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good fried chicken in Austin (& beyond)?

  • c

So every now and then I'll get a hankerin for some good fried chicken. And I don't mean pounded boneless chicken breast (chicken fried chicken). I mean regular old pieces of fried chicken that come with sides like mashed potatoes and green beans. The old "meat and threes" type of thing.

I would even take a long drive to get it if I thought it would be good.

Do I have any options for fried chicken besides:

1) popeyes, church's, kentuckyjohnsilvers
2) Top Notch burger (good chicken, but fast-food sides and experience)
3) Luby's or Furr's
4) Bill Miller bar-b-que (not bad, but not great)
5) the many purveyors of chicken-fried-chicken - Hoovers, Threadgills, Tony's Southern Comfort (to my knowledge - i've never been)


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  1. I don't eat a lot of fried chicken anymore(no one makes it like Mom!), but chioce number 5 is probably your best bet, and of the three, Tony's is where I'd head.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Frank M

      I second Frank M on Tony's Southern Comfort. They serve waffles and whatever piece(s) of fried chicken you want (not just “chicken-fried chicken”).

      I went with wings and loved them. Tony's fried chicken has an interesting, well-seasoned, crunchy exterior coating on the outside and moist and flavorful chicken on the inside. Perfection.

      It's hard to produce, though. All the elements of the cooking process contribute to the final result: the temperature of the oil; the vessel used for frying; the type and flavor of frying oil/shortening; the quality of the poultry; the nature of and length of time given to pre-soaking the chicken pieces; the seasoning and type of coating; and, of course, the skill of the cook.

      I've been wondering myself where to get good fried chicken locally. I love the burgers and fries at Top Notch. Their fast-food fried chicken has its charms: it's deep-fried and crispy, with the kind of thick batter that soaks up a lot of grease. But, I'm hoping local hounds will contribute other suggestions.

    2. s
      Steve in Austin

      Call "Rosies To Go" in Bee Cave on SH 71. They used to do a really good "broasted" chicken.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Steve in Austin

        i hadn't ever heard of broasted chicken before. i just googled it - it sounds really good. i'll have to try rosie's.

      2. I'd definitely go to the Bluebonnet Cafe in Temple.

        Or Earl Abel's in San Antonio, if it hasn't closed yet.

        1. Had Bluebonnet Cafe fried chicken in Temple a month ago and it was very good, but not straight out of the fryer. I am a fried chicken freak myself, and can tell you the very best I've found is at the Tiptop Cafe in San Antonio (Fredricksburg Rd). Everything in there is cooked to order, so don't get in a hurry. Also the rings are to die for, CFS outstanding and a homemade tart french-style salad dressing. Homemade pies are super. I think they are closed on Monday so check it out before you go. Trust me on this one, this very small and old cafe is worth the drive for FC and all I mentioned!!!

          4 Replies
          1. re: Rockin' Tom

            In San Antonio I like the fried chicken at Earl Abel's (their closing date has been postponed until around March 11, I believe) and the CFS, rolls, greasy onion rings, and pie at the Tip Top Cafe. Both old-school diners are institutions. I wouldn't say that Tip Top's chicken-fried chicken is the best I've ever had. (Did I miss the fried chicken pieces on the menu?) But, it is very good.

            However, I love the Southern-style sides, the desserts, and the amazing fried chicken at Mr. and Mrs. G's on the south side of town (2222 South W.W. White). They make real Southern comfort food (sweet potatoes with vanilla, Southern-style greens, ham hocks). If you love fried chicken, you might want to check this place out sometime.

            Any suggestions for fried chicken within Austin?


            1. re: MPH

              They definitely have chicken pieces on the menu. Half chicken and half all white. And as you say CFC. I have never tried the CFC in 50 years so can't comment.

            2. re: Rockin' Tom
              Steve in Austin

              "CFS outstanding"

              Uh, No. I tried the place a few months ago and was very unimpressed with the CFS. And what's up with the BROWN gravy? All the REALLY old guys appeared satisfied though.

              1. re: Steve in Austin

                Have eaten there for almost 50 yrs. Never have seen BROWN gravy on CFS It is a light yellow color. Are we talking about the same place? DeWese's Tiptop Cafe.

            3. The fried chicken was really great for a long time at Gene's New Orleans Po-Boys on the East Side, but my last couple visits it was way too greasy. So I've laid off for a while in hopes that they were just going through a bad spell. But it might time to try them again, knock on wood.

