Latest sandwich reviews

The Hideout

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The Hideout is a small American restaurant in the woods of Aptos. In the Sandwich & Burger section of their menu is a fried chicken sandwich. It’s a basic sandwich with slaw, pickle slices, a chipotle aioli. While the potato bun was pretty good, the chicken piece was disappointing - small and not very crispy. Overall, the sandwich was slightly on the dry side and not particularly memorable.

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The Hideout sandwich

Orchard City Kitchen

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Crispy crispy crispy! This fried chicken sandwich from the Brunch menu is crispy! We’ve never had such a satisfyingly crunchy cornflake-based breading - it simply breaks apart with every bite. The sandwich came with two thin pieces of chicken which were very juicy on the inside. The sandwich was pretty standard in terms of ingredients and well executed: nice bun, spicy mayo, and pickle slices in addition to a juicy pickle spear on the side.

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Orchard City Kitchen sandwich

Screen Door

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We can be a little skeptical when there’s a significant wait for any restaurant - after all, that’s how they always get you, right? With an hour long wait and swarms of people waiting outside? Nonetheless, our brunch experience at the Screen Door in Portland did not disappoint.

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Screen Door sandwich

Great Notion Brewing

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While looking for a spot for dinner, we found Great Notion Brewing and figured we’d grab some beers. As luck would have it, there is a teeny tiny food menu consisting of sandwiches. We saw the fried chicken sandwich on the menu and knew we had to try it.

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Great Notion Brewing sandwich

Nola

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Nola is a great Cajun spot in bustling, picturesque downtown Palo Alto. The ambience of this spot is what really makes it worth checking out. On the Share Plates portion of the menu are the Crispy Hot Chicken Sliders. The sliders consist of small pieces of crispy fried chicken coated in a Cajun-style hot sauce (think Crystal hot sauce), kale-cabbage slaw, and pickles between toasted Hawaiian rolls. The sandwiches are very vinegary due to the combination of pickles, hot sauce, and slaw - you either love it or you hate it. Worth trying if spicy and sour is your thing, but we wouldn’t recommend going out of your way to try this.

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Nola sandwich

Burger King

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Another worthwhile contender in the world of fast food chicken sandwiches! The hand-breaded chicken sandwiches from Burger King are a huge step up from their original chicken sandwich (ew). They’re actually so similar to the Popeyes sandwich that it almost seems a disgruntled Popeyes employee secretly passed their recipe to Burger King.

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Burger King sandwich

Howlin' Ray's

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The perfect fried chicken sandwich exists! If you’re from SoCal, you have almost certainly heard of the legendary Howlin’ Ray’s. The wait used to take at least an hour, and we are not the biggest fans of waiting that long for food. As of June 2021, you are able to must pay a bunch of Postmates fees to get it delivered, presumably to a random parking lot in Chinatown if you live outside the actual delivery area. For us, it was worth the extra fees to avoid waiting in line.

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Howlin' Ray's sandwich

Great Maple

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The Spicy Fried Chicken Sandwich, which is part of the all day menu at Great Maple, boasts a large piece of chicken, good bun, and slaw that is on par with others we’ve tried. Unfortunately, the juicy dark meat lacks flavor. The highlight of the sandwich is the slightly spicy mayo which gives the sandwich a subtle kick.

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Great Maple sandwich

Surf City Sandwich

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Surf City Sandwich is a great sandwich spot with plenty of flavorful and interesting sandwiches. Most importantly, they have a fried chicken sandwich called the Chicken Cowabunga. The chicken sandwich is pretty good, although it falls a bit short compared to their other sandwiches.

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Surf City Sandwich sandwich

Café Beaujolais

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Café Beaujolais is an amazing restaurant in Mendocino. During the pandemic, they started offering take-out food instead of their usual fine dining French cuisine. One of these new take-out items is the Buttermilk Fried Nashville Hot Chicken Sandwich. The sandwich is not bad and pretty basic with fried chicken, onions, pickles, cheese, lettuce, and tomato. The bun is great, but the chicken was a bit greasy albeit juicy. The hot sauce on the chicken was not as spicy as expected and seemed to be lightly applied with a mop rather than a proper dip into a sauce bath, resulting in very little sauce. We will continue to come back for Café Beaujolais’s regular menu and delicious wood-fired pizzas, but we’ll skip the chicken sandwich next time.

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Café Beaujolais sandwich

Alvarado Street Brewery & Grill

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The Alvarado Street Brewery has not only good beers but also a Korean Fried Chicken Sandwich on their menu. The sandwich sounds good but the “Korean” part of this sandwich is not very pronounced. The piece of fried chicken is smothered in a red sauce - unfortunately it does not deliver on the Gochujang flavor we expected. The sauce is mainly sweet and the chicken is neither Korean nor crispy. The chicken in the sandwich is also lacking a bit of flavor. On the bright side, the slaw with carrots and lettuce works nice with the sandwich. Both the brioche bun and the fries are pretty good as well.

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Alvarado Street Brewery & Grill sandwich

Cluck Kitchen

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Orange County might have a new best fried chicken sandwich spot - that crown belonged to Two Birds in the past but Cluck Kitchen is up there.

