The Best Fried Chicken Sandwiches In LA

9 fried chicken sandwiches to remind you how good fried chicken sandwiches are.
The Best Fried Chicken Sandwiches In LA image

photo credit: Kim Fox

There are some topics that will always be divisive: politics, Oscar nominations, or the growing epidemic of adults wearing Crocs in public. But one thing we can all get behind is the fried chicken sandwich. Doesn't matter if it's doused in this sauce or topped with slaw, as long as there's a fluffy bun and crispy poultry in there, it's hard to go wrong. But while the floor is high, only certain ones are worth a special trip. Those are the ones you'll find in this guide—here are the best fried chicken sandwiches in LA.


photo credit: Nikko Duren


Downtown LA

$$$$Perfect For:Quick EatsLunch
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Everything at this DTLA lunch spot is exceptional. But their massive sando is by far the star of the show. This beige beauty has a juicy piece of chicken thigh that’s almost (but not quite) too large for its toasted brioche bun. And while there’s nothing too fancy going on here, Tokyo Fried Chicken pulls this thing off at every level—from the thick batter evenly coating the meat to the ideal pickle to mayo ratio. Plus, each order comes with salty, housemade potato chips with a hint of vinegar that we can’t stop thinking about.

For a chicken sandwich that looks like a frisbee slapped between bread, head to Daybird. The thinly-pounded cutlets are nearly twice the bun’s size, so you don’t get any of the zesty chive-cabbage slaw and pickled chiles until you’re halfway through—something we don’t mind because the Sichuan-spiced chicken is so superb. This causal Virgil Village strip mall spot marinates its poultry in a mouth-tingling mixture of chile de arbol and Sichuan peppercorns, which delivers the spiciness you’d want from hot chicken, minus the constant need to wipe sauce from your lips. If you want something with less burn, they also do a Tawainese popcorn chicken-inspired sandwich topped with fried basil.

We’re not particularly religious, but if there’s any proof that a higher power exists and wants us to be happy, it's the classic “sando” at Howlin’ Ray’s. The cayenne-crusted chicken breast contrasts beautifully with the buttery brioche bun, while the snappy pickles, peppery slaw, and comeback sauce add texture and seasoning without overshadowing the star ingredient. It’s the absolute gold standard for hot chicken sandwiches in LA—we suggest ordering it at the medium heat level for the ideal balance of spice and flavor.

The chili-honey-glazed fried chicken at this East Hollywood spot has less of a jaw-shattering crunch and more of a subtle crispiness, which means you can taste the juicy meat instead of just the crust (a huge plus in our books). Like an extrovert stuck in a crowded elevator, the giant, plump thigh dominates the sandwich, while the tangy slaw and pickles, creamy honey mustard, and a soft potato bun provide just enough support in the background. The result is the perfect union of sweet and heat, saucy and crispy.

The K-Chicken Burger at Chimmerlier in Koreatown looks straight out of a magazine: it’s big, its pickles are oddly symmetrical, and the sesame buns are so glossy you’d think a food stylist gave them a touch-up. But beyond being camera ready, this sandwich is a balanced masterpiece of flavor and texture. The dry rub on the thick, crackly chicken gives a BBQ-like smokiness, dashi aioli adds depth, and a briny slaw brightens everything up. Then there’s the secret ingredient: a single perilla leaf that hangs out beneath the chicken, adding a whiff of floral sweetness you didn’t know you needed.

Putting ranch dressing and Thai papaya salad on a chicken sandwich is like doing karaoke while ice skating: amazing if you know what you’re doing. And Night + Market knows what it’s doing. Of all the drink-friendly dishes at this Thai spot with locations in Weho, Silver Lake, and Venice, the towering sandwich is a non-negotiable must-order. The shaggy, Thai-style fried chicken is juicy and crunchy, the toasted supermarket-style bun doesn’t get in the way, and the combo of cool-creamy ranch and sour-spicy papaya salad instantly makes sense. Eat with a glass of bubbly, semi-funky natural wine for maximum effect.

We’ve sung the praises of the extra-crispy wings at Fyrebird in Gardena, so unsurprisingly, we have just as many nice things to say about their sandwich. Topped with shredded lettuce, pickles, and mayo-heavy ranch, it’s essentially a standard fast food sandwich that’s been given a major glow-up (imagine the best parts of Wingstop, Popeye’s, and Chick-Fil-A frankensteined together). The best part is they let you order the chicken coated in any combination of their excellent sauces or rubs, from lemon pepper to chipotle honey to garlic habanero, which means you could eat here daily and never have the same sandwich twice.

The Li’l Chicky Sando at Highly Likely isn’t particularly little, but it is the lightest fried chicken sandwich on this list, and perhaps in the history of fried chicken sandwiches. The squishy, semi-sweet milk bun feels like a fluffy cloud, and the chicken breast is covered in a thin tempura batter that shatters with each bite. Add the fresh mint slaw, pickled onions, and puckery labneh dressing, and the whole package essentially melts on your tongue. It's plenty of filling, but not heavy enough to bog you down, which means more room for Highly Likely’s hand-cut fries or flaky halva croissants.

Whether the fried chicken shawarma sandwich at Dune is actually a sandwich or a wrap is a matter of semantics—whatever you call it, though, it's fantastic. Served at both their Atwater Village and DTLA locations, the fried chicken here has an audible crunch and comes wrapped in warm, chewy flatbread with greens and fresh herbs. But like a levee attempting to hold back a flood, the flatbread can't contain the massive pieces of sauce-drizzled chicken, so eating it will inevitably get messy. The good news is we'd happily bathe ourselves in all the bold toppings that liven up this wrap, err, sandwich: spicy tahini, extra garlicky chermoula, and a handful of salty dill pickles.

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