              2 Replies
              1. re: johnm

                Sadly, Gene has moved back to New Orleans and sold the restaurant to a new owner (who apparently does not have Gene's recipe for fried chicken).

                1. re: msummerall

                  Walking into Gene's the other day the joint smelled like Janitor in a Drum.The hot fat and soul aroma was gone,gone and gone.I ordered my standard 6 wings with fries and garlic bread.It was the first time I ever had bad food at Gene's.The garlic bread has been replaced with toast,cooked bright and early and stored under a ceiling fan.The chicken had been repeatedly frozen,thawed and frozen.It was tough and gross.The fries were the same commercial style but cold and lifeless.My water glass smelled like ammonia.I miss Gene.

              2. Bush's Chicken in Round Rock on 620 is great!

                1. royers in round top about 1hr out of austin makes grest fried chicken,sundays only.

                  1. Im from Austin and love fried chicken. I think Top Notch is good in Austin. I also travel to San Antonio weekly and have found the best fried chicken. This is the best......... Tonya's at Marbach and Military. Please try this place. The sides are also wonderful.
                    please reply. I would like to see what others think.

                    1. You can strike Luby's off your list it seems. I was just there for lunch specifically for fried chicken after reading this post. While it is still on the wall menu, I was told by more than one worker there that they didn't have it and will not have it in the future. Not only that, but I got backed checking and dressing instead and they didn't even have any gravy for the dressing. No wonder their parking lot was so sparse. If they keep this up nobody will go back.

                      5 Replies
                      1. re: danny_w

                        Danny - believe it or not, I was at the Luby's up on 183 near 620 yesterday, and two of my co-workers got fried chicken. I got the vegetable plate, but tasted a bite. It was pretty good - crispy with some herbs and spice in the batter. It was enough to make me go out and get Church's spicy chicken last night. Seems like Church's is as spicy, if not spicier, than Popeye's.

                        1. re: rudeboy

                          I haven't been to Church's since Popeye's bought them. Before that I vowed I'd never go back. To me it was always the worst fast food fried chicken.

                          1. re: TroyTempest

                            I had not heard that Popeye's bought them. I always thought of Church's a large peices but totally without flavor, completely bland. Maybe I'll give them another try.

                          2. re: rudeboy

                            Thanks, perhaps I will give that one a try. I wend to the one at MoPac and Steck and they said they won't have it anymore. I thought they all had the same menu but I guess not.

                            1. re: danny_w

                              I have heard that Jasper's in the domain has some good fried chicken, but be warned that they only serve it at lunch.

                        2. Thought i'd revive this thread.
                          This might be old news to many of you, but, Chef Tony from Tony's Southern Comfort is now working at Hyde Park Bar and Grill Westgate location.
                          Monday evening, the daily special was listed as Tony's Southern Comfort fried chicken, green chile cheese mashed potatoes and another veggie side for 9.95. I asked if this was somehow related to the restaurant with the same name and the waitress said yes, he's in the kitchen now. I unfortunately had never been to Tony's when it was open, so I thought i'd give it try. I can see why so many rave about the chicken. I got a leg and most of a breast with my order. Both pieces were nice and crunchy on the outside, moist and tender on the inside with a nice flavorful crust. I would of rather had some mashed potatoes with gravy on the side, but overall it was a very good meal. I'm not sure which days this will be served as it is not on the regular menu.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: TroyTempest

                            I like the fried chicken at Bill Miller's BBQ, don't like the BBQ but like the chicken and those marinated onions.. they are so good. I went to the Luby's on Brodie week before last and they had fried chicken which is very good, but oddly they didn't have any liver and onions. 1st time I had ever been to a Luby's with liver and onions..
                            The best fried chicken I have ever eaten came from the southeast side of Dallas on Lancaster Street. Pretty tough area, but the chicken is made from a converted Dairy Queen (I think) and it is to go only. I don't know the name, but you have to stand in line to get it... Best ever...
                            When I was young Austin had some great fried chicken restaurants. Youngbloods on Lamar near Barton Spings, about where P. Terry is. and Kirschners on South Lamar, I think there is a Mexican food restautand there. That was outstanding chicken.


                            1. re: TroyTempest

                              That's great info Troy. I never had the original Tony's chicken, but we go to Hyde Park Bar and Grill pretty often and I'm excited to try this chicken I've always heard about. We usually go to the other loc, but this is enough to make me drive the extra few miles to check it out. Thanks for sharing!