A piece of chicken breaded and fried—what could be simpler? But in the hands of good Southern cooks, fried chicken is sublime. For folks who grew up in the country, Sunday’s chicken dinner was often wandering in the backyard on Saturday. Today, people don’t have that kind of time—or that kind of yard. Now almost everyone heads to the local shack, joint, or diner for a fried chicken fix.
And good fried chicken has migrated beyond the South. As people move, they take their favorite foods with them. More than that, though, fried chicken is landing on white tablecloths in some of the country’s finest restaurants. Fried chicken might not be the sole property of the South anymore, but it’s still home to the best. Here are our top picks around the South to get unique tastes of a simple bird made divine.