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Three Hot Chicken Spots To Try in Nashville

Every time I pass through Nashville, locals, guidebooks and articles frequently urged anyone visiting Music City to get their hands on some hot chicken. Curious as to what exactly hot chicken was, I did some digging with the heartburn to prove it. Hot chicken is fried chicken breaded and drenched in spices, usually heavy on the cayenne. It is a dish special to Nashville and it can be found at separate hot chicken joints or on the menus of many restaurants. And just as you can’t leave Nashville without sampling a little country music, you also can’t part with the city until you have had its hot chicken. Here are three hot chicken spots to try in town that is if you aren’t too chicken to try them.

Prince’s Hot Chicken Shack: The oldest and original Nashville hot chicken restaurant can be found north of the city at Prince’s Hot Chicken Shack. Known for their heat, Prince’s adds a fiery red liquid to the top of the chicken and then places the chicken on Wonder bread. The small hole in the wall restaurant is cash only. They will also appropriately discourage first-timers from ordering their chicken seasoned hot. You can order the mild version, which is still fiery in taste.

While Prince’s recipe is kept top secret, we do know how this hot chicken fad began in Nashville. Womanizer Thorton Prince was out all night.  His girlfriend decided to get back at him by putting an extra kick in his fried chicken in the morning. Unfortunately for the girlfriend, Prince loved the hot chicken and thus the idea was born.

Bolton’s Spicy Chicken and Fish:
Another classic Nashville hot chicken establishment is Bolton’s Spicy Chicken and Fish. With its drier spice, many diners claim this Nashville hot chicken option is spicy but not mouth-on-fire hot. Bolton’s history is also linked to Prince’s Hot Chicken Shack. The owner started cooking hot chicken at Prince’s before leaving to open up a separate hot chicken eatery. In addition to hot chicken, you can also order up hot fish sandwiches.

Hattie B’s Hot Chicken: Located in the heart of midtown, right near Vanderbilt University, Hattie B’s Hot Chicken allows guests to choose their level of hot, from no heat, mild, hot or damn hot. While relatively new to the hot chicken scene, Hattie B’s Hot Chicken is often set a part from the other hot chicken establishments in town with its slightly sweet batter and wide selection of beers on draft.

 

photo: pixelillo

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