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Where's the Best Fried Chicken in Boston Area?

FarFar Mar 18, 2010 09:15 AM

Although I live in Connecticut, I'm doing a little research for my grandson who lives in MA. He'd like to find out the best place in the Greater Boston area (actually in the area running from Boston proper and thence West and Northwest out to Lowell) for fried chicken. We'd appreciate any guidance you Massachusetts Chowhounds can give us. Thanks.

  1. p
    phatchris Mar 18, 2010 10:12 AM

    My vote goes to Tupelo in Inman.

    1 Reply
    1. re: phatchris
      bella_sarda Oct 7, 2010 07:50 AM

      I found Tupelo's fried chicken to be awfully dry on the inside. The crust was nicely crisp and not greasy, but the chicken should be juicy on the inside and this was definitely not. Trina's Starlite Lounge does a much better job in my opinion.

      A bit off topic, but the waffle at Tupelo that came with the chicken was limp and scant (like they hadn't poured enough batter into the iron), whereas the waffle at Trina's was crisp and plump.

      Trina's Starlite Lounge
      3 Beacon St, Somerville, MA 02143

    2. cassoulady Mar 18, 2010 10:22 AM

      Last year I as at Fromaggio as they were putting some freshly made friend chicken in the case. It was so delicious I wanted to cry. Sadly, they dont have it all the time.

      1. barleywino Mar 18, 2010 10:49 AM

        Here is a recent link http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/669264

        1. h
          hargau Mar 18, 2010 12:04 PM

          Its funny, whenever i try fried chicken anywhere i always end up thinking that i like Popeyes better!

          If he is in the lowell area and likes fried chicken wings they have exceptionally tasty ones on the lunch buffet at South East Asia in lowell. Its only the wings and only the 2 bone portion but they are damn good and all you can eat! Also if he likes spicy food the rest of the buffet has some really hot dishes on it.

          1. heathermb Mar 18, 2010 01:03 PM

            The Monday night fried chicken at Highland Kitchen is my current favorite.

            Highland Kitchen
            150 Highland Ave, Somerville, MA 02143

            4 Replies
            1. re: heathermb
              maillard Mar 18, 2010 08:19 PM

              Mine as well.

              1. re: maillard
                triple creme Mar 19, 2010 05:45 PM

                Me three

              2. re: heathermb
                jemarshall Oct 2, 2010 04:54 PM

                I drove out and couldn't,t find Highland Kitchen. Help.

                Highland Kitchen
                150 Highland Ave, Somerville, MA 02143

                1. re: jemarshall
                  autopi Oct 3, 2010 06:47 PM

                  highland and central.

              3. g
                Guinness02122 Mar 18, 2010 01:33 PM

                Mrs. Jones on Dorchester Ave. has great fried chicken wings (large wings). Four wings and two sides can fill up most people.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Guinness02122
                  Matt H Oct 7, 2010 12:37 PM

                  Another vote here for Mrs. Jones, great fried chicken and soul food in general. Also run by two wonderful people as well.

                2. galangatron Mar 18, 2010 01:45 PM

                  i love the bon chon chicken at privus in allston

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: galangatron
                    kimfair1 Mar 18, 2010 01:53 PM

                    I was just about t post that same thing. we went last evening, and that stuff is like Korean crack it's so good!

                    1. re: kimfair1
                      A.A. Mar 19, 2010 11:47 AM

                      Thirded. Privus serves the best fried chicken I've ever had.

                      1. re: A.A.
                        emilief Mar 19, 2010 01:57 PM

                        Fourth it. Love Privus - addictive.

                    2. re: galangatron
                      BoDubya Mar 19, 2010 12:15 PM

                      i recently tried the fried chicken at privus - it was good, but certainly not worthy of the praise it receives on this board and other places. it seemed to me that the actual quality of the chicken was pretty poor. it also could have been a little over-cooked, and lots of the oil made it's way through the crispy bits and into the meat (more greasy than juicy). i'd go back and try it again, but i wouldn't go out of my way.

