clock menu more-arrow no yes
Fried chicken with pickles and two sides
Lea Jane’s Hot Chicken opened at Avanti F&B in February.
Bound Agency

Where to Feast on Fried Chicken in Denver

Head to these 16 spots for a full dose of finger-lickin’ goodness

View as Map
Lea Jane’s Hot Chicken opened at Avanti F&B in February.
| Bound Agency

If the pandemic had an official dish, it would be fried chicken, which checks all the boxes for these trying times: It’s economical, it’s versatile, it travels well, and above all, it’s supremely comforting. No wonder it’s suddenly everywhere — from noteworthy mobile pop-ups like Split Lip and chef Elise Wiggins’ soon-to-launch Lil Yellow Chick to these 16 places, all of which put their own satisfying spin on the homey staple.

Note: Map points are listed from north to south. If we missed your favorite spot, please feel free to share with us in the comments below or send a tip to denver@eater.com.

Read More
Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Chicken Rebel

Copy Link
3618 Tejon St
Denver, CO 80211
(720) 710-6620
Visit Website

San Diego’s loss was Denver’s gain when Lydie Lovett moved here in 2017 and brought her towering sculptures of fried chicken with her. As photogenic as they are filling, these sandwiches come loaded with the works — jalapeño slaw, pickled onions, and garlic mayo, for instance, or bacon, honey butter, and a fried egg (as do Lovett’s tots, a must-try on the side).

Chicken sandwich with bacon, ranch, and avocado
The Rancher is Chicken Rebel’s top claim to fame.
Chicken Rebel/Facebook

2. Julep: Southern Table & Whiskey House

Copy Link
3258 Larimer St
Denver, CO 80205
(303) 295-8977
Visit Website

Upscale modern Southern cuisine is Julep’s claim to fame — think rutabaga-onion tart or pecan-crusted salmon with creamed lentils — but owners Kyle and Katy Foster know their way around the homestyle classics as well, whipping up fried chicken both for weekend brunch and for takeout by advance order, when it comes family-style with biscuits and a choice of two sides.

Plate of fried chicken with biscuit and vegetables
At Sunday brunch, Julep’s fried chicken comes with rotating seasonal sides.
Julep/Facebook

3. The Blazing Chicken Shack II

Copy Link
5560 E 33rd Ave
Denver, CO 80207
(720) 596-4501
Visit Website

Though this soul-food surprise in Park Hill also offers a half-chicken platter, its name’s a clue to its signature: hot (and honey-hot) wings, which defy logic with a crust that remains thoroughly crisp and crunchy despite its thickness and lavish coating of tangy sauce.

Chicken wings with black-eyed peas
Honey hot wings from the Blazing Chicken Shack II.
Ruth Tobias/Eater

4. Lea Jane’s Hot Chicken at Avanti Food and Beverage

Copy Link
3200 N Pecos St
Denver, CO 80211
(720) 269-4778
Visit Website

There’s no shortage of hot chicken in Denver, but chef Nick Graves (who also makes one of the city’s best new burgers) did his research thoroughly at the source in Nashville to develop his elaborate recipe, and it shows. Options abound, from sandwiches and brunch plates to buckets and platters with all the trimmings — think sides like coleslaw and mac-and-cheese, plus dips such as charred-onion ranch to Alabama-style white sauce. Bits of bird even top deviled eggs.

Fried chicken with sides, waffles, and deviled eggs
Lea Jane’s hot chicken comes in many forms.
Bound Agency

5. Noble Riot

Copy Link
1336 27th St
Denver, CO 80205
(303) 993-5330
Visit Website

With one of the coolest wine lists in town, this RiNo bar is out to prove that fried chicken shows just as well alongside a bottle of, say, bubbly or rosé as a pitcher of beer. Sweet-spicy dipping sauce and potato salad accompany a bucket of four or eight pieces, which are brined in a mixture of salt, sugar, lemon, thyme, and peppercorns, then soaked in buttermilk overnight before they’re battered in a gluten-free blend of rice flour and cornstarch.

Bucket of fried chicken with sides
Fried chicken and bubbly are a perfect pairing at Noble Riot.
Courtesy of Noble Riot

6. Welton Street Cafe

Copy Link
2736 Welton St
Denver, CO 80205
(303) 296-6602
Visit Website

Though it’s currently doing takeout-only, this beloved hub of Five Points for 21 years and counting still makes a mighty fine plate of fried chicken, complete with a choice of two classic sides like hush puppies, black-eyed peas, or mac-and-cheese. (The fry bread’s a la carte but well worth the extra couple of bucks.)

