For a northern girl living in the south, I am serious about my fried chicken, especially when it’s hot. Moving to Tennessee was dangerous to my health (and probably the reason I gained 10+ pounds) when I discovered my love for Nashville hot chicken. After two years of eating my way through the city, I’ve compiled my list of top places to get hot chicken. Some will disagree with my order, but I’m not just judging by heat– I’m taking into consideration the flavor, texture, and overall experience at each of these hot-chicken-serving establishments.
To give you a frame of reference, I am not exceptionally brave when it comes to the Scoville scale. I typically stay between the mild to medium range on anything I order. However; for those who like to order things just for the burn, I think you’ll appreciate this list just the same.
Here is my list for the best places to get Nashville Hot Chicken:
Hattie B’s Hot Chicken
I choose Hattie B’s Hot Chicken as my number 1 pick for Nashville hot chicken. Not only do they have multiple selections on their heat scale, but the crispiness of their chicken breasts is my favorite. Although I’ve been to the one in Midtown several times more than the location in West Nashville, I’ve had positive experiences at both places and have always enjoyed the customer service. It helps that their selection of sides are amazing too! (Get the banana pudding and thank me later).
Hattie B’s has two locations (soon to be three!)
Midtown: 112 19th Ave. S.
West Nashville: 5209 Charlotte Ave.
Coming Soon: Hattie B’s Melrose: 2222 Franklin Pike
Bolton’s Spicy Chicken & Fish
My first experience with Bolton’s hot chicken was takeout that my husband brought home during Nashville hot chicken week. As soon as I opened the styrofoam takeout box I knew I was going to be in for a wild ride. The spices tingled my nose. After I got past the intense immediate heat (at level Medium), I thoroughly enjoyed the flavor and the juiciness of the chicken. It is good, ya’ll.
Bolton’s has two locations:
624 Main St # B in East Nashville
2309A Franklin Pike near 8th Ave. South
Prince’s Hot Chicken Shack
Ah, Prince’s, where the original Nashville hot chicken was born. Prince’s was the last place I visited out of all of the hot chicken places on this list, and it’s a shame I waited so long to finally try it. If you want Nashville hot chicken done the right way, this is it. You can’t come to Nashville and not try Prince’s for the full hot chicken experience.
Prince’s Hot Chicken Shack has two locations. Their original shack at 123 Ewing Drive and their south location at 5814 Nolensville Pike.
I didn’t recognize Party Fowl as a hot chicken joint the first time I visited. In fact, we randomly dropped in with a couple friends who were visiting from out of town while we were walking through the neighborhood. We decided to grab dinner and all of us ordered the hot chicken and I was pleasantly surprised by how delicious it was. I’ve since been a handful of times for different reasons: a Nashville Food Bloggers happy hour, casual date night, and more. Each time I go I order some sort of hot chicken.
Party Fowl is located at 719 8th Ave. South in the Gulch.
Scoreboard Bar & Grill
I love how ‘old Nashville’ Scoreboard Bar & Grill is. Being out by the Opry means it’s tucked away from the main hustle and bustle of the city, but it still holds that timeless charm that the rest of old Nashville has. It’s also a pretty hopping sports bar, especially when the Nashville Predators make the playoffs. The original hot chicken is great and so are their hot chicken tenders.
Scoreboard Bar & Grill is located at 2408 Music Valley Drive.
So there you have it: my list of the best places to get Nashville’s famous hot chicken all around the city. You may agree, you may not. That’s fine. I know what I like and I want to share it with you all, especially if you’re planning a trip to Nashville and need some hot chicken recommendations!
Some photos c/o Nashville Guru.