Here Are Charlotte’s Best Chicken Sandwiches
Options across the city
Eight + Sand Kitchen / Nashville Hot Chicken Biscuit ($13)
135 New Bern St., Ste. A
Eight + Sand’s Panko fried chicken sandwich is a top seller for good reason, but the Nashville hot chicken biscuit has a bit more pizzazz. It started as a seasonal dish but became so popular they made it a permanent menu item. The chicken is buttermilk-brined, panko-fried, and dripping in hot sauce, then topped with a thick slice of cheddar, a free-range fried egg, and pickles. It’s piled onto a house-made buttermilk biscuit, which may not be enough to contain the runny egg yolk. It’s also huge, so we recommend eating this one with a fork, knife, and plenty of napkins.
The Crunkleton / Fried Chicken Sandwich ($14)
1957 E. 7th St.
This fried chicken sandwich is everything a chicken sandwich should be except cheap. The chicken is tender, and the exterior is crisp without being too crunchy. Topped with pickles and hot chile honey, the meat is regionally sourced and comes with a pile of garlicky shoestring fries—so you can easily forgive the price.
The Goodyear House / The Red Devil Chicken ($14)
3032 N. Davidson St.
One of the (delightfully) messier ones on the list, this sandwich comes with spicy dipped fried chicken, slaw, tomato, and pickles on a benne seed bun.
Crafty Burg’r n’ Tap / Boom Boom Chicken Sandwich ($10.79)
17015 Kenton Dr., Cornelius
Because of its beefy moniker, Crafty Burg’r surprises diners with its flaky and tender fried chicken—and this sandwich is an Everest. With the help of a skewer, housemade buns hug two (two!) freshly fried chicken breasts, skinny onion rings, tomato, onion, and, of course, bacon. This beast-of-a-sandwich is worth every bit of mess when the signature Boom Boom sauce hits your lips. A bit sweet and not spicy, the secret sauce does everything you hope it will for the bite.
The Asbury / Chicken Sandwich ($13)
237 N. Tryon St.
Executive chef Mike Long does everything right with this chicken sammie. It’s pickle brined and fried, slathered in a tangy mustard sauce, and topped with muenster cheese, bacon, and pickles. Honorable mention to his chicken biscuit on the breakfast menu, with cream cheese and blueberry jam.
Haymaker / Billy D’s Fried Chicken Sandwich ($15)
225 S. Poplar St.
“Heaping” is the word that comes to mind. Between the potato buns are heapings of celery-seed slaw, pickles, smoked white barbecue sauce, and a massive piece of fried chicken in this Chef William Dissen signature. It fits at the upscale Southern spot in Third Ward because of the fresh-from-the-farm ingredients that separate the sandwich from its fast-food cousins. The chicken comes from Joyce Farms in Winston-Salem. The sandwich comes with seasoned fries (which deserve inclusion on an otherwise fry-exclusive roundup), with pepper mash aioli. And yes, those come in heaps, too.
Scratch House Chicken / Simply Put ($7.50)
3032 N. Davidson St.
With options like The Upgrade and The Hot Mamma, Chef Chris Coleman shows us how versatile the chicken sammie is. His flagship sandwich, the Simply Put, is simply delicious with a golden brown fried chicken with pickles on a seeded potato bun. That extra kick you taste is probably the custom seasoned breading created by chef Troy Gagliardo’s Motown Spices. This one may look simple, but it’s anything but basic.
Roof.top21 / Spicy Chicken Katsu Sandwich ($12)
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Fahrenheit’s food truck serves Hawaiian street food inspired by Chef Dave Feimster’s seven years in the Aloha state. He calls his spicy chicken katsu sandwich the Hawaiian version of the Nashville hot chicken sandwich. The crispy chicken topped with sweet and sour pickles, lettuce, tomato, and motoyaki mayo is love at first bite.
Bossy Beulah’s / The Beaut ($7)
2200 Freedom Drive
Veteran restaurateur Jim Noble’s 1,200-square foot chicken shack has counter seating as in a Waffle House. You can order your sammie bunless or add American cheese, and your customizable options end there. Each sandwich is made with the Noble family’s buttermilk fried chicken, which has just enough seasoning to enhance the chicken without stealing the show. It’s served on a toasted potato bun with house-made pickles and a swipe of Duke’s mayo. You can pair it with a classic North Carolina beverage like sweet tea or Cheerwine, but that’s it. This menu’s as straightforward as they come.
Fran’s Filling Station / New South Chicken Sandwich ($17)
2410 Park Rd.
Get a load of this line-up: a “buttermilk-bathed, floured, and fried chicken with goat cheese and pepper jelly on a pretzel bun.” Translation: This is one tasty addition to this list. The nuttiness of the goat cheese and the saltiness of the pretzel bun make this one distinct from its competitors on this list.
Yafo Kitchen / Israeli Hot Chicken Sandwich ($10.99)
A chicken sandwich might not be top of mind when you visit a Middle Eastern-inspired restaurant that’s known for healthy build-your-own bowls. But executive chef Shai Fargian’s Israeli Hot Chicken Sandwich is worth changing up your lunch routine for. The chicken schnitzel, slathered in spicy red schug and topped with purple cabbage slaw, is an unexpected blend of spice and heat. We recommend the Greek yogurt mac and cheese as your side to cut some of the heat from the sandwich. And if you don’t want to feel like your mouth is on fire, just tell the team behind the counter, and they’ll dial it back.
Easy Like Sunday / Fried Chicken Sandwich ($12.95)
1600 E. Woodlawn Rd., Ste. 100
The French toast and waffles will get you in the door at Easy Like Sunday—and the cornmeal fried chicken pancakes will blow your mind if you’re feeling particularly brunch-y—but the fried chicken is the dark horse on the menu. Order it in sandwich form with bacon, egg, white cheddar, and arugula on a brioche bun and you’ll know those mind-blowing cornmeal pancakes were no fluke. The dash of maple Dijon aioli adds some tangy sweetness to the salty meat and cheese and sets it apart from any sandwich you’d get at a drive-thru.
Pinky’s Westside Grill / Ding Dong Chicken ($7.95)
1600 W. Morehead St.
The toppings throw you off at first, as you peruse the menu: Wait, sriracha? Honey? Cilantro? Crunchy peanut butter? Won’t they declare war on each other on top of that nice, neutral chicken breast? No, the good people at Pinky’s know what they’re doing. The heat of the sriracha balances the sweetness of the honey in the slaw, and the peanut butter adds a textured layer of dense protein atop the satisfying slab of grilled poultry. If you think cilantro tastes like soap, well, sorry, you’ll just have to choke it down or miss out.
Mama Ricotta’s / Chicken Parmesan Sandwich ($11)
601 S. Kings Drive
This spot is known for its family-style dinners. But for lunch, you can’t beat a good chicken parm. Mama Ricotta’s tops breaded chicken with Muenster cheese and San Marzano red sauce. The baguette helps contain the mess, but like the other entries on the list, a few drops on the table are a small price to pay.
The Waterman / Hot Chicken Sandwich ($13)
2729 South Blvd., Ste. D
The Waterman’s version of the Nashville standard brings a lot of heat. The fried Springer Mountain chicken is covered in a spicy glaze, topped with lettuce, tomato, and pickles and sandwiched into a brioche bun. Bonus points if you leave without a drip of glaze on your clothing.