Fried chicken platter with sides and bread
Fried chicken with mashed potatoes, cabbage, and fry bread at Welton Street Cafe.
Ruth Tobias/Eater

7. Birdcall - Whole Foods at Union Station

Copy Link
1701 Wewatta St
Denver, CO 80202
(720) 572-8799
Visit Website

When the flagship of this fast-casual chicken shack opened in Five Points a few years ago, rather more media attention was paid to the high-tech operating system than to the food — but Denver’s diners quickly flocked around the sandwiches, making way for the launch of this LoDo kiosk and a University outpost. Half the fun is in the selection, with options like the Teriyaki with pepperjack and pineapple and the Southern with pimento cheese and slaw, plus an array of side sauces like buttermilk-herb mayo and sweet mustard. 

8. Steuben's Uptown

Copy Link
523 E 17th Ave
Denver, CO 80203
(303) 830-1001
Visit Website

For nearly 15 years, this anchor of Uptown has been paying picture-perfect homage to the roadside diners of yore, from its mid-mod vibe to a menu built on the likes of pot roast, meatloaf — and, yes, good old-fashioned buttermilk-fried chicken served with mashed potatoes, gravy, and a biscuit. But in a sign of the times, the kitchen now does a hot version with a bacon–brown sugar glaze as well, and selling six- to 15-piece buckets of either style with all the fixings to go.

Fried chicken on a plate with mashed potatoes and gravy
Steuben’s fried chicken platter with mashed potatoes and gravy.
Steuben’s/Facebook

9. Denver Biscuit Company

Copy Link
3237 E Colfax Ave
Denver, CO 80206
(303) 377-7900
Visit Website

Hangover cures and Instagram likes are both guaranteed by the gigantic concoctions at this multi-branch biscuit kitchen, which features buttermilk-fried chicken on seven of its 11 sandwiches. With bacon, cheddar, sausage or mushroom gravy, and an optional egg, the Franklin’s perhaps the fan favorite, but the Cordon Bleu with ham and honey butter’s no slouch either.

Fried chicken sandwich on a biscuit
The Franklin at the Stanley Marketplace outpost of the Denver Biscuit Company.
From the Hip Photo

10. Baba & Pop's Pierogi

Copy Link
9945 E Colfax Ave
Aurora, CO 80010
(720) 476-7183
Visit Website

And now for something completely different: While this Aurora outlet is acclaimed (and named) for its Polish dumplings, it also makes fabulous fried-chicken kabobs from thigh meat. Offered as an appetizer, the boldly seasoned and juicy chunks further make their way into a thick flatbread with feta, cucumber salad, and dill sauce, and then onto waffles during Sunday brunch — when they do double duty as a garnish in a 50-ounce Bloody Mary that sports skewered pierogi, kielbasa, bacon, and cheese curds as well.

Flatbread topped with fried-chicken thigh, feta, and cucumber salad
Flatbread topped with fried-chicken thigh, feta, and cucumber salad at Baba & Pop’s.
Ruth Tobias/Eater

11. Lou’s Food Bar

Copy Link
701 Grant St
Denver, CO 80203
(303) 860-2929
Visit Website

Frank Bonanno was one of the first chefs in Denver to hop on the hot-chicken bandwagon several years back, and he’s still slinging it with style at Lou’s — wings, tenders, nuggets, and all, as well as sandwiches like the Cubano with cheddar, bacon jam, avocado, dill pickles, and more. On Sundays, whole birds are available for pickup, accompanied by four sides and birthday cake just for fun. 

Fried chicken on toast with pickles
Hot chicken at Lou’s Food Bar, which reopened in the former Bones space last year.
Rachel Greiman/Eater

12. grind kitchen + watering hole

Copy Link
300 Fillmore St
Denver, CO 80206
(720) 749-4158
Visit Website

Even the residents of upscale Cherry Creek need some down-home comfort from time to time, and Alabama-born chef Preston Phillips delivers it in the form of consistently stellar fried chicken on a bun; alongside brunch-time biscuits and gravy; or by the piece, accompanied by a la carte sides like cheese grits or honey-mustard slaw and optionally — but optimally — paired with Champagne. (That said, the beer list is strewn with special finds.) 

