With the Popeyes Fried Chicken Sandwich craze sweeping the nation for a second time, plus last weekend’s Fried Chicken Sundays at Craft House selling out in 1 hour 15 min., it seems hungry people everywhere have a craving for golden, crispy poultry that can’t be satiated.
Seriously. Look at the line wrapped around the Popeyes in Santa Ana recently. I waited it out for a Popeyes Chicken Sandwich and I have to say … it was a good fast food version of a fried chicken sandwich. They served them in foil wrappers (a la Chic-Fil-A) that steam the sandwich a bit too much before you can enjoy it, but overall it’s better than anyone else’s out there in the fast food arena.
But, if you’re not in the mood to wait in line, or just want to find better flavors in other places, there are plenty of great options in Orange County (and one in Long Beach that I like, too).
Keep reading for 5 Fried Chicken Sandwiches You Can Eat Right Now Without Waiting in Line at Popeyes.
Spicy Chicken Sandwich at Holdaak
This North Fullerton fried chicken joint turns out chicken that most closely resembles what you’d find in Popeye’s Chicken Sandwich, with a Korean twist. A brioche bun is slathered with a chili sauce, and the bird is topped with pickled daikon, onions and jalapeños.
Bonus: If you make a purchase, you can add a huge box of popcorn chicken for about $5.
Crispy Jidori Chicken Sandwich at Lido Bottle Works
Newport Beach, Ca
Chef Amy Lebrun’s fried chicken sandwich features jidori breast meat with Thai flavors including yellow curry, cilantro and a coconut lime aioli. The pickled Fresno peppers add some zing and the whole thing is a flavor bomb that sends your taste buds in 50 different ways at once.
Chicken Cordon Bleu at LudoBird
Staples Center & Universal CityWalk
You can find this Frenchified crunchy clucker at Chef Ludo Lefebvre’s signature fried chicken joint. The soft, spongy potato bun cradles a chicken breast filet topped with salty ham, gooey Swiss bechamel sauce, pickles, lettuce and tomato. Don’t skip “The Original” Buttermilk Provencial Fried Chicken if it’s your first time, but if you’re craving a fried chicken sandwich with European flair, trust Ludo to deliver.
Knife + Fork Spicy Fried Chicken Sandwich at Craft House
Dana Point, Ca
Chef Blake Mellgren’s monster chicken biscuit is served open faced, but I’ve seen several people use the other half of the freshly-baked cheddar biscuit as a top bun and try to eat this beast like you would a PB&J. The result is a messy, glorious, Southern hug of a fried chicken sandwich unlike any other you’ll find anywhere in South Orange County.
Bad Mutha Clucka at Dog Haus
Long Beach, Ca
If you like a thicc, shattering layer of pepper-flecked batter, this is the sandwich for you. Dog Haus throws their massive fried chicken breast on 4 King’s Hawaiian rolls with shredded lettuce, dill pickles and an addictive miso ranch. The name is a lot to live up to, but this truly is one big bad mutha.