National Fried Chicken Sandwich Day on Nov. 9 is arguably one of the most prolific holidays in American culture. It represents an American pastime that’s akin to baseball, only way more delicious. Fried chicken as we know it is rooted in Southern tradition, but today you can find some of the best of its kind anywhere in the United States—particularly the fried chicken sandwich in New Jersey.
In fact, up and down the coast you’ll find food trucks, barbecue joints and gourmet restaurants who stake their claim on having the crispiest and crunchiest fried chicken sandwich in New Jersey. But, this list could never encompass the enormous pool of food stands and drive-ins that are frying up chicken sandwiches throughout the state. However, it does highlight some of the most talented people in the industry putting a twist on this American staple—from the peaks of Bergen County to the sunny shores of Cape May and everywhere in between.
Now, ladies and gentlemen, the moment you’ve all been waiting for: 10 spots to get a fried chicken sandwich in New Jersey.
1. No Forks Given – Jersey City
This gourmet food truck makes buying lunch easy and convenient. No Forks Given roves around Jersey City selling hand-held delectables, and can often be found outside of apartment buildings, including The Beacon, Solaris Lofts and 235 Grand. Moreover, they have a vast and unique selection of fried chicken sandwiches. Whether you order the Korean Fried Chicken Sandwich, the Southern Buttermilk or the Hot Honey variety, your mind is likely to be blown.
2. Zack’s Oak Bar & Restaurant – Hoboken
Zack’s Oak Bar & Restaurant combines fine dining with classic street food. Established in 1997, Zack’s has been bringing a homestyle cooking experience to the streets of Hoboken for over two decades. Whether you’re there for brunch, lunch or dinner, order The Hoboken for a unique take on the fried chicken sandwich. Topped with tomato and fuji apple coleslaw, this hot honey crispy chicken sandwich will transport your taste buds to unchartered territory.
3. Viaggio Ristorante – Wayne
Viaggio Ristorante may be an Italian gem, but Chef Robbie Felice is producing one of the best fried chicken sandwiches in the state. Here, you’ll find an American classic with an Italian twist. Order the Pollo Fritto Panino to experience the highest quality fried chicken sandwich out there. Built with high-end, locally sourced ingredients, you won’t be able to resist chowing down on this culinary masterpiece.
4. Emma’s – Jersey City
This Jersey City newbie is the ultimate family restaurant. In fact, the owners, Kris and Dan, named this casual dining spot after their daughter, Emma. Inspired by southern classics, Emma’s Crispy Chicken Sammy uses fresh ingredients for a savory fried chicken sandwich. Fried chicken breast, Old Bay mayo, lettuce and tomato come together to create one incredible meal.
5. Tony Boloney’s – Hoboken, Jersey City, Long Branch, Atlantic City
Tony Boloney may sound like a character out of a mobster flick. But, this restaurant created in his name is frying up some serious chicken. With four locations throughout the state, this New Jersey chain packs a punch with its fried chicken sandwiches. Order the Shoobie (shoutout to “Rocket Power”), the Jerzey Jezebel or the Diving Buffalo for a savory fried chicken sandwich experience.
6. Rahway Fried Chicken – Rahway
Rahway Fried Chicken is the real deal when it comes to fried chicken sandwiches. This family-operated joint has some of the best sandwiches in the state on its mission to provide the community with affordable, high-quality food. If you find yourself in Union County, stop by for one of their many famous fried chicken sandwiches, including the Fat Beach, the Fat Mojo and the Fat Sam.
7. Hoagitos – Belmar
Representing South Jersey, Hoagitos prides itself on delivering quickly prepared food with high-end ingredients. Branded as “semi-gourmet,” this sub shop takes fried chicken sliders to another level. Topped with sharp cheddar cheese, bacon, arugula, pickled chilis and herb mayo, get two delicious sliders with unbelievable fried chicken breast. If you’re down the Shore, you know where to go for a fried chicken sandwich in New Jersey.
8. Grubbs Take Away – Hoboken & Jersey City
Grubbs Take Away has every comfort food you could imagine. But when it comes to a fried chicken sandwich, they’re experts. With locations in Hoboken and Jersey City, this joint has a vast selection of sandwiches that will blow your mind. If you’re in the area, I’d suggest the Jack Chicken Avocado, the California Chicken Sandwich or the Mississippi Chicken Sandwich.
9. The Highwood – Weehawken
Situated on the waterfront of Weehawken, The Highwood offers an exquisite fried chicken sandwich to enjoy as you gaze upon the view of New York City. With a modern take on fine dining, The Highwood will blow you away with its Buttermilk Fried Chicken Sandwich. Layered with bacon, lettuce, house pickles and mayo chipotle sauce, enjoy some crispy fried chicken on a sesame brioche bun.
10. Cluck-U Chicken – Multiple Locations
I don’t care what anyone says, Cluck-U Chicken is my guilty pleasure. It’s a modest chain with locations scattered across the country. In fact, they have 10 locations throughout the state of New Jersey. Head on over to any of these locations—Morristown is my go-to—and order the Fat Clucker. It includes fried chicken tenders, mozzarella sticks and spuds, topped off with your choice of sauce. Believe me when I tell you, it never disappoints.
Main image of No Forks Given by @eatingjerseycity