A great fried chicken sandwich is as delicious and interesting as it is portable and practical. And right now, there are a lot of places in Seattle making them - from French wine bars to brand new walk-up windows. So, we went all over the city to find the very best ones. Here are our seven new favorites that you can get right now.
We love our community here at The Infatuation. And when we get something wrong, we listen. After publishing this guide without having tasted the new buttermilk-fried chicken sandwich from Market Fresh, the Instagram comments immediately poured in. We admit we lost a little sleep over it. But around 15 hours later, we ate this glorious, crunchy, nori pepper-spiced chicken topped with garlicky aioli, spicy pineapple gochujang, pickles, and shredded cabbage slaw, and suddenly understood why people were blowing us up. Long story short, please consider this our public apology. Just note that of their three locations, only the one on 4th and Madison is open.
If the breading on a fried chicken sandwich isn’t extremely, could-be-used-as-a-weapon crispy, that means it’s no good right? We kinda thought so too, until we tried Cookie’s Country Chicken. This pop-up, which you can now find at Quality Athletics in Pioneer Square, makes some of the best sandwiches we’ve tried lately. The chicken’s coating on the “Cookie’s Country Sando” is still packed with flavor, but has more of a subtle crunch that lets other elements shine - specifically the sunny sauce (which resembles Thousand Island) and perfectly-melted American cheese. They do a solid take on Nashville hot chicken too, but select your spice level wisely - you have your choice from a scale of 1-5, and 3 had us sweating.
We never thought this great pasta spot would serve fried chicken, but here we are. And now this Nashville hot chicken sandwich (available at both West Seattle and Eastlake locations) is going to be our go-to order even over a bowl of their excellent cacio e pepe. The dredge is crunchy but brittle enough to share the spotlight with the chicken, the cayenne glaze is just as smoky as it is hot, and the squishy sesame seed bun soaks up the spices like a sponge without being too greasy. Paired with a simply-seasoned aioli and tangy pickles, this our favorite spicy sandwich of the bunch.
“And though she be but little, she is fierce.” We’re pretty sure Shakespeare penned this not while writing A Midsummer Night’s Dream, but rather after time-traveling to 2020 and eating the buttermilk-marinated chicken sandwich from L’Oursin’s counter pop-up, Old Scratch. The whole thing fits nicely in the palm of your hand, but what it lacks in size, it makes up for in flavor. The chicken thigh here is thin but still perfectly juicy, with a breading that reminds us of Italian-seasoned breadcrumbs. Between that, bread and butter pickles, and creamy slaw all on a potato roll, it’s an excellent lunch that’s a little lighter, unlike some of the monstrous beasts on this list.
A lot of people like to say that “quality over quantity” is a good thing, but those people have probably never had the huge quarter-pound sandwich at Jack’s Chicken Shack (a new pop-up at the SLU location of Jack’s BBQ). This is the poster child for quality and quantity, with crispy-battered chicken that’s moist and delicious thanks to a buttermilk brine, a toasty brioche roll, homemade pickles, and coleslaw. But the best part about this sandwich is their “kickin” sauce, which tastes like a beautiful cross between sticky, sweet BBQ and a kind-of-spicy General Tso’s. The whole thing comes with fries, and you should absolutely order copious amounts of smoked honey mustard and roasted garlic ranch for dipping.
The team behind Homer opened a new fried chicken and soft serve spot, which has us feeling just as excited as when A24 drops a movie trailer. The double-fried chicken sandwiches at Milk Drunk are some of the crispiest we’ve had, and the “Original” version is the best one on the menu. It’s loaded with shaved fennel, mustard seeds, pickles, avocado, herby green aioli, and a massive hunk of crunchy thigh. You should know that the lines at Milk Drunk can get pretty long, but like recent A24 film First Cow, the payoff is worth it.
There are two great things about this pop-up’s most recent location at the old Phở Bắc boat on Jackson. One, we love boats of all kinds, especially when they serve food. And two, they’ve just started selling a fried chicken sandwich. With pickled carrots, daikon, cucumbers, and buttermilk aioli, there’s already a ton of flavor. But that’s before picking one of their house seasonings or sauces to finish the chicken, which include a shake of lemon pepper, honey garlic teriyaki sauce, KFC (gochujang, honey, soy sauce, and garlic), or the Mangosteen (fish sauce, lime, garlic, and Thai chili). Order any of these with confidence, but the citrusy heat of the Mangosteen sauce complements all of the other components of this sandwich perfectly.