We're in the South, and fried chicken is everywhere. Since the options can be overwhelming, I'm here to help you figure out just where to go to satisfy your craving for the crispy, oily, and downright excellent creation that is fried chicken. Don't look at this as a definitive guide, but rather just a starter pack. Get out there and explore, kids.

1. Kickin' Chicken

A staple of downtown Charleston for years, KC is the college kid's go-to for some tenders or wings after class. Come for the solid food and fun sports bar atmosphere, stay for the great beer selection and good company. I actually work here, so I can recommend it firsthand.

2. The Charleston Bird

pork, sandwich
Kristen Kornbluth

This clucker on wheels is based in Mount Pleasant and can also be found all around the Charleston area. It's definitely worth tracking down and chasing. This sandwich was almost too big to hold, so you get a bang for your buck (it's under $10). I definitely still ate the whole thing though.

3. Boxcar Betty's

sweet, sweet potato, cinnamon, potato
Kristen Kornbluth

You're gonna want to find a ride to West Ashley for this one. Boxcar is known for their chicken sandwiches, and if their three pre-formulated combos don't cut it for you, there's a make-your-own option. Major key: the sweet potato fries. They're dusted in brown sugar.

4. Closed for Business

The only thing better than a fried chicken sandwich is a spicy fried chicken sandwich, and Closed For Business kills the game. The spicy red cabbage slaw, hot mayo, and pepper jack cheese heighten your typical fried chicken to new levels of flavor.

5. Jestine's Kitchen

chicken, pork
Kristen Kornbluth

Sure, it's super touristy, but there's a reason it's famous. Jestine's fried chicken is just good, plain and simple, and the line that's always out the door and down the block confirms that. Don't miss their mac and cheese either—it tastes like butter mixed with cheese, and I can't find a single flaw with that. CofC's Spoon chapter took a field trip here last year, and we can all wholeheartedly recommend it.

6. Caviar and Bananas

A lot of options at Caviar are healthy and delicious, but lucky for us fried chicken enthusiasts, this one just happens to be fried and delicious (we can just forget about the healthy thing right now). This picture speaks for itself, and since Caviar is practically on campus, your hangover won't be able to keep you away from this weekend brunch beauty. Get fruit as your side, and it's almost like you cancelled out the fried, right?

7. Hominy Grill

Middi Joyce

Get the Charleston Nasty Biscuit—fried chicken, cheddar cheese, sausage gravy, and probably the loss of a few years of life (#worthittho).

8. Martha Lou's Kitchen

A photo posted by Megan Watson (@mwatsonnyc) on

Martha Lou's is a hike up Morrison. It's even further north than 930 NoMo, so you should probably get a ride there. It's worth the trek, though. You get a big helping of traditional southern fried chicken with all the fixins. If you want authentic soul food, this is the spot, and has been for the past 30 years.

9. Kitchen 208

A photo posted by Kitchen 208 (@kitchen208) on

Fried chicken with swiss cheese, whole grain mustard aioli, lettuce, and tomato, all sandwiched between two bacon waffles. Chicken and waffles in any form is a blessing, but the bacon inside the waffle batter is what really sells it.

10. Poogan's Porch

Poogan's is one of those places you have your parents take you to when they visit. Right when you sit down, you're welcomed by a basket of fresh biscuits, but don't fill up on those. As advised by a fellow member of Spoon CofC, "The fried chicken at Poogan's is crispy and buttery on the outside, and moist on the inside. It's perfect. Also get the mac and cheese." Enough said; go there and get eatin'.