Oh my, is there anything better than the crunchy, juicy, salty, and sometimes spicy deliciousness of some really good fried chicken!?
I’m not sure there is, and it seems my fellow Minnesotans agree. Because the Twin Cities have recently seen a surge of new fried chicken spots popping up all over town, with each one becoming even more popular than the last.
It’s a virtuous cycle that’s left us Twin Cities chicken fans with an endless list of options but some tough decisions.
So today, I’m drawing on lots of fond memories of eating perfectly crunchy chicken around Minneapolis and St. Paul. The result is this list of the best fried chicken in the Twin Cities, sorted by what you’re in the mood for.
- Map of the Best Fried Chicken Spots in Minneapolis and St. Paul
- The Most Popular Fried Chicken in the Twin Cities: Revival
- Most Popular Fried Chicken Sandwich in Minneapolis: Lake & Irving
- Most Popular Fried Chicken Sandwich in St. Paul: Grand Catch
- Best Nashville Hot Chicken: Nashville Coop
- Best Pickle Fried Chicken: Bull’s Horn
- My Favorite Fried Chicken and Waffles: Handsome Hog
- When You’re Also Craving a Beer: Pluck’d at First Draft
- Best Vegan Fried Chicken: Herbie Butcher’s Fried Chicken
- For Korean Fried Chicken: Bap and Chicken
- Most Popular Fast Food Fried Chicken: Raising Cane’s
- Most Underrated Fast Food Fried Chicken: Pollo Campero
Map of the Best Fried Chicken Spots in Minneapolis and St. Paul
The Most Popular Fried Chicken in the Twin Cities: Revival
What started as the bold decision to open a Southern fried chicken and smoked meat shack on Eat Street in Minneapolis was met by the city with open arms, and Revival’s popularity has since led it to expanding into a mini Twin Cities empire. These days, whether you’re in Minneapolis, St. Paul, or most recently, St. Louis Park, you’re sure to be no more than a few minutes from some of the city’s favorite fried chicken.
At Revival, you can get your fried chicken all kinds of different ways, each one equally delicious. Revival sells their chicken by the whole or half bird, white meat or dark meat, or even split up into nuggets. And that’s not even getting into the options of chicken sandwiches, chicken and waffles, or the always difficult choice between “Southern Fried” or “Tennessee Hot”. (I prefer Tennessee Hot, although I suspect I’m in the minority.)
- Original Address : 4257 Nicollet Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55409
- St. Paul Location: 525 Selby Ave, St Paul, MN 55102
- St. Louis Park Location: 8008 Minnetonka Blvd, St Louis Park, MN 55426
- Website: Revival
Most Popular Fried Chicken Sandwich in Minneapolis: Lake & Irving
Lake & Irving is a hugely popular pub-style restaurant located in the heart of Uptown, Minneapolis. Their food menu has a devoted following of mega-fans, but maybe nothing on the menu gets as much love as their Buttermilk Fried Chicken Sandwich. This extra crunchy concotion comes out on a big square of sourdough bread and is usually topped with a mix of bacon, sriracha sauce aoli, and pepperjack cheese. (For the extra-daring, you can upgrade to ghost pepperjack cheese.) Either way, this is a sandwich with a cult-following, and for good reason.
- Address: 1513 W Lake St, Minneapolis, MN 55408
- Website: Lake & Irving
Most Popular Fried Chicken Sandwich in St. Paul: Grand Catch
Minneapolis isn’t the only Twin City with delicious fried chicken sandwiches. Over on the St. Paul side, you’ll find one of the city’s best sandwiches at Grand Catch. Best known for their traditional Louisiana seafood boils, chef Sami Wadi (of Iron Chef America fame) also snuck in a delicious “Crispy Fried Chicken Sandwich” onto the entree menu. With the emphasis there being the word “crispy.” This sandwich comes out as tall as a mountain and as crunchy as one too, and it’s truly a marvel to behold.
- Address: 1672 Grand Ave, St Paul, MN 55105
- Website: Grant Catch
Best Nashville Hot Chicken: Nashville Coop
What makes Nashville hot chicken different than regular fried chicken? There’s a secret ingredient – Lard.
Whereas most fried chicken places fry it up and call it a day, those opting for a traditional Nashville Hot preparation add one final step. After taking the chicken out of the fryer, they douse it in a mix of lard and cayenne pepper, giving the final product that saucy, pasty coating of heat that’s so freakin’ addicting.
And Nashville Coop is the one spot in the Twin Cities that implements this technique better than anywhere else. What started as an ultra-popular food truck quickly moved into a permanent space on Snelling Avenue in St. Paul, and the rest is history. They’re now opening a second location in Uptown, Minneapolis, with both serving deliciously spicy chicken that ranges from Minnesota Nice (no heat) to Cluckin’ Hot (24 hour pain).
