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A lineup of chicken tenders and sandwiches with fries and sides.
Dave’s Hot Chicken
Wonho Frank Lee

21 Hot Spots For Spicy Nashville-Style Chicken Around LA

From the ones that started it all, to the street vendors pushing the hot chicken scene forward

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Dave’s Hot Chicken
| Wonho Frank Lee

While spicy fried chicken is nothing new, Los Angeles’s current swoon over vaguely Nashville-style hot chicken restaurants and pop-ups can often feel like an of-the-moment trend. In reality, some restaurants like Huckleberry and Boneyard Bistro have quietly dabbled in hot chicken for years, and the Prince family that created the dish has its own deep West Coast roots. That said, the modern explosion into the mainstream really began with Howlin’ Ray’s, first as a food truck and now as a Chinatown powerhouse. Dave’s Hot Chicken took the bird to the streets soon after, and now car wash stands, strip mall staples, and standalone restaurants are all getting in on the action. Here are 21 places to try Nashville-style hot chicken around greater Los Angeles, oriented north to south.

A number of LA restaurants have resumed on-site dining service. However, this map 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 Los Angeles Public Health website. 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.
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Nashville Hot Chicken

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Pacoima’s Nashville Hot Chicken restaurant certainly beat others to the naming rights, even if it wasn’t the first to show off saturated photos of deep red chicken and lots of drizzled sauces atop fries, inside buns, and on salads.

Hawaiian Hot Chicken

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Hawaiian Hot Chicken is the current star of the ‘hot chicken at a car wash’ trend that has somehow also swept across Los Angeles. From the King’s Hawaiian buns to the nightly showcase of cool rides that roll through, this is a great place to get a real feel for the street scene that has come up around hot chicken in recent years.

Angry chickz

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Perhaps no hot chicken operation (save for Dave’s) has grown as fast as Angry Chickz, which now counts nearly a dozen outlets from Hollywood to Bakersfield to Visalia to San Jose and beyond. Next up: Las Vegas.

The Kluckin’ Chicken

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The Kluckin’ Chicken has managed to rise above the hot chicken fray thanks to its diverse menu, which offers hot chicken quesadillas, wraps, and more. Still to come are two new locations, including one in San Diego.

Hot Motha Clucker

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Hot Motha Clucker is one of many modern interpretations of Nashville-style hot chicken, far from the original intent and execution but still tasty on it sown. This outfit with multiple locations leans into the messiness with extra-saucy sliders, fries, and more.

Boneyard Bistro

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Boneyard Bistro in Sherman Oaks has largely been ahead of the hot chicken trend, cooking the stuff up for occasional specials or Monday night meals for years now, well ahead of the competition. The bird here is still special compared to much of the tender-loving competition, which usually ends up slathered in sauce and cheese.

Tokyo Hot Chicken Los Angeles

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Hot chicken is so popular these days in Los Angeles, it’s even got Michelin-level chefs like Michael Mina jumping on the bandwagon. Mina’s new-ish Tokyo Hot Chicken is meant to be a mix of Nashville spice and heat with Japanese-style fried chicken karaage.

Blazin Chicks

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Blazin’ Chicks keeps the San Gabriel Valley well-stocked in the usual hot chicken sandwiches, sliders, tenders, and sides, because in LA, every neighborhood deserves its own hot chicken.

Dave's Hot Chicken

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As influential as Howlin’ Ray’s has been to the hot chicken scene in Los Angeles, it’s hard to imagine this current saturation point with out Dave’s, the laid-back group of guys who went from a parking lot to a multi-million-dollar franchise agreement and locations in Canada — all in just a few short years.

A lineup of chicken tenders and sandwiches with fries and sides.
Dave’s Hot Chicken
Wonho Frank Lee

Fritzi Coop

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Fritzi Coop isn’t some new player on the hot chicken scene. Founded by star chef Neal Fraser in 2016, this tiny takeout operation at the Original Farmers Market continues to showcase Nashville flavors in sandwiches, by the bucket, or on top of curly fries for those that need a real jolt.

Howlin' Ray's

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With rabid fans, endlessly long lines (that even, for a time, continued into the pandemic), and a dedication to craft that’s hard to beat, it’s no wonder that Howlin’ Ray’s is considered by many to be the end-all, be-all for Nashville-style hot chicken in Los Angeles. This is the crew that started a spicy revolution in Los Angeles, and now that movement is being carried on by dozens, if not hundreds of others around Southern California.

A bright red spicy chicken and fries order from Howlin’ Ray’s.
Howlin’ Ray’s
Jakob Layman

The Red Chickz

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The Downtown LA hot chicken wars heated up in early 2019 with the arrival of corner shop the Red Chickz, which has become a fan favorite in the ‘more than just traditional Southern chicken’ category. Here, diners can find hot chicken tacos, hot chicken and waffles, and a whole lot more.

