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May 19, 2015

Five mouthwatering fried chicken spots to try now

Where to cure your crispy chicken cravings

Food Restaurants
Fried Chicken File Art /for PhillyVoice

Fried chicken: The ultimate comfort food.

Everyone knows that in a serious emergency, fried chicken is never too far away. KFC and Popeyes may satisfy some in a pinch, but they're not to be counted on regularly for that greasy-fingered feeling of wholeness that leaves you panting above a pile of translucent napkins.

So here's five places in Philadelphia you need to get to immediately the next time you're overcome by the unmistakable need for fried chicken.

Rex 1516

1516 South Street

Chef Justin Swain may be Philadelphia born and raised, but he's trained in Alabama's Southern cuisine specialties and techniques. The methods here include soaking chicken thighs and drumsticks in sweet tea for 24 hours before dunking them into the fryer twice. With apps like skillet cornbread, crawfish pot pie and sweet potato - jalapeño latkes, it's the kind of place the delivers on all fronts.

The Fat Ham

3131 Walnut Street

Located in University City, this is the kind of spot where you can wallow or gorge with a group of friends following the home stretch of final exams. While it's a pork-centric establishment, the fried chicken is extra spicy and served with ranch-coated bread to give you relief from the Southern-grade fire in your mouth. Chef Kevin Sbraga is "Top Chef" winner, too, so you know you're getting the best served from the best.

Café Soho

468 W. Cheltenham Avenue

This is where you'll want to go for the city's best Korean fried chicken and all other morsels of Asian Fusion heaven. You can offset the burning, powdery crisp of those twice-fried chicken wings with a variety of smoothies, milkshakes, fruit juices, and sherbets.

The Twisted Tail

509 South 2nd Street

"Exploring the relationship between fire and food" is a motto guaranteed to deliver across the board. Society Hill's The Twisted Tail is a great place to enjoy the old South's Juke Joint environment of live music and entertainment. Sunday is perfect for brunching on fried chicken served over a sweet potato waffle, but any day you can expect to find honey glazed fried chicken on the bar menu to help settle your bourbon.

Federal Donuts

1632 Sansom St, Philadelphia, PA 19103 and more

This is Philly's all-purpose fried food establishment, with four locations throughout the city and a fifth at Citizens Bank Park in left field. These guys keep it simple and savory with a trifecta of coffee, donuts and chicken to please any customer with any kind of appetite. Seasonings on your fried chicken can include coconut curry, buttermilk ranch or Za'atar, while your glaze options are chili garlic, honey ginger, or sweet soy garlic. Whether you're in South Philly, Center City, West Philly, or North Philly, you can always find a Federal Donuts in reasonable proximity. Good luck moving when you want to get home, though.