The 15 Best Places To Get Chicken and Waffles

Chicken & waffles is an unexpected dish. The ages-old “neither fish nor fowl” metaphor might apply here, except for the fact that fowl is, in fact, involved — usually fried, then set atop a spacious waffle, ready to be devoured. It’s a meal that has a long history in American cuisine. And its appeal is pretty clear: Travis Grimes, the executive chef at Charleston's Husk, notes that “chicken & waffles has everything you could want in a single dish. Crunch, salt, sweet, and savory.” It’s also versatile: on some restaurants, you’ll find it listed as a dinner entrée; for others, it falls soundly in the category of brunch. Chad Anderson, executive chef of Atlanta's Oak Steakhouse, is an advocate for the latter, favoring “lunch time when your palate is still ‘waking up’ and may appreciate some sweet food along with the savory.”

The ideal time to consume chicken & waffles may also depend on the restaurant’s approach to them. While the traditional blend of fried chicken and a waffle (perhaps with syrup nearby) is hard to beat, there are also plenty of variations that have cropped up across the country. The version served for brunch at New York’s Melba’s, for instance, are Southern Fried Chicken & Eggnog Waffles — upping the ante on the savory elements even further. For his version, Grimes makes some subtle changes to the recipe. “I also add charred scallions and cayenne pepper to a normal sweet waffle batter,” he said via email. He’ll also “mix some hot sauce into bourbon barrel-aged maple syrup.”

The fifteen spots that follow each offer their own unique take on chicken & waffles. Some accentuate the traditional version with outstanding cocktail selections; others take the expected recipe in bold directions.

By Tobias Carroll

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Husk, Charleston, SC

Husk’s version of chicken & waffles focuses on the dynamic between the waffle and the fried skin; go there, and the skin-and-waffle combination is what you’ll find. It’s a dynamic shift in texture from what’s expected, but it’s also an appealing way of emphasizing one of the traditional dish’s most appealing contrasts. (Photo Courtesy of Husk) Related: How to Make the Perfect Fried Chicken Sandwich

Sweet Chick, Brooklyn, NY

Sweet Chick, with a pair of New York locations, offers a respectable dedication to the art of chicken & waffles. Diners there can take in the dish reimagined as a sandwich, or fused with the equally-traditional Chicken Cordon Bleu. There are many ways to make chicken & waffles worthwhile; Sweet Chick offers several on the same menu. (Photo Courtesy of Sweet Chick via Facebook) Related: The 25 Best Burgers in America

Kuzzo’s, Detroit, MI

One of the newcomers on this list is Detroit's Kuzzo’s. What makes them a particularly notable choice for chicken & waffles devotees is the range of variations that they offer. These fall everywhere on the savory/sweet spectrum; one notable offering is a red velvet waffle, though the menu also offers a host of more traditional takes on the dish as well. (Photo Courtesy of Kuzzo’s via Instagram) Related: The 101 Best Beers in America

Silk City, Philadelphia, PA

Philadelphia's Silk City, housed in a diner that’s existed since the 1950s, upps the heat found in their version of chicken & waffles. There, the waffles have honey and chipotle in the batter, leading to a dish that takes the sweetness and spiciness of the traditional version and accentuates it in unexpected directions.
(Photo Courtesy of Silk City) Related: Six Foods That Can Improve Your Sex Life

Canal Street Bistro, New Orleans, LA

New Orleans's Canal Street Bistro has a unique approach to chicken & waffles: their version of the dish merges it with eggs benedict. It’s a noteworthy combination, taking two savory brunch traditions and bringing them together, allowing a range of complex flavors to further intertwine. (Photo Courtesy of Canal Street Bistro via Facebook) Related: The 15 Best Bloody Marys in America

Zed451, Chicago, IL

The variation on chicken & waffles found at Chicago's Zed451 brings together two comfort-food favorites. In this case, it’s buffalo chicken that sits atop waffles, bringing its own charms, spiciness, and appeal to an already-strong combination. (Photo Courtesy of Zed451) Related: How to Make the Best Buffalo Wings Yourself

