When you’re surrounded by the beautiful Tampa Bay beaches, Busch Gardens amusement park, and the Florida Aquarium, it can be easy to forget that Florida is still technically considered apart of the Southern United States until you try the fried chicken, that is.
Tampa Bay isn’t exactly known for its fried chicken like it is for its Cuban sandwiches, but we think it should be, so we’ve gone ahead and searched the city from top to bottom for the best fried chicken places in Tampa Bay and put them all on this convenient list for all our fellow fried chicken connoisseurs. We’re bringing you nothing but the best of the best in Tampa when it comes to tender, juicy chicken that’s been fried and seasoned to perfection, so you’ll know exactly where to go the next time you’ve got a craving for some deep-fried deliciousness.
King of the Coop
6607 N Florida Ave, Tampa, FL 33604
Number one on our list of best fried chicken in Tampa Bay is King of the Coop located off of North Florida Avenue and East Knollwood Street in the Seminole Heights neighborhood. They serve absolutely mouth-watering Nashville hot chicken here at King of the Coop and they do it so well that it’s one of our all-time favorite chicken places ever. We strongly recommend their classic Nashville hot fried chicken sandwich that comes with pickles and shredded slaw on a toasted bun.
Chicky Chicky Bang Bang
4110 Henderson Blvd, Tampa, FL 33629
Next up is a place called Chicky Chicky Bang Bang and they are easily one of Tampa’s best buttermilk fried chicken spots, if you ask us. You can find Chicky Chicky Band Bang off of Henderson Boulevard, inside the Tampa Pizza Company restaurant, right in the heart of South Tampa. Our favorite thing to order here is one of their oversized sandwiches called the “Goldie Hen” that comes with fried chicken, garlic parmesan sauce, bacon, lettuce, and ranch.
RyGuy’s Chicken & Waffles
1724 E 8th Ave, Tampa, FL 33605
This next place is called RyGuy’s Chicken & Waffles and their name basically says it all because they have some of the best buttermilk fried chicken in Tampa Bay, in our opinion. They have so many variations of classic chicken and waffles that it can be hard to decide sometimes, but no matter which one you pick, it’s bound to be delicious. Look for RyGuy’s Chicken & Waffles in the Ybor City Historic District on the corner of Angel Oliva Senior Street and East 8th Avenue, just down the road from the Ybor City State Museum.
11124 N 30th St, Tampa, FL 33612
Kay’s Kitchen is one of the best places to go for fried chicken in Tampa and they’re located off of North 30th Street in University Square, just down the street from the University of South Florida and directly across the street from the Yuengling Brewing Company. They specialize in classic southern fried chicken here at Kay’s Kitchen and it’s what we order every time we stop by, so we recommend you try it as well if you like crispy chicken sandwiches and wings.
Mr. B’s Restaurant
3401 N Nebraska Ave, Tampa, FL 33603
This next place, Mr. B’s Restaurant, is located in the Ybor Heights District of East Tampa, off of East 26th Avenue and North Nebraska Avenue, and they are consistently serving up some of Tampa’s best fried chicken. When you go there, we highly recommend ordering some of Mr. B’s signature honey hot fried chicken because of the incredible honey hot glaze that they drizzle all over it.
1810 N Highland Ave, Tampa, FL 33602
Up next, you’re going to want to find a place called Ulele located off of North Highland Avenue, right next to the Ulele Spring Water Works Park in the North Franklin Street Historic District. Ulele has all sorts of delectable dishes, but we think they have some of the best fried chicken in Tampa, by far. Their dish of “Muenster Chicken” here at Ulele is a fantastic piece of panko-crusted, fried chicken topped with muenster cheese in a white wine mushroom sauce and is to-die-for.
The C House
6005 N Florida Ave, Tampa, FL 33604
Right off of North Florida Avenue in the heart of the Seminole Heights neighborhood is The C House, one of the best fried chicken restaurants in Tampa Bay. They call it “Chicken Euphoria” here at The C House and it really will send you into a state of euphoria because of how unbelievably tasty it is when you bite into it. They brine their chicken in-house to make it as tender and juicy as possible, then they deep fry it in homemade buttermilk batter and put it on top of a poppy seed croissant-style bun.
