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A basket of hot chicken with pimento mac-and-cheese and greens on a table at Hattie B’s.
Hot chicken with pimento mac-and-cheese and greens from Hattie B’s.
Bill Addison/Eater

Where to Eat Nashville Hot Chicken in its Hometown

Find fiery fowl around its namesake city

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Hot chicken with pimento mac-and-cheese and greens from Hattie B’s.
| Bill Addison/Eater

Just like finding tourists wearing cowboy hats, green party tractors, and live music in Nashville, it’s pretty simple to locate something else this city is known for — hot chicken. Love it or hate it, these days hot chicken is nearly synonymous with Nashville. Locals and tourists alike flock to their favorite heat slingers, whether it be where the fiery bird made its debut over 70 years ago, or to one of the handfuls of new hot chicken joints that are putting their own spins on the classic. And while dozens of restaurants have added a hot (fill in the blank) dish to their menus, these spots have a special focus on the original — Nashville hot chicken.

See below for the full round-up of operational hot chicken-specific places. Looking to change it up? Other places all around town feature outside-the-box hot chicken-inspired dishes on their menu for takeout and delivery: find a constantly updated running list here.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.
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Granddaddy’s Famous Hot Chicken

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Just 20 minutes northwest of Nashville in the small town of Joelton, Tennessee, Granddaddy’s is churning out consistently good hot chicken. Besides the usual suspects of meats and varying levels of heats, Grandaddy’s fans rave about the hot chicken loaded baked potato, hot chicken spring rolls, and deep-fried hotdogs on special.

400 Degrees

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Native Nashvillian and lifelong hot chicken fan Aqui Hines first started 400 Degrees — named for her hottest spice level offered — more than 15 years ago, gaining loyal fans via food truck and her Clarksville Pike restaurant. Hines’s hot chicken recipe calls for deep-fried rather than skillet-fried chicken, a chief distinction between 400 degrees and most other restaurants.

Big Shake's Hot Chicken & Fish

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With locations in Franklin, Goodlettsville, and in Huntsville, Alabama, Big Shake’s offers heat seekers outside of Nashville proper the opportunity to get in on the fiery action. Better yet, Big Shake’s crusty, crunch will soon take over 421 11th Ave. N., the space last home to Your Pie Pizza, in Capitol View.

Big Shake’s / Facebook

Bishop's

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The Hattie B’s that many spend hours waiting in line for is actually the brainchild of the owners of Franklin’s own Bishop’s Meat-and-Three. The Bishop family experimented with serving hot chicken on their cafeteria line and found it soon became one of their best sellers. Today, hot chicken is served at Bishop’s every day of the week, including hot chicken meals for four for takeout or delivery via delivery dudes.

Red's 615 Kitchen

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Nashville native Eric “Red” White’s new permanent home specializing in fiery fowl is known for its hot, but still incredibly flavorful fried chicken sandwiches, catfish, and stellar sides like pimento mac and cheese and seasoned fries. He begins with 36-hour buttermilk and hot sauce brine, then breads it and lets it rest for two hours before frying it up fresh to order. Then it’s doused with a proper dose of his secret Nashville hot seasoning and lard blend. A hot chicken sandwich here comes slathered with Comeback sauce and crowned with slaw, which balances out the heat nicely, while a cool Crunchwrap take is stuffed with hot chicken and mac and cheese.

Hattie B's Hot Chicken

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Hattie B’s first opened in the summer of 2012 and since has become of the first names associated with Nashville hot chicken since expanding its heat nationwide. In addition to hot chicken, Hattie B’s doles out great sides and banana pudding. The original Midtown and Fifth and Broadway locations are always booming, so head out west to their Charlotte Ave. spot, or visit 8th Ave. South for a shorter wait and patio dining.

Hot chicken with pimento mac-and-cheese and greens .
Bill Addison/Eater

Party Fowl

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Offering more of a full-service restaurant experience than most other hot chicken purveyors, Party Fowl’s menu has a little bit of everything, including its signature hot chicken dishes, with heat levels ranging from traditional Southern fried to the “Poultrygeist,” the restaurant’s hottest. Party Fowl has locations in downtown Nashville, Murfreesboro, plus a massive new one in Donelson and one in Cool Springs (and one coming soon to BNA). Not in the mood for traditional hot chicken? Try the Nashville hot deconstructed Cobb salad or the hot chicken Cuban sandwich for a change.

Nashville hot half bird from Party Fowl.
Party Fowl

Bolton's Spicy Chicken & Fish

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One of Nashville’s most famous purveyors of hot chicken (Dolly Matthews was featured on David Chang’s Netflix series Ugly Delicious), Bolton’s has been serving the hot stuff for 20-plus years. The Main Street location is back in business alongside a new Antioch location, following the Melrose outpost shutter. And while, yes, the chicken is the main attraction, don’t miss out on the hot fish sandwich or the Southern-style sides.

