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Where to Find Nashville Hot Chicken in San Diego

This regional style is heating up the fried chicken landscape

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It’s safe to say that the Nashville hot chicken craze has taken hold in San Diego. Characterized by a seasoning blend that includes cayenne, brown sugar, chili powder, garlic powder, and paprika, hot chicken offers a major kick to the tastebuds that takes regular fried chicken to another level. Luckily, at least a dozen San Diego restaurants specialize solely in Nashville hot chicken or have added it to their menu lineup, offering locals a taste of this iconic dish via takeout or outdoor dining. Did we miss your favorite spot? Let us know in the comments below.

A number of San Diego restaurants have resumed outdoor dining. However, this should not be taken as endorsement for dining in, as there are still safety concerns: For updated information on coronavirus cases in your area, please visit San Diego’s coronavirus tracker. Studies indicate that there is a lower exposure risk when outdoors, but the level of risk involved with patio dining is contingent on restaurants following strict social distancing and other safety guidelines.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

BT's Southern BBQ

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BBQ is in the name but rest assured Nashville chicken sandwiches are on the menu. The chicken patty is either served fried or smoked and the spice level is adjusted to your preferences.

Regents Pizzeria

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Regents Pizzeria specializes in authentic regional pizzas like Chicago and New York, and they set their eyes on Nashville for their take on the hot chicken sandwich. Their version is a six-ounce chicken breast fried in tempura batter and slathered in one of four spicy sauces.

Main Chick

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A choice of white or dark meat chicken sandwich is what sets this Clairemont restaurant apart from competitors. Also on the menu are the de rigueur chicken tenders as well as sides like coleslaw, crinkle cut fries and mac ‘n’ cheese.

Cross Street Chicken and Beer

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Cross Street serves 12 varieties of wings and tenders, and while most choices meld Korean flavors, Nashville-style hot chicken is on a completely different realm. If your appetite is craving a Nashville-style sandwich instead, they’ve got you covered.

Dave's Hot Chicken

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Originally a pop-up concept in East Hollywood, Dave’s Hot Chicken became a sensation garnering lines, eventually opening several brick-and-mortars in Los Angeles. The restaurant chain set its sights on San Diego with a spot in Pacific Beach with more planned. Their version of Nashville-style chicken can be customized with seven spice levels ranging from no spice to Reaper, and served in a slider or as boneless tenders.

Terra American Bistro

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Terra American Bistro spans a wide range of classic American dishes and they’ve taken on the iconic Nashville hot chicken sandwich. Available only on the dinner menu, it features Nashville hot oil, Sriracha comeback sauce, citrus slaw and pickles.

Jolene's Wings & Beer

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This ghost kitchen operates within Lazy Dog Kitchen in Mission Valley, meaning you’ll have to call ahead to place an order for chicken wings. The Nashville hot is the spiciest of the eight varieties available at Jolene’s and is available with or without bones.

Southern Comfort Casual Kitchen

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Southern classics reign over the menu but for Nashville hot chicken, you’ll find it in sandwich form. Available in spicy or “hot as hell,” each chicken piece is marinated in the the restaurant’s four-pepper brine and hand-breaded.

StreetCar Merchants Chicken Bar

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Fried chicken is cooked-to-order here in a variety of styles including Nashville hot. Along with boneless chicken fingers, chicken can be ordered by the bird (half or whole), pieces (white or dark) and even gluten-free. Tack on sides like waffles, salted watermelon, fried green tomatoes and other Southern dishes to complete your meal.

FireBirds Chicken

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San Diego’s own homegrown FireBirds touts Nashville-style hot chicken at its City Heights location. Chicken tenders grace sandwiches incorporating King’s Hawaiian buns or garlic toast, sliders, mac ‘n’ cheese and loaded fries.

Baba's Hot Chicken

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Baba’s hot chicken promises an authentic version of the Nashville speciality, incorporating halal chicken coated in imported spices, fried in peanut oil and seasonings adjusted to either mild, medium or hot. Order the hot chicken in sandwiches, as tenders or sliders, and pair them with fries or mac ‘n’ cheese.

