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Don't Chicken Out of the Fried Chicken Trail

The South is renowned for its delicious comfort food, and no comfort food is more famous than fried chicken. Fried chicken as we know it was born in Kentucky (you know KFC, right?), but chefs throughout the Bluegrass State have sought to dethrone the Colonel. Riding the Fried Chicken Trail around the heart of Kentucky can give you a taste of what these aspiring cooks have come up with so far.

The trail runs in a circular path, connecting Lexington, Louisville, and the restaurants in between and south. Bring an empty stomach, a stuffed wallet, and, if you want to make a game out of it, a scorecard. Make a wonderful day out of Kentucky's finest cuisine.

Hop on the trail wherever you are staying! When talking about each restaurant, we will be moving clockwise around the trail.


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Chicken King of Louisville
639 East Broadway. Louisville
Chicken Prices: $13-$20

The Chicken King of Louisville is the perfect place to start your trail. The quality of fried chicken is very nice with a good balance between breading and meat. Additionally, you can try an assortment of classic southern sides like mashed potatoes, mac and cheese, and green beans.

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Chicken King of Louisville
639 East Broadway. Louisville
Chicken Prices: $13-$20

The Chicken King of Louisville is the perfect place to start your trail. The quality of fried chicken is very nice with a good balance between breading and meat. Additionally, you can try an assortment of classic southern sides like mashed potatoes, mac and cheese, and green beans.

Shirley Mae's Cafe & Bar
802 South Clay St. Louisville
Chicken Prices: $10-$11

Only Accepts Cash

Shirley's lies in the heart of Louisville, where Kentuckians have gone for delightful comfort food. The owner of the restaurant (from whom it gets its name) has been working hard for the past 32 years to satisfy all her customers. If you love local businesses with a vibrant community, you'll adore her restaurant and its food will leave you singing!

Image may be subject to copyright
Image may be subject to copyright

Shirley Mae's Cafe & Bar
802 South Clay St. Louisville
Chicken Prices: $10-$11

Only Accepts Cash

Shirley's lies in the heart of Louisville, where Kentuckians have gone for delightful comfort food. The owner of the restaurant (from whom it gets its name) has been working hard for the past 32 years to satisfy all her customers. If you love local businesses with a vibrant community, you'll adore her restaurant and its food will leave you singing!

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Claudia Sanders Dinner House
3202 Shelbyville Rd. Shelbyville
Chicken Prices: $11-$17

Continuing the Sanders' cooking legacy, the Claudia Sanders Dinner House serves up high-quality chicken at an affordable price. It's a worthwhile stop between Louisville and Lexington. It even has an all-you-can-eat fried chicken buffet for a cheap $17! What a steal!

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Claudia Sanders Dinner House
3202 Shelbyville Rd. Shelbyville
Chicken Prices: $11-$17

Continuing the Sanders' cooking legacy, the Claudia Sanders Dinner House serves up high-quality chicken at an affordable price. It's a worthwhile stop between Louisville and Lexington. It even has an all-you-can-eat fried chicken buffet for a cheap $17! What a steal!

Local Feed
214 S Water St. Georgetown
Chicken Prices: $13-$23

Local Feed has the highest caliber of food we've seen yet. Delve your taste buds into a whole new take on traditional southern cuisine. The fried chicken here becomes more experimental than in other restaurants, but that makes for an exciting experience! Traditional fried chicken is a bit more expensive here than in other restaurants. Our personal favorite is the fried chicken and waffles. You'll feel like royalty.

Image may be subject to copyright
Image may be subject to copyright

Local Feed
214 S Water St. Georgetown
Chicken Prices: $13-$23

Local Feed has the highest caliber of food we've seen yet. Delve your taste buds into a whole new take on traditional southern cuisine. The fried chicken here becomes more experimental than in other restaurants, but that makes for an exciting experience! Traditional fried chicken is a bit more expensive here than in other restaurants. Our personal favorite is the fried chicken and waffles. You'll feel like royalty.

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Gus's World Famous Fried Chicken
321 E Vine St. Lexington
Chicken Prices: $10-$20

While Gus's World Famous Fried Chicken lies throughout the east side of the United States, many people have still never tried it before. This smaller chain has become increasingly popular over the years for its tasty chicken at a reasonable price.

