options. There are crispy fries, steak fries, sweet potato fries, garlic fries, onions rings, and more. The tap list is also extremely good with a wide selection of local beers.
Where? 2106 First St, Livermore, CA 94550
Gott’s Chicken Schnitzel Sandwich is on the lighter side and tastes almost healthy. Almost. Together with the arugula, pickled cucumbers and turnip, and the fluffy brioche bun (which has sesame on both sides), the sandwich doesn’t weigh you down. Still, that juicy piece of chicken won’t let you forget that you’re eating fried chicken.
If you’re at the San Francisco location and happen to catch a sunny day in the city, grab a local beer from the bar and enjoy your chicken sandwich on the nice outdoor patio at the Ferry Building.
What to order on the side? Sweet potato fries with delicious house-made ranch
Where? San Francisco Ferry Building, San Francisco, CA 94111 (multiple locations in Northern California)
This little foodstand has fried chicken on a bun, on a salad, and in a bag. Obviously you should get it on a bun - which is the most delicious, fluffy, and buttery brioche. The piece of dark meat chicken itself is perfectly crispy and juicy. While the chicken is really good, what takes this sandwich over the top is that amazing fry sauce which is simultaneously creamy and peppery. This is the same sauce that they put on their cottage fries which are basically deep fried crunchy potato slices. Grab a puffy cottage fry as the perfect vessel to scoop extra sauce.
Located in Irvine’s Trade Food Hall, a sandwich from Two Birds can perfectly be paired with a fresh pint from Center Hub situated next door. Overall this has to be one of the best fried chicken sandwiches we’ve had.
What to order on the side? Cottage fries with plenty of that delicious fry sauce
Where? 2222 Michelson Dr, Irvine, CA 92612
A Berkeley/Oakland institution. The initial impression: this sandwich is simple; it seems almost reminiscent of a run- of-the-mill crispy chicken sandwich from any fast food spot (Wendy’s, Burger King, etc.), especially the chicken patty. However, the patty is big, juicy, and perfectly spiced. What really makes the sandwich is the unique slaw that is heaped on the bun - spicy with thin slices of jalapenos and crisp cabbage.
Grab one of the fresh warm cookies while you’re there. While we have never tried it, supposedly the strawberry shortcake, which is only seasonably available, is amazing. We’ll have to come back and see for ourselves.
Where? 5098 Telegraph Ave, Oakland, CA 94609
The spicy chicken sandwich here is very sweet. Both the bun and the sauce have a sweet and fruity Hawaiian taste to them. The best thing about this sandwich is that they use dark chicken meat for their fried chicken. Our sandwich had quite a bit of skin on it and was just extremely juicy - perfect together with that spicy aioli. If you want it even spicier, down a shot of the SLAB Hawaiian Chili Pepper Water after your sandwich (not for the faint of heart).
On the negative side, this sandwich was served rather cold and didn’t have a lot of texture. Neither the bun nor the chicken skin was very crispy, and everything felt rather mushy from a texture point of view.
Where? 360 Papa Place, Kahului, HI 96732
This restaurant has it all - a casual space to sit, friendly employees, cornhole, a good draft beer selection, and of course amazing fried chicken. The Firebird (see picture) has the right level of spiciness, fried onions, and ranch dressing on top of perfect juicy chicken.
But it doesn’t stop there, you can also order the Hangover which is served on the perfect soft biscuit with a fried egg. No matter which of the fried chicken sandwiches you order, share a large order of fries and try all the sauces that they offer at their self-service station. As with any joint with San Diego origins, expect an awesome beer list so you can wash down your sandwich and fries with a nice cold brew.
What to order on the side? Fries with all the sauces from the amazing sauce bar
Where? 196 E 17th St, Costa Mesa, CA 92627 (multiple locations in Southern California and Las Vegas)
The fried chicken in this sandwich is absolutely massive - it would be enough for 3 sandwiches in fact. The flavor of the chicken is a bit lacking and we definitely could’ve used more of the slaw, which is unfortunate because the bun is the best we had on a chicken sandwich in a while. The healthy side salad will make you feel a bit better after you consumed an entire chicken. Overall a bit dissapointing for an otherwise excellent brunch venue.
