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10 Of The Best Fried Foods In Chicago

By Anthony Todd in Food on Apr 18, 2017 6:32PM

There’s a time and a place for eating healthy. There’s also a case to be made for indulging, abating hangovers and straight-up doing what you want. In that spirit, we’ve culled a list of our favorite fried foods. Whether it’s chicken you crave or a fried ramen burger you seek, there’s a gut-bomb that’s sure to match your mood.

Read on and drool over some of our favorites. Then check your calorie-counting at the door.

By Jennifer Olvera

Mozzarella Sticks via Roots Pizza

Fried Mozzarella Sticks at Roots Handmade Pizza
Fried mozzarella sticks are a pretty ubiquitous offering. But at Roots Handmade Pizza, these anything-but-ordinary fried logs contain oozy, house-made mozzarella that’s cloaked in crackly, garlic-herbed breadcrumbs. Although you may be tempted to make it a double, don’t overlook the Quad City-style pies.

Roots Handmade Pizza is located at 1924 W. Chicago Ave. and at 2200 W. Lawrence Ave.

Fried Shrimp at Calumet Fisheries
Join locals as they pluck wood-smoked chubs—as well as excellent fried shrimp—from sacks at landmark, standing-room-only Calumet Fisheries, enjoying it all on the side of the road while barges pass below the Blues Brothers bridge.

Calumet Fisheries is located at 3259 E. 95th St.

Fried Chicken at Peach's Restaurant
Bronzeville staple Peach’s Restaurant is lauded for its classic and creative, Southern-tinged breakfast, which includes 7-Up pancakes, duck bacon and breakfast sliders served with peach-bourbon compote. It’s all good, though the peppery, destination-worthy fried chicken wings — served with cinnamon French toast and sweet honey butter — are reason alone to go.

Peach’s Restaurant is located at 4652 S. King Dr.

Ramen Burger at Tokio Pub. Photo via Facebook.

Ramen Burger at Tokio Pub

Sometimes you have a taste for a burger. Other times, nothing but a ramen burger will do. At Shaw’s adjunct Tokio Pub, a crispy noodle-based hand-held cradles a soy molasses-sauced beef patty, bitter mizuna greens and green onion. Go for broke and get a ginger mojito or yuzu margarita to wash it down.

Tokio Pub is at The Streets of Woodfield, 1900 E. Higgins Rd., #2, Schaumburg.

Fried Bacon at Paddy Longs

Bacon makes just about everything taste better. So, at Paddy Long’s, bacon understandably gets menu real estate all its own. While you might be drawn to the bacon board — a sampler of Irish, hickory smoked, cracked pepper and Danish varieties — it’s the beer-battered, cracked pepper-laced, applewood-smoked appetizer you’ll want to depend on.

Paddy Long’s is located at 1028 W. Diversey Pkwy.

Photo via Parts and Labor

Fried Twinkie at Parts and Labor

Fried food need not be relegated to the savory side. The deep-fried Twinkie at Parts and Labor makes a strong case for that. Order yourself a griddled burger first, have the twinkie for dessert and don’t bother feeling guilty about the raspberry sauce and whipped cream that tops your saccharine finale — by then it’s a moot point.

Parts and Labor is at 2700 N. Milwaukee Ave.

Fried Mac & Cheese at Cheesie's. Photo via Facebook.

Fried Mac & Cheese at Cheesie’s Pub & Grub

It’s all cheese, all the time at Cheesie’s Pub & Grub. Not surprisingly, gooey fried mac and cheese bites should definitely kick things off — even if you can shift gears and get battered cheese curds, fried pickles and loaded tots instead. Then, it’s on to a Merkts mac and cheese-stuffed grilled cheese, if you please.

Cheesie’s Pub & Grub has a food truck, plus brick and mortar locations at 622 Davis St., Evanston, 958 W. Belmont Ave. and 1365 N. Milwaukee Ave.

Corn Dogs at Chicago's Dog House

There are hot dogs — like the myriad classic and inventive kinds at Chicago’s Dog House — and then there are corn dogs. Here, you can tackle a near-endless array of the former and an impressive version of the latter. Cloaked in a “secret recipe” batter, these handmade lovelies are battered until golden and just begging to be dipped in a dollop of tangy yellow mustard.

Chicago’s Dog House is at 816 W. Fullerton Ave.

Fried pickles (and other goodies) at Barn & Company. Photo via Facebook.

Fried Pickles at Barn & Company

Do you appreciate a little tang in your fried fare? The fried pickle spears at Lincoln Park’s Barn & Company more than satisfy that need. Given their juicy, zingy interior, shatteringly crunchy, beer-battered panko exterior and jalapeno-zapped ranch dipping sauce for creamy contrast, you’re sure to be smitten.

Barn & Company is located at 950 W. Wrightwood Ave.

Fried Chicken Wings at Great Sea

Although there’s nothing particularly inspiring about the setting of cash-only Chinese-Korean hybrid Great Sea, you’d be wise to hit the ATM to enjoy some of the best spicy chicken wings in Chicago. The frenched drumettes (gampongi) look like chicken lollipops and they’re swathed in addictive, tangy-sweet chili sauce.

Great Sea is at 3254 W. Lawrence Ave.