Nashville

No trip to Music City is complete without tasting Nashville’s hot chicken. This local special has deep roots in the Nashville culture and still flourishes on restaurant menus throughout town. We even have a festival and competition to celebrate it!

While the debate on which establishment serves up the best dish will always be a hot topic, these three spots are the most notorious for bringing the heat.

Photo by Helen Rosner

Princes’s Hot Chicken Shack

Considered the founder of Hot Chicken, Ms. Andre Prince Jeffries opened the doors to Prince’s Hot Chicken in 1945, years after the dish was created. The origins of the recipe date back to the Great Depression. The story begins with Andre’s great-uncle, Thorton Prince, a ladies man, known to spend late nights out on the town, despite having a steady girl at home.

As the story goes, after a long night out, his girl decided she’d had enough. She planned to teach him a lesson by adding peppers and spice to his fried chicken meal. Much to her dismay, rather than falling to his knees weeping, he asked for seconds and a legend was born. After a hundred years, a lot has changed in Nashville. At Prince’s, you’ll still find the Prince family serving up the legendary dish you crave.

Facebook: Bolton’s Spicy Chicken and Fish

Bolton’s Spicy Chicken & Fish

While Bolton’s may not be the original hot chicken, they have been credited with helping preserve and continuing the tradition over the years. Similar to how Prince’s began, a family recipe sparked what is now Bolton’s Spicy Chicken & Fish. The late Bolton Polk used the secret spicy recipe to open a restaurant in the 1980s, before falling ill. Before his passing, he shared the family secret with his nephew, Bolton Matthews. Armed with his uncle’s recipe, his nephew opened Bolton’s Spicy Chicken & Fish in 1997, bringing the family’s dishes to the masses.

Instagram: @hattiebs

Hattie B’s

Debatably the most well-known Hot Chicken spot, Hattie B’s helped bring Nashville Hot Chicken to the main stage. The chain was founded in 2012 by a father-and-son duo both named Nick Bishop. Their first location was opened in Midtown, mere steps from Loews Vanderbilt. After opening a second location in 2014, the Bishop family has continued to expand their enterprise throughout the southeast. Locations have become known for their lengthy lines packed with tourists and locals alike.

 

What do you think? Time to check Nashville hot chicken off your bucket list and give your trip a little extra seasoning?

Karen