                    3. o
                      oniontears Mar 18, 2010 11:26 PM

                      Coast Cafe in Cambridge!

                      13 Replies
                      1. re: oniontears
                        joebloe Mar 19, 2010 02:30 PM

                        I like Bon Chon and Popeye's. Mrs. Jones is getting some great review on yelp so will go try it right now.

                        1. re: joebloe
                          FarFar Mar 19, 2010 05:32 PM

                          I am the original poster of this thread. Guinness02122, above, is absolutely right. There has been some misinterpretation of my request. The fault is mine and I have to apologize for the confusion. When I asked about "fried chicken", I really hadn't thought about anything other than southern fried chicken. I know now that I should have specified that from the beginning. I'm sorry for being so insular that I didn't ever stop to consider that other cultures/cuisines have their versions of fried chicken. Please don't drum me out of Chowhound. Thanks, Guinness, for helping to set me straight.

                          1. re: FarFar
                            Guinness02122 Mar 19, 2010 09:30 PM

                            Great! Is your name FarFar in reference to the Danish Sweet Cream (what I consider a variation of ICE CREAM) in the U.S.?

                            1. re: Guinness02122
                              robertlf Mar 19, 2010 10:34 PM

                              FYI - There is a Danish ice cream shop in Duxbury called Farfars.

                              1. re: Guinness02122
                                FarFar Mar 20, 2010 05:51 AM

                                No, Far Far means grandfather (literally "Father's Father") in Swedish. It's what my grandkids call me.

                              2. re: FarFar
                                barleywino Mar 20, 2010 03:16 AM

                                Your grandson might also enjoy trying the buttermilk fried chicken wings at Drink, if he's over 21. (He can order a Oaxacan Old Fashioned to wash it down too)

                              3. re: joebloe
                                joebloe Mar 21, 2010 07:58 PM

                                Stopped by Mrs Jones today for the fried chicken. Extraordinary nice lady gave me a complimentary trial plate of fried chicken, roast chicken, st. louis spareribs. Everything was good. Fried chicken better than your supermarket fried chicken but nothing spectacular. St. Louis ribs easily beats Blue Ribbon but Pit Stop and M&M are better.

                                1. re: joebloe
                                  Guinness02122 Mar 21, 2010 09:11 PM

                                  Thanks, Joe. What's a better place locally?

                              4. re: oniontears
                                voidstar Mar 19, 2010 10:45 PM

                                I tried Coast Cafe in Cambridge right after I moved to the Cambridgeport area. I really wanted to love it, but came away confused and disappointed. From the reviews, I was expecting something on par with Ezell's in Seattle -- deliciously crisp/crunchy batter and moist, perfectly-seasoned chicken. Instead I found that the batter tasted burnt (not smoky, burnt) and the chicken was dry and too salty.

                                Maybe my experience was the exception, but I wouldn't recommend it. I won't be going back.

                                Coast Cafe
                                233 River St, Cambridge, MA 02139

                                1. re: voidstar
                                  jgg13 Mar 20, 2010 06:30 AM

                                  I wouldn't say that *burnt* is the norm, but as it is pan-fried instead of deep-fried you'll often get some blackened areas were it sits on the pan

                                  1. re: jgg13
                                    SmokeDawg Oct 2, 2010 11:17 PM

                                    On the two occasions I have had tried The Coast Cafe's chicken I also thought it was way over cooked, dry and way too dark. That the chicken sits on the pan is no excuse; that is how real fried chicken is made.

                                    1. re: jgg13
                                      Johnresa Oct 3, 2010 10:57 AM

                                      The chicken I had there did not look visibly burned at all but it tasted very very scorched. I pan fry chicken all the time and I have never had any taste like this that was not burned.

                                  2. re: oniontears
                                    LauraBear Mar 24, 2010 07:53 PM

                                    I like Coast Cafe, tho I am not wild about their side dishes

                                  3. m
                                    Marc S Mar 22, 2010 09:54 AM

                                    The last time I tried the Fried Chicken at the Summer Shack (in Alewife), I was pleasantly surprised. Little on the salty side though...

