Prince’s Hot Chicken Shack

Chicken Dinner
legendary
Worth driving from anywhere!
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I cannot absolutely say that Prince’s Hot Chicken Shack serves the best fried chicken on earth, given that this planet also is home to Keaton’s and Stroud’s; but if I did declare it #1, I would sleep well at night. It is spectacular.

Nashville’s hot chicken has gone national in the last few years (even KFC serves a version), but be warned: Prince’s bird is H.O.T. — dramatically hotter than non-Nashville variants. Of the four degrees of Scoville scale pain Prince’s offers, even mild packs a punch; hot made my eyes water and lips tingle; frankly, I chickened out on trying extra-hot. Unlike typical hot wings, these quarters and halves are not bathed in sticky hot sauce; they are relatively dry and ferociously seasoned down to the bone; and their crust, which strips off in luxurious patches that are equal measures crunch and chew, glows with red-orange spice. It is salty but not throat-parching; and the miracle is that the flavor of plush chicken imbued with natural schmaltz (chicken fat) bursts right through the heat.

Meals come from the kitchen in brown paper bags and indoor seating can be scarce at mealtime. You will always wait for your food because there are no heat lamps here; every order is made as it is called back to the kitchen.

Several years ago, when 55 of us from the Roadfood Nashville eating marathon tour arrived, I first thought we might have made a mistake to consider this little place a good choice for so many people. The staff seemed to be overwhelmed. It took over 30 minutes for those at the back of the line to get their chicken, and some got breast quarters when they wanted leg-thigh quarters. But really, such inconveniences are utterly trivial in the presence of fried chicken greatness.

What to Eat
Prince’s Hot Chicken Shack, Fried Chicken
Fried Chicken
Must-Try
Leg Quarter, extra hot. This is fried chicken to dream about, and good reason to consider relocating to Nashville. (Bruce Bilmes photo)
Directions and Hours
closed now
SundayCLOSED
MondayCLOSED
Tuesday11:30 am - 10 pm
Wednesday11:30 am - 10 pm
Thursday11:30 am - 10 pm
Friday11:30 am - 4 am
Saturday2 pm - 2 am
Roadtrips
This restaurant is featured in the following eating tours.
6 stops | 31 MILES | 54 min

There is plenty of yummy comfort food in Nashville, from buttermilk biscuits in the morning to banana pudding for dessert; but one of the Music City's lesser known culinary lures is its passion for extremely fiery chicken and fish, radiant with pepper punch. If you like it hot, this trip is a must!

5 stops | 8 MILES | 26 min

Fried chicken used to be considered comfort food, but in recent years, a handful of Nashville restaurants have made it the most delicious discomfort food imaginable. All the restaurants that serve the Music City's uniquely peppery, crisp-fried bird offer degrees of hotness. The hottest versions make four-alarm chili seem like child's pabulum. Even "mild" packs…

Information
Price
$
Seasons
Open Year Round
Meals Served
Lunch, Dinner
Credit Cards Accepted
No
Alcohol Served
No
Outdoor Seating
No
Website

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