- Original Address: 300 Snelling Ave S, St Paul, MN 55105
- Uptown Address: 2923 Girard Ave South, Minneapolis, MN 55408
- Website: Nashville Coop
Best Pickle Fried Chicken: Bull’s Horn
Call me naive, but I’d never heard of pickle fried chicken until my first visit to Bull’s Horn on opening weekend. I immediately found myself intrigued by the “Dill Pickle Fried Chicken Bucket.” A long and passionate conversation with the server gave me the rundown – If my newbie brain is translating correctly, the genius chefs have swapped out this chicken’s usual brine for a dill pickle marinade.
If you’re skeptical at first, I was too, until I took my first bite into one of the juiciest and tastiest chickens I’ve ever had. Call me a believer, because that dill pickle had clearly worked it’s way into every nook and cranny of the bird, resulting in an perfectly salty (and slightly sour?) fried chicken that’s unlike anything else.
And yes, they come by the literal bucketload, either in the five or nine piece options – always a mix of white and dark meat.
- Address: 4563 S 34th Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55406
- Website: Bull’s Horn
My Favorite Fried Chicken and Waffles: Handsome Hog
For a northern city, Minneapolis / St. Paul actually has a surprisingly number of options if you’re craving the oddly sweet and savory mashup that is a good chicken and waffle dish. But whenever I find myself in the Chicken n’ Waffles mood, my mind immediately wanders to Handsome Hog.
At Handsome Hog, you’ll get a chef-driven take on this soul food classic. It’s presented with three individual, slider sized waffles, each one towered with an oversized hunk of chicken. And naturally, each is also topped with a nice big dollop of homemade, hand-churned butter. (Butter that’s mixed with honey and cayenne, no less!) It’s a beautiful marriage that I find myself craving again and again, and Handsome Hog is my favorite place to get it.
- Address: 173 Western Ave N, St Paul, MN 55102
- Website: Handsome Hog
When You’re Also Craving a Beer: Pluck’d at First Draft
If you’re the type who likes to wash down the spicy chicken heat with a cold beer, then Pluck’d is your spot. This under-the-radar spot is actually located inside the First Draft taproom in Minneapolis’s North Loop neighborhood. First Draft, best known for their never-ending wall of pour your own tap beer, brings over 40 different beer choices from all over the state of Minnesota (and a couple from our neighbors in Wisconsin).
It’s immediately obvious they’ve clearly got the beer selection on lockdown, but what’s not so obvious is that this taproom also houses Pluck’d, a fried chicken spot known for their legit fried chicken sandwiches. (They’ve recently expanded with some tasty tenders, too.)
- Address: 324 N 6th Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55401
- Website: First Draft + Pluck’d
Best Vegan Fried Chicken: Herbie Butcher’s Fried Chicken
From the innovative minds that brought you The Twin Cities’ first vegan butcher (The Herbivorous Butcher), the vegan meat makers recently opened a fried chicken shop in Nokomis neighborhood of Minneapolis. All the food here is 100% vegan, including a unique the “chicken” that’s actually made out of seitan and is impressive enough to fool even the most devout carnivores. Order by the bucket, and then forget everything you thought you know about the vegan diet.
- Address: 735 E 48th St, Minneapolis, MN 55417
- Website: Herbie Butcher’s Fried Chicken
For Korean Fried Chicken: Bap and Chicken
Bap & Chicken started as popular food truck and has now landed a permanent spot on Grand Avenue in St. Paul. This is unique Korean Fried Chicken that draws inspiration from the owner’s South Korean birthplace and Minnesotan upbringing. You’ll find the Korean crispy goodness used as toppings for bibimbap bowls, filler for sandwiches, or standing alone by the piece. No matter which you choose, you can’t go wrong thanks to the delicious twice fried technique and unique Asian sauces.
- Address: 1328 Grand Ave, St Paul, MN 55105
- Website: Bap and Chicken
Most Popular Fast Food Fried Chicken: Raising Cane’s
Sometimes, you just want some fried chicken STAT. When that craving hits, it seems like most Minnesotans opt for Raising Cane’s. These fast food chicken tender locations have been popping up all over the Twin Cities, each one with a seemingly endless line of cars around the block, ready to drive through some of Cane’s famous chicken finger meals. For fast food chicken, it’s hard to argue that this stuff isn’t quality, and the generous sides of fries, Texas Toast, and that oh-so-addicting lemonade just adds to lore.
- Address: Multiple Locations
- Website: Raising Cane’s
Most Underrated Fast Food Fried Chicken: Pollo Campero
The first time a friend brought me to this national chain, I was a bit skeptical. There’s only one of these spots in all of Minnesota, and it sits out in West St. Paul in a dusty old drive through. All in all, it feels exactly like the sort of fast food fried chicken you’d want to be careful about. But shockingly, one bite into the “Camperitos” (boneless wings / nuggets) with some signature Campero sauce, and you can’t help but find yourself impressed with the juicy, all-white meat chicken and well done breading.
- Address: 1572 S Robert St, West St Paul, MN 55118
- Website: Pollo Campero