901 S Howard Ave, Tampa, FL 33606
This next restaurant is called Daily Eats, located off of South Howard Avenue and West Bristol Avenue in the heart of the South Howard Avenue District, and it’s where you can find some of the best fried chicken in Tampa. They have the ultimate southern classic here at Daily Eats and it’s their Memphis southern fried chicken sandwich that comes topped with a delicious country remoulade sauce.
2208 W Morrison Ave, Tampa, FL 33606
Haven is another SoHo fixture that has one of Tampa’s best buttermilk fried chicken sandwiches, we think, and you can find them right off of West Morrison Avenue and South Howard Avenue in the South Howard Avenue neighborhood. Their fried chicken sandwich here at Haven comes fried to a golden perfection, topped with a miso dijonnaise, tomato jam, and arugula, so you get all sorts of amazing flavor combinations on your sandwich.
Cask Social Kitchen
208 S Howard Ave, Tampa, FL 33606
This next place, Cask Social Kitchen, is another one of our SoHo favorites that serves some of the best fried chicken in Tampa Bay. Cask Social Kitchen is one of the top destinations for an absolutely amazing meal of chicken and waffles that has been bumped up a notch with their own unique twists like delicious bacon jam, honey butter, and orange-spiked maple syrup.
Ella’s Americana Folk Art Café
5119 N Nebraska Ave, Tampa, FL 33603
Ella’s Americana Folk Art Café is one of our favorite places to eat some of Tampa’s best fried chicken and it’s located right off of North Nebraska Avenue and East Shadowlawn Lane in the Southeast Seminole Heights neighborhood. The fried chicken and waffles here at Ella’s Americana Folk Art Café is unbelievably tasty and it actually comes as a sandwich where the waffles act as buns with a side coleslaw and their delicious bourbon honey.
6416 N Florida Ave, Tampa, FL 33604
Trip’s Diner is located on the corner of North Florida Avenue and West North Street in the Seminole Heights neighborhood where they serve some of Tampa Bay’s best fried chicken, if you ask us. They dip their crispy, delectable fried chicken in homemade spiced buttermilk batter here at Trip’s Diner and it goes great with their biscuits and white sausage gravy if you’re in the mood for breakfast, but it makes a fantastic lunch or dinner, as well.
777 N Ashley Dr D1, Tampa, FL 33602
We’re heading to our favorite part of the city, Downtown Tampa, for this next place called Butter’s Burgers located off of North Ashley Drive on the ground floor of the SkyPoint Condominiums. They’re known for burgers, as their name suggests, here at Butter’s Burgers, but their fried chicken and waffles are just as good, we think, if not even better, but they also have an absolutely incredible Nashville hot fried chicken sandwich with Texas Pete’s Hot Sauce if you are in need of some heat.
420 W Kennedy Blvd, Tampa, FL 33606
The Oxford Exchange is a Tampa Bay fixture that everyone should dine at, whether they live here full-time or they’re just visiting, if they want to experience one of the best buttermilk fried chicken sandwiches in Tampa Bay. You can find Oxford Exchange off of West Kennedy Boulevard, just south of the Henry B. Plant Museum, so it’s perfect for a nice family meal after a day seeing the sights of the city. Their fried chicken sandwich is buttermilk-brined, fried to perfection, and then topped with pickle chips and a garlic aioli that you’re going to love.
Maple Street Biscuit Company
13028 N Dale Mabry Hwy, Tampa, FL 33618
Maple Street Biscuit Company is one of our personal favorite places to go for some of the best fried chicken in Tampa Bay anytime we want it on a fresh biscuit with bacon, cheese, egg, and smothered in sausage gravy. Look for Maple Street Biscuit Company off of North Dale Mabry Highway in the Carrollwood Village Shoppes right in the heart of the Carrollwood neighborhood.