The Waffle Boss, Nashville, TN

Perhaps you’re looking to get chicken & waffles on the go. Nashville's The Waffle Boss is one of a few food trucks around the country that offer the dish. Their menu offers an array of versions of the dish, including multiple varieties of waffles and an option for spicier chicken. (Photo Courtesy of The Waffle Boss) Related: The 12 Best Taco Trucks in America

Oak Steakhouse, Atlanta, GA

For Oak Steakhouse’s executive chef Chad Anderson, the key to chicken & waffles is simplicity; a focus on the essentials. That doesn’t mean that he’s opposed to seasonal variations, though. “Sometimes we will serve it with a sorghum butter or a pumpkin butter in the fall, or with candied roasted pecans in the winter,” he said via email. Throw in an excellent cocktail selection, and Oak’s take on this is worth seeking out. (Photo Courtesy of Kelsey Schulz) Related: 10 Best Steakhouses in the World

Roscoe’s House of Chicken & Waffles, Los Angeles

Roscoe's House of Chicken & Waffles, with several Los Angeles locations, may well be responsible for helping raise the profile of chicken & waffles nationwide. References to this restaurant have been made in films such as Black Dynamite and Jackie Brown, pushing it towards the level of a culinary institution. (Photo Courtesy of Roscoe’s House of Chicken & Waffles) Related: 20 Must-Try Hot Dogs in America

Marvin, Washington, D.C.

Washington's Marvin (named for Marvin Gaye) offers a blend of Belgian and Southern culinary influences. And if you’ve ever opted for a Belgian waffle for breakfast, you can probably figure out why this combination of styles makes them an ideal spot to visit for chicken & waffles. (Photo Courtesy of Marvin via Instagram) Related: 9 Healthy Breakfast Dishes to Cook on Your Griddle

The Stone Fox, Nashville, TN

The Stone Fox, which offers both food and live music to visitors, serves chicken & waffles on their brunch menu; there, the dish’s spiciness comes from the syrup served with it. The bar selection has also attracted this spot a lot of acclaim; it’s an impressive blend of strengths. (Photo Courtesy of The Stone Fox via Instagram)

The Breakfast Klub, Houston, TX

Sometimes, it’s the back-to-basics approach that really works. As the name might suggest, Houston's The Breakfast Klub is dedicated to the first meal of the day, with a menu that offers up breakfasts in multiple categories. Their take on the dish surrounds a waffle with an array of fried chicken wings. Do you add syrup? Compliment it with another breakfast dish? Continue with the minimalist theme? The next step is all up to you. (Photo Courtesy of The Breakfast Klub) Related: The 50 Best Sandwiches in America

Melba’s, New York, NY

Located in Harlem, Melba’s has been open since 2005, and has earned acclaim for their take on comfort food. Their own variation on chicken & waffles, which incorporates eggnog in lieu of cream in the waffles, emphasizes the recipe’s savory, sweet, and spicy elements, and takes each a step further. Melba’s chicken & waffles have received national attention; it’s not hard to see why. (Photo Courtesy of Melba’s via Facebook)                                           Related: 15 Gluten-Free Takes On Classic Comfort Foods

Yardbird, Miami Beach, FL and Las Vegas, NV

Yardbird, with locations in Miami Beach and Las Vegas, offers a dynamic take on Southern cooking. They also balance out noteworthy food offerings (including chicken & waffles with spiced watermelon on the side) with an expansive bar, including a rock-solid array of cocktails and a selection of bourbons, some of which (in Miami) infused with flavors like salted maple and bacon. (Photo Courtesy of Yardbird) Related: Best Bourbons to Buy for Under $55

Whiskey Cake, Plano, TX

Located north of Dallas in the city of Plano, the memorably-named Whiskey Cake doubles down on the savory for their version of chicken & waffles. In addition to chicken atop the waffle, there’s also an egg, plus sausage gravy. In that waffle batter? Bacon. Complimenting this dish are a host of brunch cocktails and complex blends of juices.(Photo Courtesy of Whiskey Cake)      Up Next: Where to Get The World’s Best Bacon