Fried ChickenBy Collin Kelley

Managing Editor

After our Best Burger outing in June, the Food Panel took a break to cleanse its palate and regroup before getting their fingers greasy tasting fried chicken.

As we expected, the Panel’s choices were eclectic and included a couple of fast food chicken favorites. From seasoning, to crunch, to what kind of sides makes for a perfect chicken dinner, the Panel had differing opinions on who has Intown’s best fried chicken.

The Panel includes: Georgia Tech professor and poet Karen Head; Sharon E Lester Tennis Center Manager and Coach Joe Hill; and Paideia School student Elijah Andrews. New to the panel are Kevin Planovsky and Michael Lentz, the co-founders of Vert Mobile and our suitemates here at Atlanta INtown.

Michael LentzMichael Lentz

Eats: Their jerk chicken is the most legit chicken in Atlanta. Juicy and full of spice and flavor.

Steinbeck’s: Formerly just a special, it’s so perfect it was finally added to the regular menu!

Agave: They butterfly a chicken breast, fry it up with some spices and serve it over mashed potatoes and with grilled ears of corn. You have to taste it.

Kevin PlanovskyKevin Planovsky

South City Kitchen: The juiciest, best friend chicken in Atlanta by far. Accept no substitutes.

Chick-fil-A: I eat there at least four times a week. It’s perfect every time.

Thelma’s Kitchen: It’s just yummy!

Elijah Andrews

Elijah Andrews

Busy Bee Café: The fried chicken is very well seasoned and when you bite into it there’s a good crunch. It’s juicy, but not too greasy.

Watershed: Their fried chicken gets a lot of hype, but it’s good so I understand. It’s very light, well seasoned and the coating is soft instead of crunchy.

Gladys Knight’s Chicken & Waffles: Juicy, a little bit more seasoning than the others and more greasy, but it’s good and goes perfect with their waffles.

karenKaren Head

JCT Kitchen: It’s more gourmet and they serve it with grits to give it that down home style. It’s juicy and the coating is light, but still excellent.

The Colonnade: Crunchy, well-seasoned and just like your grandma would fry up for Sunday dinner.

Mary Mac’s: Crisp, juicy and the buttermilk and flour they use for the coating makes it a close second to The Colonnade.

Joe HillJoe Hill

Buckhead Diner: They use a brine to make it tender and juicy and then the coating has buttermilk. It fries up perfectly and it’s not overly seasoned. Get it with the corn pudding. Fried chicken is only as good as the sides.

Gladys Knight’s Chicken & Waffles: This is real Southern fried chicken. Get it with some some rice and candied yams.

Kentucky Fried Chicken: You can’t go wrong with the original recipe.

A big thank you to Ryan Nabulsi, our guest photographer. Ryan received his masters degree in photography from the Savannah College of Art & Design this year. He’s had exhibitions at Mint Gallery, University of Georgia, WonderRoot, ArtHouse and many more. To see more of his work,visit

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Collin KelleyEditor

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.

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