Fried chicken with a side of homemade potatoes, chicken gravy, buttered corn, and a bread roll or cornbread. Fried chicken is a delicious comfort food any time of the year. It’s tasty whether it’s fresh from the pan or served cold. How many family picnics and reunions have had large plates of crispy chicken? From the leg to the breast, wing, and thigh, chicken is one of the tastiest meats you can build meals around.
Omaha has its fair share of great fried chicken, southern style or Midwest good. So, this begs the question: Where is the best fried chicken in the Omaha area?
We’ve lost a few amazing restaurants, such as Jack and Mary’s, which were known for their fried chicken. But, plenty remain. Here’s a look at the best fried chicken joints in Omaha.
1. Time Out Foods
Any list of the best fried chicken restaurants in Omaha starts with Time Out Foods. Located on 30th Street in North Omaha, you’ll find a line of people stretching past the parking lot during the lunch rush, just for a couple of pieces of fried chicken, along with homestyle sides, including homemade potato salad, with just a hint of mustard. Add creamy coleslaw, French fries, and baked beans made from an old family recipe, and you’ll see why folks have been coming from all around Omaha for 50 years for Time Out’s chicken and delicious sides.
Time Out Foods is also one of the city’s oldest Black-owned businesses.
Tip: With limited seating, you may want to order your fried chicken meals to go.
3518 N. 30th St., Omaha
2. Tracks Lounge
For more than 55 years, Tracks Lounge has served crunchy fried chicken in the Aksarben and Elmwood neighborhoods. Whether you’re looking for a combo dinner or a family-sized order, Tracks is ready to fry up some of the best chicken you’ll ever taste. Served with creamy coleslaw and perfectly cooked tator tots, you’ll think you won the trifecta at the old Aksarben racetrack.
If you want to tease your taste buds, consider ordering fried pickles or mac and cheese bites as an appetizer.
1506 S. 60th St., Omaha
3. Farmer Brown’s
Since the mid-1960s, the drive to Waterloo has usually been for steak or prime rib, but Farmer Brown’s Steak House also fries up impressive chicken dinners. With two- and four-piece options available, they come with a leg, thigh, breast, or wing. You’ll want to add a baked potato or coleslaw to complement your fried chicken dinner.
2620 River Road Drive, Waterloo, Neb.
4. Cajun Kitchen
When you mention Cajun, what comes to mind? Fried chicken, right? At Cajun Kitchen, not only do they do catfish and shrimp right Cajun style, but the chefs create amazing fried chicken dinners. With two-, three-, and four-piece dinners available, you’re sure to give your taste buds a true southern experience. Heck, if you want, you can order a four-piece whole wing dinner.
Leave the ranch at home for these wings. With true southern sides, including red beans and rice, coleslaw, green beans, mashed potatoes, and cornbread, you’re in for a true Cajun experience.
2819 N. 30th St., Omaha
5. Block 16
What don’t they do right at Block 16? Add fried chicken to the list of amazing foods coming from the kitchen. With a slight twist (of course!) on fried chicken, Block 16 offers fried chicken thighs, fresh from PC Farm for a farm-to-table experience.
With two, three and four pieces available, the thighs are soaked in PCF buttermilk, lightly breaded and cooked to a crispy crust. You can even try it Nashville hot!
1611 Farnam St., Omaha
6. Dirty Birds
The new kid on the block quickly joined the list of Omaha’s best fried chicken. Located at The Switch Beer and Food Hall in the Blackstone District, Dirty Birds combines pickling with fried chicken. The owner chefs brine their chicken for a couple of days before breading it and creating a unique flavor new to Omaha.
Served Debo style (an in-house creation), along with sides such as homemade creamy potato salad and coleslaw, and your mouth will keep watering for days, wanting more.
3618 Farnam St., Omaha
7. The Cabin Bar and Grill
With a setting that makes you think of a mountain cabin, The Cabin Bar and Grill features a tasty fried chicken dinner, featuring white or dark meat. Served with your choice of potato and vegetables, it creates a quality dinner that leaves you feeling full and good.
The Cabin doesn’t do anything flashy; they just create a great dining experience. Which, sometimes, is all you really need when you’re hungry.
9226 Mormon Bridge Road, Omaha
8. Joe Tess Place
Back in the day, it was said that Joe Tess would head to the Missouri River and catch the day’s menu. Known for its catfish dinners, Joe Tess Place also offers chicken dinners. And, while you won’t find a chicken pen behind the South Omaha restaurant, you will find outstanding fried chicken.
Hand-breaded, dark meat dinners include a leg and thigh, while the white meat dinners feature a breast and wing. Each dinner is served with coleslaw and fries.
5424 S. 24th St., Omaha
As Omaha’s oldest drive-in, Bronco’s may be best known for its Bronco Burger, but the eatery makes the best fast food fried chicken in the city. Whether you order it by the piece or in a bucket, Bronco’s creates a delicious fried chicken option when dining out. With fries, mashed potatoes, or coleslaw as a side, Bronco’s fried chicken challenges as the city’s best.
1123 S. 120th St. and 4540 Leavenworth St., Omaha
10. Alpine Inn
Known for feeding leftovers and discarded items, such as chicken bones, to raccoons, dozens of the four-legged bandits skip robbing neighbors’ garbage cans and head to the Alpine Inn. The tradition started several decades ago, when the then-owner sought to get rid of leftovers. One thing led to another, and raccoons soon made the nightly jaunt to the restaurant on Calhoun Road, north of Interstate 680.
While the raccoons and feral cats provide the entertainment, the fried chicken is the real deal. The four-piece crispy-coated chicken dinner includes a leg, breast, thigh, and wing. Along with a side of coleslaw or pasta salad, and you’re set for a memorable dinner with the raccoons.
Tip: The Alpine Inn accepts cash or local checks, but not credit or debit cards.
10405 Calhoun Road, Omaha
11. Big Mama’s Kitchen and Catering
With a century-old family recipe, the fried chicken at Big Mama’s Kitchen and Catering had earned national attention. Guy Fieri brought his television show “Diners, Drive-ins & Dives” to the North Omaha restaurant to sample Big Mama’s oven-fried chicken.
Using a special recipe to create a unique flavor, people from all over flock to Big Mama’s to try the chicken and a few southern favorites, including collard greens, fried okra, and sweet potato pudding. With a plate of cornbread, you have the fixings for a wonderful down home dining experience at Big Mama’s.
Whether you prefer traditional fried chicken or maybe a plate with some spice, Omaha has the perfect spot for you. No matter your choice, you’ll need plenty of napkins for your hands, because you dare not eat fried chicken with a fork and knife.
2112 N. 30th St., Accelerator Suite 201, Omaha