Thanks to nominations from our 7,400-plus Facebook fans and the help of our judges—food writer Cooper Levey-Baker, food photographer Joel Parisi, associate editor Hannah Wallace and web editor Megan McDonald—we’ve discovered that great fried chicken is all over this town. And the winners?
Made. At downtown’s Made Restaurant, the fried chicken is double dipped—meaning the buttermilk-brined chicken is coated in seasoned flour, dipped in hot-sauce-spiked buttermilk, then coated in flour again. The result? Perfectly crispy yet tender chicken that’s hard to stop eating, especially when served alongside a savory waffle with kale and hot-sauce-infused honey. (Click here to read our review of Made.)
Best Off-the-Beaten-Path Find
Fruitville Road Texaco Station. Great fried chicken...at a gas station? But we were happily surprised by what Texaco delivered—which was hot, tender meat with a crispy, crunchy coating. (Get there early to beat the lunch crowds and ensure you’re getting the freshest chicken, then sit outside at the picnic tables.)
Best Place to Fill Your Belly
Yoder’s. If you’re looking for fried chicken that will fill you up, look no farther than Yoder’s, where you’ll get a huge serving of fried chicken that’s breaded by hand and pressure-fried. This is the place to bring your (hungry) family.
Shore Diner. Fried chicken and hot sauce go together like peanut butter and jelly, and Shore’s fried chicken has just the right amount of heat in both its crisp coating and its moist meat.
Blue Rooster. Blue Rooster is becoming known as a great spot for live music, but the fried chicken on its Southern-inspired menu also stars, with a light yet flavorful breading and succulent meat—exactly what you expect when you hear the words “fried chicken.”
Find Made’s winning double-dipped fried chicken recipe at sarasotamagazine.com/fried-chicken. >>