Hot! Nashville

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 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.



Prince’s Hot Chicken Shack

Nashville hot chicken was created at Prince's, which still serves the best. Even mild is hot. Hot is thermonuclear!

Must Eats


Pepperfire is among the very best places to taste Nashville hot chicken as well as such fry-kettle inventions as a Tender Royale.


Bolton’s Spicy Chicken & Fish

Bolton's hot chicken is four-alarm HOT, more spicy than it is salty. Each bite is a taste-buds thrill ride. Is it Nashville's best?


400 Degrees

400 Degrees offers a unique take on Nashville hot chicken, each piece thickly painted with hot sauce that forms a tremendously savory crust.


Hattie B’s Hot Chicken

Hattie B's has quickly gained a reputation as one of the hottest and best hot chickens in Nashville. Cool the burn with a cup of banana pudding.