Some things can't be ruined. You can take the Funky Bunch away from Marky Mark, but his coolness remains. Justin Timberlake with no *NSYNC? He's still bringing sexy back. The same holds true for fried chicken - no matter what you do, it's never bad. And that's why there's no surprise Gus's World Famous Fried Chicken is legit.
Proclaiming yourself World Famous is quite the power move, but to their credit, Gus's appears to be in the midst of takeover. The once tiny Memphis shack has been franchised, although not in the Colonel Sanders way. Gus's still feels like a unique local product in its Fulton Market space, partially because it's the first location in both Chicago and the Midwest as a whole.
Gus's is a casual Southern fried chicken restaurant at heart, but it feels very Chicago in a former warehouse building typical to this neighborhood. Parts of Gus's, like gingham tablecloths and paper plates, make it feel like a quick eats spot. But a full waitstaff and bar also make it a comfortable place to sit for a bit. The result is Gus's serves both the local business crowd at lunch, and those who want to grab a casual dinner at night while still sitting for a cocktail or two with fried chicken and sides.
Speaking of the fried chicken, Gus's makes it fresh to order with their trademark cayenne-heavy seasoning. Rather than offer multiple styles, like an "herb seasoning" and "Nashville hot," Gus's has one style, and it has some heat. It won't burn, but you'll feel a bit of tingling as soon as you take a bite, so keep that in mind when deciding whether Gus's is the fried chicken place for you. Either way, there's no denying it's good.
Great fried pickles. Start with these or the tomatoes if you can handle more fried stuff to start.
Trying to decide on one starter? We suggest these tomatoes.
The main event. Get a plate, which comes with baked beans, slaw, and white bread. The skin is crispy and has a cayenne kick, which is noticeable but not overwhelming. A two piece order should be the standard, so get your preference of white or dark meat, and if you get more, mix and match between the two.
On the rather mushy and cheesy side. Nothing wrong with that, but pointing out facts. Not a must order, but good for sharing.
Pecan, chess, sweet potato, old-fashioned coconut, and occasionally more. All excellent.