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Root & Bone
Photograph: Courtesy Root & Bone

Where to find the tastiest fried chicken in Miami

From buckets filled with it to sandwiches starring it, find the best fried chicken in Miami served in all kinds of ways

Virginia Gil
Written by
Lyssa Goldberg
&
Virginia Gil
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Great fried chicken needs to tick off a few boxes: crispy, juicy and not too greasy, plus a bonus point if it’s coated in something flavorful or spicy. There are so many variations on the dish out there and, lucky for us, we’ve got most of them right in our own backyard. Options for the best fried chicken in Miami run the gamut, from Miami’s best cheap eats to fine-dining situations at the city’s top restaurants. You can even drill down by cuisine (pollo frito at a Cuban restaurant is pretty spectacular) and the time of day: brunch in Miami isn’t complete without a chicken-and-waffle dish. Am I right? For more ways to satisfy your craving for fried chicken, check out our picks below.

The best of the city under one roof

  • Restaurants
  • South Beach

Celebrity chef Amaris Jones temps us with a whole lot of spice at her namesake spot, Chick’n Jones. It only takes one bite of her signature hot-honey crispy chicken sandwich piled with southern slaw on a brioche bun to ditch your diet forever. Can’t get down with spice? Jones’ original bird is just as good too. Get it by the bucket with a side of bread, in a sandwich between two pillowy brioche buns or atop cheddar chive waffles during Sunday brunch (noon to 4pm).

  • Restaurants
  • South Beach
  • price 2 of 4

Chicken and waffles have taken over Benedicts on nearly every Miami brunch menu, and we’re fine with that—especially if it’s Kush’s version’s we’re eating. Both at the restaurant and at Time Out Market, the fried bird sits on a Belgian waffle, is sprinkled with crumbled bacon and dusted with powdered sugar like a delicious carnival snack. The sweet-and-savory combination is made even sweeter with a side of house-made maple syrup.

Best fried chicken in Miami

  • Restaurants
  • Barbecue
  • Wynwood
  • price 2 of 4

If you’re looking for Korean fried chicken, KYU’s satiates all cravings for Asian-style crispy bird. Theirs is not only twice-fried but also wood-fire grilled, a technique used for most of the meats on the Asian barbecue restaurant’s menu. Savor this spicy chicken dish from Wynwood’s hottest restaurant, which is served with butter-braised chicory over a sriracha-inspired hot sauce.

  • Bars
  • South Beach
  • price 2 of 4

Chef Michelle Bernstein’s legendary fried chicken (which was popularized as an annual all-you-can-eat summer special at her now-shuttered restaurant, Michys) lives on at Sweet Liberty. Marinated in buttermilk, tarragon, Dijon mustard, celery seed and black pepper, the dish is available year-round at the South Beach bar. The downside? Servings are not unlimited, so be sure to order one for each person at the table. You won’t want to share.

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  • Restaurants
  • American
  • Wynwood
  • price 3 of 4

Rotisserie chicken is the house specialty at Wynwood’s Le Chick. But the fried alternative is nothing to scoff at. It’s soaked in buttermilk and fried until the outside is brown and crispy and the inside is tender and juicy. The free-range bird is well-seasoned enough to enjoy on its own, but we like to dunk it in sauce, alternating between the spicy maple syrup and the house-made ranch dressing it’s served with. 

  • Restaurants
  • Vietnamese
  • South Beach
  • price 2 of 4

Benjamin Murray’s lockdown pop-up is now a brick-and-mortar on Española Way with an even bigger menu than the stuff we grew to love from Instagram. Beyond his signature banh mi, Murray introduces us to his mouthwatering fried chicken. The extra crunchy spicy chicken tender is available by the bucket with a side of fries and house-made dipping sauces, like yuzu kosho ranch and tamarind BBQ. Plus, giving Publix a run for its money is the banh mi stuffed with fried chicken. You’ll never order another Pub sub again.