Birdies

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Birdies has been frying chicken in Downtown since 2016, and as such has kept its pulse on the hot chicken side of the equation. While fans here can opt for the non-spicy stuff, the sandwich with heat is among the better decisions you can make here.

Hotville Chicken

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Only one Los Angeles hot chicken restaurant can lay claim to the family throne, and that’s Kim Prince’s hot chicken restaurant called, appropriately, Hotville Chicken. This Crenshaw staple is considered tops for many who dive deep into the hot chicken genre, thanks to Prince’s family recipes, love of spice, and friendly smile — all steeped in history that has surprising West Coast roots.

Hotville chicken on a tray with checkered paper and pickles.
Hotville Chicken
Matthew Kang

Bangin’ Buns

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Bangin’ Buns is one of the unquestioned leaders in the hot chicken space, an old guard setup that started not long after Dave’s Hot Chicken and now pushes multiple locations and nearly 125,000 Instagram followers. The place still pushes plenty of chicken every night, from take-home platters to sandwiches for one.

Cluckin Bun

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Cluckin’ Bun is Inglewood’s one-stop-shop for hot chicken and more. The place works a more pedestrian menu of tenders and slider-sized sandwiches, while also offering hot shrimp. loaded fries, and more. And yes, Flamin’ Hot Cheetos dust is often involved.

Crimson Coward

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In the mood for an absolutely overclocked hot chicken sandwich, served with a mound of slaw, melty cheese, and enough heat to push your eyebrows back? That’s precisely what Crimson Coward does, daring folks to dive into the highest spice levels daily.

Blazing Birds

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Folks in Whittier don’t need to drive far to get their fix of Nashville-style hot chicken, thanks in part to Blazing Birds. The restaurant offers the usual assortment of spice levels and over-the-top options, from sandwiches with mounded mac and cheese on top, or even a sunny-side-up egg.

A hand holds a bun with mac and cheese inside on top of a fried chicken breast.
Blazing Buns
Blazing Buns

Wing Ferno

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Gardena’s Wing Ferno is, in some ways, a more traditional chicken shop, with options that go beyond one style of fried bird and one type of chicken. Here it’s possible to dive into saucy wings, quarter birds fried with light heat, or extra-spicy tenders at the top of the heat index.

Main Chick Hot Chicken

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Main Chick is among the fastest-growing hot chicken outlets to emerge in Los Angeles in recent years. The group has multiple outlets across the region and turns out reliable tenders, sandwiches with both light and dark meat, fries, and more.

A stack of spicy chicken tenders with a knife through the top.
Main Chick
Main Chick

Cluck & Blaze

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While billing itself as a home for authentic Nashville-style hot chicken, Cluck & Blaze — with locations in Long Beach and Glendale — is actually a new school operator, turning hot chicken into Instagrammable dishes like a spicy breakfast burrito.

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Nashville Hot Chicken

Pacoima’s Nashville Hot Chicken restaurant certainly beat others to the naming rights, even if it wasn’t the first to show off saturated photos of deep red chicken and lots of drizzled sauces atop fries, inside buns, and on salads.

Hawaiian Hot Chicken

Hawaiian Hot Chicken is the current star of the ‘hot chicken at a car wash’ trend that has somehow also swept across Los Angeles. From the King’s Hawaiian buns to the nightly showcase of cool rides that roll through, this is a great place to get a real feel for the street scene that has come up around hot chicken in recent years.

Angry chickz

Perhaps no hot chicken operation (save for Dave’s) has grown as fast as Angry Chickz, which now counts nearly a dozen outlets from Hollywood to Bakersfield to Visalia to San Jose and beyond. Next up: Las Vegas.

The Kluckin’ Chicken

The Kluckin’ Chicken has managed to rise above the hot chicken fray thanks to its diverse menu, which offers hot chicken quesadillas, wraps, and more. Still to come are two new locations, including one in San Diego.

Hot Motha Clucker

Hot Motha Clucker is one of many modern interpretations of Nashville-style hot chicken, far from the original intent and execution but still tasty on it sown. This outfit with multiple locations leans into the messiness with extra-saucy sliders, fries, and more.

Boneyard Bistro

Boneyard Bistro in Sherman Oaks has largely been ahead of the hot chicken trend, cooking the stuff up for occasional specials or Monday night meals for years now, well ahead of the competition. The bird here is still special compared to much of the tender-loving competition, which usually ends up slathered in sauce and cheese.

Tokyo Hot Chicken Los Angeles

Hot chicken is so popular these days in Los Angeles, it’s even got Michelin-level chefs like Michael Mina jumping on the bandwagon. Mina’s new-ish Tokyo Hot Chicken is meant to be a mix of Nashville spice and heat with Japanese-style fried chicken karaage.

Blazin Chicks

Blazin’ Chicks keeps the San Gabriel Valley well-stocked in the usual hot chicken sandwiches, sliders, tenders, and sides, because in LA, every neighborhood deserves its own hot chicken.