                                    Summer Shack
                                    149 Alewife Brook Parkway, Cambridge, MA 02140

                                    1. t
                                      Taralli Mar 23, 2010 02:16 PM

                                      How is Lucky's?

                                      Crispy Buttermilk Fried Chicken...16 - Deep fried in duckfat with cajun spiced sweet potato wedges and house made biscuits with country gravy

                                      1. c
                                        Canadian Tuxedo Mar 23, 2010 03:26 PM

                                        I can't compare it to any of the options already presented, and I'm certainly no fried chicken connoisseur, but I've always enjoyed the fried chicken at the Plough and Stars served on their Sunday night Chicken and Fish Fry.

                                        1. Chris VR Mar 24, 2010 05:48 PM

                                          Jacqueline's Grocery Store in Lawrence, as discussed in this thread http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/346959 Takeout only.

                                          Jacqueline's Grocery Store
                                          334 Lowell St, Lawrence, MA 01841

                                          1. h
                                            hillarylauren Mar 26, 2010 05:15 PM

                                            Hungry Mother in Cambridge serves fried chicken as a special on some nights. I just missed it when I was there last Sunday but friends who had arrived earlier in the evening had nothing but good things to say about it.

                                            Hungry Mother
                                            Cambridge, MA, Cambridge, MA

                                            1. d
                                              devilham Oct 4, 2010 05:46 PM

                                              They only do delivery or pick up, but Down Home Delivery does some really good fried chicken, with excellent sides as well. They also do a 'southern style pork chop' which is just a chicken fried pork chop...I love them both.

                                              2 Replies
                                              1. re: devilham
                                                Allstonian Oct 6, 2010 09:04 AM

                                                Tell me more! Any idea how big their delivery zone is?

                                                1. re: Allstonian
                                                  devilham Oct 6, 2010 01:55 PM

                                                  well Allstonian, they are in JP, in the brewery building. I live in Roslindale, and they definately deliver there, and west roxbury as well (or so I am told), that's a pretty wide radius. The people on the phone and the gentleman who delivers the food couldn't be nicer. When I make fried chicken, it's soaked in buttermilk and rolled in seasoned flour, then fried in a shallow pan, these guys clearly do a wet batter, and completely (or at least mostly) immerse the chicken. Both techniques are valid (especially since I don't have a commercial fryer), in my opinion. One thing they did with the chicken that I liked is the battered and fried left over strips of the skin and served it up as well.....like a fried crispy noodle in my order!!!! So good! Nice sides (at least the ones I ordered were) of collard greens and mac an cheese. And it comes with seriously excellent cornbread. The kind where you can feel the cornmeal in your mouth......NOT a cake at all.

                                              2. s
                                                Spenbald Oct 6, 2010 07:52 PM

                                                Not really in the same league as Tupelo or Highland Kitchen, but I have enjoyed the Sunday night chicken and fish fry at the Plough and Stars on Mass Ave outside Central Square. You can order from predetermined options, or à la carte pieces. It's not gourmet, but you get a nice little meal, with moist chicken (crust isn't particularly crispy, but tasty), collards, great cheese grits (or mashed potatoes or fries), and a couple small chunks of fried cornbread. Paired with a beer (or three) and some great live music, it's a fun Sunday night out.

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: Spenbald
                                                  fatty_mouthfeel Apr 10, 2011 06:52 PM

                                                  It's pretty darn good. Crispy, a little greasy but not overly so, maybe a little over-seasoned but nice and moist. The sides really shine- the cheese grits are yum, the collards have a nice texture (and smoky bacon!), and the fried cornbread is addictive. Prices are reasonable for the quality. I would probably eat this every other week or more (given that it's 5 mins from my house) if they could just GET THEIR TAKEOUT SERVICE TOGETHER. It's mobbed on a Sunday night, so I never want to eat there, and takeout is a major hassle. The thing that makes me crazy is one ever answers the phone after 7 so you can put in a takeout order. Chicken & fish fry is supposed to start at 7; I've been told they "aren't serving til 8". A takeout order can take 30-40 minutes not to mention the time you spend trying to flag a bartender. I sympathize for the bartenders, but they really need to have the servers or a host handle calls and takeout orders.