Where? 1110 Willow St, San Jose, CA 95125
They call them sliders but they’re big sandwiches. Very juicy chicken and a flavorful sauce. Medium spiciness is not very spicy, so go at least one step above it if you like it hot. The pickles give the sandwich the perfect tang and compensate for the boring bun. Come here with somebody you love and share the combo #2 that has two “sliders”.
What to order on the side? Kale slaw when you feel healthy, otherwise fries
Where? 970 Western Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90029 (multiple locations in Los Angeles)
So juicy, so flavorful, and the perfect breadroll - you have to try this when you’re in Berkeley! Grab it to go and enjoy it somewhere on the UC campus.
What to order on the side? Crispy potato puffs with white truffle essence
Where? 2109 Cedar St, Berkeley, CA 94709
Is it a 9 or is it a 5? This sandwich is sometimes juicy and flavorful, sometimes dry and bland. Let’s settle with a 7 out of 10. In any case it’s big and you won’t leave hungry. It comes with a light and fresh slaw on top which lightens the big piece of chicken perfectly. There are a lot of side options at Lazy Dog, but we prefer the traditional fries or the lighter pickled cucumber salad.
Where? 19359 Stevens Creek Blvd, Cupertino, CA 95014 (multiple locations in the US)
Dangerously spicy for those who live on the edge. We like a good spicy chicken sandwich, but we can’t even imagine getting the Fire Bird; just opt for the spicy chicken sandwich instead. Pick up some boba at Mini Monster, also in the Anaheim Packing District, and head outside to have a chill lunch.
Where? 440 S Anaheim Blvd, Anaheim, CA 92805
The biscuit is tender. The chicken is crispy. The gravy is smooth and flavorful. Doesn’t matter whether you come here because you’re a fan of biscuits or you like chickens on buns - you order The Reggie. There might be a wait, but this is the perfect breakfast. Especially when the amazing pecan pie is the seasonal pie, which you must get (with whipped cream, of course).
What to order on the side? Pecan Pie
Where? 125 NE Schuyler St, Portland, OR 97212 (multiple locations in Portland)
You wouldn’t expect a good fried chicken sandwich when you walk into a random bar in the French Quarter. But at the back of the 700 Club (21+) is a small counter where you can order a fried chicken sandwich. Grab a sandwich and take it to the bar where you can order a beer to pair with your meal.
Where? 700 Burgundy St, New Orleans, LA 70116 (multiple locations in New Orleans)
Chicken, spicy slaw, and chili honey wrapped in a giant waffle bun. ‘nuff said. Back in the day, they used to not give you enough slaw in the sandwich and had a different recipe for the chicken, but the current version features crunchier double-battered chicken and a heap of slaw with that sticky, addicting honey.
What to order on the side? Seasoned waffle cut fries
Where? 14376 Culver Dr, Irvine, CA 92604 (multiple locations in Southern California and Las Vegas)
One of the best fried chicken sandwiches we ever had. Get the spicy one (smothered in a Nashville-style sauce) or the chicken biscuit (chicken on a fluffy biscuit with hashbrowns) during breakfast.
What to order on the side? Regular curly fries
Where? 115 New Montgomery St, San Francisco, CA 94105
The fried chicken sliders come in pairs of two and are topped with mashed potatoes for the ultimate carb-load. The chicken is very juicy and the slightly spicy sauce on the sliders gives them the perfect kick.
Where? 191 Castro St, Mountain View, CA 94041 (multiple locations in the US)
The chicken sandwiches are as good as the chicken tenders they have. They have a lot of different styles to choose from, just make sure to get one with crispy chicken. Their best flavors are the Korean ones with Gochujang sauce.
Where? 1241 W El Camino Real, Sunnyvale, CA 94087 (multiple locations in the SF Bay Area)