Fort Smith, AR

Clucking Good Time: Exploring the Best Places for Chicken in Fort Smith, Arkansas

Cameron Eittreim

Fort Smith, Arkansas is a city that prides itself on its local culture and cuisine. One of the most beloved aspects of the city's dining scene is the abundance of family-owned restaurants, particularly those specializing in chicken dishes. In this article, we'll take a closer look at some of the top family-owned chicken restaurants in Fort Smith, and what sets them apart.

Ed Walker's Drive-In

Ed Walker's Drive-In is a classic American diner that has been family-owned since 1948. Their fried chicken is a local favorite, with a crispy, flavorful batter and tender, juicy meat. Ed Walker's also serves burgers, hot dogs, and classic diner sides like onion rings and tater tots. The restaurant has a vintage atmosphere, with carhops delivering food to cars and a jukebox playing oldies hits.

Benson's Grill

Benson's Grill is another long-standing family-owned restaurant in Fort Smith, known for its classic diner fare and southern-style chicken dishes. Their fried chicken is cooked to perfection, with a crunchy, well-seasoned crust and moist, flavorful meat. Benson's also serves a range of sandwiches, burgers, and breakfast items, making it a popular spot for any meal of the day.

Calico County

Calico County is a family-owned restaurant that has been serving up southern comfort food since 1984. Their chicken-fried chicken is a signature dish, featuring a boneless chicken breast that is breaded and fried to crispy perfection. Calico County also offers a range of other chicken dishes, like grilled chicken salad, chicken quesadillas, and chicken-fried steak. The restaurant has a cozy, rustic atmosphere, with vintage decor and a fireplace in the dining room.

Gus's World Famous Fried Chicken

While not family-owned, Gus's World Famous Fried Chicken is a beloved chicken restaurant that has been serving up its famous spicy fried chicken since the 1950s. Their chicken is seasoned with a secret blend of spices and fried to a crispy, golden perfection. Gus's also serves a variety of classic southern sides like mac and cheese, fried okra, and coleslaw.

Slim Chickens

Slim Chickens is a fast-casual chicken restaurant that originated in Fayetteville, Arkansas, and has since expanded to multiple locations throughout the region. Their chicken tenders, wings, and sandwiches are made from fresh, all-natural chicken and cooked to order. Slim Chickens also offers a variety of dipping sauces, like honey mustard, ranch, and buffalo.

In conclusion, Fort Smith's family-owned chicken restaurants are an integral part of the city's dining scene, and offer some of the best fried chicken in the state. From classic diners to cozy cafes, these restaurants are a testament to the city's rich history and culture, and are a must-visit for anyone looking to sample some delicious southern cuisine.

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I own Greenwood Janitorial and The Voice of Greenwood and I enjoy traveling all around the country and this beautiful state. Bylines in Taste of Home, Lifewire, and more.

Greenwood, Arkansas

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