Fried chicken sandwiches have taken D.C., and the nation by storm, with tons of restaurants vying to create the best rendition of the classic. Countless combos are featured in an ever-increasing number of restaurants, however, I have narrowed down 10 of my personal favorites and ranked them below. Here is everything you need to know about the fried chicken scene in D.C.!

10. The Jimmy Muscles at Federalist Pig

1654 Columbia Rd NW, Washington, DC 20009

Located in picturesque Adams Morgan, Rob Sonderman's barbecue joint Federalist Pig has been serving high quality, authentic American barbecue for several years. It has even received a mention in the 2019 Michelin Guide for D.C and a cameo on hit TV show House of Cards. The sandwich in question here comes with pork belly, jalapeño relish, and sticky garlic sauce on top of the crispy, juicy chicken breast all contained inside a set of fresh sesame seed buns.

9. Nashville Sweet Heat Chicken Sandwich at Basic Burger

1101 S Joyce St, Arlington, VA 22202

Basic Burger, located just beyond the western end of Fashion Centre Mall at Pentagon City, serves up a large variety of delicious burgers and chicken sandwiches within a fast-casual setting. However, the best of the bunch has to be the Nashville Sweet Heat Chicken sandwich which puts a spin on the typical fried chicken sandwich recipe by adding Mike's Hot Honey to add a bit of spice and sweetness to every bite.

8. The Nashville Hot Chicken Sandwich at Good Stuff Eatery

Locations in Georgetown, Capitol Hill, Crystal City, Reagan Nat'l Airport

Now with four locations in D.C., Top Chef alum Spike Mendelsohn's hit fast-casual spot has taken the D.C. restaurant scene by storm. One of the highlights of the menu is Good Stuff Eatery's take on a Nashville hot chicken sandwich, which uses a spicy pepper oil instead baking the spice into the crust like most places. This and a few bread and butter pickles within fresh brioche buns combine to make a top quality sandwich.

7. The Spicy Fried Chicken Sandwich at Little Pearl

921 Pennsylvania Ave SE, Washington, DC 20003

Nestled within a former Civil War era carriage house, Michelin-starred Little Pearl serves up some of the city's most innovative food. This sandwich, only available at lunch, is one of these foods. Featuring a Yemeni hot sauce, pickles, and bibb lettuce for only $13 (despite its Michelin-starred status), this sandwich is a steal and absolutely worth a trip down to Capitol Hill.

6. The Nashville Hot Chicken Sandwich at Roaming Rooster

3176 Bladensburg Rd NE, Washington, DC 20018

Don't be surprised if you see lines out the door at "Best Fried Chicken" in D.C. winner Roaming Rooster. Although they serve up 5 different chicken sandwiches, the best of the bunch has to be the Nashville Hot Chicken Sandwich. With a buttermilk fried chicken breast and a house-made vinaigrette slaw, this sandwich is a must-try. If you can't make it all the way to their restaurant location in Northeast D.C., check them out at one of their 3 food trucks throughout central D.C.

5. The Nashville Hot Chicken at The Rub Chicken & Beer

801 King St 1st Floor, Alexandria, VA 22314

Sitting just below Hen Quarter, the team behind Big Buns Damn Good Burger Co. (seen later on this list!) has brought a fried-chicken-themed pop-up restaurant right in the middle of Old Town Alexandria. The sandwich in question here comes with hot-sauce-slathered chicken thigh with a mustard slaw, pickle chips, and comeback sauce coming in at an incredibly low price of $9.50. 

4. The Hot Tiger Bun at Lucky Buns

2000 18th St NW, Washington, DC 20009

Recently ranked top of the Washingtonian's "Eat Great Cheap" list, Alex McCoy's hit burger restaurant Lucky Buns creates many unique and creative spins on the traditional fried chicken sandwich formula. The sandwich in question, the "Hot Tiger Bun," features raw onion, pickles, chinese yellow mustard, mayo, and a Sichuan peppercorn spice paste all on a sizable, perfectly fried piece of chicken thigh in a sandwich that packs a strong punch both in flavor and in spice.

3. The Sandwich at Hot Lola's

4238 Wilson Blvd Level C, Arlington, VA 22203

Nestled within the Ballston Quarter Mall Food Hall, James Beard Rising Star Chef of the Year nominee Kevin Tien's Hot Lola's serves up delicious fried chicken sandwiches with a Sichuan twist. "The Sandwich" comes with a spicy fried chicken thigh, pickles, slaw, and comeback sauce, all coming together to form a perfect balance of spicy and salty. Don't skip out on the amazing and tender seasoned fries!

2. The Sando at WOOBOI Hot Chicken

139 Spring St #1, Herndon, VA 20170

Although it's quite a journey from DC, head chef Minwoo Choi's WOOBOI delivers a unique fried chicken sandwich sure to make anyone's mouth water. Diners can select one of six different heat levels that each use varying amounts of 15 different dried chili peppers that pair wonderfully with their homemade cider slaw and pickles. In fact, whoever orders one of the two spiciest levels, "Code Red" or "Code Blue," they get to write their names on a huge wall that serves as a "waiver."

1. The Shirlington Hot at Big Buns Damn Good Burger Co.

4401 Wilson Blvd, Arlington, VA 22203

The best fried chicken sandwich in the D.C. has to be the Shirlington Hot at Big Buns in Ballston. Inconspicuously located under a set of apartment complexes, Big Buns' team delivers a perfect interpretation of the typical fried chicken sandwich formula. With a buttermilk-fried chicken breast slathered in Nashville hot sauce contrasted with a bright slaw and dill pickles, Big Buns produces the best fried chicken sandwich in the D.C. area for the incredible price of $9.50.