Need some golden, deep-fried goodness? Here are 7 fried chicken restaurants to try in Columbus
Columbus doesn’t generally come to mind when the average American thinks of fried chicken meccas, considering it sits squarely in the Midwest, well north of southern cities like Nashville, which perfected the deep-fried cuisine.
But central Ohio has no shortage of quality chicken cooked to perfection in a vat of fryer oil. Most readers have undoubtedly tried Raising Cane’s. But Columbus and its suburbs are teeming with additional fried chicken offerings.
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Here are seven must-try spots for the deep-fried delicacy.
Hot Chicken Takeover
This relatively new entry into the Columbus dining scene began its life as a pop-up in 2014, and is quickly becoming the standard-bearer for Nashville-style hot chicken in central Ohio (although a “cold” option is available for those who prefer their fried chicken with less of a kick). The chain has four Columbus area locations, and a restaurant in the Cleveland suburb of Westlake. Menu items range from $8 to $10, although you can buy a whole chicken for $27.
The Eagle Food and Beer Hall
The Short North Location of this Midwestern chain lets customers enjoy a crispy, fried meal along with a craft beer and the occasional live band. The Eagle also offers a whole chicken for $19 or a half chicken for $11. A sandwich menu offers handheld dining options ranging from $7 to $12. Sitting in the heart of the city’s most popular nightlife district, The Eagle is the ideal place to enjoy a nice dinner before hitting the bars with your friends.
The Crispy Coop
Last spring Uncle Nick’s Greek Fried Chicken rebranded itself the Crispy Coop and moved to its current location in Grandview Heights. The eatery has since opened a second restaurant in Pickerington. They serve fried chicken both hot and mild, along with southern-style sides like cornbread. The dinner entrees cost around $12.
Mya’s Fried Chicken
Mya’s is one of the many food truck companies that makes the rounds at outdoor events in central Ohio. They offer buttermilk fried chicken and barbecue on a menu that’s impressively large for a food truck and features entrees priced between $6 and $10. You can see their schedule at streetfoodfinder.com.
Eddy’s Chicken and Waffles
This Southeast Side eatery delivers on the promise of its title with a breakfast-and-lunch-focused menu that also features french toast and fish and grits. The signature item, however, is unquestionably the four fried chicken wings beset upon a belgian waffle, which is available for $10.
Boxwood Biscuit Co.
Biscuits and gravy are the signature item at this breakfast-focused eatery. But the Short North staple also boasts a chicken and sandwich menu starting around lunchtime. With most sandwiches and entrees available for $11 or less, it's also one of the more affordable places to eat in Columbus' prime nightlife and shopping destination.
This Northeast Side street food haven serves fried chicken with an international flavor. Pacific Dry Rub, Sriracha Ranch, and Peppercorn Teriyaki are just a few of the options. You can order the chicken with two sides for between $11 and $12, or dispense with the sides altogether and spend between $7 and $8 just for the chicken.
Upcoming fried chicken restaurants
The coming months will mark the opening of even more fried chicken restaurants in central Ohio. Chains like Bojangles and Torchy’s (which offers fried chicken tacos) plan to take up roots in the Columbus area.
A confluence of factors make this region an ideal place to put a fast food or fast casual restaurant, including a relatively young population that is constantly adding new residents.
“Ohio has always been this bellwether state, especially when it comes to politics, but that translates into the business world as well,” said Homa Moheimani, spokesperson for the Ohio Restaurant Association. That’s especially true of central Ohio," she said.
“It’s business friendly, there’s a very diverse population, and people are willing to try new things here in Columbus,” Moheimani said.
California-based Dave’s Hot Chicken was the latest to announce a move to central Ohio. The chain plans to open 13 Columbus area locations as part of a move to Indiana and Ohio.
Dave’s spokesperson Todd Hollman said the company conducted extensive research prior to its decision to move here and found the region to be a prime market for a new set of restaurants.
“The market has an upbeat culture and the customer demographics we’re looking for,” he said.