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Gus's World Famous Fried Chicken
321 E Vine St. Lexington
Chicken Prices: $10-$20

While Gus's World Famous Fried Chicken lies throughout the east side of the United States, many people have still never tried it before. This smaller chain has become increasingly popular over the years for its tasty chicken at a reasonable price.

Parkette Drive-In
1230 E New Circle Rd. Lexington
Chicken Prices: $11-$20

Want amazing food, but don't want to leave your car? At Parkette Drive-in, you can do the ordering and the eating from the comfort of your own vehicle. The 50s style restaurant will transport you back to the emergence of fast food, jukeboxes, and old-fashioned rock and roll.

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Image may be subject to copyright

Parkette Drive-In
1230 E New Circle Rd. Lexington
Chicken Prices: $11-$20

Want amazing food, but don't want to leave your car? At Parkette Drive-in, you can do the ordering and the eating from the comfort of your own vehicle. The 50s style restaurant will transport you back to the emergence of fast food, jukeboxes, and old-fashioned rock and roll.

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Blue Isle Home-Style Restaurant & Bar
410 Boone Ave. Winchester
Chicken Prices: $12

This small-town, family-owned restaurant offers five-star food that you wouldn't believe. They also have a small bar for those who want drinks alongside their chicken. It's a great last impression of the Lexington area.

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Blue Isle Home-Style Restaurant & Bar
410 Boone Ave. Winchester
Chicken Prices: $12

This small-town, family-owned restaurant offers five-star food that you wouldn't believe. They also have a small bar for those who want drinks alongside their chicken. It's a great last impression of the Lexington area.

Harland Sanders Cafe
688 U.S. Hwy 25 W. Corbin
Chicken Prices: $10-$15

Harland is often where people cap off their trail. Though furthest off the beaten path, Harland Sanders Cafe is where Colonel Sanders opened his first restaurant. It's part restaurant, part museum, and it goes into details regarding his restaurant's success.

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Image may be subject to copyright

Harland Sanders Cafe
688 U.S. Hwy 25 W. Corbin
Chicken Prices: $10-$15

Harland is often where people cap off their trail. Though furthest off the beaten path, Harland Sanders Cafe is where Colonel Sanders opened his first restaurant. It's part restaurant, part museum, and it goes into details regarding his restaurant's success.

Image may be subject to copyright

Kurtz Restaurant
418 East Stephen Foster Ave. Bardstown
Chicken Prices: $18-25

As you circle back toward Louisville, you must stop at the Kurtz Restaurant. This adorable inn has some of the best food in Kentucky. It's been around for nearly 90 years, and continues to serve high-quality fried chicken to hungry customers.

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Kurtz Restaurant
418 East Stephen Foster Ave. Bardstown
Chicken Prices: $18-25

As you circle back toward Louisville, you must stop at the Kurtz Restaurant. This adorable inn has some of the best food in Kentucky. It's been around for nearly 90 years, and continues to serve high-quality fried chicken to hungry customers.

While the trail is long, the experience is well worth it. Not only will you be able to try many delicious takes on a beloved dish, but you will also learn a bit more about the Colonel and the culture of Kentucky. The Fried Chicken Trail is one worth trekking through.

Still want more of Kentucky?

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Dive into Newport Aquarium!

Take your family to meet fishy friends in this fantastical aquarium! You can 'sea' whatever you want.

Embark on a Haunted Adventure

The Bluegrass State is known for its rich history, and with that comes some spooky sights. If you are feeling like you need a scare, pick up a flashlight and go on one of these ghost hunts.

Best Summer Music Festivals in Kentucky

Music is important to Kentuckians, and we love to share it with our tourists. Find a concert near you!

Dive into Newport Aquarium!

Take your family to meet fishy friends in this fantastical aquarium! You can 'sea' whatever you want.

Embark on a Haunted Adventure

The Bluegrass State is known for its rich history, and with that comes some spooky sights. If you are feeling like you need a scare, pick up a flashlight and go on one of these ghost hunts.