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Fried Chicken Is All We Want to Eat Right Now, and a New Crop of Restaurants Are Here for It

As restaurants continue to open, many are focused on crusty comfort food

A hand dips a chicken finger in a rosy, peppery sauce. A basket with blue and white checked paper holds crispy chicken fingers and crinkle cut fries
Fried chicken claims the dubious honor of being 2020’s favorite food
Chx Minneapolis/Facebook

There isn’t much the world can agree on right now, with a global pandemic launching a legion of armchair epidemiologists, pundits, and educators, but even as the dumpster fire of a year drifts on, there is one sign of hope. It is crispy battered, fried, juicy, hot and readily available: fried chicken.

These new eateries are opening with focus place firmly on crispy, hot, juicy, bird with a couple of vegan approximations of the dish to make this comfort dining even more inclusive.

Chicken Republic


Opening on September 30, this new fried chicken-centric restaurant is a part of a virtual food hall from Luke Shimp, who also owns the Red Rabbit and Red Cow restaurants. There are several online only restaurants to delivery food around the metro area. Chicken Republic will serve fried chicken sandwiches on brioche buns and whole fried chickens. The chicken will be available dipped hot, sweet and spicy, basic, and more. There are also vegan chicken fingers on the menu.


2923 Girard Avenue S., Minneapolis

Walk-up ready chicken fingers and crinkle cut fries are available from a window at Uptown’s Pourhouse. The menu is lean and focused with buttery biscuits rounding out the offerings. There are no fancy rubs, no flavor options to choose from, just simple, comforting crusty battered fingers and a line down the street. Orders are only available on site for now, with plans to expand to delivery in the future, once they get caught up with the current high demand.

A seriously spiced, crispy fried chicken breast dominates a buttery bun with pickle rounds on the top and bottom with a layer of slaw on the bottom. Juices are dripping off the sandwich and pooling on the plate.
The hot is no joke
Nashville Coop

Nashville Coop

300 Snelling Ave South, St. Paul

This new St. Paul restaurant on Snelling Avenue has been sporting lines out the door since opening. The business went from the most popular new food truck of the season to a permanent location earlier this month. According to the its owners, the popularity of this crispy fried fingers served either on their own with a side of fries or in sandwich form, are causing a strain on chicken suppliers. Open for lunch and dinner, the chicken often sells out. Order it gently spiced or crazy hot, with a couple of spice levels in between.

Ope! at Saint Dinette

261 5th Street East, St. Paul

Saint Dinette in Lowertown has been pivoting all over the place in the era of the new now. Currently, the eatery is running a pop-up called Ope! that includes a selection of Minnesota-friendly dishes, including seven layer salad, tuna noodle casserole and fried chicken tenders. Served with the requisite ranch on the side.

Wendy’s House of Soul

1825 Glenwood Avenue, Minneapolis

Newly relocated restaurant has brought its signature soul rolls to a new part of North Minneapolis. Also on the menu are a collection of saucy and dry rubbed wings, also available as part of a meal deal with waffles, whipped butter, and maple syrup.

Several containers are overflowing with wings piled up and covered with different sauces. A doughnut sits in the middle of the table, a nod to the location inside Glam Doll Donuts Northeast location where B.A.D. Wingz will open
Get the bird or vegetarian wings saucy at this new spot in Northeast
B.A.D. Wingz/Facebook

B.a.d. Wingz

This is the second restaurant from Gerard and Brittany Klass. The duo also own Soul Bowl, known for neo-soul food as well as some legendary fried chicken sandwiches. The new spot operates inside the Northeast Glam Doll Donuts. On the menu are both chicken and some vegan wings to appease all lovers of fried things and a side of ranch.

Saint Dinette

261 5th Street East, , MN 55101 (651) 800-1415 Visit Website

Nashville Coop

856 Southeast Washington Avenue, , MN 55414 (612) 236-4139 Visit Website