Five Great Fried Chicken Spots

We set off on a taste test to find Sarasota's best fried chicken.

By Eat Beat Team July 6, 2018

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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