Brought to you by Bellhops, the modern alternative to traditional moving companies.

Book a move
Boltons hot chicken plate

The Best Hot Chicken In Nashville From 5 Local Restaurants

First question: do you like fried chicken? Second: do you like spicy/hot food? If you answered “yes” to both questions and you just moved (or are moving soon) to Nashville, then you’ve got to make eating the best hot chicken in Nashville to the front of your “I just moved to Nashville” to-do list.

So what is hot chicken? We’re glad you asked. According to Wikipedia, it’s “a type of fried chicken that is a local specialty of Nashville, Tennessee. In its typical preparation, it is a portion of breast, thigh, or wing that has been marinated in a water-based blend of seasoning, floured, fried, and finally sauced using a paste that has been spiced with cayenne pepper.”

Somebody get us a fire emoji!

For a long time Nashville hot chicken was a only a regionally appreciated culinary delight. But now the world is catching on. So much that even Kentucky Fried Chicken offers Nashville hot chicken as a menu item from coast-to-coast.

Every Fourth of July, Nashville celebrates its favorite local dish with the Music City Hot Chicken Festival. But if you want to sample some spicy fowl on a day other than Independence Day, be sure to check out these 5 hot chicken restaurants:

1. Hot Chicken, in it’s truest form was invented at Prince’s Hot Chicken Shack in midtown Nashville. The legend says that almost 100 years ago Thorton Prince’s wife mixed up a devilish amount of peppers and cooked them into some fried chicken to serve to her husband as revenge for some wrongdoing. The effect was quite the opposite and since then, thousands of birds have been cooked and served with that same recipe. Other restaurants have augmented the original recipe, but Prince’s will always be known as some of the best hot chicken in Nashville.

2. Second in the list is another midtown restaurant called Hattie B’s. Opening in 2012 by friends Nick Bishop and John Lasater, they have owned a large chunk of the local hot chicken market. They now have two separate locations in Nashville and a third in Birmingham, Alabama.

3. Local, and a bit off the beaten path, but just as high quality hot chicken restaurant, is 400 Degrees Hot Chicken off of Peabody street in Nashville’s SoBro neighborhood. Owner Aqui Hines started cooking her own hot chicken after eating at Princes almost every day. She has her own spin on the recipe though, increasing the thickness of the crust and offering a quick-to-relieve heat versus the other hot chicken places who’s hot lingers a while. 400 degrees is now considered some of the best hot chicken in Nashville.

4. If you can’t decide between hot chicken or hot fish, try out Nashville’s local Bolton’s hot chicken and fish restaurant. They’ve got two locations in Nashville and one in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Per a restaurant manager: “Our chicken is spicy, but it won’t cause you to lose your composure.” Whew, that’s nice.

5. Our final selection is newer, hipper restaurant, Pepperfire. If you are tired of the normal hot chicken on white bread try out their unique chicken and waffles which sweetens up the heat with maple syrup.

 

Subscribe for weekly updates.