nashville hot chicken: A beginners guide

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One of the best parts of living in the greater Nashville area is the food. In recent years, Nashville has gained a reputation for being a “foodie” town on par with New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles. If you are new to this city, it won’t take long before you hear people talk about Nashville Hot Chicken. It is unlike anything you’ve ever had, and it is wonderful.

Newer residents may be wondering, what is Nashville Hot Chicken? Though you can get it as chicken tenders, it’s most traditional presentation is a breast and wing or thigh and leg portion that has been marinated in a water-based blend of seasoning, lightly breaded with flour, fried, and finally coated with a cayenne pepper spice mix, offered in varying degrees of heat. It is served atop slices of white bread with pickle chips.

Most places offer plain fried chicken for those sensitive to spicy food. But for those who love the heat, most hot chicken places offer four or five degrees of kick. If you order the hottest level, most places will stop, give you a look of concern, and ask you if you’re sure about that.

Want some? Expect to wait in line. Here’s where you can get some:

Midtown / Vanderbilt:

Hattie B’s

The Gulch

Party Foul

East Nashville:

Pepperfire Hot Chicken

Prince’s Hot Chicken Shack

West Nashville / The Nations / Sylvan Park

Hattie B’s

Antioch / Nolensville / Nipper’s Corner

Prince’s Hot Chicken Shack (The original Hot Chicken restaurant.)

12 South / 8th Avenue

Bolton’s Spicy Chicken and Fish

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