Ever since the Great Chicken War of 2019, I have wanted to write a piece ranking the best fried chicken sandwich. There seem to be two distinct leaders that polarize the chicken world as if it were a hot political topic. You have team Chick-fil-a and team Popeye’s. There are other great sandwiches out there, but these two seem to be the front runners, making complete sense. Anyone with taste buds can tell that these two are superior in every way, but I won’t be declaring a winner until the end. So without further ado…. My Best Fried Chicken Sandwich List.
#5 – Wendy’s
I love Wendy’s. As a fast-food establishment, they don’t get the credit they deserve for being as great as they are. They have ice cream machines that work, and their lemonade is delicious. But their food is always solid. Is it the best food ever? No, but it’s consistent. Their fried chicken sandwich comes with mayo (which I am not a fan of) and lettuce (which isn’t necessary), but it’s a solid sandwich if you are in a pinch. Not the best out there, but it will do if you are on a road trip and Wendy’s is the only thing nearby.
#4 – Raising Cane’s
I’ve got to be honest. Cane’s is new in my life. I never had it until I moved to Portland, but any place that sells only chicken has got to be good. I accidentally stumbled upon it walking through the mall by my apartment. Aside from DELICIOUS lemonade, their menu is so good. It takes everything in me not to walk the three blocks and order some tenders on literally any given day of the week.
Unlike the rest on this list, their sandwich is made up of three chicken tenders instead of a chick breast or patty. All packaged in a toasted bun, some lettuce, and their addictive Cane’s sauce. Why this place isn’t talked about more is beyond me.
#3 – Church’s Chicken
Depending on the day, Church’s Chicken Sandwich could take 2nd place on my list. My problem is that most chicken sandwiches have two ingredients that I despise with my whole being, mayo and pickles. My cousins and I all hate mayo (there is a funny story there), and I’ve never really enjoyed the taste of pickles. It’s too overpowering of a flavor for me. But Church’s Chicken Sandwich is the only one out there where I don’t get them taken off the sandwich when I order. There is a beautifully delicate balance between the mayo and the pickles that play so well with the frying batter. But what makes the sandwich is the honey butter that’s brushed onto the brioche bun. If I could have that specific honey butter in my house, I would weigh a thousand pounds.
#2 – Popeye’s Chicken
So this is where I lose some of you. Some might think Popeye’s is the King of the chicken sandwich. It is what started this whole dang war after all. And while it is a top-tier sandwich, I can’t bring myself to put it above Chick-fil-a. Every time I’ve eaten a Popeye’s Chicken sandwich, I thought my heart was going to give out. I could feel my cholesterol rising. I will say the sandwich itself is better seasoned than my number one pick, but the greasiness of this one will kill me one day. I walk away feeling so gross.
If Popeye’s didn’t leave me with an urgent sense of death closing in on me, then it would be my number one pick, but I don’t want to feel like I’m dying after only eating one sandwich.
#1 – Chick-fil-a
This needs to be said, but Chick-fil-a’s food in the South is far superior to anywhere else. That’s not to say the Chick-fil-a in Beaverton, Oregon is bad but compared to a Chick-fil-a in Georgia or one of the Carolinas, they don’t compare. The same goes for the Iced Tea and Lemonade.
Say what you will about the South, but they know how to make a delicious sugary drink that will quench any thirst on the hottest of days, and they know how to fry chicken.
For me, the Spicy Chicken Sandwich from Chick-fil-a is as close to perfect as it gets when it comes to chicken sandwiches. The seasoning, the size, and the level of greasiness are all perfect. I love this sandwich so much. My only problem with it is that I always crave the darn thing on Sundays, but I think that’s the price we all pay for something that tastes so good.
I am not going to question how or why this fried chicken sandwich war started. Or even why people divided into Team Jacob vs. Team Edward-esque teams of which fast food has the best sandwich. I’m just happy to be alive during this great age of chicken. I’m curious to know which one is your favorite so leave a comment down below.
If you want to read more of our food rankings, try reading our Ranking Fast Food Fries article.