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Sep 2, 2008 08:14 PM

Best southern fried chicken in Sarasota

Spending a week on Siesta Key this October and looking for some great fried chicken with all the fixins. Any rec is greatly appreciated! BTW...not expecting any recs on the key and can drive for good chow.

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  1. I can't help you out with chicken, but if you want some excellent BBQ and pulled pork, try HICKORY HOLLOW on Rt 301 in Ellenton, Its about 1-mile on the left heading west off Rt 75. Watch closely or you will miss the joint.... They have about 15 daily side dishes to choose from, and really good food. When you leave there head east and stop at the factory outlets at the Ellenton Factory Outlet Mall.

    1 Reply
    1. re: irwin

      I agree on Hickory Hollow. But keep in mind that the last set of days open I saw was Thursday through Sunday each week. So you might want to call first to make sure they are open when you want to go.


    2. Dude, I like the way you do it: thinking about the fried chicken you are going to want next month on vacation. The only fried chicken I have had in Sarasota is at Yoder's, an amish restaurant ( ). My recollection is that it was good. I am up in Tampa, so I haven't been able to figure out the fried chicken scene in Sarasota. Recently, I have been plugging Aunt Lee's in Clearwater. You could take a drive up to Caldesi Island, the no. 1 beach for 2008, and stop on the way. It's just a little drive-up window but it reminds of my beloved Harold's Chicken Shack from my Chicago days. For whatever reasons, fried chicken does not seem to be so prevalent here. Maybe because of all the fried seafood? I don't know. I am eager to hear what kind of responses you will receive.

      2 Replies
      1. re: CFishman

        Looks like Yoder's is the place. Thanks for the rec! I have a hankering for good fried chicken that I just can't shake so I'm looking forward to it. We have lots of fried seafood up here so that holds little interest. We fry the good stuff, too, clams, cod, halibut, and sole, and shrimp are shrimp no matter where you live.

        1. re: CapeCodGuy

          I recommend a trip to Rusty Bellies in Tarpon Springs ( ). They have changed my mind about shrimp being shrimp. They have their own boats and the shrimp come in super big and fresh. Let us know how you like Yoder's.

      2. Yoders, without a doubt. There are certain days that they don't do fried chicken though, so you'll want to call ahead to check. Also, make sure to get some pie. The pumpkin cream is particularly good.

        1. Basically there is no good southern fried chicken in the Sarasota/Osprey/Venice strip. Yoder's is the best there is, and it's OK at best. Real Southern food is sadly lacking in this area, as is quality seafood. We're swamped with mediocre Italian joints due to the NY/NJ seasonal crowd. There is an outstanding Pizza place - Valentino's on Clark; that is at least as good as Lombardi's in New York.

          1 Reply
          1. re: KiltedCook

            For excellent seafood try Da Ja Vu at Gulf Gate. He is an exceptional fish chef and his squid is the best I have ever had... give it a try.

          2. I also just today remembered Crager's, a diner at 7218 N Tamiami Trail. They also have pretty good fried chicken. Yoder's is still better, I think.

            4 Replies
            1. re: Nick

              I am also a Yoders fan. Their chicken is excellent and have a wide variety of sides to choose from. They have a big entree selection but I always see the chicken on the menu and never end up trying new things.

              1. re: Nick

                Crager's has lost its edge. I went there yesterday for a breakfast special. The sausage links were deep fried. The soft scrambled eggs were soft but not fully scrambled and had whites clearly not mixed in. The homefries were boiled and reheated with no crisp on them and overly seasoned with paprika and no salt. I asked for the toast extra dark and it was not even blond. Really a dissapointment. The cook was just lazy. I am afraid to know what the chicken is like if it was just pretty good before. Stick to Yoder's just skip the potato pancakes. They are like breakfast pancakes not lakes. Yoder's has good chicken. Have a nice visit. :-)

                1. re: suzigirl

                  I agree - Crager's is right near where I live, but I never go there - it's just a greasy spoon - ugh.

                  Best fried chicken to me is from Publix, hands down. Crispy, juicy and just delish!

                  1. re: gypsyrose

                    I haven't been there in years and back when they were good. Now they are just awful. I won't be back