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Finding Fried Chicken in Chicago

Fried chicken is one of my favorite things to eat. Hands. Down.  (Or more like hands up, raised in the air, praising the Fried Gods for this creation.)

What makes fried chicken so freaking delicious in my honest opinion? Its got to have a KICK. A sassy mix of spice and seasoning that makes you wanna slap yo’ mamma! (Except mine, because if I did, she’d literally murder me.)

The reason I am so used to this is from devouring HOT fried chicken in Memphis, where I grew up.

There, the chicken is as hot as the summer. So, I can’t have my fried chicken any other way.

When I moved to Los Angeles for college and continued to live there for work, I couldn’t find anything that resembled my hometown’s delicious combo of a crispy buttermilk outside and sassy chicken inside… or the delicious sides that come with.

You cannot eat fried chicken solo. Sides are necessary for a full Southern meal, whether it be my beloved fried chicken or some dry-rub ribs. You bet your @$$ those sides are best eaten fried as well, too.

My favs? Fried okra and Mac n’ cheese.

SO…  when I moved to Chicago a few years ago? I searched the Windy City for anything that could do the trick, to scratch that fried-chicken-loving itch. I was becoming pretty hopeless until the sky opened up, a stream of light came down…

…and Gus’ Fried Chicken opened in the West Loop.

For those unfamiliar with Chicago, the West Loop is west (haha, DUH) of downtown Chicago and is home to some of the city’s finest foodie hot spots. But of course, Gus’ Fried Chicken would show up here.

The reason this was so perfect for mua? Gus and his fried chicken ARE FROM MEMPHIS. Basically, a girl had to have her man come find her to make her happy. That’s right.

Just. LOOK. at that fried chicken! How delicious does this plate look?!

That chicken. Breaded perfectly with a kick of cayenne spice.

That fried okra. Sooo crispy.

That Mac n’ cheese. Creamy, cheesy.

Add that with some refreshing cole slaw and sweet n’ sour baked beans, and you’ve got fried chicken eatin’ perfection.

Along with its classic Southern tastes, the restaurant itself reminds me of hole-in-the-wall spots back home.

The exposed brick walls, tables covered in plaid table cloths, drinks served in branded plastic cups. A cartoonish neon chicken flashing the words “eat me.”

It’s everything I’ve missed, and is just a CTA ride away.

(Then again, I’d drive nine hours for Memphis’ classic fried chicken if I had to. It is that good.)


  • What’s your favorite comfort food?
  • What’s your favorite side dish?
  • How often do you like to eat comfort food?
  • Do you like fried chicken spicy or not spicy?
  • What would you do if a chicken spoke to you?
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