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A hot chicken sandwich and a plain karaage chicken sandwich in a basket lined with Ima paper.
A hot karaage chicken sandwich and a plain karaage fried chicken sandwich from Ima in Cass Corridor.
Gerard + Belevender

13 Crispy Fried Chicken Sandwiches in Metro Detroit

Crunchy, juicy, and spicy sandwiches to try

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A hot karaage chicken sandwich and a plain karaage fried chicken sandwich from Ima in Cass Corridor.
| Gerard + Belevender

Just about every restaurant these days seems to have a fried chicken sandwich on the menu, but not all of them are memorable. Seasoning, breading, and frying a bird while still keeping the meat tender and juicy isn’t and easy task, but these metro Detroit restaurants have risen to the challenge. From chili oil-dipped karaage chicken sandwiches at Ima to spicy fried chicken with tangy slaw at the Gripper Food Truck, here’s where to order the finest crispy birds between buns in metro Detroit.

A number of metro Detroit restaurants have resumed dine-in service. The level of service offered is indicated on each map point. However, this should not be taken as endorsement for dining in, as there are still safety concerns: For updated information on coronavirus cases in your area, please visit the state of Michigan’s coronavirus tracker. Studies indicate that there is a lower exposure risk when outdoors, but the level of risk involved with patio dining is contingent on restaurants following strict social distancing and other safety guidelines.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

The Gripper Food Truck

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Thanks, in part, to the fanfare over its fried chicken sandwich, Durden’s Catering is now slinging fried chicken sandwiches, fries, and banana pudding from a food truck parked in the lot next to Baker’s Keyboard Lounge. This well-traffic food truck is named after its flagship sandwich, the Famous Spicy Yung Gripper, featuring crispy, spicy fried chicken with pickle chips, tangy slaw, pepper jack cheese, and bang sauce. Every order comes with saucy parmesan fries. Place orders in person and note that the truck only accepts payment with cash or Cash App, so prepare accordingly.

Ali's Pizza & Burgers

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This certified halal Bangladeshi-American restaurant is known for its chicken 65 “burger,” a fried chicken sandwich inspired by the spicy bright red chicken dish widely served at Bangladeshi restaurants. Ali’s marinates its bird in spices before dredging and frying and then topping the crispy chicken with more spicy sauce and sauteed veggies. Call in orders for carryout.

Saffron De Twah

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Saffron De Twah on Detroit’s east side has a way with sandwiches from the cauliflower stuffed batbout to the Moroccan-inspired fried chicken sandwich. The latter was inspired by a sandwich chef Omar Anani had on a trip to Morocco. The Berbere-seasoned fried chicken features a light and airy batter that’s perfectly craggy and crisp, topped with tangy harissa slaw and caramelized honey butter on a challah bun. Everything at the restaurant is halal and available for carryout and curbside pickup. Call ahead or place an order online.

Yellow Light Coffee and Donuts

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Hit up this drive-thru doughnut and coffee shop in Jefferson Chalmers for a nicely spiced fried chicken and biscuit sandwich topped with hot sauce or maple glaze for a sweet and salty snack. Customize the sandwich with an egg or cheese for a little extra and don’t miss the coffee slushies.

Introduced during 2019 — the year of the sandwich — Ima made a winter splash with its perfectly crispy Japanese-style karaage fried chicken sandwich. Served on a soft brioche roll with tangy cabbage slaw and a little furikake kewpie mayo, this is a robust, marinated fried chicken sandwich that won’t lose its breading. Pickles come on the side as well as a slice of lemon for squeezing on top and classic Better Made potato chips. Have it your way with the addition of spicy house chili oil or a fried tofu patty for a vegetarian alternative. Place an order in-person, order online, or call ahead for carryout. Indoor seating is also available.

Hands hold a karaage hot tofu sandwich over a basket filled with potato chips at Ima.
Karaage hot tofu sandwich.
Gerard + Belevender

Jolly Pumpkin Pizzeria & Brewery

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There’s a reason this sandwich seems to land on every Jolly Pumpkin menu. The so-called Perfect Fried Chicken Sandwich features a tangy sesame cilantro slaw with spicy pickles, turmeric aioli, sriracha, and a toasted, black sesame speckled roll for extra color contrast. It’s as nice looking as it is to eat. Order a side of truffle fries for the road. Jolly Pumpkin takes orders by phone and online for carryout as well as offering delivery through Doordash. Indoor and outdoor seating is also available.