                                                2. a
                                                  ajmoose Oct 7, 2010 10:29 AM

                                                  here's a vote for CnD'S Barbeque in Wakefield. Now I'll have to get some for dinner. Again. Call ahead, it takes 30-45 minutes usually to get it cooked to order.

                                                  (honorary second place goes to Popeye's, I wish they could just figure out how to get people in and out of there without the 20 minute agonizing and sweltering wait...)

                                                  1. k
                                                    keith Oct 15, 2010 09:22 AM

                                                    I would suggest Pollo Campero. It's not so much southern style as south of the border style (the chain is from Central America), but their fried chicken is absolutely fantastic. Great crust and flavorful meat.

                                                    Pollo Campero
                                                    115 Park St, Chelsea, MA 02150

                                                    2 Replies
                                                    1. re: keith
                                                      joebloe Nov 13, 2010 04:48 PM

                                                      Popeye's Chicken Kenmore Square currently have a 2-pc w/ biscuit for only $1.99 everyday. You're allowed to choose any piece, such as two breasts, that you want. That's probably the best deal in town and thus make it the best fried chicken quality and quantity wise anywhere. I'll be back often until this deal is pulled.

                                                      1. re: keith
                                                        opinionatedchef Feb 16, 2011 03:38 PM

                                                        We finally made it over to chelsea to try this place. big parking lot was helpful in this snowy mess that surrounds us all now. we ordered chicken thighs and breasts and rolls and cole slaw. The overall flavor tasted identical to KFC to me in herbs and spices used, but was less heavy handed with them. Nice flavorful and light. The cooking was pretty atrocious with this batch- leather or halfway there. But I did ask the lovely manager and she brought me a freshly cooked breast and it was not dry or tough. The coating seems to be a light batter or just flour dredge; not thick/crunchy.
                                                        They also serve sides of beans, rice, yucca fries, plantains, with a condiments bar that included a really top notch spicy chunky green salsa (better than any i've had before in boston)and some latino drinks- tamarindo, horchata.

                                                      2. j
                                                        janzy Nov 14, 2010 05:03 AM

                                                        NY Fried Chicken.
                                                        They are located in various parts of the city, I've had some from the Hyde Park store.
                                                        Very Good!!

                                                        1. MC Slim JB Apr 10, 2011 07:28 PM

                                                          I really liked the pollo estilo campero I had recently at La Frontera, a Salvadoran place in Day Square, Eastie. Nice, crunchy batter, handmade tortillas, good rice and salad alongside. A deal for $9.


                                                          La Frontera Restaurant
                                                          290 Bennington St, Boston, MA 02128

                                                          1. f
                                                            fatty_mouthfeel Apr 11, 2011 05:31 PM

                                                            One place I sadly cannot recommend for fried chicken is The Hen House, a chicken & waffles shop in Roxbury. I had high hopes for this place because 1) hey, chicken and waffles and 2) it's fast food in the 'hood but very sophisticated in its appearance, menu, counter service, etc.

                                                            Unfortunately the chicken did not live up to the promise. The skin was lacking any crunch or juiciness and the seasoning was...odd. And the meat was bone dry. The sides I had were good- sweet/spicy candied yams and toothsome cornbread. I'm not prepared to write Hen House off yet, since I didn't try the waffles on this outing. And maybe I failed to order "extra crispy", I honestly can't remember. But not a great first impression.

                                                            The Hen House
                                                            1033 Massachusetts Ave, Boston, MA 02118

                                                            1 Reply
                                                            1. re: fatty_mouthfeel
                                                              Jenny Ondioline Apr 11, 2011 08:29 PM

                                                              Nope, Hen House sucks. Honestly, I'm shocked to learn they're still open!

                                                              The Hen House
                                                              1033 Massachusetts Ave, Boston, MA 02118

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