Chow Town

Fried chicken face-off: Vote for KC’s best in our monthlong tourney

In the artisan category, we have Rye, Cafe Europa, Story and Pig & Finch.
In the artisan category, we have Rye, Cafe Europa, Story and Pig & Finch.

There’s no shortage of fabulous fried chicken in the Kansas City area.

Stroud’s and RC’s Restaurant & Lounge specialize in pan-fried chicken like Grandma used to make. Soul food restaurants Niecie’s and Peachtree Buffet have crunchy, golden chicken down to a science. And Rye’s gourmet version of the classic American comfort food is so famous that it was featured on the cover of Saveur magazine.

With so many tempting options to choose from, we thought it would be fun to launch a March Madness-inspired fried chicken tournament. Our bracket features 16 restaurants divided into four categories: Homestyle, Artisan, Southern Style and Quick Service.

[Round 1: Click here to cast your votes]

The restaurants in each category were ranked by their number of Facebook fans, then pitted against one another in “games.” First-round votes must be cast by 9 a.m. Monday, Feb. 29.

Winners will be determined by online votes; look for results on our blog every Wednesday through March 23, when we’ll announce the ultimate winner.

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A note about the restaurants selected for the tournament: All of them originated in the Kansas City area, with one exception. Tennessee-based company Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken expanded to Kansas City, Kan., in early February. The locally owned franchise serves spicy fried chicken.

And although several Chow Town contributors are fans of Popeye’s and Church’s Chicken, you won’t find national fast-food chains in our bracket. There simply wasn’t enough room.

Don’t see your favorite restaurant in our Sweet 16? Email us at, or tweet us @chowtownkc, and we might share your recommendation with readers later on. Plus, we’re always up for more fried chicken.

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