If you are a foodie currently located in Saint Louis, Missouri, then you have probably noticed that the hot food trend right now is fried chicken. Over the last couple of years, the 314 has seen several new restaurants pop up dedicated to fried chicken, and other restaurants trying to perfect their recipes so they can be on peoples’ list of the deep fried delicacy to try. Since this is one of my favorite guilty pleasures, I tried out some of Saint Louis’s most raved about fried chicken.
As an SLU student, I could not have been happier when this place opened its doors. Right around the corner from campus, Southern is one of my favorite places for fried chicken. The chicken comes out piping hot and has a crispy coating. What’s special about Southern’s fried chicken is that you can get it in varying heats. Choose from Original, Mild, Medium, Hot, Cluckin’ Hot, or their special General Tso’s, which is both spicy and sweet.
My take on Old Standard was that it is classic fried chicken, with a slightly upscale twist. They feature a fairly simple menu where you can choose from chicken tenders, two pieces of chicken, a half or a whole chicken — perfect for sharing if you come with a group of friends or family. Old Standard’s sides are fantastic, though; don’t miss out on the Brussels sprouts when you go. Lastly, they boast an impressive drink menu, including some non-alcoholic housemade sodas.
Sweetie Pie’s has become a Saint Louis classic. They serve up delicious soul food and some of the best fried chicken around. Be sure to get the mac and cheese as a side with your chicken. You’ll definitely regret it if you don’t. Oh, and you’re going to want to save room for dessert, because the peach cobbler at Sweetie Pie’s is delicious.
Juniper’s fried chicken might be my favorite. Served simply with mashed potatoes, gravy, and roasted veggies (when I went, green beans was the vegetable choice), this chicken is out of this world. Juniper is definitely on the pricier end and getting a plate of their fried chicken will cost you about $18. Don’t let that deter you because it is worth every penny.
Byrd & Barrel is unlike your classic fried chicken joint. The owners renovated an old Popeye’s fast food restaurant to create Byrd & Barrel, but they kept the drive thru. Whether or not you dine in or hit the drive thru, don’t miss their “Nugz.” Get the meal deal so you can try one of their creative side dishes; the mac and cheese features Red Hot Riplets and provel cheese, a St. Louis favorite. Come thirsty, as they have a large selection of local and craft beer.
If you’re looking for a quick fried chicken fix, hit up Porter’s Fried Chicken in Maplewood. This family-owned business has been around for 30 years, and patrons swear by it. Porter’s is a no frills, simple, and inexpensive option, perfect for broke college kids like us. Snag a three-piece dinner box that comes with mashed potatoes, coleslaw, and a biscuit for less than six bucks.
Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken is small Memphis-based chain that opened its doors in downtown Maplewood (not far from Porter’s). Their recipe has a little bit of spice in it and is served with coleslaw and beans. While this not my favorite fried chicken, it is still worth a trip to their restaurant to check it out and try it for yourself.
Next time you find yourself in Saint Louis with a craving for some fried chicken, try out one of these restaurants and get your fix.