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Husk Fried Chicken
Husk fried chicken.
Bill Addison/Eater

Where to Find Crisp, Juicy, Traditional Fried Chicken in Nashville

For when you just want fried chicken, hold the hot

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Husk fried chicken.
| Bill Addison/Eater

Nashville hot chicken — that trendy, crispy, fiery fowl — is what comes to mind when most people think of fried chicken in Nashville. But go back to the original with this list for some tried-and-true examples of traditional fried chicken around town, which is often found at some of the oldest restaurants in town. Those averse to spicy can (for the most part) stick to this list to ensure those sensitive taste buds are protected.

For those looking for the spice, here’s where to eat hot chicken in its hometown.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.
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Lil Cee's

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This under-the-radar soul food spot is cash-only, and longtime locals say it’s well worth the trip to the ATM for takeout lunch or an early — super early — dinner at Lil Cee’s. Cedric’s traditional fried chicken, fried pork chops, and sides keep people coming back. Menus aren’t posted anywhere online and meat-and-two options change daily, so call before heading in to make sure that traditional fried chicken is an option.

Monell's Dining & Catering

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Juicy, crispy fried chicken is served every day of the week at Monell’s, for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The family-style serving situation for all three meals makes it easy to conceal how much fried chicken one is actually eating, and the communal tables and atmosphere lend to a memorable dining experience.

Waldo's Chicken & Beer

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Waldo’s, opened in 2019 in the former Little Donkey space, has a straightforward, fowl-centric menu: choose from chicken on the bone, on a bun, in a bowl, or in a basket. Pickle-brined Southern fried and fire-roasted chicken plus scratch sides provide a welcome affordable and familiar lunch and dinner option to the popular dining neighborhood.

Chicken on the bone, in a bowl, in a basket, and on a bun at Waldo’s.
Sam Angel/Eater Nashville

Puckett's Grocery & Restaurant - Downtown Nashville

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It has roots from the 1950s as a grocery store down in Leiper’s Fork, but Puckett’s also found its way to downtown Nashville, and serves its standout Southern fried chicken with mashed potatoes and green beans.

Liberty Common

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Southern comfort food meets French classics here — and one prime example are Liberty Common’s fried chicken dishes. Since the pandemic, the Monday fried chicken and champagne special is no more, but the extra-juicy chicken can still be savored atop waffles, on biscuits, and in sandwich form.

Pinewood Social

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The fried chicken at this downtown restaurant and hangout has been a signature item since inception — it’s offered as a half chicken for $22.

Swett's

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Swett’s dishes out homestyle southern fare, and no surprise, one of the more popular choices is the fried chicken (best complimented by collard greens, cornbread, and peach cobbler). For those looking to get a fried chicken fix at BNA, there’s a new Swett’s outpost there.

Stop in for weekend brunch and grab a plate of fried chicken, a hybrid of the traditional Southern style that packs a little bit of heat. This version is consistently pointed to as one of the best fried chicken dishes in town.

Elliston Place Soda Shop

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Opened in 1939, Elliston Place’s menu offers meat-and-three plates, burgers, fried bologna sandwiches, sodas of course, and excellent milkshakes. Now they’re next door, but the downhome feel (and prices) are still the same — including the fried chicken, one of the few meats offered daily.

Arnold's Country Kitchen

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In order to try the fried chicken at this James Beard America's Classic award winner, you’ll have to get in line on Monday — that’s the only day of the week it's served.

The Loveless Cafe

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Lon and Annie Loveless gained a following for their fried chicken, ham, and buttermilk biscuits, eventually opening a country restaurant that’s had a number of owner changes since its inception in 1951. Still, the Loveless Cafe uses the same secret biscuit recipe and the fried chicken is still fantastic, with options for a half chicken; quarters of dark or white meat; jumbo chicken fingers; and even fried chicken livers — yum.

Bishop's

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Those south of Nashville proper can check off the meat-and-three and fried chicken boxes in one fell swoop at the Cool Springs eatery. Fried chicken is on the menu daily for crispy, crunch indulgence.

Lil Cee's

This under-the-radar soul food spot is cash-only, and longtime locals say it’s well worth the trip to the ATM for takeout lunch or an early — super early — dinner at Lil Cee’s. Cedric’s traditional fried chicken, fried pork chops, and sides keep people coming back. Menus aren’t posted anywhere online and meat-and-two options change daily, so call before heading in to make sure that traditional fried chicken is an option.

Monell's Dining & Catering

Juicy, crispy fried chicken is served every day of the week at Monell’s, for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The family-style serving situation for all three meals makes it easy to conceal how much fried chicken one is actually eating, and the communal tables and atmosphere lend to a memorable dining experience.

Waldo's Chicken & Beer

Chicken on the bone, in a bowl, in a basket, and on a bun at Waldo’s.
Sam Angel/Eater Nashville

Waldo’s, opened in 2019 in the former Little Donkey space, has a straightforward, fowl-centric menu: choose from chicken on the bone, on a bun, in a bowl, or in a basket. Pickle-brined Southern fried and fire-roasted chicken plus scratch sides provide a welcome affordable and familiar lunch and dinner option to the popular dining neighborhood.

Chicken on the bone, in a bowl, in a basket, and on a bun at Waldo’s.
Sam Angel/Eater Nashville

Puckett's Grocery & Restaurant - Downtown Nashville

It has roots from the 1950s as a grocery store down in Leiper’s Fork, but Puckett’s also found its way to downtown Nashville, and serves its standout Southern fried chicken with mashed potatoes and green beans.

Liberty Common

Southern comfort food meets French classics here — and one prime example are Liberty Common’s fried chicken dishes. Since the pandemic, the Monday fried chicken and champagne special is no more, but the extra-juicy chicken can still be savored atop waffles, on biscuits, and in sandwich form.

Pinewood Social

The fried chicken at this downtown restaurant and hangout has been a signature item since inception — it’s offered as a half chicken for $22.

Swett's

Swett’s dishes out homestyle southern fare, and no surprise, one of the more popular choices is the fried chicken (best complimented by collard greens, cornbread, and peach cobbler). For those looking to get a fried chicken fix at BNA, there’s a new Swett’s outpost there.

Husk

Stop in for weekend brunch and grab a plate of fried chicken, a hybrid of the traditional Southern style that packs a little bit of heat. This version is consistently pointed to as one of the best fried chicken dishes in town.

Elliston Place Soda Shop

Opened in 1939, Elliston Place’s menu offers meat-and-three plates, burgers, fried bologna sandwiches, sodas of course, and excellent milkshakes. Now they’re next door, but the downhome feel (and prices) are still the same — including the fried chicken, one of the few meats offered daily.

Arnold's Country Kitchen

In order to try the fried chicken at this James Beard America's Classic award winner, you’ll have to get in line on Monday — that’s the only day of the week it's served.

The Loveless Cafe

Lon and Annie Loveless gained a following for their fried chicken, ham, and buttermilk biscuits, eventually opening a country restaurant that’s had a number of owner changes since its inception in 1951. Still, the Loveless Cafe uses the same secret biscuit recipe and the fried chicken is still fantastic, with options for a half chicken; quarters of dark or white meat; jumbo chicken fingers; and even fried chicken livers — yum.

Bishop's

Those south of Nashville proper can check off the meat-and-three and fried chicken boxes in one fell swoop at the Cool Springs eatery. Fried chicken is on the menu daily for crispy, crunch indulgence.

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