Fried chicken on a tray with sides
Grind has been bringing downhome comfort to an upscale neighborhood since 2016.
Rachel Greiman/Eater

13. The Budlong Hot Chicken

Copy Link
81 S Pennsylvania St
Denver, CO 80209
(720) 399-2770
Visit Website

Recently moved from Zeppelin Station to Wash Park, this Chicago transplant churns out hot chicken in classic Music City style, complete with pickles and Texas toast. Wings, tenders, and sandwiches on brioche topped with coleslaw and pickles round out the menu.

A close-up photo of a fried chicken thigh from Bundlong Hot Chicken on a piece of Texas toast with pickles on top of it The Bundlong [Official Photo]

14. Szechuan Tasty House 川味坊

Copy Link
1000 W Evans Ave
Denver, CO 80223
(303) 955-0069
Visit Website

Call it Chongqing chicken, mala chicken, or la ji zi, fried chicken tossed with dried chilies and numbing peppercorns is a staple of Sichuan cuisine. While modern hot spots Hop Alley and Q House both do excellent versions, this lesser-known mom-and-pop gem on the south side of town also deserves a shout-out.

Chopped fried chicken with chilies
Szechuan Tasty House’s Chong Qing chicken.
Ruth Tobias/Eater

15. The Post Chicken & Beer

Copy Link
2200 S Broadway
Denver, CO 80210
(720) 466-5699
Visit Website

Regular or Nashville hot. In a Greek salad or on a BLT. Atop a waffle or a biscuit. In a burrito or with a plate of huevos rancheros. For brunch, lunch, and dinner, The Post serves fried chicken in so many guises that a fanatic could come here every day for a week without getting the same thing twice — and that’s not even counting the chicharrones appetizer with pinto-bean hummus. (Equally varied is the selection of house beers, brewed at the Lafayette flagship, to wash it all down.)

bucket of fried chicken
In addition to its Rosedale location, the Post Chicken & Beer operates in Lafayette, Longmont, and Boulder.
The Post [Official]

16. Vons Chicken Aurora

Copy Link
12101 E Iliff Ave Ste K
Aurora, CO 80014
(720) 845-2784
Visit Website

Metro Denver’s home to a few commendable Korean fried-chicken joints, including this satellite of an overseas franchise, which does a bang-up job with a quintet of styles — from the sweet-and-spicy yang-nyum to the tangy padak drizzled in soy-mustard sauce beneath a tangle of scallions. Every order comes with coleslaw and pickled daikon, but a side of rice cakes or fries sprinkled with powdered cheddar and honey butter make for a nifty change of pace — as does a bottle of yogurt-flavored soju.

Plate of fried chicken topped with green onions
Padak chicken at Vons.
Kayla Jones

Loading comments...

1. Chicken Rebel

3618 Tejon St, Denver, CO 80211
Chicken sandwich with bacon, ranch, and avocado
The Rancher is Chicken Rebel’s top claim to fame.
Chicken Rebel/Facebook

San Diego’s loss was Denver’s gain when Lydie Lovett moved here in 2017 and brought her towering sculptures of fried chicken with her. As photogenic as they are filling, these sandwiches come loaded with the works — jalapeño slaw, pickled onions, and garlic mayo, for instance, or bacon, honey butter, and a fried egg (as do Lovett’s tots, a must-try on the side).

3618 Tejon St
Denver, CO 80211

2. Julep: Southern Table & Whiskey House

3258 Larimer St, Denver, CO 80205
Plate of fried chicken with biscuit and vegetables
At Sunday brunch, Julep’s fried chicken comes with rotating seasonal sides.
Julep/Facebook

Upscale modern Southern cuisine is Julep’s claim to fame — think rutabaga-onion tart or pecan-crusted salmon with creamed lentils — but owners Kyle and Katy Foster know their way around the homestyle classics as well, whipping up fried chicken both for weekend brunch and for takeout by advance order, when it comes family-style with biscuits and a choice of two sides.

3258 Larimer St
Denver, CO 80205

3. The Blazing Chicken Shack II

5560 E 33rd Ave, Denver, CO 80207
Chicken wings with black-eyed peas
Honey hot wings from the Blazing Chicken Shack II.
Ruth Tobias/Eater

Though this soul-food surprise in Park Hill also offers a half-chicken platter, its name’s a clue to its signature: hot (and honey-hot) wings, which defy logic with a crust that remains thoroughly crisp and crunchy despite its thickness and lavish coating of tangy sauce.

