We Southerners are serious about our fried chicken. The very best fried chicken is always made by our grandmas, of course, but these Virginia restaurants come in at a close second.
Pollard’s Chicken and Catering in Norfolk
Look for the giant rooster perched outside the Norfolk location of this hole-in-the-wall chicken joint turned small-time, big-flavor chain. Pollard’s chicken is brined before it’s fried to give it down-to-the-bone flavor, and the custom-blended breading fries up crisp and light for the perfect crunchy bite. Order a three-piece meal with two sides—corn pudding and sweet potato fries are our favorites—and you’ll swear you’ve found the best fried chicken in Virginia.
Tanglewood Ordinary in Maidens
Just west of Richmond, Tangelwood Ordinary is as close as you can get to dinner at Grandma’s house. You’ll get a big, family-style platter of fried chicken with whatever meal you choose to order, and trust us, you’ll be glad you did. The chicken is meltingly tender underneath its crisp-crunchy skin, and comes accompanied with equally giant platters of baked beans, mashed potatoes, cole slaw or other classic Southern-style sides.
The Lunch Bell in Newport News
You can tell the Lunch Bell is the real deal because like the best Southern restaurants, it closes after lunch. You may be tempted by the chicken salad cold plate or the lobster roll, but go straight to the fried fillet of chicken, served with fries and cole slaw. This is the kind of home-cooked fried chicken people rave about, with a light, crispy crust and flavorful meat beneath.
The Handsome Biscuit in Norfolk
When you go to the Handsome Biscuit, you don’t really need to look at the menu: You want the Hella Fitzgerald, a fried chicken patty topped with bacon, cheddar cheese and red-eye sausage gravy, served inside a fresh-made sweet potato biscuit. Get it with a seared greens kicked up with garlic and chili flakes or with a selection of pickled vegetables, and you’ll earn your honorary Southerner wings.