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Fried Chicken in the Research Triangle?

  • j

I'm headed to Durham/Chapel in a week and I'm wondering if there's any really good fried chicken to be found in the area. Thanks for any recommendations.

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  1. In Durham Hog Heaven BBQ has pretty good chicken as does Shrimp Boats. I've tried the Chicken Hut and didn't care too much for it, reminded me of K&W Cafeteria's chicken. That and they serve instant iced tea?!?! I think Dip's in Chapel Hill is they only place you can get fried chicken, well there is KFC but................

    1 Reply
    1. re: LBD

      I had perhaps the worst fried chicken of my life, twice, at Shrimp Boats. Both times were rock hard (literally, I had to use a steak knife to cut through it, and half of it was unchewable...both times) and the batter was thick and greasy. Just awful.

    2. so i have abstained from eating fried chicken (and all other poultry and beef) for several years now, but the other weekend when i had brunch at watts grocery in durham i very nearly reconsidered. their fried chicken looked really, really good. i'd go there.


      1. If you search there was a post this past year on the scarcity of honest to goodness real fried chicken in the Triangle.

        That being said, the *only* place I've had southern fried chicken that was fit to eat in the past several years in the Triangle is Larry's Southern Kitchen in Garner, on Tryon Road off S. Saunders Street.

        1. I think that Smithfield BBQ has decent fried chicken, especially for a chain. It's very juicy, crispy and flavorful, although I usually have to add a little sauce to kick it up.

          Avoid Mama Dip's at all costs. Yuck.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Suzy Q

            I've only had Smithfield's chicken at room temperature & it was pretty good! I'll have to get by myself & try it hot.

          2. If you're up for a bit of an adventure, you could trek to Ye Olde Country Kitchen in Snow Camp (~30 mins from Chapel Hill).


            1 Reply
            1. re: brokegradstudent

              I'd say this is the best overall Southern buffet in the area. Extensive selection, everything freshly prepared, great salad bar, wonderful desserts, great atmosphere - and the chicken is divine 9 times out of 10. I'd put it in a tie with Joyce's for the chicken. Joyce's has better veggies, but Ye Olde provides a better Southern feast.

            2. I don't claim to have the most advanced palette, and this is going to sound really odd, but I hit the Lowe's Foods on 15-501 South (en route to Pittsboro from Chapel Hill) nearly every Sunday for their fried chicken. It's in the deli area, lunch only, and they have a meat and 2 veg special. Often times they can't make the fried chicken fast enough to satisfy the walk-up customers and the special call-in orders they get for dozens of pieces. I'm no expert, but I have watched those ladies cook many a piece of chicken, and to this southern boy they look like they know exactly what they're doing. The results are right on, anyway.

              Other than that, I got nothing. I personally don't mind Mama Dip's chicken, but it's not amazing.

              1. I know its a vice, but I like the fried chicken at Time Out in Chapel Hill. Don't miss the cabbage either, if you indulge.

                5 Replies
                1. re: brentk

                  I kind of have a soft spot for their chicken biscuit sandwich, sometimes if I catch a show at Cats Cradle or Local 506 I'll stop for one on the way home, brings back fuzzy memories of my early twenties.

                  1. re: LBD

                    There is no comparison to Joyce and Family. It is the best in the country.


                    1. re: dvhartley

                      not sure it's the best in the COUNTRY (I think Gullah Cuisine in Charleston, SC would have something to say about that), but their fried chicken is consistently the best I've had in the Triangle. Best in NC? I'd probably have to award that to Bum's in Ayden.

                      1. re: mikeh

                        I had never heard of this restaurant. Looks great.

                        I would put in another vote for Smithfields. Great chicken, but weirdly sweet slaw and potato salad.

                        1. re: mikeh

                          All the times I have been to Bum's I never tried their chicken. I was so focused on the collards and rutabagas. Now my daughter has graduated from ECU so I am hardly ever in the area.