Gus's World Famous Fried Chicken

Restaurants, Soul and southern American West Loop
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 4 out of 5 stars
(6user reviews)
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Gus's Fried Chicken
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Gus's Fried Chicken
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Fried Green Tomatoes
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Chocolate Chess Pie with Ice Cream
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Gus's Fried Chicken

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. 

Vitals

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.

By: Amy Cavanaugh

Posted:

Venue name: Gus's World Famous Fried Chicken
Contact:
Address: 847 W Fulton Market
Chicago
60607
Opening hours: Sun-Wed 11am-10pm, Thu-Sat 11am-12am
Transport: El stop: Green, Pink to Morgan-Lake. Bus: 8, 20.
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LiveReviews|6
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tastemaker

From Harolds, to honey butter, and Bucks(rip) we sure do love our fried chicken here in Chicago. Gus's is great addition to the food scene in Chicago and an awesome option in the now robust west loop, Fulton market food corridor . The fried chicken here is good, it might even be great. I know it cures my cravings when im having them. Hot and spicy you really dont need to add anything to the chicken when it comes out, just go for it. The sides are hit or miss. My advice, upgrade from the cole slaw and beans and opt for some potato salad, mac and cheese or greens. There are fries on the menu, but they arent really anything special. However, the fried pickles and green tomatoes are worth the extra bucks. Gus's has a full bar and a decent beer selection. 

tastemaker

I love that it's in West Loop, quick and casual.  There are some other spots in the area with better chicken but higher prices.  The fried pickles have a tasty breading and the cocktails here are well crafted. We tried the Memphis Lemonade on our last visit, with Bourbon, honey and fresh squeezed lemon. Decent date night spot when you don't feel like making a fuss.


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

moderator

Gus's Fried Chicken is a welcome addition to an already booming West Loop food scene. It's a nice alternative to other Fulton Market options like La Sirena or Publican, and might be one of the best fried chicken joints in all of Chicago.