Made's double-dipped fried chicken

Image: Chad Spencer

We’ve discovered that great fried chicken is all over this town. And the winners?

Made's Double-Dipped Fried Chicken

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 and hot-sauce-infused honey. 

Stottlemeyer's Smoke House's Fried Chicken

Stottlemeyer's Smoke House—which made a name for itself selling its delicious fried chicken from a Texaco gas station before expanding into a full-service restaurant—delivers hot, tender meat with a crispy, crunchy coating—all in a fun, open-air atmosphere out east. Pro tip: go on a night when there's live music.

Shore Diner's Free-Range Fried Chicken

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—and it comes with a side of Tabasco honey, too. Plus, you can't beat the second-story views of St. Armands Circle.

Blue Rooster's Fried Chicken

Blue Rooster is a great spot for live music (don't miss the Sunday gospel brunch), 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.”

Metro Diner's Fried Chicken and Waffles

Brined for more than 24 hours, the chicken is juicy and well-seasoned, with a crackling exterior. Drizzled on top: maple syrup pumped up with exactly seven drops of Louisiana hot sauce by very friendly servers. The mix of sugar and heat cut into the salt below, making the whole package tough to resist (even if we'd prefer somewhere between 13 and 17 drops of hot sauce next time).

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Metro Diner

$$ American, Breakfast/Brunch, Southern 3501 S. Tamiami Trail

Metro Diner, a burgeoning chain born in Jacksonville in 1992, opened its first Sarasota location in July 2017 in a revamped space inside the Westfield Siesta...

Blue Rooster

$$ Southern 1525 4th St

Southern comfort food with a twist, like fried green tomatoes, catfish, meatloaf and chicken and waffles.

Editor’s Pick

Shore Diner

$$$ New American 465 John Ringling Boulevard

At Shore Diner, the mid-century modern ambiance is reason enough to stop in for a cocktail and a meal.

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Stottlemyer's Smokehouse

$$ American, Barbecue 19 East Road

The kids can enjoy the sprawling sandlot and the cornhole boards; the parents can enjoy the huge chickee hut lit up like Christmas. Stottlemyer’s is better k...

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Made

$$$ New American, Southern 1990 Main St., #112

The acronym stands for “Modern American Delicious Eats,” and that’s what you’ll find at Made, opposite Hollywood 20 on Upper Main Street.