Although the birria craze appears to be going strong, the popularity of chicken sandwiches in Los Angeles hasn't ever been overtaken. These are the best six chicken sandos in the city, including vegan varieties in order of clucking-awesomeness.
6. Wolfie's Hot Chicken (Highland Park/Banc of California Stadium)
Wolfie's Hot Chicken is your home for 100% plant-based good eating. They have four different Chicken Sandwiches, including one rotating flavor and standards with Nashville and Memphis rubs. The four heat levels range from Mild to Spicy AF and feature a ranch slaw that is so good that you'll be spooning up any that fall off your sesame seed bun. These sandwiches are almost too savory, but the next day, I found myself craving another.
Order Details: Sandwiches are $14 each and can be ordered through the website or with your favorite delivery apps.
5. Rockbird (Glendale)
Rockbird comes from the Skaf brothers, whose family is behind one of the most popular restaurants in Glendale for Lebanese food, Skaf's. It's taken them a little time to find their stride, but these sandwiches are finally taking flight. They offer seven different flavors of chicken sandwiches which you can get either fried or grilled. Flavors include a Fried Wok Bird with Sriracha mayo and sweet chili glaze, a Fried Honey Bird, and a Fried Heater Sandwich with house blend spice rub, among others. There are no heat levels, and I found the Fried Heater to be very spicy, so much so that I dipped it in a leftover white sauce packet from The Halal Guys - I just might be starting a trend here :). Stick with the Wok Bird if you're a spice lightweight like me or get a grilled Fried Heater for a milder kick.
Order Details: Order pick-up directly from their website and get on the list for discounts. They are also on the major delivery apps. The cost for all Sandwiches is $10 through their website.
4. Cluck & Blaze (Glendale/Long Beach)
Cluck & Blaze specializes in "authentic Nashville-style hot chicken" and offers a simple menu consisting of Main Chick, Side Chick (tender instead of a breast), and Plan B (includes cheese, tots, and eggs). They are all served with Comeback Sauce, and the five heat levels range from Chicken (no heat) to Better Call Mom (extra hot). I went with Better (medium), and it was just right.
Order Details: Order on their website for pickup or delivery from Grubhub. Other delivery apps are also available. The Main Chick is $11.99.
3. For the Win (Hollywood/Glendale/Whittier)
For the Win is from the masterminds behind the French bistro Papilles in Hollywood. They opened this daytime shop out of the Papilles space and served only burgers and sandwiches during the pandemic. Now it's so popular that it has completely taken over Papilles, and they've opened two new locations. Choose between a Fried Chicken Sandwich or the Deluxe version with lettuce and tomato. Both are served on a Martin's potato bun, and that squishy-crunchy combo might be what makes it my favorite everyday chicken sandwich.
Order Details: Order online for pick-up; seating is limited in Hollywood. Delivery is available through Doordash. The Sandwich is $9, and the Deluxe is $10.
2. Howlin' Rays (Chinatown/Pasadena)
Lauded as L.A.'s hottest chicken, this Nashville chain has taken the Fear of Missing Out Foodie scene by storm since they first parked their food truck in 2015. Previously, you'd have to stand in line at the Chinatown location for hours to get your hands on a sandwich. It even helped spawn an industry of professional line placeholders! However, the rise of the pre-order and the Pasadena location have made it possible to eat a Sando and still do something else productive with your day. The six heat levels range from Country to Howlin' - personally, I like a Medium and can barely stand a Medium Plus.
Order Details: For the love of chicken, use Postmates if you want to avoid a line at Howlin' Rays. Dine-in is currently unavailable. The Sando with comeback sauce and pickles on a butter bun is $13.
daybird (Virgil Village)
The Szechuan Hot Chicken Sando from Chef Mei Lin (Nightshade) is the most complex and DELICIOUS fried chicken sandwich in Los Angeles. It's a Jidori chicken thigh fried in rice bran oil and topped with a slaw featuring pickled chillis. Fans rave that it's the crispiest chicken (even after a drive home) with the most delicious rub and memorable slaw. The five heat levels range from No Heat to Extreme, and it's the kind of sandwich you will be thinking of days after you eat it.
Order Details: Place an online order through their website to beat the crowds. The Sando costs $16.