5560 E 33rd Ave
Denver, CO 80207

4. Lea Jane’s Hot Chicken at Avanti Food and Beverage

3200 N Pecos St, Denver, CO 80211
Fried chicken with sides, waffles, and deviled eggs
Lea Jane’s hot chicken comes in many forms.
Bound Agency

There’s no shortage of hot chicken in Denver, but chef Nick Graves (who also makes one of the city’s best new burgers) did his research thoroughly at the source in Nashville to develop his elaborate recipe, and it shows. Options abound, from sandwiches and brunch plates to buckets and platters with all the trimmings — think sides like coleslaw and mac-and-cheese, plus dips such as charred-onion ranch to Alabama-style white sauce. Bits of bird even top deviled eggs.

3200 N Pecos St
Denver, CO 80211

5. Noble Riot

1336 27th St, Denver, CO 80205
Bucket of fried chicken with sides
Fried chicken and bubbly are a perfect pairing at Noble Riot.
Courtesy of Noble Riot

With one of the coolest wine lists in town, this RiNo bar is out to prove that fried chicken shows just as well alongside a bottle of, say, bubbly or rosé as a pitcher of beer. Sweet-spicy dipping sauce and potato salad accompany a bucket of four or eight pieces, which are brined in a mixture of salt, sugar, lemon, thyme, and peppercorns, then soaked in buttermilk overnight before they’re battered in a gluten-free blend of rice flour and cornstarch.

1336 27th St
Denver, CO 80205

6. Welton Street Cafe

2736 Welton St, Denver, CO 80205
Fried chicken platter with sides and bread
Fried chicken with mashed potatoes, cabbage, and fry bread at Welton Street Cafe.
Ruth Tobias/Eater

Though it’s currently doing takeout-only, this beloved hub of Five Points for 21 years and counting still makes a mighty fine plate of fried chicken, complete with a choice of two classic sides like hush puppies, black-eyed peas, or mac-and-cheese. (The fry bread’s a la carte but well worth the extra couple of bucks.)

2736 Welton St
Denver, CO 80205

7. Birdcall - Whole Foods at Union Station

1701 Wewatta St, Denver, CO 80202

When the flagship of this fast-casual chicken shack opened in Five Points a few years ago, rather more media attention was paid to the high-tech operating system than to the food — but Denver’s diners quickly flocked around the sandwiches, making way for the launch of this LoDo kiosk and a University outpost. Half the fun is in the selection, with options like the Teriyaki with pepperjack and pineapple and the Southern with pimento cheese and slaw, plus an array of side sauces like buttermilk-herb mayo and sweet mustard. 

1701 Wewatta St
Denver, CO 80202

8. Steuben's Uptown

523 E 17th Ave, Denver, CO 80203
Fried chicken on a plate with mashed potatoes and gravy
Steuben’s fried chicken platter with mashed potatoes and gravy.
Steuben’s/Facebook

For nearly 15 years, this anchor of Uptown has been paying picture-perfect homage to the roadside diners of yore, from its mid-mod vibe to a menu built on the likes of pot roast, meatloaf — and, yes, good old-fashioned buttermilk-fried chicken served with mashed potatoes, gravy, and a biscuit. But in a sign of the times, the kitchen now does a hot version with a bacon–brown sugar glaze as well, and selling six- to 15-piece buckets of either style with all the fixings to go.

523 E 17th Ave
Denver, CO 80203

9. Denver Biscuit Company

3237 E Colfax Ave, Denver, CO 80206
Fried chicken sandwich on a biscuit
The Franklin at the Stanley Marketplace outpost of the Denver Biscuit Company.
From the Hip Photo

Hangover cures and Instagram likes are both guaranteed by the gigantic concoctions at this multi-branch biscuit kitchen, which features buttermilk-fried chicken on seven of its 11 sandwiches. With bacon, cheddar, sausage or mushroom gravy, and an optional egg, the Franklin’s perhaps the fan favorite, but the Cordon Bleu with ham and honey butter’s no slouch either.