Dave's Hot Chicken

A lineup of chicken tenders and sandwiches with fries and sides.
Dave’s Hot Chicken
Wonho Frank Lee

As influential as Howlin’ Ray’s has been to the hot chicken scene in Los Angeles, it’s hard to imagine this current saturation point with out Dave’s, the laid-back group of guys who went from a parking lot to a multi-million-dollar franchise agreement and locations in Canada — all in just a few short years.

A lineup of chicken tenders and sandwiches with fries and sides.
Dave’s Hot Chicken
Wonho Frank Lee

Fritzi Coop

Fritzi Coop isn’t some new player on the hot chicken scene. Founded by star chef Neal Fraser in 2016, this tiny takeout operation at the Original Farmers Market continues to showcase Nashville flavors in sandwiches, by the bucket, or on top of curly fries for those that need a real jolt.

Howlin' Ray's

A bright red spicy chicken and fries order from Howlin’ Ray’s.
Howlin’ Ray’s
Jakob Layman

With rabid fans, endlessly long lines (that even, for a time, continued into the pandemic), and a dedication to craft that’s hard to beat, it’s no wonder that Howlin’ Ray’s is considered by many to be the end-all, be-all for Nashville-style hot chicken in Los Angeles. This is the crew that started a spicy revolution in Los Angeles, and now that movement is being carried on by dozens, if not hundreds of others around Southern California.

A bright red spicy chicken and fries order from Howlin’ Ray’s.
Howlin’ Ray’s
Jakob Layman

The Red Chickz

The Downtown LA hot chicken wars heated up in early 2019 with the arrival of corner shop the Red Chickz, which has become a fan favorite in the ‘more than just traditional Southern chicken’ category. Here, diners can find hot chicken tacos, hot chicken and waffles, and a whole lot more.

Birdies

Birdies has been frying chicken in Downtown since 2016, and as such has kept its pulse on the hot chicken side of the equation. While fans here can opt for the non-spicy stuff, the sandwich with heat is among the better decisions you can make here.

Hotville Chicken

Hotville chicken on a tray with checkered paper and pickles.
Hotville Chicken
Matthew Kang

Only one Los Angeles hot chicken restaurant can lay claim to the family throne, and that’s Kim Prince’s hot chicken restaurant called, appropriately, Hotville Chicken. This Crenshaw staple is considered tops for many who dive deep into the hot chicken genre, thanks to Prince’s family recipes, love of spice, and friendly smile — all steeped in history that has surprising West Coast roots.

Hotville chicken on a tray with checkered paper and pickles.
Hotville Chicken
Matthew Kang

Bangin’ Buns

Bangin’ Buns is one of the unquestioned leaders in the hot chicken space, an old guard setup that started not long after Dave’s Hot Chicken and now pushes multiple locations and nearly 125,000 Instagram followers. The place still pushes plenty of chicken every night, from take-home platters to sandwiches for one.

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Cluckin Bun

Cluckin’ Bun is Inglewood’s one-stop-shop for hot chicken and more. The place works a more pedestrian menu of tenders and slider-sized sandwiches, while also offering hot shrimp. loaded fries, and more. And yes, Flamin’ Hot Cheetos dust is often involved.

Crimson Coward

In the mood for an absolutely overclocked hot chicken sandwich, served with a mound of slaw, melty cheese, and enough heat to push your eyebrows back? That’s precisely what Crimson Coward does, daring folks to dive into the highest spice levels daily.

Blazing Birds

A hand holds a bun with mac and cheese inside on top of a fried chicken breast.
Blazing Buns
Blazing Buns

Folks in Whittier don’t need to drive far to get their fix of Nashville-style hot chicken, thanks in part to Blazing Birds. The restaurant offers the usual assortment of spice levels and over-the-top options, from sandwiches with mounded mac and cheese on top, or even a sunny-side-up egg.

A hand holds a bun with mac and cheese inside on top of a fried chicken breast.
Blazing Buns
Blazing Buns

Wing Ferno

Gardena’s Wing Ferno is, in some ways, a more traditional chicken shop, with options that go beyond one style of fried bird and one type of chicken. Here it’s possible to dive into saucy wings, quarter birds fried with light heat, or extra-spicy tenders at the top of the heat index.

Main Chick Hot Chicken

A stack of spicy chicken tenders with a knife through the top.
Main Chick
Main Chick

Main Chick is among the fastest-growing hot chicken outlets to emerge in Los Angeles in recent years. The group has multiple outlets across the region and turns out reliable tenders, sandwiches with both light and dark meat, fries, and more.

A stack of spicy chicken tenders with a knife through the top.
Main Chick
Main Chick

Cluck & Blaze

While billing itself as a home for authentic Nashville-style hot chicken, Cluck & Blaze — with locations in Long Beach and Glendale — is actually a new school operator, turning hot chicken into Instagrammable dishes like a spicy breakfast burrito.

Related Maps