The Rest of the Best: Houston's Top 10 Fried Chicken

Categories: Top 10

barbecueinnfriedchicken-thumb-560x412.jpg
Photo by Erika Ray
1. Barbecue Inn

Food & Wine called it some of the best fried chicken in America this year, and former Houston Press food critic Robb Walsh placed the stuff at No. 5 on his own 100 Favorite Dishes list before retiring in 2010. We've even given Barbecue Inn plenty of awards of our own over the years: Best Comfort Food in 2009, Best Fried Chicken in 2007 and an award in a category I'm still trying to understand: Best Vintage Fried Chicken in 2005. (I'm guessing that "vintage" fried chicken would exclude modern concoctions like the Captain Crunch-battered chicken at Zelko Bistro.)

It's this "vintage" fried chicken that makes Barbecue Inn a standout, though. It's been serving its fried chicken the same way -- always cooked to order -- since opening in 1946. Robb Walsh described it 64 years later as simply "amazing."

"The crust doesn't flake away -- it sticks to the bird like it was glued on, and the tender white meat of the breast is so juicy, it literally drips," he wrote. The juicy bird is served with a simple house salad (go for the Ranch or blue cheese, which are made in-house) and a baked potato that includes a tower of condiments delivered to your table, like a Christmas tree made of sour cream and green onions.

The chicken has received praise even from John T. Edge, the paragon of Southern food writers and founder of the Southern Foodways Alliance. And that praise was for something fried chicken isn't often associated with -- an attribute that makes Barbecue Inn's chicken all the more crave-able.

"Of course, all fried chicken comes with grease. The question is how much," Edge told Walsh. "The chicken at Barbecue Inn is pretty damn greaseless."



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Location Info

Zelko Bistro

705 E. 11th St., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Max's Wine Dive

4720 Washington Ave., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Super H Mart

1302 Blalock Road, Houston, TX

Category: General

Randalls

5800 New Territory Blvd., Sugar Land, TX

Category: General

the breakfast klub

3711 Travis St., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Rice Box Truck

, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Haven - CLOSED

2502 Algerian Way, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Al Aseel

8619 Richmond Ave., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Frenchy's Chicken

3919 Scott St., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Barbecue Inn

116 W. Crosstimbers, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

My Voice Nation Help
27 comments
Fluerie
Fluerie

Agree with your mom.... home is choice #1. Randy Evans is a trusted alternate choice; I suggest stopping into Cove, the new raw bar nook in Haven which opens at 4pm, having a nibble and drink, and then ordering some chicken take-away. 

lakers
lakers

mmm...the best fried chicken for my money is the Seabrook Classic Cafe on Nasa Rd 1. Knocks me out!

attyrose31
attyrose31

And for the record, Chief makes the best huge burger and some great barbeque. All portions are extremely outsized and everything is very fresh. The place looks like a total dump but it is hard to find better food of this type served by such a nice group of people.  Mostly take out since there are only two small tables and four stools at the counter. 

attyrose31
attyrose31

The best wings and tenders can be found at Chief's Cajun Snack Shack at the southwest corner of Live Oak and Southmore in the Third Ward. They come with about a pound of crisp, hot fries.

BP88
BP88

I believe that the Rice Box truck currently does not have the Golden Doomba on the menu. He says he is reworking the recipe.

kejo66
kejo66

I have to say the best Fried Chicken in town BY FAR, is the old secret Astrodome Recipe fried chicken that is served down in the Star Boxes (Drayton's Old Boxes) buffet at MM Park before Astros games.  

The chicken is worth the $300-plus ticket all by itself.  If you haven't heard about the Astrodome Secret Recipe Fried Chicken, then you should ask somebody.

miss_msry
miss_msry

Sorry, ordering fried chicken in a restaurant is a waste of my limited dining out dollars. Best cook it at home.

FattyFatBastard
FattyFatBastard topcommenter

Casual readers here already knew what was going to be on this list.  What I'd like to see is top Chicken Fried Steak places!

Mon Ica
Mon Ica

I can agree on Randalls. Haven't teied the others.

foodfan
foodfan

Randall's fried chicken is best out of a cooler on a boat during a hot day of fishing.

gossamersixteen
gossamersixteen topcommenter

The Frenchys on I45 is pretty awful, but the original location is to die for agreed.

Jalapeno
Jalapeno

Ah, Mr. Edge, isn't greaseless chicken dry chicken?  Gimme some grease.  

ze1chef
ze1chef

Remember the fried chicken Killen's had at the fried chicken throwdown? We serve it everyday!

Loona_c
Loona_c

Don't forget Frenchy's seasoned french fries!

The best fried chicken I had was from Krogers, 2 days after Hurricane Ike shut the town down.  Krogers was open, air conditioned and frying chicken.  We bought enough for the neighborhood.  Perspective is everything. Yum!

kshilcutt
kshilcutt moderator editor

@lakers I haven't been there in ages. Thanks for the reminder!

kshilcutt
kshilcutt moderator editor

@FattyFatBastard It's already in the works, you mind-reader you. Have any suggestions while we're on the topic?

kshilcutt
kshilcutt moderator editor

@Jalapeno And yet therein lies the charm of Barbecue Inn's fried chicken...

FattyFatBastard
FattyFatBastard topcommenter

@kshilcutt Other than DQ?  I'm thinking Ouisie's and Natachee's off the top of my head.  Problem is I haven't had a mind-blowing CFS since I was a kid, and I'd like to relive that experience.

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