Chicken and waffles are pretty much the holy grail of sweet and salty cravings. If you haven’t tried the interplay of crunchy chicken, sticky syrup, and fluffy waffles, then you’re missing out on what could be one of the best experiences of your life. But, if you don’t have time to sit down and enjoy this glorious comfort food, you can always make it in cookie form, or even in a waffle cone. Talk about portability.
In any case, there are some purists that prefer the whole dining experience, complete with the manhandling of chicken wings and overuse of napkins. This is why we’ve compiled this list of the absolute best places to get chicken and waffles in America. Grab a few friends and make it an impromptu road trip. Or you can go by yourself, there’s nothing wrong with that.
18. Sweet Chick in New York, NY
You’re not getting just a plain old waffle at Sweet Chick, especially when they offer flavors like rosemary-mushroom and dried cherry. Every plate is an edible work of art that’s almost too pretty to eat.
17. Screen Door in Portland, OR
This cute little southern spot aims to use fresh and local produce in every item on their menu, which borrows food from South Carolina, Louisiana, and everywhere in-between. Nothing more badass than using a knife to hold your three chicken breasts and sweet potato waffle together.
16. Dames Chicken and Waffles in Durham, NC
Dames has ten different variations on the classic dish, with toppings ranging from candied pecans to orange-honeycomb sauce. Our favorite is the “Frizzled Fowl” – panko-crusted chicken on a classic waffle, topped with a tart plum sauce, blueberry “shmear,” and sliced almonds.
15. Yard Bird in Miami, FL
They put, get this, Vermont white cheddar in their waffle batter, which adds just the right amount of saltiness to counteract the bourbon maple syrup and hot honey sauce. Yard Bird serves spiced watermelon on the side, which is even better than it sounds.
14. Steuben’s in Denver, CO
Their chicken is soaked in buttermilk before it’s fried, and if that isn’t reason enough to go, they also serve a mad gravy on top made with bourbon, coffee, and bacon. Ron Swanson would be proud.
13. Chef Eddie’s Restaurant in Orlando, FL
The main attraction at this hole-in-the-wall spot is their sheer variety of waffles. Whether you’re craving butter pecan or apple cinnamon, or even just a plain ol’ waffle, they have it all. Kudos to them for letting us swap out the chicken for shrimp or steak.
12. Roscoe’s House of Chicken and Waffles in Los Angeles, CA
Look at the size of them waffles: the perfect surface for soaking up all that syrup-y goodness. The restaurant has expanded into seven locations around the California area, making it easy for you to get your soul food fix.
11. Early Bird Diner in Charleston, SC
There’s something about combining pecans and fried chicken that just makes everything better, and Early Bird is well aware of that. They add ground pecans to their chicken coating, making each bite extra crunchy and nutty. If you want really crispy skin but aren’t feeling the nuts, make these instead.
10. Gussie’s Chicken and Waffles in San Francisco, CA
The real treat here is their homemade brown sugar syrup, which ties all the rich and sweet flavors from the rest of the dish together. Their vegan-friendly buckwheat waffles are quite delicious too, but it wouldn’t really make sense to put a chicken on top of that, huh…
9. Metro Diner in Jacksonville, FL
Metro Diner is a cozy local chain in Northeast Florida that serves up generously portioned diner food, some of which is Guy Fieri-approved. Their chicken and waffles comes with creamy strawberry butter and gooey sweet-and-spicy syrup, hitting all possible corners of your palate.
8. Maxine’s Chicken and Waffles in Indianapolis, IN
Their rendition comes with three jumbo chicken wings, which gives you all the more reason to dig in with your hands. None of that small pocket nonsense on their waffles – their large squares hold in as much syrup and butter as you desire. If you’re digging wings without the waffle, feel free to make these.
7. Hash House A Go Go in Las Vegas, NV
Isn’t this a work of art? Towered on top of each other are sage fried chicken, hardwood smoked bacon, and fried leeks. Talk about some serious stack game. Don’t forget to explore some other restaurants in the Vegas area while you’re there.
6. Pies ‘n’ Thighs in New York, NY
With a name like that, you know they take their southern food seriously. Crispy, juicy chicken is thrown on top of a buckwheat waffle, with cinnamon butter and poached blueberries for garnish. Finish off the meal with a nice bourbon pecan or rhubarb pie, all homemade.
5. Gladys Knight’s Chicken and Waffles in Atlanta, GA
They titled their dish the “Midnight Train,” and we’re so on board with their southern chicken. Locals claim they have the best chicken and waffles in Atlanta, and with those juicy wings, that may very well be the case.
4. Tigerlily Berkeley in Berkeley, CA
Forget about maple syrup – this restaurant uses a tikka masala gravy for drizzling over your entire dish. The result? A creamier, somewhat spicy, but altogether rich dish that fuses both southern and Indian cuisine together perfectly.
3. 24 Diner in Austin, TX
No need to hold the chicken with your hands here – 24 Diner goes boneless, which means you don’t waste time putting down your spoon and fork to pick up a wing. Their brown sugar butter is practically a religious experience in itself.
2. Hattie B’s Hot Chicken in Nashville, TN
Their special “hot chicken” coating features a sweet and spicy interplay with brown sugar and cayenne pepper. The perfect meal on lazy Sundays that are spent merely eating and falling into a food coma.
1. SoCo in New York, NY
Three words: red velvet waffle. SoCo is a southern restaurant in Brooklyn that serves up some of the best southern food in the area, complete with a jazzy atmosphere (yes, they have live music) and romantic lighting. A chicken and waffle date here is the best chicken and waffle date you’ll ever have.