Fried Chicken

Sweet Cheeks

Clams aren’t the only things getting fried in Boston: This New England city has a surprisingly robust fried chicken scene. From a Southern establishment helmed by a Top Chef finalist to a wine bar worth visiting for the fried bird alone, here’s where we go for crispy, crunchy poultry.

To make their Fried Chicken, Trina’s Starlite Lounge expertly seasons their poultry before adding a light breading; the result is crispy without too much grease. For an extra spice kick, make use of the hot sauce in the plastic squeeze bottle (it’s Crystal), or add some sweet heat via the hot pepper syrup that comes on the side. Return Sunday or Monday to experience the same fried delicacy over a buttermilk waffle for brunch.


Inman Square wine bar Bisq might serve the classiest chicken tenders we’ve ever encountered. The ultra-crispy Fried Chicken is boneless, seasoned with Thai chili, and just begging to be dipped. The chipotle BBQ or buttermilk sauce that accompanies it (your choice) will prove more than sufficient, but we enjoy creating our own combo by ordering a side of House-Made Ricotta with honey and toasted brioche. Don’t forget to ask your server for a beverage pairing—you are at a wine bar, after all.

Scoring the famous Sesame Fried Chicken at Sarma, Ana Sortun’s Somerville meyhane (Turkish tavern), requires a bit of patience—and a little luck. You won’t find it on the menu, but you will catch servers parading it dim sum-style through the restaurant. Act fast to catch a plate of flaky, crunchy chicken accented by crispy sesame and spicy nigella seeds.

Brined and breaded to extra-crispy perfection, the Buttermilk Fried Chicken at Sweet Cheeks Q is everything you’d expect from Tiffani Faison’s ode to Southern cooking. While it’s available a la carte as a Onesie, you can order it as the centerpiece of a tray, with your choice of two sides like Mac n’ Cheese and Potato Salad. Come back for lunch to experience the Fried Chicken DLT, which places a fried chicken thigh between a bun with lettuce, tomato and Duke’s Mayo. (Pro tip: add pork belly to upgrade it to a BDLT.)

Highland Kitchen

Highland Kitchen provides a two-day window each week to enjoy its cult-status Fried Chicken. Sunday brunch serves it up as the Dirty Bird, a hangover-busting sandwich with a fried chicken breast, applewood-smoked bacon, sausage gravy, and a fried egg on a buttermilk biscuit. The succulent, buttermilk-brined chicken returns Monday nights as a multi-piece meal alongside tiki cocktail specials. If Monday evenings are tight, you can find fried chicken nightly at Highland Kitchen’s Inman Square spin-off, Highland Fried.

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