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  • Restaurants
  • Soul and southern American
  • South Miami
  • price 2 of 4

Yardbird’s opening chef, Jeff McInnis, took his famous chicken recipe elsewhere to his own Southern-style restaurant. At Root & Bone, he and wife Janine Booth dole out the much-beloved bird (now with their own spin) during brunch, lunch and dinner. The sweet-tea brined, lemon-dusted fried chicken is served with honey Tabasco sauce—a winning combo made better only by a side of the restaurant’s hot, flaky biscuits. 

 

  • Restaurants
  • American
  • South Beach
  • price 3 of 4

You can’t go wrong with chicken made according to a 100-year-old recipe passed down to owner John Kunkel by his grandmother, Lewellyn. And Yardbird’s famous fried bird follows her instructions to a T: first it’s brined for 27 years and then it’s dredged in secret spices. The half bird comes with a side of spicy tabasco honey sauce—simple, just as grandma intended—but diners can also order it with chilled spiced watermelon, a cheddar cheese waffle and bourbon maple syrup. You’ll have a hard time sharing either. Trust us.

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  • Restaurants
  • Mediterranean
  • South Beach
  • price 4 of 4

When you really want fried chicken but also crave exotic flavors (read: hot sauce just won’t cut it), we suggest Byblos’s fried chicken smothered in garlic aioli, za’atar spices and toasted sesame seeds. The restaurant’s Middle-Eastern-style bird is brined in honey, garlic cloves, thyme, peppercorns and lemon and then coated in flour spiced with paprika and cayenne. Unlike other fried chicken dishes accompanied by waffles and syrups, this one is served with a simple side of cucumber slaw.

  • Restaurants
  • Japanese
  • South Beach
  • price 3 of 4

Sure, it’s a sushi restaurant, but Blue Ribbon is a sushi restaurant that’s as famous for its fish as it is for its fried chicken. (In fact, cities like New York and Las Vegas have Blue Ribbons dedicated to just “good ol' finger-licking fried chicken”.) In between bites of toro and uni, do yourself a favor and save room for this matzo-crusted bird sprinkled with Japanese chili spices. The side of wasabi honey is not to missed be either.

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  • Restaurants
  • South Miami
  • price 2 of 4

South Miami’s Whisk is tough to beat when it comes to Southern comfort food, namely its buttermilk fried chicken, which can be ordered in a variety of ways and with all kinds of sides: atop a spinach salad, as an entrée with smashed potatoes and bacon gravy or—our favorite way—on a bacon-buttermilk biscuit with layers of pepper jelly and gravy. Whisk’s fried chicken biscuit may be listed as an appetizer, but know that the boneless quarter chicken and flaky biscuit is filling enough to qualify as an entrée. 

  • Restaurants
  • Contemporary Asian
  • Mid-Beach
  • price 3 of 4

The bird to order at Pao is Paul Qui’s 35-spice East Side King Fried Chicken—a small plate of crispy boneless chicken bites tossed over a bed of greens and pickled red onions. Though what really makes this dish for us is the side of sweet banana ketchup, a staple of the chef’s native Filipino cuisine.  

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  • Restaurants
  • South of Fifth
  • price 3 of 4

You don’t have to shell out a wad of cash to enjoy a night out at Joe’s Stone Crab. The South Beach institution may be known for its fresh Florida stone crabs (which, at market price, can quickly rack up a bill), but it also ranks high in the fried chicken department. Joe’s famous fried chicken isn’t just delicious, but it’s also dirt cheap at just $6.95 an order, which includes a side of coleslaw and house-made potato chips. The combo platter easily feeds two people. 

Editor's note: The restaurant reopens on August 1, 2021.

  • Restaurants
  • Food court
  • Aventura
  • price 1 of 4

The exclamation in its name is not gratuitous. Everyone should be excited about Chicken Guy! Guy Fieri’s Aventura Mall eatery keeps it simple, serving chicken tenders exclusively. Its sauce game, however, is so extra. Dip the fried fingers in everything from avocado crema and something called Donkey sauce to curry mayo, or whatever else you fancy from the list of 22 dipping flavors.

Find more great places to eat in Miami

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