Best of Miami

Miami's Best Chicken Sandwiches

Chicken sandwiches are blowing up for a good reason. It’s all about texture. Burgers rely on the delicate interplay between juicy beef (if the right cuts are used), melty cheese, and toasted buns. Chicken sandwiches pack the flavor.

Though Danny Meyer's Shake Shack and David Chang’s Fuku grab headlines in NYC for their poultry, Miami has no lack of crisp, juicy sandwiches.

Chicken Parmesan hero ($9.25) at Kings County Pizza & Heroes
This one is a classic. If for some reason you forgo the crisp-crusted Brooklyn-style slice, this saucy-and-cheesy-as-hell sandwich is the one for you. There’s the toasted bread and the thin-pounded meat with a breaded herby crumb. Forget tomato, lettuce, or any other topping. The stretchy mozzarella and tangy tomato sauce are all you need.

Pollo chi jau kay ($9.99) at Mr. & Mrs. Bun
This quaint West Kendall sangwich spot tucks Peru and its Asian influences into an airy homemade bread called pan cholo. The part-focaccia, part-kaiser roll is filled with a pair of fried chicken thighs dressed with a salty-sweet combination of soy sauce, oyster sauce, sesame oil, and Chinese five-spice powder to add a chifa, or Chinese-Peruvian, option to the menu. A smattering of spicy encurtido helps round out each bite. It’s worth the drive.

Crispy chicken sammich ($8) at GastroPod
If any Miami chicken sandwich could give Chang and Meyer a run for their money, it would be Jeremiah Bullfrog’s creation. He marinates chicken thighs in a spicy, umami-laced Korean chili paste called gochujang before frying them to a shattering crunch. They’re perched on a fluffy potato bun and topped with piquant house-made pickles. Nothing else is needed.

Chicken cordon Jew ($14) at Josh’s Delicatessen & Appetizing
At his so-called fake deli, Josh Marcus toes the line of insanity with this concoction. Fried chicken, cheese, pickles, and homemade slaw come stacked on a kaiser roll. But the addition of fatty slabs of house-made pastrami is the reason every seat is filled on weekends at his Surfside spot. This sandwich is meant to be consumed the moment Marcus sets it down — it doesn’t take long for the pastrami’s succulent juices to soak the crisp chicken and bun.

Chicken crisper sandwich ($9) at the Rolling Stove
When Troy Thomas’ flame-wrapped food truck shows up, you’d better hurry. His chicken crisper is the most popular item, and it sells out quickly. He’s even considering replacing some of his burgers with more chicken sandwiches. But the main event here is a borderline-pornographic work of heart-stopping art. Chicken is breaded with pulverized Cap’n Crunch cereal, fried, and plunked on a thick slice of Texas toast. On it go sticky caramelized onion, crunchy slaw, and a slice of cheddar. It’s the only meal you’ll need (and should eat) for the day.

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Zachary Fagenson became the New Times Broward-Palm Beach restaurant critic in 2012 before taking up the post for Miami in 2014. He also works as a correspondent for Reuters.
Contact: Zachary Fagenson