3237 E Colfax Ave
Denver, CO 80206

10. Baba & Pop's Pierogi

9945 E Colfax Ave, Aurora, CO 80010
Flatbread topped with fried-chicken thigh, feta, and cucumber salad
Flatbread topped with fried-chicken thigh, feta, and cucumber salad at Baba & Pop’s.
Ruth Tobias/Eater

And now for something completely different: While this Aurora outlet is acclaimed (and named) for its Polish dumplings, it also makes fabulous fried-chicken kabobs from thigh meat. Offered as an appetizer, the boldly seasoned and juicy chunks further make their way into a thick flatbread with feta, cucumber salad, and dill sauce, and then onto waffles during Sunday brunch — when they do double duty as a garnish in a 50-ounce Bloody Mary that sports skewered pierogi, kielbasa, bacon, and cheese curds as well.

9945 E Colfax Ave
Aurora, CO 80010

11. Lou’s Food Bar

701 Grant St, Denver, CO 80203
Fried chicken on toast with pickles
Hot chicken at Lou’s Food Bar, which reopened in the former Bones space last year.
Rachel Greiman/Eater

Frank Bonanno was one of the first chefs in Denver to hop on the hot-chicken bandwagon several years back, and he’s still slinging it with style at Lou’s — wings, tenders, nuggets, and all, as well as sandwiches like the Cubano with cheddar, bacon jam, avocado, dill pickles, and more. On Sundays, whole birds are available for pickup, accompanied by four sides and birthday cake just for fun. 

701 Grant St
Denver, CO 80203

12. grind kitchen + watering hole

300 Fillmore St, Denver, CO 80206
Fried chicken on a tray with sides
Grind has been bringing downhome comfort to an upscale neighborhood since 2016.
Rachel Greiman/Eater

Even the residents of upscale Cherry Creek need some down-home comfort from time to time, and Alabama-born chef Preston Phillips delivers it in the form of consistently stellar fried chicken on a bun; alongside brunch-time biscuits and gravy; or by the piece, accompanied by a la carte sides like cheese grits or honey-mustard slaw and optionally — but optimally — paired with Champagne. (That said, the beer list is strewn with special finds.) 

300 Fillmore St
Denver, CO 80206

13. The Budlong Hot Chicken

81 S Pennsylvania St, Denver, CO 80209
A close-up photo of a fried chicken thigh from Bundlong Hot Chicken on a piece of Texas toast with pickles on top of it The Bundlong [Official Photo]

Recently moved from Zeppelin Station to Wash Park, this Chicago transplant churns out hot chicken in classic Music City style, complete with pickles and Texas toast. Wings, tenders, and sandwiches on brioche topped with coleslaw and pickles round out the menu.

81 S Pennsylvania St
Denver, CO 80209

14. Szechuan Tasty House 川味坊

1000 W Evans Ave, Denver, CO 80223
Chopped fried chicken with chilies
Szechuan Tasty House’s Chong Qing chicken.
Ruth Tobias/Eater

Call it Chongqing chicken, mala chicken, or la ji zi, fried chicken tossed with dried chilies and numbing peppercorns is a staple of Sichuan cuisine. While modern hot spots Hop Alley and Q House both do excellent versions, this lesser-known mom-and-pop gem on the south side of town also deserves a shout-out.

1000 W Evans Ave
Denver, CO 80223

15. The Post Chicken & Beer

2200 S Broadway, Denver, CO 80210
bucket of fried chicken
In addition to its Rosedale location, the Post Chicken & Beer operates in Lafayette, Longmont, and Boulder.
The Post [Official]

Regular or Nashville hot. In a Greek salad or on a BLT. Atop a waffle or a biscuit. In a burrito or with a plate of huevos rancheros. For brunch, lunch, and dinner, The Post serves fried chicken in so many guises that a fanatic could come here every day for a week without getting the same thing twice — and that’s not even counting the chicharrones appetizer with pinto-bean hummus. (Equally varied is the selection of house beers, brewed at the Lafayette flagship, to wash it all down.)

2200 S Broadway
Denver, CO 80210

Related Maps

16. Vons Chicken Aurora

12101 E Iliff Ave Ste K, Aurora, CO 80014
Plate of fried chicken topped with green onions
Padak chicken at Vons.
Kayla Jones

Metro Denver’s home to a few commendable Korean fried-chicken joints, including this satellite of an overseas franchise, which does a bang-up job with a quintet of styles — from the sweet-and-spicy yang-nyum to the tangy padak drizzled in soy-mustard sauce beneath a tangle of scallions. Every order comes with coleslaw and pickled daikon, but a side of rice cakes or fries sprinkled with powdered cheddar and honey butter make for a nifty change of pace — as does a bottle of yogurt-flavored soju.

12101 E Iliff Ave Ste K
Aurora, CO 80014

Related Maps