Royale with Cheese

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Sloppy, fun sandwiches are the name of the game at Royale With Cheese, a halal-friendly burger spot in Cass Corridor. Choose from two different styles of Cuban fried chicken sandwich with pickle spears. The Vincent Vega features Cajun aioli while the Marsellus Wallace comes with a fried egg and an extra spicy punch thanks to a sweet and spicy pepper sauce. Call ahead to place an order for carryout. Make sure to order potato wedges for the side. Dine-in service is also available.

COOP Caribbean Fusion

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Chef Max Hardy’s food stall at Detroit Shipping Company features a Caribbean take on the spicy fried chicken sandwich genre. The spicy chicken sandwich features guava barbecue sauce, and combines it with tangy slaw, bacon jam, and garlic aioli, and queso fresco. Pair the sandwich with a side of Caribbean fries drizzled in cilantro aioli, cheese, and Cajuns seasoning. Detroit Shipping Company is open with outdoor seating and Coop accepts orders online through most major apps for pickup and delivery.

Detroit Beer Co.

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Detroit Beer Co.’s fried chicken sandwich packs a bit of Cajun flavor into every bite with a spicy aioli. The sandwich features a pickled cabbage slaw with seasoned fries on the side. The brewpub is currently open for dine-in and patio service, but the full menu is also available for online takeout ordering and delivery via Uber Eats and Postmates.

Iggy's Eggies

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Breakfast sandwich walk-up window Iggy’s Eggies serves the Big Mac of chicken sandwiches: Fried chicken on a brioche bun with comeback sauce, shredded lettuce, and pickle chips. The Intern is a holdover from sibling burger restaurant Lovers Only. Order at the window, place a to-go order online, or get delivery via Uber Eats.

A longtime favorite on the menu, Takoi brought its fried chicken sandwich back full-time during the pandemic. Juicy Thai fried thigh meat is topped with papaya salad, coconut milk ranch, sweet chili garlic sauce, and pickled chilies for a spicy, refreshing bite. Place pre-orders well in advance for takeout or delivery via Doordash. The walk-up window is also open for outdoor-only service.

Green Dot Stables

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Local slider spot Green Dot Stables serves a wide variety of chicken sandwiches including a sweet and salty option with sage maple syrup. Plan to order several sliders by phone or online for carryout. Patio seating is also available.

Fat Daddy's Hot Chicken & Waffles

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This Downriver carryout shop makes fried chicken with a distinctive crunch. Fat Daddy’s marinates its Nashville hot chicken and then fries it fresh to-order according to the customer’s desired spice level: country-style all the way up to “too damn hot.” The basic sandwich comes on a a buttered brioche bun with pickle chips and comeback sauce. Customers can also choose options like the Mac Daddy with macaroni and cheese or the Suga Momma — a fried chicken donut sandwich. Place orders online for pickup or delivery. It will make you sweat.

A hand holds a large hot chicken sandwich with lots of sauce and pickle chips wrapped in paper. Brenna Houck

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The Gripper Food Truck

Thanks, in part, to the fanfare over its fried chicken sandwich, Durden’s Catering is now slinging fried chicken sandwiches, fries, and banana pudding from a food truck parked in the lot next to Baker’s Keyboard Lounge. This well-traffic food truck is named after its flagship sandwich, the Famous Spicy Yung Gripper, featuring crispy, spicy fried chicken with pickle chips, tangy slaw, pepper jack cheese, and bang sauce. Every order comes with saucy parmesan fries. Place orders in person and note that the truck only accepts payment with cash or Cash App, so prepare accordingly.

Ali's Pizza & Burgers

This certified halal Bangladeshi-American restaurant is known for its chicken 65 “burger,” a fried chicken sandwich inspired by the spicy bright red chicken dish widely served at Bangladeshi restaurants. Ali’s marinates its bird in spices before dredging and frying and then topping the crispy chicken with more spicy sauce and sauteed veggies. Call in orders for carryout.

Saffron De Twah

Saffron De Twah on Detroit’s east side has a way with sandwiches from the cauliflower stuffed batbout to the Moroccan-inspired fried chicken sandwich. The latter was inspired by a sandwich chef Omar Anani had on a trip to Morocco. The Berbere-seasoned fried chicken features a light and airy batter that’s perfectly craggy and crisp, topped with tangy harissa slaw and caramelized honey butter on a challah bun. Everything at the restaurant is halal and available for carryout and curbside pickup. Call ahead or place an order online.

Yellow Light Coffee and Donuts

Hit up this drive-thru doughnut and coffee shop in Jefferson Chalmers for a nicely spiced fried chicken and biscuit sandwich topped with hot sauce or maple glaze for a sweet and salty snack. Customize the sandwich with an egg or cheese for a little extra and don’t miss the coffee slushies.

