July 1, 2022

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9 excellent places to get Nashville hot chicken in Houston

5 min read

It may be called Nashville hot chicken, but the supremely seasoned meat known to bring tears to your eyes is plenty available here in Houston.

Made famous by Nashville institutions like Prince’s Hot Chicken Shack and Hattie B’s, the dish has long been synonymous with Tennessee’s capital, and for good reason. Eager diners visiting from across the country park themselves in line for hours to get a taste of chicken amped up by fiery spice blends and prized family recipes. And until recently, a visit to Nashville was your best bet on scoring the real thing. Whether it was the raging popularity of the Popeye’s spicy fried chicken sandwich when it launched in 2019, or an increased desire from Houstonians for sweat-inducing eats, the city has had an influx of restaurants and food trucks slinging the saucy dish.

So, what’s the big attraction? Nashville-style hot chicken packs a punch unlike regular ol’ fried chicken. Prepared by generously coating chicken breasts or thighs with a blend of spices and cayenne, the meat is deep fried, then finished off with a tangy glaze. Add pickles and slaw and you have a mind-blowing combination of flavors worth crying over.

While it’s wise to keep a visit to a real Nashville hot chicken restaurant on your foodie bucket list, many Houston establishments now offer their expert takes. From food trucks to national chains, here’s where to get your hands on Nashville hot chicken in Houston.


Bird Haus

Among the many vendors in downtown Houston’s Underground food hall, Bird Haus brings the heat with its Nashville hot chicken sandwich, built with crispy fried chicken dipped in a cayenne-infused butter glaze on buttered buns. The chicken tenders are prepared the same way, and arrive with coleslaw, pickles and crinkle-cut fries.

Find it: 1010 Prairie St., Houston, TX 77002; 832-592-7914
Hours: Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-11 p.m.; Friday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-1 a.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m.

Chunky’s Hot Chicken

After spending four years in Nashville, Jarret Milton launched the Chunky’s Hot Chicken food truck in Third Ward in hopes of offering Houstonians a taste of the same, authentic fiery flavors. Along with a hot chicken sandwich on a Hawaiian bun and hot chicken-topped nachos, guests can score Nashville-style hot catfish.

Find it: 4906 Almeda Road, Suite B, Houston, TX 77004
Hours: Tuesday-Sunday, 12-8 p.m.

Find Chunky's hot chicken in Third Ward.

Find Chunky’s hot chicken in Third Ward.

David Settle

Clutch City Cluckers

With three food trucks servicing the Houston area (plus one in San Antonio), Clutch City Cluckers makes it convenient to get your hands on Nashville-inspired hot chicken sandwiches and tenders. Meatless options like cauliflower tenders are given the same spicy treatment, with the highest level of heat billed as “Cluck it like it’s HOT.”

Find it: 5550 Val Verde St., Houston, TX 77056; 281-766-5656
Hours: Monday-Sunday, 10 a.m.-5 a.m.

Clutch City Cluckers is 100% halal.

Clutch City Cluckers is 100% halal.

Christian Pena

Dave’s Hot Chicken

This hot chicken shop known for its hot chicken tenders, sliders and house-made sides started as a parking lot pop-up in Los Angeles in 2017. Dave’s Hot Chicken has since skyrocketed in popularity with locations across the country, including three outposts in Houston and eight coming to the San Antonio area. Of the seven spice levels, “Reaper” ranks the highest and requires a signed waiver for those who think they can handle it.

Find it: 2525 Rice Blvd., Suite B, Houston, TX 77005; 832-701-0122
Hours: Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-11 p.m.; Friday-Sunday, 11 a.m.-12 a.m.

Think you can handle the Reaper spice level at Dave's Hot Chicken?

Think you can handle the Reaper spice level at Dave’s Hot Chicken?

Dave’s Hot Chicken

Howdy Hot Chicken

Whether you opt for “Harmless” or “Have mercy” as your spice level, have your hot chicken in a sandwich, wrap or on a tenders platter at this 100 percent halal restaurant. Round out your meal with the mac ‘n’ chick, a combination of macaroni and cheese, fried chicken bites, sweet pickles, slaw and howdy sauce. 

Find it: 19922 Southwest Freeway, Sugar Land, TX 77479; 832-847-4974
Hours: Sunday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Friday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-12 a.m.

Lea Jane’s Hot Chicken

In lieu of traditional buns, opt for Nashville hot chicken on Texas toast at Lea Jane’s inside downtown’s Post Market. The Nashville hot spices are not only reserved for chicken—here, you’ll find Nashville hot fish too.

Find it: 401 Franklin St., Suite 1245, Houston, TX 77002 
Hours: Sunday-Wednesday, 11 a.m.-9 pm.; Thursday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m.

Lea Jane's is heating up Post Market with its Nashville-style hot chicken.

Lea Jane’s is heating up Post Market with its Nashville-style hot chicken.

Yelp/Danny C.

Main Bird

Formerly known as Main Chick, this 100 percent halal food truck and restaurant boasts locations in Montrose, Sugar Land, Spring and in the Galleria food truck park. Main Bird serves classic hot chicken sandwiches and tenders that are presented alongside cheesy, meat-topped Cluck it Up fries for a well-rounded hot chicken experience. 

Find it: 1731 Westheimer Road, Houston, TX 77098; 713-739-8898
Hours: Sunday-Thursday, 12 p.m.-12 a.m.; Friday-Saturday, 12 p.m.-2 a.m.
 

Main Bird's 100% halal hot chicken sandwich.

Main Bird’s 100% halal hot chicken sandwich.

Main Bird

Mico’s Hot Chicken

This trailer turned Heights brick-and-mortar offers a straightforward menu of hot chicken sandwiches, tender baskets and loaded fries. Chicken at Mico’s can be made as fiery (or not) as you prefer, with spice levels spanning from “No heat” to “Extra hot.” If you opt for the latter, consider a serving of house-made banana pudding for dessert.

Find it: 1603 N. Durham Drive, Houston, TX 77008; 713-434-6133
Hours: Monday-Sunday, 10:30 a.m.-9:30 p.m.

Sticky's Chicken's Nashville hot chicken sandwich is a mouthful.

Sticky’s Chicken’s Nashville hot chicken sandwich is a mouthful.

Yelp/Michelle T.

Sticky’s Chicken

Brother-and-sister team Benson and Patsy Vivares turned their popular food truck into a buzzy Sawyer Yards hangout, where you can score Sticky’s famed hot chicken sandwich, messy with ranch, slaw and pickles, but also Sticky wings, loaded fries and chicken and rice bowls.

Find it: 2311 Edwards St., Suite 190, Houston, TX 77007
Hours: Monday, 12-8 p.m.; Tuesday-Friday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; Saturday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sunday, 12-5 p.m.



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