Church’s Fried Chicken Arrives in Midtown

DSC09749I love fried chicken… and can you blame me?  I won’t step anywhere near a McDonalds, but KFC or Popeyes? You probably aren’t going to want to get in my way.  I don’t know why that is.  Oh wait- yes I do.  Fried chicken is amazing.  And, if you are as big a fried chicken fan as me you might be interested in knowing that a branch of Church’s Chicken recently opened inside that mini food court on 8th Avenue between 44+45th.

I’ll admit, I don’t think I’ve ever eaten at Church’s.  I was always a KFC fan growing up, a Popeye’s fan later in life (after spending so much time in New Orleans), and I had a brief flirtation with Bojangles in 1986.  But never Church’s.  Anybody a big fan?  Feel free to sound off in the comments.  I’m curious if this new addition to the Midtown Lunch’ing landscape is something to get excited about…


  • Didn’t the White Castle on 8th in the 30′s always serve Church’s chicken?

  • I too am a fried chicken nut, so I need to tell you this Zach…temper your expectations with Church’s (unless you are drunk/high/both). In terms of the fast food fried chicken scale, it goes as follows:

    1) Popeye’s
    2) Crown/Kennedy Fried Chicken
    3) KFC
    4) Church’s

    The quality just isn’t up to par with the rest of them, although that’s nothing a lot of BBQ sauce can’t fix.. One silver lining, however, is Church’s biscuits…they are definitely solid.

  • ignorant, i’m gonna have to counter with my own ranking.. i used to work for a consumer mag where took an entire day to conduct an office-wide blind taste test of fried chicken, and to my recollection, this was our eventual published breakdown:
    1) Church’s
    2) KFC
    3) Popeye’s
    i specifically remember popeye’s having a detectable chemically aftertaste when posed against the other contenders. kfc has that special batter seasoning, but wasn’t as crisp or tasty as the church’s. of note, the church’s chicken was the best grease-to-batter ratio initially, but took a sharp turn for the worst after about 30 min. away from the deep fryer.


  • Their biscuits topped with a touch of Honey on top are amazing… back when they were in some select White Castles, they were 4 x $1.00 … I went to that Churchs you found and saw them going for what I believe is over $1.00 each…

  • Wow…really Shauna? I find that remarkable that people picked Church’s…then again, my rankings are purely a personal preference, so of course not everyone would agree with them.

    By the way, the idea that your old company took an entire day off to do a blind fried chicken tasting test is probably the coolest thing I have ever heard in my entire life.

  • Church’s puts that fake honey on their biscuits? I hated that. The chicken is pretty good. I hate that soggy arsed standard KFC recipe. Popeye’s is great though.

  • it’s true.. personally, it was my first church’s encounter (this was about five years ago), and i was blindfolded and still picked it. i’d always been primarily a popeye’s fan until i tasted it against the others… it really was one of the coolest jobs ever.

  • Church’s is fairly popular in the Oakland, CA area.
    Yes, fresh out of the fryer i would also choose Church’s over KFC.

  • I too absolutely love fried chicken, I have a soft spot for even the most bland fried chicken. Just frying it produces a delicious texture that can be spiced up with all kinds of seasoning, but the basic chicken+oil+heat equation is nearly infallible.

    Chinese fried chicken leaves out all the fancy spices and is very basic, just fry it up and serve for a fraction of the cost of the nicer fried-chicken places. Of course that means you have to spice it up yourself, but it’s just not as good as if the spice was fried in as part of the original recipe. Chicken house is a good example of this.

    of the three places mentioned here, Chruch’s, KFC, and Popeye’s I’ve only had KFC and Popeyes, both have their strength and weaknesses, but I would favor Popeye’s over KFC. I like the spice of Pop-eye’s over KFC. KFC has good seasoning, but pop-eye’s have a little bit of heat in their spice to push it ahead of KFC. Incidentally KFC is huge in China, very popular, and the chicken there is amazing. So juicy and tender, and you get weird sides, like a cup of loose corn and a mystery fruit drink among other things. They’ll also sell egg-custard tarts as a side item, very good.

    There is this one other place just outside of the boundaries, on 34th and 9th ave, Soul Fixins, that has a killer lunch special, Fried chicken, rice and vegetables for 5.95, comes with a lemonade. It’s very good, I love it. not spicy, and their seasoning is all together different from the likes of KFC, it’s more of a herb spice. My mouth waters from writing this comment.

  • I think we may need to have a Midtown Lunch fried-chicken-palooza!

  • I agree that ML needs to put the midtown fried chicken options to a blind taste test. My current fave is cafe cello , but they only have it on Mon and Tue. What if I need a Wed. afternoon fried chicken pick-me-up? What are my options?

  • @ Eliot – I didn’t realize Cafe Cello only served their fried chicken on Mon & Tues. Is that a recent thing? I feel like every time I go in there, they have fried chicken…

  • I agree with the person who said their biscuits are the bombs… BF likes White Castle a lot and I can’t always indulge. They opened a Church’s for a short while in the same building, so I would opt for some of their biscuits instead… soooo good, better than KFC or any other place. And then they closed it :(

    BTW, strange occurrence re: White Castle. The one on Queens Blvd, a block or two from the mall, has a small sign underneath the large WC sign that says they serve rice & beans. I pass by the WC every morning on the express bus and I’m curious about this… what brought this about and do they do that at all WCs now? Anyone? And are they GOOD?

  • I’ll go:
    1. Popeyes,
    2. Church’s,
    3. Kennedy,
    4. KFC.

    Bojangles and Golden Fried Chicken would be in there if they were available in the area.

    Church’s (and Golden) were all over Texas when I was growing up. I haven’t had Church’s since the college days, but it used to be our preference because of its price. Church’s was always significantly cheaper than KFC and Popeyes. Typically a 10 piece bucket o’ chicken and biscuits for $5.99. Pretty easy on the wallet.

    I’ll agree with AL@1PP above that the egg tarts at KFC in China are surprisingly good, with nice flaky crusts.

  • I havent see any rice and beans in the Castle, but I think I’ve seen the one you speak of… I only can remember when a number of W.C were partnered up with Church’s… I’d always get some burgers from W.C and 4 biscuits for a dollar at Church’s… sweetness!

  • I remember loving Church’s growing up in GA – but perhaps this is more due to nostalgia than taste? Similar to Waffle House, maybe it depends on which one you go to – some are better than others. As I love me some fried chicken, I’m sorely tempted to try this new outpost, but fear the Chick-Fil-A disappointment that is Chick-Fil-A Express. For some reason, I can’t imagine it tasting as good as it does in the South.

  • @ LC – What is this Chick-Fil-A Express that you mention? Is this the exclusive Chick-Fil-A at NYU that I’ve heard won’t let the teeming public in to eat?

  • I was tempted to get the rice and beans at that WC but opted for the Mozarella Sticks. Probably an equally poor decision.

  • Chick-Fil-A and Bojangles completely dominate any fast food friend chicken offerings of the North.

  • I’m making the assumption that the NYU Chick-Fil-A is an Express one. I actually can’t bring myself to go there, though – I think the sadness would be overwhelming. The last Chick-Fil-A Express experience I had was at Opryland (business trip locale – not by choice). I thought it would revive me from the crazy airless, artificial chamber that is Opryland, but ended up wanting to cry tears of sadness in my soggy Express (not made on the premises) sandwich.

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