Common Stock

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Nashville hot chicken is among the daily dinner specials at this Hillcrest restaurant. Each dish comes with your choice of buttermilk slaw or herbed cheddar waffle.

Corner Chicken East Village

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East Village’s answer to Nashville-style hot chicken is Corner Chicken, where they tout cage-free, hormone-free and antibiotic-free birds coated in five different spice levels. Sandwiches and tenders headline the menu but there’s also a hot chicken salad.

BT's Southern BBQ

BBQ is in the name but rest assured Nashville chicken sandwiches are on the menu. The chicken patty is either served fried or smoked and the spice level is adjusted to your preferences.

Regents Pizzeria

Regents Pizzeria specializes in authentic regional pizzas like Chicago and New York, and they set their eyes on Nashville for their take on the hot chicken sandwich. Their version is a six-ounce chicken breast fried in tempura batter and slathered in one of four spicy sauces.

Main Chick

A choice of white or dark meat chicken sandwich is what sets this Clairemont restaurant apart from competitors. Also on the menu are the de rigueur chicken tenders as well as sides like coleslaw, crinkle cut fries and mac ‘n’ cheese.

Cross Street Chicken and Beer

Cross Street serves 12 varieties of wings and tenders, and while most choices meld Korean flavors, Nashville-style hot chicken is on a completely different realm. If your appetite is craving a Nashville-style sandwich instead, they’ve got you covered.

Dave's Hot Chicken

Originally a pop-up concept in East Hollywood, Dave’s Hot Chicken became a sensation garnering lines, eventually opening several brick-and-mortars in Los Angeles. The restaurant chain set its sights on San Diego with a spot in Pacific Beach with more planned. Their version of Nashville-style chicken can be customized with seven spice levels ranging from no spice to Reaper, and served in a slider or as boneless tenders.

Terra American Bistro

Terra American Bistro spans a wide range of classic American dishes and they’ve taken on the iconic Nashville hot chicken sandwich. Available only on the dinner menu, it features Nashville hot oil, Sriracha comeback sauce, citrus slaw and pickles.

Jolene's Wings & Beer

This ghost kitchen operates within Lazy Dog Kitchen in Mission Valley, meaning you’ll have to call ahead to place an order for chicken wings. The Nashville hot is the spiciest of the eight varieties available at Jolene’s and is available with or without bones.

Southern Comfort Casual Kitchen

Southern classics reign over the menu but for Nashville hot chicken, you’ll find it in sandwich form. Available in spicy or “hot as hell,” each chicken piece is marinated in the the restaurant’s four-pepper brine and hand-breaded.

StreetCar Merchants Chicken Bar

Fried chicken is cooked-to-order here in a variety of styles including Nashville hot. Along with boneless chicken fingers, chicken can be ordered by the bird (half or whole), pieces (white or dark) and even gluten-free. Tack on sides like waffles, salted watermelon, fried green tomatoes and other Southern dishes to complete your meal.

FireBirds Chicken

San Diego’s own homegrown FireBirds touts Nashville-style hot chicken at its City Heights location. Chicken tenders grace sandwiches incorporating King’s Hawaiian buns or garlic toast, sliders, mac ‘n’ cheese and loaded fries.

Baba's Hot Chicken

Baba’s hot chicken promises an authentic version of the Nashville speciality, incorporating halal chicken coated in imported spices, fried in peanut oil and seasonings adjusted to either mild, medium or hot. Order the hot chicken in sandwiches, as tenders or sliders, and pair them with fries or mac ‘n’ cheese.

Common Stock

Nashville hot chicken is among the daily dinner specials at this Hillcrest restaurant. Each dish comes with your choice of buttermilk slaw or herbed cheddar waffle.

Corner Chicken East Village

East Village’s answer to Nashville-style hot chicken is Corner Chicken, where they tout cage-free, hormone-free and antibiotic-free birds coated in five different spice levels. Sandwiches and tenders headline the menu but there’s also a hot chicken salad.

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