A Memphis institution delivers solid fried chicken to the West Loop.
Just when it seemed that the fried chicken bubble was dangerously close to bursting, here is Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken, a storied Memphis import that serves tender chicken cocooned in a light, thin exterior that shatters when you cut into it. It’s spicy, with heat that gently sneaks up on you, though not remotely close to the incendiary Nashville-hot style at the Roost and not so hot that it doesn’t benefit from a squirt of Crystal hot sauce out of a plastic packet. I usually prefer dark meat, but Gus’s breasts are surprisingly juicy and flavorful.
The chicken, which is fried in peanut oil, is available in single pieces, combinations of up to 20 pieces or a half bird. It comes with white bread, very sweet baked beans and crisp cole slaw. Adding on the cornmeal-crusted fried green tomatoes is a good call, though the too-soft mac and cheese is not. The dessert menu is comprised of pies and a root beer float, and the chess pie is sweet without being cloying.
Gus’s has outposts across the South, though the Chicago location is the first phase of an ambitious expansion that includes openings in Detroit, Kansas City and Los Angeles. I can’t speak to the fried chicken scenes in those cities, but in Chicago, even though the past two years have brought us exceptional fried birds at The Roost, Honey Butter Fried Chicken, Analogue and other spots, the dining landscape still has room for a place like Gus’s.
Atmosphere: With checkered tablecloths, neon signs and lots of wood, the space is appropriately casual for digging into fried chicken.
What to eat: The half fried chicken is ideal for two, and the fried green tomatoes are a terrific starter.
What to drink: The bar offers cheap beers and cocktails, though I opted for an unsweetened iced tea (a sweet version is also available) to help temper the heat from the chicken.
Where to sit: Both bar seating and tables are available, and you can just sit down and grab a seat. Take-out can be ordered at the back counter.
|Venue name:||Gus's World Famous Fried Chicken|
847 W Fulton Market
|Opening hours:||Sun-Wed 11am-10pm, Thu-Sat 11am-12am|
|Transport:||El stop: Green, Pink to Morgan-Lake. Bus: 8, 20.|
|Do you own this business?|
Average User Rating
3.7 / 5
- 5 star:0
- 4 star:4
- 3 star:2
- 2 star:0
- 1 star:0
The Chicken doesn't taste as good as the Memphis location. The green were not very good. Mac n Cheese was very good. We did take out, ordered Green tomatoes. But it wasn't in the bag. Called and talk to someone, was to give us a callback from Manager. Never received a call. Don't know if it worth a second trip.
Gus's is a welcome addition to the West Loop, with cheap and delicious fried chicken. It has that hit of spice and incredibly juicy chicken and a great beer selection. I would recommend the bone-in chicken over the boneless chicken tenders. The chicken pieces are just a better product. While it's not as rustic as the ones in Memphis and Little Rock, it's still a great shop for Chicago.
I wish it was more like the one in Memphis, but they made up for the bland fried green tomatoes with a full bar! They have Mezcal and good Chicken which made for the perfect drop in spot after the Bulls Game. #winninginthewestloop