Ima

Hands hold a karaage hot tofu sandwich over a basket filled with potato chips at Ima.
Karaage hot tofu sandwich.
Gerard + Belevender

Introduced during 2019 — the year of the sandwich — Ima made a winter splash with its perfectly crispy Japanese-style karaage fried chicken sandwich. Served on a soft brioche roll with tangy cabbage slaw and a little furikake kewpie mayo, this is a robust, marinated fried chicken sandwich that won’t lose its breading. Pickles come on the side as well as a slice of lemon for squeezing on top and classic Better Made potato chips. Have it your way with the addition of spicy house chili oil or a fried tofu patty for a vegetarian alternative. Place an order in-person, order online, or call ahead for carryout. Indoor seating is also available.

Hands hold a karaage hot tofu sandwich over a basket filled with potato chips at Ima.
Karaage hot tofu sandwich.
Gerard + Belevender

Jolly Pumpkin Pizzeria & Brewery

There’s a reason this sandwich seems to land on every Jolly Pumpkin menu. The so-called Perfect Fried Chicken Sandwich features a tangy sesame cilantro slaw with spicy pickles, turmeric aioli, sriracha, and a toasted, black sesame speckled roll for extra color contrast. It’s as nice looking as it is to eat. Order a side of truffle fries for the road. Jolly Pumpkin takes orders by phone and online for carryout as well as offering delivery through Doordash. Indoor and outdoor seating is also available.

Royale with Cheese

Sloppy, fun sandwiches are the name of the game at Royale With Cheese, a halal-friendly burger spot in Cass Corridor. Choose from two different styles of Cuban fried chicken sandwich with pickle spears. The Vincent Vega features Cajun aioli while the Marsellus Wallace comes with a fried egg and an extra spicy punch thanks to a sweet and spicy pepper sauce. Call ahead to place an order for carryout. Make sure to order potato wedges for the side. Dine-in service is also available.

COOP Caribbean Fusion

Chef Max Hardy’s food stall at Detroit Shipping Company features a Caribbean take on the spicy fried chicken sandwich genre. The spicy chicken sandwich features guava barbecue sauce, and combines it with tangy slaw, bacon jam, and garlic aioli, and queso fresco. Pair the sandwich with a side of Caribbean fries drizzled in cilantro aioli, cheese, and Cajuns seasoning. Detroit Shipping Company is open with outdoor seating and Coop accepts orders online through most major apps for pickup and delivery.

Detroit Beer Co.

Detroit Beer Co.’s fried chicken sandwich packs a bit of Cajun flavor into every bite with a spicy aioli. The sandwich features a pickled cabbage slaw with seasoned fries on the side. The brewpub is currently open for dine-in and patio service, but the full menu is also available for online takeout ordering and delivery via Uber Eats and Postmates.

Iggy's Eggies

Breakfast sandwich walk-up window Iggy’s Eggies serves the Big Mac of chicken sandwiches: Fried chicken on a brioche bun with comeback sauce, shredded lettuce, and pickle chips. The Intern is a holdover from sibling burger restaurant Lovers Only. Order at the window, place a to-go order online, or get delivery via Uber Eats.

Takoi

A longtime favorite on the menu, Takoi brought its fried chicken sandwich back full-time during the pandemic. Juicy Thai fried thigh meat is topped with papaya salad, coconut milk ranch, sweet chili garlic sauce, and pickled chilies for a spicy, refreshing bite. Place pre-orders well in advance for takeout or delivery via Doordash. The walk-up window is also open for outdoor-only service.

Green Dot Stables

Local slider spot Green Dot Stables serves a wide variety of chicken sandwiches including a sweet and salty option with sage maple syrup. Plan to order several sliders by phone or online for carryout. Patio seating is also available.

Fat Daddy's Hot Chicken & Waffles

A hand holds a large hot chicken sandwich with lots of sauce and pickle chips wrapped in paper. Brenna Houck

This Downriver carryout shop makes fried chicken with a distinctive crunch. Fat Daddy’s marinates its Nashville hot chicken and then fries it fresh to-order according to the customer’s desired spice level: country-style all the way up to “too damn hot.” The basic sandwich comes on a a buttered brioche bun with pickle chips and comeback sauce. Customers can also choose options like the Mac Daddy with macaroni and cheese or the Suga Momma — a fried chicken donut sandwich. Place orders online for pickup or delivery. It will make you sweat.

A hand holds a large hot chicken sandwich with lots of sauce and pickle chips wrapped in paper. Brenna Houck

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