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Price's Chicken Coop

1614 Camden Road, Charlotte, NC - (704) 333-9866
Posted By Michael Stern on 7/31/2008 1:33:00 PM
There is excellent fried chicken almost everywhere in the nation, especially in the South, and most especially in North Carolina. Among the best of the best is that served at Price's Chicken Coop, an improbable beacon for Charlotteans of every demographic. There is nothing exotic about the ingredients or preparation of this chicken. You can see it getting fried in tanks of bubbling oil along one wall. When the pieces are golden-brown, the basket is hoisted from the oil and emptied; still glistening, they are instantly boxed and delivered to the hands of grateful customers. We cannot tell you the secret of this chicken's superiority; but we can tell you that it has a surfeit of crunchy skin that is imbued with the silky, savory goodness of chicken fat; and while the skin is chewy, these pieces that strip off the meat underneath melt in your mouth and transform from crunch into pure, essential chicken flavor.

Both white and dark pieces are available (as are gizzards, livers, and wings) and, expectedly, the meat of the dark parts fairly oozes savory juice. Not so predictably, even the big, meaty breasts are juicy and flavorful in a way that white meat almost never is. If the truth be known, there is much fried chicken that comes in such a delicious envelope of crust that we are tempted to simply strip it off and eat it, leaving much of the meat behind. Not Price's! The meat is as succulent as the skin.

To call this place informal is extreme understatement. Customers stand in one of seven lines that lead to three cash registers. Everything comes in bags and boxes and the management provides no place to eat it. An antiques shop next door often has chairs set out on the sidewalk, but they frown on chicken eaters sitting in them; so the on-site alternative, other than dining in one's car, is to cross Camden Road and sit on the grassy berm alongside the light rail line and eat fried chicken in the Charlotte sun. Deep-fried dining gets no better than this.

12 out of 12 people found the review helpful. Was it helpful to you?

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Scorecard

5 - Overall: Legendary - Worth driving from anyplace
Overall: Legendary - Worth driving from anyplace
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Reviewers Photos [Upload Your Photos]

This close view of a drumstick gives a slight idea as to the juiciness that awaits once the skin is crunched.
"This close view of a drumstick gives a slight idea as to the juiciness that awaits once the skin is crunched."
Michael Stern





A typical boxed chicken dinner with tater rounds, slaw, hushpuppies, and roll.
"A typical boxed chicken dinner with tater rounds, slaw, hushpuppies, and roll."
Chris & Amy Ayers


Desserts at the register include fried apple pie and sweet potato pie, plus cans of Cheerwine from Price’s in-house vending machine.
"Desserts at the register include fried apple pie and sweet potato pie, plus cans of Cheerwine from Price’s in-house vending machine."
Chris & Amy Ayers


There is just enough tail sticking out from the crust of each shrimp to serve as a handy handle to pick it up. This is a close view of a shrimp dinner. Note the edges of hushpuppies on the left and, in the foreground, tater tots and a roll. Not pictured: sweet tea.
"There is just enough tail sticking out from the crust of each shrimp to serve as a handy handle to pick it up. This is a close view of a shrimp dinner. Note the edges of hushpuppies on the left and, in the foreground, tater tots and a roll. Not pictured: sweet tea."
Michael Stern


Every Price’s box lid has their complete menu with the order circled, plus phone number and hours (click on picture to read text).
"Every Price’s box lid has their complete menu with the order circled, plus phone number and hours (click on picture to read text)."
Chris & Amy Ayers


Price’s humble sign in the heart of the now ritzy South End.
"Price’s humble sign in the heart of the now ritzy South End."
Chris & Amy Ayers


My kind of dining room. In nice weather, the light-rail berm is an ideal place to open a box of Price's chicken and dig in.
"My kind of dining room. In nice weather, the light-rail berm is an ideal place to open a box of Price's chicken and dig in."
Michael Stern


Gizzards are boneless and therefore easy to pop in the mouth and eat. They don't drip as much juice as familiar chicken parts, but they are loaded with flavor.
"Gizzards are boneless and therefore easy to pop in the mouth and eat. They don't drip as much juice as familiar chicken parts, but they are loaded with flavor."
Michael Stern


Please pay attention when you stand in line at Price's. It moves fast, and when your turn comes you better be ready to place your order ... without distractions!
"Please pay attention when you stand in line at Price's. It moves fast, and when your turn comes you better be ready to place your order ... without distractions!"
Michael Stern


The logic of a sandwich of chicken wings is slightly elusive, but you can understand it when you realized just how useful the soft white bun is in blotting up the juices that get released from the chicken as soon as you sink your teeth into it.
"The logic of a sandwich of chicken wings is slightly elusive, but you can understand it when you realized just how useful the soft white bun is in blotting up the juices that get released from the chicken as soon as you sink your teeth into it."
Michael Stern



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