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The best chicken and waffles in Los Angeles

Craving something sweet and fried for brunch? Look beyond Roscoe's for the best chicken and waffles in town.

Like fried chicken sandwiches and BBQ, chicken and waffles bring a promise of comfort to the table—a reminder of the days when carbs were still good for you, "fried" was not a dirty word and your grandma just wanted you to have a belly full of hearty home cooking. While this Southern comfort food can be found at a number of Roscoe's locations across town, there are plenty of other great spots in LA that serve outstanding versions of the dish for brunch or otherwise. Here are our favorites, from a Thai diner to Thomas Keller's $30 adventure. Grab your wetnaps and dig in! 

Where to find LA's best chicken and waffles

1

Poppy + Rose

True to its name, Poppy + Rose smells like wildflowers the moment you step through the door. The bright, cheery space offers what could be the best chicken and waffles in town. The waffle is a crisp, rectangular grid with a soft, barely sweet interior that creates an ideal texture contrast. The chicken is melt-in-your-mouth tender, with a bone-in and boneless piece that boast a craggy, crunchy coating with plenty of pepper. Even the white meat is decadently moist with zero excess oil. The chicken perches atop the waffle and is sprinkled with sliced scallions that appear decorative until you add one to your bite, and suddenly the richness is tempered by the sharp green note. A little dip of each bite into the real maple syrup and suddenly the fantasy balance between savory, sweet and sharp is a genuine reality. $13

Photograph: Courtesy Poppy + Rose

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Downtown Fashion District
2

Bouchon Bistro

If you opt out of the current water of choice at Bouchon (Voss sparkling), somehow even the tap water tastes better here. But it still begs the question: In a city of affordable and homey plates of chicken and waffles, is $29.75 worth the price? The chicken isn't fried, but arrives roasted with perfectly gold-brown, barely crisp skin, with both a dark thigh and leg, and a boneless breast with wing. Lying next to these pieces is the bacon and chive waffle, sectioned and fanned. Nearby are sauce chasseur (an exceptional light gravy) for the chicken and delicate, pale Grade A maple syrup. The waffle boasts a tender, soft interior that begins slightly sweet before sharpening just a bit as the chives shimmy to the surface. But the first bite of chicken with a drop of sauce and it is over: You are no longer in sunny LA but a farmhouse in the south of France 150 years ago—this is the chicken of your mythical ancestors, a fowl so thrilling that the desire to pick it up with your hands and savor it like a lover becomes overpowering. This dish seduces your basest instincts while demanding you obey thousands of years of evolution—truly the best sort of edible, exquisite torture. $29.75

Photograph: Courtesy Bouchon Bistro

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Beverly Hills
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3

Wood & Vine

This unassuming, modern spot across the street from the Pantages Theatre is true to its playful name with a dark wood interior, but is saved from stuffiness by a floaty white ceiling and clean lines from tables to pillars. And though the menu says "small plates," these chicken and waffles are no overpriced appetizer. Gaze down upon crisped sage leaves whose scent wafts through the air, scattered atop a flurry of diced butternut squash. Beneath it is toothsome, free-range boneless chicken in a crisp batter that barely holds onto the meat, supported by a waffle that isn't sweet at all, but instead provides a nearly savory, comforting base for the flavors on top. Dipping a bite with all four elements into the real maple syrup? A truly complex, balanced dish. $17

Photograph: Courtesy Wood & Vine

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Hollywood
4

Hungry Fox

Hungry Fox is indeed a sly creature, masquerading as just another squat box (albeit one painted electric lime green) in the sprawl of the Van Nuys grid. But amidst assorted pro-America regalia and cheerful pots of lucky bamboo is some of the best Thai-style fried chicken you can find. It appears deceptively simple: juicy and seasoned just right, with a strong, crisp batter that looks like a fantasy (and tastes just as good). But alongside comes a sassy nectar: an orange, traditional Thai chili sauce that takes the chicken into the stratosphere. But let's not forget the waffle: crisp, airy and delicate, not unlike biting into a crusty French baguette. The generous dish is enough to feed two—if you feel like sharing. $13.99

Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

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San Fernando Valley
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5

Bon Vivant Market Cafe

This bustling, gregarious addition to the Atwater scene serves up some interesting breakfast fare, including a stellar chicken and waffles dish. With a wafting scent like Amish funnel cake at a county fair (with the requisite dusting of confectioners sugar) and maple syrup studded with bacon, the waffle itself has a soft, dense interior like an old-timey cake doughnut—though nowhere near as sweet—redolent of cardamom and clove. There's such a crisp outer layer it almost seems fried (it's not). The crunchy chicken breast is barely battered, but what's there is craggy with nutty rolled oats and just a hint of heat at the end. The smokiness of the bacon in the maple syrup plays well against the spiced waffle and gives the savory chicken even greater depth. And even the coffee is good. $14

Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

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Atwater Village
6

TJ's Sweetie Pie's

This NoHo outpost of the St. Louis original (we hear Oprah is a fan) will get your belly to a happy place right on time. Find a seat in the long train car with an airy, arched wood ceiling and order the chicken and waffles. A crisp round waffle arrives sprinkled with cinnamon; one bite into its springy white interior and suddenly you're floating on a vanilla cloud. The super sweet syrup becomes unnecessary, even on the fried chicken. And oh, the chicken. Moist, juicy meat is perfectly seasoned down to its core, with a crisp and peppery batter that fast food chains can only dream of. The crunchy batter is a distinct traveler on this journey; it can be a little on the salty side, but has such nuanced seasoning it doesn't matter. Add the balancing sweetness of a fluffy waffle bite and you're done: nirvana has arrived. Chicken prices vary, waffle $6

Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

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North Hollywood
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7

Pann's

Pann's has been a family affair since it opened in 1958—and it still feels like it, in the best sort of way. In a city where some folks try to be something they're not, it's a pleasure to eat at a place that excels at being precisely what it is: a fabulous '50s holdout, with the ideal dinner chicken and waffles. While you can order the dish in a variety of combinations, the waffle + four wings is the way to go. It arrives with royal splendor, the four wings perched like jewels atop a golden brown Belgian waffle crown. The waffle is barely sweet with a tender, airy, eggy interior (which is quickly sweetened up by the warm, candy-ish syrup). The fried chicken is generously meaty, moist, correctly seasoned and beautifully juicy with a shatteringly crisp breading that just barely clings on. No need for a doggie bag here; eat up and enjoy. $11.75

Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

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LAX/Westchester
8

The Oinkster

To be fair, you probably think about hamburgers or Burger Week when someone mentions the Oinkster, but it's time to expand your mind (and your schedule), because brunch is now on offer during the weekends at the popular Hollywood location. The Cluckster Chicken and Waffles with fries perfectly straddles your morning munchies and lunch desires by offering the best of both starches. A thin, crisp waffle sprinkled with strawberries sits aside their buttermilk fried chicken, a juicy breast pounded to even thickness and shrouded in a crispy coating that bites back just a bit. Real maple syrup brings it all together; lest you lack carbs, the side of Belgian fries seems excessive upon arrival—until you find yourself idly crunching away at them, smiling like a fool and thinking, "Damn, Oinkster. You got me again." $11.50

Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

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Eagle Rock
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