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 punch in overwhelming waves — a flavor tsunami that is downright addictive.
This tour visits the city’s top 5 hot chicken joints, starting with Prince’s (where it was invented) and including Pepperfire (for deep-fried grilled pepperjack cheese sandwiches), Bolton’s (which also serves ferocious fish), 400 Degrees (hot pork chops, too!), and Hattie B’s, where the hottest version is titled Shut The Cluck Up!!! and sweet tea is sold by the gallon.