Readers spoke, we searched reviews, and we ate a lot of delicious fried chicken in and around Asheville. The result?
The best fried chicken in Asheville: The Ashvegas list.
In no particular order:
Chicken on the bone
Corner Kitchen: Our readers’ pick. Saturday and Sunday brunch only, sad to say. Tender, crisp, homemade and served with grits, collards and a biscuit, the way it should be.
Rocky’s Hot Chicken Shack: West Asheville. Hot, spicy, make-you-sweat chicken is the specialty at the Shack (though mild and medium are also on the menu), along with Southern-style sides like mac and cheese & collard greens.
Little Pigs BBQ: South Asheville. Some things never change, like this around-forever barbecue joint on Hendo Road, open since 1963. Old-school buckets, pieces and half-chicken plates.
Circle B Ranch BBQ: Fletcher. Sorry to let the secret out, Fletcher. Barbecue and home cooking including, seriously, some of the best fried chicken in Asheville. Reader tip: Call 30 minutes ahead and pick up.
Moose Cafe: West Asheville. Greasy, traditional and cheap buttermilk fried chicken breast and Southern fried chicken.
Big J’s Bubba-Q: Arden. There can be a wait for chicken this good. Call ahead, as hours can be irregular. Dinner takeout only.
Table: Downtown. The Lake Lure fried chicken on the brunch menu? THAT.
The Junction: River Arts District. The sweet-tea “brined” Ashley Farms fried chicken is presently on the brunch menu only.
Tod’s Tasties: Montford. While they don’t have a fried chicken plate on the menu, the boneless cutlets that come with the fried chicken salad and fried chicken sandwich (the Thunderbird) are STELLAR.
Early Girl: Downtown. Like Tod’s, EG does not have a fried chicken plate on the menu. It does have a fried chicken salad and pan-fried chicken breast that will knock you out, though.
Tupelo Honey Cafe: Downtown AND South Asheville. Tourist trap or killer fried chicken? It might be all that and a little bit more. Southern chicken BLTs and fried chicken breast topped with country ham, melted havarti cheese and basil, because Asheville.
HomeGrown: North Asheville. A city favorite. HomeGrown is all new-school and farm to table, but guess what, home cooking specialists? The new kids can make killer fried chicken, too.
The Universal Joint: West Asheville. Currently a Tuesday special only, and a best-kept secret for killer fried chicken on the West side. Call ahead to check availability.
What’d we miss?