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Cluck Kitchen sandwich

Pono Hawaiian Kitchen

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Most of the items on this menu are amazing renditions of classic Hawaiian fare, but we’re focusing on the Spicy Katsu Chicken Sando. The sandwich is simple: it’s just two slabs of their thin and tasty Chicken Katsu on a bun. Not much else. They top it with some slaw and serve it with a side of spicy sauce but it’s mainly about the Chicken Katsu. The piece of chicken is not thick and juicy but thin and cripsy. It’s a good idea to serve the sauce on the side so the chicken doesn’t get soggy.

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Pono Hawaiian Kitchen sandwich

Roux Dat

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Roux Dat offers a variety of Po’ Boys, one of them being the Spicy Fried Chicken Po’ Boy. It’s basically a New Orleans-style Shrimp Po’ Boy with small pieces of fried chicken instead of shrimps. The base of the sandwich is an airy, fluffy roll of french bread, topped with shredded lettuce, tomoatoes, pickles, and mayo. The chicken pieces are small and encrusted in a thick cornmeal breading and cajun spice.

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Roux Dat sandwich

The Chicken Shack

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When you’re traveling North on I-5 and happen to be hungry around Redding, CA, you can stop here for some fried chicken. We had the Crystal Fire Chicken which sandwiches chicken pieces between two crispy waffles. The waffle is crispy but unfortunately the chicken is neither crispy nor juicy. This particular style is also a bit too sour due to all that vinegary sauce and nothing to balance it (except for a few leaves of lettuce). Maybe try one of their other Chicken + Waffle sandwiches.

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The Chicken Shack sandwich

RT Rotisserie

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RT Rotisserie has a lot of chicken dishes but the one to get is Sally Hurricane’s Southern Fried Chicken Sandwich. Not sure whether it is actually healthier than your usual fried chicken sandwich but it definitely feels like it. They use a delicious yogurt sauce instead of the usual mayo which pairs well with the slaw and pickled onions. The chicken is not very crispy, but it’s juicy and flavorful.

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RT Rotisserie sandwich

Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen

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The Popeyes Chicken Sandwich started the great chicken sandwich hype of 2019 and arguably won it in the fast food category. The sandwich is great because it doesn’t try to be fancy and comes only with the basics of a good chicken sandwich: a piece of fried chicken, a soft bun, some pickles, and mayo. You should order the spicy version — that spicy mayonnaise is amazing. It also complements the buttery and sweet bun which was fresh und fluffy. Special shoutout to the pickle slices, they were thick and provided the right bit of tanginess.

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Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen sandwich

First Street Alehouse

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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.

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First Street Alehouse sandwich

Gott's Roadside

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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.

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Gott's Roadside sandwich

Two Birds

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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.

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Two Birds sandwich

Bakesale Betty

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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.

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Bakesale Betty sandwich

Tin Roof Maui

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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).

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Tin Roof Maui sandwich

The Crack Shack

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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.

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The Crack Shack sandwich

The Table

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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.

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The Table sandwich

Dave's Hot Chicken

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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”.

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Dave's Hot Chicken sandwich

Wendy's

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We once stopped at a Wendy’s in the area for a quick lunch. We had the spicy chicken sandwich and some sort of now-discontinued BBQ-bacon-whatnot chicken sandwich.

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Gregoire Berkeley

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The highlight of this fried chicken sandwich is the fresh bread, the French roll is crusty on the outside and chewy on the inside. Unfortunately there’s not a thick slab of chicken on this sandwich, the buttermilk chicken is not bad but small and a bit on the dry side. Still, the spicy coleslaw makes up for it with the perfect amount of spiciness and crunch.

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Gregoire Berkeley sandwich

Lazy Dog

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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.

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Lazy Dog sandwich

Sweetbird

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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.

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Pine State Biscuits

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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).

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Pine State Biscuits sandwich

Faubourg Bistro

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.

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The Wandering Goose

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The Aunt Annie’s is the fried chicken biscuit you should order. It has the perfect combination of tanginess and sweetness. Who would have thought that pickles and honey go so well together on fried chicken? You might think that the honey is too sweet but it’s balanced by the little sprinkle of mustard sauce. On top of that buttery biscuit this makes the perfect fried chicken brunch.

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The Wandering Goose sandwich

Bruxie

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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.

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Bruxie sandwich

The Bird

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One of the best fried chicken sandwiches we ever had. The sandwich comes with pickles, an apple slaw, and mayo. You have the choice between a regular sandwich and the spicy one, which is smothered in a Nashville-style sauce. As a side, you have to get their curly fries - either regular or loaded with bacon and cheese.

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The Bird sandwich

Eureka

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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.

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Starbird

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Starbird’s chicken sandwiches are as good as their chicken tenders. The chicken is moist and has a tasty breading. What makes the Starbird sandwiches stand out is not the chicken itself but the toppings and the bread. They have many different styles, for example the Starbird with avocado, the Hot Honey Chicken with hot honey and sweet pepper relish, and the Korean Fried Chicken with Gochujang sauce and miso slaw. The bread rolls are soft and have a great chew. Just don’t substitute the crispy chicken with grilled chicken when ordering your sandwich.

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Starbird sandwich