Subculture Urban Cuisine And Cafe

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Get a hot chicken fix with a side of waffles, or even in ramen or taco form at one of the city’s most underrated spots found south of town. Fiery fowl here ranges from “not hot” to “stupid hot” —which packs a pleasant, flavorful amount of heat.

Delia Jo Ramsey / Eater Nashville

Prince's Hot Chicken Shack South

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The grandaddy of them all — Prince’s is the original hot chicken shack, serving legendary fiery fowl for over 70 years, and even snagging a James Beard Award along the way. André Prince Jeffries continues the decades-old tradition on the south side of town and in limited menu formats at 6th and Peabody Assembly Food Hall at 5th and Broadway, both downtown.

Scoreboard Bar & Grill

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While not a traditional hot chicken destination, this restaurant and bar near the Opryland Hotel still brings the heat and is available for takeout too. Spice levels range from “sissy” to “Satan’s tongue.”

Moore's Spicy Fried Chicken

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It’s incredible to realize that one person is mostly behind Moore’s, Mr. Moore himself. Whether it’s the spicy fried chicken, fish, brisket, or sides, Moore’s is the real deal, with loyal fans swearing its the best hot chicken in Hendersonville if not the greater Nashville area.

Slow Burn Hot Chicken

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Slow Burn Hot Chicken lives up to its name, offering several different heat levels from “sprinkle heat” (just a hint of spice) to “the end” (triple hot). The restaurant’s menu also includes hot fish, seafood, pork chops, and a selection of specials. The Madison location and city center window is now closed, but the new, larger location in Hendersonville isn’t too far of a trek for the cult-favorite chicken.

Mack’s Hot Chicken

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A popular food truck planted permanent roots back in 2019 on the southeast side of town in Smyrna, setting up shop as Mack’s Hot Chicken. Heat levels range from plain to the oh-so-fiery “Mack’s revenge.” In addition to the traditional meats and heats, Mack’s serves up solid sides, desserts, and a weekly “wild card Wednesday” featuring fun spins like hot Cornish hen, hot chicken-topped waffle fries, and hot chicken grilled cheese sandwiches.

“Wild Card” Wednesdays at Mack’s mean fun specials like this Nashville hot whole Cornish hen
Mack’s Hot Chicken

Hurt’s Hot Chicken Food Truck

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Hurt’s Hot Chicken is a roving hot chicken source, (usually parked at 3288 South Mount Juliet Road). Yes, it can be complicated to find a food truck when craving hot chicken. However, seeking out this one is worth it — as they’re doling out some of the best hot chicken (try it in a gyro, too) and fish in the city. Usually found in a Dollar General parking lot in Hermitage, follow along with Lamont Hurt’s (yep, that’s his real last name) business’s Facebook page for exact location information and times.

Delia Jo Ramsey/Eater Nashville

Granddaddy’s Famous Hot Chicken

Just 20 minutes northwest of Nashville in the small town of Joelton, Tennessee, Granddaddy’s is churning out consistently good hot chicken. Besides the usual suspects of meats and varying levels of heats, Grandaddy’s fans rave about the hot chicken loaded baked potato, hot chicken spring rolls, and deep-fried hotdogs on special.

400 Degrees

Native Nashvillian and lifelong hot chicken fan Aqui Hines first started 400 Degrees — named for her hottest spice level offered — more than 15 years ago, gaining loyal fans via food truck and her Clarksville Pike restaurant. Hines’s hot chicken recipe calls for deep-fried rather than skillet-fried chicken, a chief distinction between 400 degrees and most other restaurants.

Big Shake's Hot Chicken & Fish

Big Shake’s / Facebook

With locations in Franklin, Goodlettsville, and in Huntsville, Alabama, Big Shake’s offers heat seekers outside of Nashville proper the opportunity to get in on the fiery action. Better yet, Big Shake’s crusty, crunch will soon take over 421 11th Ave. N., the space last home to Your Pie Pizza, in Capitol View.

Big Shake’s / Facebook

Bishop's

The Hattie B’s that many spend hours waiting in line for is actually the brainchild of the owners of Franklin’s own Bishop’s Meat-and-Three. The Bishop family experimented with serving hot chicken on their cafeteria line and found it soon became one of their best sellers. Today, hot chicken is served at Bishop’s every day of the week, including hot chicken meals for four for takeout or delivery via delivery dudes.

Red's 615 Kitchen

Nashville native Eric “Red” White’s new permanent home specializing in fiery fowl is known for its hot, but still incredibly flavorful fried chicken sandwiches, catfish, and stellar sides like pimento mac and cheese and seasoned fries. He begins with 36-hour buttermilk and hot sauce brine, then breads it and lets it rest for two hours before frying it up fresh to order. Then it’s doused with a proper dose of his secret Nashville hot seasoning and lard blend. A hot chicken sandwich here comes slathered with Comeback sauce and crowned with slaw, which balances out the heat nicely, while a cool Crunchwrap take is stuffed with hot chicken and mac and cheese.

