During my childhood, our version of fried chicken was actually baked! It wasn’t until my teen years that I experienced the delight of authentic fried chicken. The moment that juicy, Southern-style fried chicken hit my taste buds, I was absolutely smitten.
Despite my love for this dish, I don’t often prepare it at home due to its high calorie content.
Instead, it’s my indulgence of choice when we occasionally eat out. Residing in East Tennessee has led us to discover numerous fantastic spots that quench my fried chicken cravings.
In today’s Best of Knoxville post, we’re excited to guide you through these local gems. Prepare to uncover the best spots for the most succulent, finger-licking fried and hot chicken in Knoxville.
Best Fried Chicken in Knoxville
If you live in Knoxville or are visiting, here are some of the places you need to visit for fried chicken in no particular order!
1. Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken
Gus’s is a renowned national chain that was born in the heart of Mason, TN and has since extended its reach across the country. They’ve planted roots in Knoxville, where they’re adored for their tempting Hot and Spicy Fried Chicken.
Despite their extensive network of locations, Gus’s proudly maintains its commitment to fresh, never frozen, natural, hormone-free chicken, fried in premium peanut oil. They also continue to uphold the original recipes and time-honored traditions that gave birth to the first restaurant over six decades ago.
To delve into Gus’s rich history, explore their full menu, and locate other branches, be sure to visit their website here.
2. Myrtle’s Chicken + Beer
Tucked away in the heart of downtown Knoxville on Market Square, Myrtle’s Chicken + Beer has been winning hearts and taste buds for well over a year. Their menu shines a spotlight on Southern Fried Chicken, freshly sourced and always free from freezing.
The chicken is bathed in a unique Buttermilk Marinade for a full 12 hours before being coated in their signature blend of flour and spices. Opt for the traditional Bone-In pieces or go for the Boneless tenders.
Pair your tenders with their house-made dipping sauces, or perhaps you’d prefer Benton’s Bacon Fat Gravy or Big Daddy’s Candied Bacon. Beyond chicken, they offer an array of sandwiches, salads, wraps, main dishes, starters, sides and more.
Don’t miss their indulgent weekend brunch menu featuring tempting options like Chicken & Waffles, Biscuits & Gravy, among others. Visit their website to explore the complete menu, book a table and more.
3. Jackie’s Dream Cafe
Jackie nurtured a lifelong dream of owning a restaurant, and after years of honing her skills in others’ establishments, she turned that dream into reality. Situated in downtown Knoxville, Jackie’s Dream Cafe is a cherished destination for some of the finest Soul Food in the city.
Patrons rave about her fried and hot chicken, which is sold individually, allowing you to choose your preferred pieces and quantity. Whether you’re dining in or grabbing a meal to-go, don’t overlook the delectable sides like Mama’s Cabbage, Nanny Mary’s Potato Salad, Pinto Beans, among others.
Their philosophy revolves around homemade, scratch cooking and seasonal ingredients. To discover their current offerings and daily specials, do visit their website here.
Situated in the heart of West Knoxville, Farmacy is dedicated to fostering connections over tasty, heart-warming meals. Their offerings are a testament to modern Southern cuisine, meticulously prepared from scratch and bursting with love.
Their diverse menu spans from refreshing, unique salads to succulent beef brisket, but a standout favorite among customers is their fiery hot chicken. This Nashville-inspired fried chicken is rich with spices and makes for the perfect companion to a refreshing glass of sweet tea.
But do ensure to reserve some appetite for dessert, as you wouldn’t want to miss their indulgent treats like Roasted Banana Puddin’ or the Nutella Layer Cake. Farmacy also showcases a special Brunch menu on weekends. For a glimpse into their culinary delights, check out their website here.
5. Maple Street Biscuit Company
Maple Street Biscuit Company
Nestled in the lively district of Knoxville, Maple Street Biscuit Company is a haven for those seeking comfort food with a creative twist. This beloved locale is devoted to crafting memorable meals that cultivate community. Their menu is a tribute to Southern home cooking, each dish made from scratch and brimming with affection.
Maple Street Biscuit Company shines in its innovative use of a classic staple: the biscuit. Their extensive menu ranges from hearty, biscuit-based breakfast sandwiches to their renowned Biscuit and Gravy. Yet, a fan-favorite remains their spicy Hot Chicken biscuit.
This deliciously fiery chicken is nestled between a fluffy biscuit and is sure to delight your taste buds.
But don’t let your culinary journey end there. Be sure to explore their sides, like the enticing Hashbrown Cake or the savory Mac & Cheese. And remember to leave space for their mouthwatering desserts, such as the Biscuit Bread Pudding. Visit their website here!
6. Lee’s Famous Recipe Chicken
Lee’s Famous Recipe Chicken, a nationwide sensation that began its journey in Ohio, has found a cherished place in the hearts of Knoxville’s residents. Known for their remarkable Fried Chicken, Lee’s is a frequent stop for those craving a taste of nostalgia served with a side of spice.
Despite their expansion across the country, Lee’s Famous Recipe Chicken stays true to its roots. They continue their commitment to quality, using fresh chicken, which is cooked to perfection in their signature blend of herbs and spices.
Their adherence to the original recipes and practices that kickstarted the brand over half a century ago, speaks volumes about their dedication to tradition and quality.
To uncover more about Lee’s legacy, explore their full menu, or find other locations, make sure to visit their website. Get ready to experience why Lee’s Famous Recipe Chicken is a celebrated part of the Knoxville food scene. Visit them on the web here.
What Have You Tried?
Have you had the pleasure of tasting the incredible fried chicken at any of the eateries we’ve mentioned? Or perhaps you have a different favorite fried chicken spot in Knoxville?
Share with us your go-to places for fried chicken in Knoxville in the comments section below. We’d love to explore these suggestions personally. After all, we’re always game for some fried chicken exploration!