You’ve Heard About Nashville Hot Chicken, But Do You Know Where To Get It?

Anytime you tell someone you are going to Nashville, they tell you to visit Lower Broadway, ask about the Opry, and tell you that you need to try Nashville’s hot chicken. Nashville Hot chicken has become somewhat of its own legend in Music City. Hot Chicken is as Nashville as Country Music is and for the foodies in town, it has become a foundational flavor and claim to fame. Here’s the lowdown on Tennessee’s favorite chicken sandwich and where to go to check off your foodie bucket list when visiting Nashville, TN.

Best Nashville Hot chicken

How Hot Is Nashville’s Hot Chicken?

Nashville’s hot chicken is a variation of spicy chicken and saucy chicken. It is not hot like Louisiana hot or saucy like buffalo or barbeque chicken. The spice of Nashville’s hot chicken is deep in the chicken meat itself and not just the breading.

Who Has The Best Nashville Hot Chicken?

As with any foodie debate, that answer is subject to opinion, but the two most popular Nashville Hot Chicken locations are Hattie B’s and Prince’s Hot Chicken.

Hattie B’s Hot Chicken, Nashville

The number one spot for tourists’ version of Hot Chicken is Hattie B’s. They are like the McDonalds of hot chicken here in Nashville. They cater to the tourists with their long lines that encircle the building and for first time hot chicken connoisseurs, they are a good average place for all pallets.

Local’s Tip: If you try their downtown location close to Broadway or presumably your hotel, order ahead of time and slip in through the side door. You’ll thank me for salvaging more hours of your day.

Hattie B’s has three locations in Nashville, TN

Prince’s Hot Chicken

If you want to go one step further and try the original hot chicken, go to the king of hot chicken (despite their humble name): Prince’s Hot Chicken. This is where it all began. Inspired by a wife out to kill her cheating husband with every hot spice, Prince’s is iconic. The husband lived and loved it so much, hot chicken was born.

Local Tip: Said wife still runs the original location and will not serve you anything over mild unless she knows you. So, you need to become a regular to try various levels.

Where Else Can I Get Nashville Hot Chicken?

Nashville is littered with locations that focus solely on producing their favorite version of Nashville Hot Chicken. From the locals to the hipsters, every resident in Nashville has their favorite spot. Here are a few of the most popular restaurants most known for their delicious Nashville Hot Chicken.

Nashville Tennessee Downtown

Nashville Restaurants Specializing In Hot Chicken

Party Fowl – For that bar-food hot chicken, you can eat hot chicken with your boozy slushy while watching sports. Currently, they have two locations, downtown and Donelson area with a third opening in Murfreesboro soon! Their food ranges from hot chicken nachos, Po’Boys, tacos, Cuban sandwiches and tenders. 

Pepper Fire – my personal favorite. Options of just hot chicken or hot chicken mixed food. My favorite? The apple jack: hot chicken on waffles topped with sweet apples. They have various chicken dinners of legs, half chickens, wings, tenders, sandwiches or even their Tender Royale (pepper jack cheese with tenders). 

Helen’s Hot Chicken – Specializing in four levels of heat such as plain, mild, hot and hella hot these are simple orders in wings, tenders, flats or drumettes. 

McDouglas Chicken Fingers & Wings – an eclectic little shack (with a few locations) that specializes in chicken wings, chicken fingers and chicken sandwiches. 

Nashville Underground – offering the local color of downtown option, this place has alternative hot chicken. For instance, Hot Chicken Ramen, Hot Shrimp & Grits, Mama Lyne’s Truffle Mac & Cheese, Hot Chicken Salad as well as original hot chicken and hot chicken sandwiches. 

Big Shake’s Nashville Hot Chicken – Try their hot chicken tacos, platters, hot chicken & waffles or the classic hot chicken sandwich to name a few! 

Bar Louie: A known chain gastropub has a hot honey chicken sandwich that pairs well with any of their several beers.

Nashville Hot Chicken With A Twist

If you are looking for a little different take on Nashville’s hot chicken, try some of these unique creations.

Nashville Underground – offering the local color of a downtown option, this place has alternative hot chicken. For instance, Hot Chicken Ramen, Hot Shrimp & Grits, Mama Lyne’s Truffle Mac & Cheese, Hot Chicken Salad as well as original hot chicken and hot chicken sandwiches. 

Big Shake’s Nashville Hot Chicken – Try their hot chicken tacos, platters, hot chicken & waffles or the classic hot chicken sandwich to name a few! 

Graze: As this plant-based bistro and baris entirely vegan, their hot tempeh sandwich mimics the hot chicken by incorporating hot chicken spices. You can get this as a sandwich or salad, mild or traditional spice.

Whiskey Kitchen: A mix of classic and comfort, this place has quite the food to go with their elaborate bar. They have a Hot Chicken thigh with chipotle baked mac & cheese or even a hot chicken pizza (either hot or Nashville Hot)

Edley’s Bar-B-Que:  While their BBQ is my personal favorite in Nashville, they do offer their own take on hot chicken sandwich.

Clyde’s on church: A simple bar restaurant with several large ping pong tables and patio seating. With a brunch menu and comfy couches to sit in among the bar tops and booths, you can also get their hot honey chicken sandwich adequately named the dirty bird.

Burger Republic – As the name suggests, they specialize in burgers and not so much their chicken. However, their hot chicken sandwich with blue cheese and either grilled or fried is worth getting if you’d rather have hot chicken instead of a burger.

Biscuit Love: As it is known for their brunch and photographable foods, they even have a hot chicken option on their menu. It does typically come with a side of kale the last I was there, however. But it does add to the ambiance of the establishment.

Hot Chicken Week

If that isn’t enough to satisfy your Nashville Hot Chicken itch, visit Nashville in late January when during Hot Chicken Week when even non-hot chicken serving restaurants break out their own versions of hot chicken serving up unique variations of menu items with a hot chicken flare.

Locals and tourists can enjoy such items as Nectar Urban Cantina’s hot chicken street taco or Scoreboards’ Nashville Hot Chicken Bitchin’ Butch Bites or Zuelma’s Hot Chicken tacos.

Does KFC Have Nashville Hot Chicken?

Yes, Virginia, even sometimes KFC has hot chicken!

No matter where you go, it is more than likely that you will find your own variation of Nashville hot chicken to try. From chicken sandwiches to tacos to wings and platters, Nashville is always trying to improve their menu of hot chicken.

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