Charleston, South Carolina
While there’s plenty of great food to choose from in downtown Charleston, Jestine’s Kitchen offers wonderful home-style cooking. You’ll find perfect fried chicken here with a light, crunchy batter and juicy meat. Try it with okra (fried or in gumbo) and classic Charleston red rice. Be careful not to fill up on the homemade pickles or the cornbread and honey butter that start your meal, though, because you want to be sure to have room for one of Jestine’s famous desserts.
Price’s Chicken Coop
Charlotte, North Carolina
There are no frills at Price’s Chicken Coop. A visit to their website will set you straight on that right away. It’s just the menu and a message that they don’t take checks, credit cards, or debit cards, but once you have the chicken here, you won’t mind that it’s a cash-only, carry-out-only operation. You might make it to your car before you dig in, and you might even make it to the park a few blocks down the street. But once you bite into this crispy, salty chicken, you’ll understand why there’s always a line here. The folks at Price’s have a system to keep that line moving—know what you intend to order before you join the line. And know that any extras you want will cost, well, extra.
Prince’s Hot Chicken Shack
The word to pay attention to at Prince’s Hot Chicken Shack is hot. When you order drinks, get spares because when they say the chicken is hot here, they mean it. Sure you can order mild or medium, but those are relative terms. They’re still hot, just not as
much as hot or extra-hot. This isn’t chicken that tries to fool you about that, though.
It practically glows a bright orange-red that dares you to take a bite. It double-dog dares you. And you know you want to.
By Paul and Angela Knipple