11 DC-Area Fried Chicken Sandwiches to Eat Instead of Popeyes

You don't have to stand in line!

The fried chicken sandwich at Lucky Buns. Photo by Scott Suchman

Last week, Popeyes released its first fried chicken sandwich in 47 years. Then the internet exploded, people freaked out, local stores ran dry, and now a Maryland man is selling day-old Popeyes chicken sandwiches for $100. Ah, 2019. While we wait for this particular moment in history to pass, here are 11 awesome fried chicken sandwiches to try around DC.

Astro Donuts and Fried Chicken
1308 G St., NW; 7511 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church
If you didn’t think fried chicken belonged between two donuts, well, think again. These grab-and-go counters (with a beer hall coming soon) in DC and Tysons offer a build-your-own sandwich on savory donuts, which you can top with everything from pickles to eggs to Sriracha.

2000 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
This casual Indian small plates spot—which shares a chef with Rasika—serves a spiced chicken sandwich paired with a beet-tomato chutney at its Foggy Bottom location.

Birds Eye
1800 14th St. NW
Birds Eye, a daytime cafe located inside the Southeast Asian restaurant Doi Moi, features a buttermilk fried chicken sandwich accented with Thai basil, kaffir-lime, and chili salt.

Chicken and Whiskey
1738 14th St. NW
The South American joint (with a secret bar in the back) offers a jumbo-sized sandwich, with pollo frito on a jalapeño/cheddar roll.

Hot Lola’s spicy fried chicken sandwich with a chicken fat-griddled bun, homemade slaw, and pickles. Photograph courtesy of Hot Lola’s

801 O St. NW
Cedric Maupillier’s French-American restaurant dishes up a classic fried chicken sandwich at lunch, and pairs it with coleslaw, fries, and a green salad.

Hot Lola’s
4238 Wilson Blvd., Arlington
Kevin Tien’s fast-casual stand in Ballston Quarter blends Szechuan cuisine with Nashville hot chicken. Its signature fried chicken sandwich is made with chicken thigh, slaw, pickles, and “comeback sauce.” Choose from five spice levels—we’re partial to the “O.G. Hot.”

Little Pearl
921 Pennsylvania Ave. SE
From 10 AM to 2:30 PM, Aaron Silverman’s Capitol Hill cafe offers a a spicy chicken sandwich with Yemeni hot sauce, pickles, and bibb lettuce.

Lucky Buns
2000 18th St. NW
Make your way to this funky Adams Morgan burger pub for its fried-chicken katsu sandwich, layered with sweet katsu sauce, slaw, nori, and pickled radish.

Mason Dixie Biscuit Co.
1819 Seventh St., NW
This Southern eatery slings breakfast chicken and biscuit sandwiches, plus six different fried variations at lunch, including a cheesy bacon avocado.

Fried chicken biscuit sandwich at Mason Dixie Biscuit Co. Photograph by Jai Williams.
Fried chicken biscuit sandwich at Mason Dixie Biscuit Co. Photograph by Jai Williams.

Stomping Ground
2309 Mount Vernon Ave., Alexandria; 2001 International Dr., McLean
Nicole Jones’s biscuit shops—in Del Ray and Tysons Galleria—showcase two chicken sandwiches. The “classic” comes with pimento cheese and house pickles; the “not so classic” arrives with tahini and hot sauce.

139 Spring St., Herndon
This hot-chicken spot is only open on weekdays, and make sure you get there early—lines often wind around to the back door. Wooboi offers six spice levels to their chicken—you have to sign a waiver if you order the most fiery of the lot—and adds slaw and pickles to a potato bun.

Kalina Newman
Editorial Fellow

Kalina Newman is an editorial fellow for Washingtonian. Previously, she covered metro news for the Boston Globe. Her work has appeared in ARLnow, DCist, and the Washington City Paper. Kalina graduated from Boston University in 2019 with a degree in journalism.