Hattie B's Hot Chicken

Hot chicken with pimento mac-and-cheese and greens .
Bill Addison/Eater

Hattie B’s first opened in the summer of 2012 and since has become of the first names associated with Nashville hot chicken since expanding its heat nationwide. In addition to hot chicken, Hattie B’s doles out great sides and banana pudding. The original Midtown and Fifth and Broadway locations are always booming, so head out west to their Charlotte Ave. spot, or visit 8th Ave. South for a shorter wait and patio dining.

Hot chicken with pimento mac-and-cheese and greens .
Bill Addison/Eater

Party Fowl

Nashville hot half bird from Party Fowl.
Party Fowl

Offering more of a full-service restaurant experience than most other hot chicken purveyors, Party Fowl’s menu has a little bit of everything, including its signature hot chicken dishes, with heat levels ranging from traditional Southern fried to the “Poultrygeist,” the restaurant’s hottest. Party Fowl has locations in downtown Nashville, Murfreesboro, plus a massive new one in Donelson and one in Cool Springs (and one coming soon to BNA). Not in the mood for traditional hot chicken? Try the Nashville hot deconstructed Cobb salad or the hot chicken Cuban sandwich for a change.

Nashville hot half bird from Party Fowl.
Party Fowl

Bolton's Spicy Chicken & Fish

One of Nashville’s most famous purveyors of hot chicken (Dolly Matthews was featured on David Chang’s Netflix series Ugly Delicious), Bolton’s has been serving the hot stuff for 20-plus years. The Main Street location is back in business alongside a new Antioch location, following the Melrose outpost shutter. And while, yes, the chicken is the main attraction, don’t miss out on the hot fish sandwich or the Southern-style sides.

Subculture Urban Cuisine And Cafe

Delia Jo Ramsey / Eater Nashville

Get a hot chicken fix with a side of waffles, or even in ramen or taco form at one of the city’s most underrated spots found south of town. Fiery fowl here ranges from “not hot” to “stupid hot” —which packs a pleasant, flavorful amount of heat.

Delia Jo Ramsey / Eater Nashville

Prince's Hot Chicken Shack South

The grandaddy of them all — Prince’s is the original hot chicken shack, serving legendary fiery fowl for over 70 years, and even snagging a James Beard Award along the way. André Prince Jeffries continues the decades-old tradition on the south side of town and in limited menu formats at 6th and Peabody Assembly Food Hall at 5th and Broadway, both downtown.

Scoreboard Bar & Grill

While not a traditional hot chicken destination, this restaurant and bar near the Opryland Hotel still brings the heat and is available for takeout too. Spice levels range from “sissy” to “Satan’s tongue.”

Moore's Spicy Fried Chicken

It’s incredible to realize that one person is mostly behind Moore’s, Mr. Moore himself. Whether it’s the spicy fried chicken, fish, brisket, or sides, Moore’s is the real deal, with loyal fans swearing its the best hot chicken in Hendersonville if not the greater Nashville area.

Slow Burn Hot Chicken

Slow Burn Hot Chicken lives up to its name, offering several different heat levels from “sprinkle heat” (just a hint of spice) to “the end” (triple hot). The restaurant’s menu also includes hot fish, seafood, pork chops, and a selection of specials. The Madison location and city center window is now closed, but the new, larger location in Hendersonville isn’t too far of a trek for the cult-favorite chicken.

Mack’s Hot Chicken

“Wild Card” Wednesdays at Mack’s mean fun specials like this Nashville hot whole Cornish hen
Mack’s Hot Chicken

A popular food truck planted permanent roots back in 2019 on the southeast side of town in Smyrna, setting up shop as Mack’s Hot Chicken. Heat levels range from plain to the oh-so-fiery “Mack’s revenge.” In addition to the traditional meats and heats, Mack’s serves up solid sides, desserts, and a weekly “wild card Wednesday” featuring fun spins like hot Cornish hen, hot chicken-topped waffle fries, and hot chicken grilled cheese sandwiches.

“Wild Card” Wednesdays at Mack’s mean fun specials like this Nashville hot whole Cornish hen
Mack’s Hot Chicken

Hurt’s Hot Chicken Food Truck

Delia Jo Ramsey/Eater Nashville

Hurt’s Hot Chicken is a roving hot chicken source, (usually parked at 3288 South Mount Juliet Road). Yes, it can be complicated to find a food truck when craving hot chicken. However, seeking out this one is worth it — as they’re doling out some of the best hot chicken (try it in a gyro, too) and fish in the city. Usually found in a Dollar General parking lot in Hermitage, follow along with Lamont Hurt’s (yep, that’s his real last name) business’s Facebook page for exact location information and times.

Delia Jo Ramsey/Eater Nashville

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