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Prime Picks Winners: Fried Chicken

These Mile High masters won your votes for crispy poultry

Nothing is more American than fried chicken. Isn’t that what they say? That’s what we say, anyway! As a primer for the upcoming Chicken Fight Fest (and because we’re just addicted to the chicken), we’re paying homage to the best crispy cluck in Denver/Boulder. Your votes, your voice—here are the results.

The Post Fried Chicken

Photo courtesy of The Post Chicken & Beer

Number 1 Fried Chicken: The Post Chicken & Beer {multiple locations in the Front Range}
A delicious outpost of the Big Red F family of restaurants (Jax, West End Tavern, Centro, ZOLO, and others), The Post is keenly aware of their fried chicken prowess—and they should be. Chef Brett Smith spends his culinary acumen on recreating the grandmotherly Southern cuisine you never had. And with a concept as simple as beer and chicken, the focus is sharp and the execution pristine. Drop by with the family—because this really is a family-friend spot—and go full cluck with the Whole Fried Bird to share, complete with flaky biscuits, collards, and grits (or mac and cheese if you’re an ooey-gooey kind of person). With breading that’s lacy-crispy; meat that’s juicy, plump, and full of flavor; and sides that never take a back seat, The Post’s fried chicken feast is guaranteed heaven on a plate. Just don’t forget a pint of that house-brewed lager to wash it all down.

[Brunch O’Clock: Post Chicken & Beer]

Fried Chicken at Steuben's

Photo courtesy of Steuben’s

Number 2 Fried Chicken: Steuben’s {523 East 17th Avenue, Denver; 303.830.1001}
We’ve always had a soft spot for the Steuben’s family—and for the Wolkons, who also gave Denver the iconic Vesta and, more recently, Ace. At Steuben’s, though, history weaves through both the name and the menu—in fact, the name comes from a Boston restaurant/nightclub that pulsed in the ’40s, ’50s, and ’60s. In Denver, the name is synonymous with American regional comforts—many of which resonate with Southern palates. No surprise, then, that fried chicken is one of their staples. Keeping it simple, Steuben’s serves their rendition with a heaping helping of mashed potatoes and (of course) thick gravy. What’s the secret? Brining, breading, and the quality of the meat—but no secrets shall be revealed. Just dock on their patio along 17th with a Rock & Rye cocktail and ready your appetite for some of the best-fried chicken this side of South.

Block & Larder Fried Chicken Dinner

Photo courtesy of Block & Larder

Number 3 Fried Chicken: Block & Larder {4000 Tennyson Street, Denver; 303.433.4063}
Neighborhood comes first at Highland’s Block & Larder, where the menu really does run the gamut from traditional to avant-garde. Quality, however, is clearly tops, and extends from the simple to the sublime. But let’s talk chicken. Where else is there a dedicated fried chicken menu? Seriously: Sundays between 4-9pm, guests can enjoy two pieces of house specialty fried chicken, potato wedges, coleslaw, and mac and cheese served family-style. As one enthusiastic Yelper recently noted: “This is some of the best-fried chicken I’ve had in Denver.” Not much we can add to that—except, be sure to sample a few of B&L’s delectable whiskeys (yes, they’re available in half pours). Next to beer, it’s the perfect pairing for fried chicken feasting.

Runners-up: Under the Sun, Denver Biscuit Company, and The Lobby

Congrats to the winners! Keep an eye on diningout.com for June’s Prime Picks contest!

By Jeffrey Steen, Managing Editor