Tampa, FL

How Spicy Can You Handle?? The Best Nashville Hot Chicken in the Tampa Bay Area

Collegeandchocolate

If you've been part of the food scene in the Tampa area recently, you may have heard of King of the Coop. If you haven't, do not worry because I have all the information on where you can find the best hot chicken in Tampa. King of the Coop opened their doors around a similar time to when I began food blogging, and now I have been back at least once a month. The owner has an infectious personality and if you have the chance to talk to him and meet him, you will see how much he loves his business and his customers.

King of the Coop opened their first restaurant on N. Florida a couple years ago. Since then, they have been absolutely booming with business, and they fought through the pandemic with the help of the Tampa community supporting their locally owned business, they were now able to open their second restaurant in Wesley Chapel. Their new location is a great addition to their growing business. It has huge ceilings, a gorgeous free-handed mural, an open kitchen, plenty of seating indoors and soon to be outdoors. Even the bathroom has hilarious little paintings and quotes and there are portraits of rap legends surrounding the restaurant.

King of the Coop is famous for their Nashville style Hot fried chicken and has every right to be, because this chicken cannot be beat. Each piece of juicy chicken is battered in the King of the Coop unique breading before dropped in the piping fryer to create that golden and crispy finish. You can order the chicken as tenders, as a sandwich, or even on top of waffles!! King of the Coop recently changed their breading recipe so it is now completely gluten free which just expands the basis of customers that they can reach. But this new breading does not lack on flavor despite having no gluten. Instead, it is even better, slightly sweet and extremely spicy. Depending on how much your taste buds can handle, the flavor profiles come in several heat levels from

  • Naked: Salt and Pepper (0/10)
  • The Biddy which is "all flavor and no spice" (2/10)
  • Midway: Biddy Oil and Nashville Spice (6/10)
  • Nashville hot: Their Signature heat (8/10)
  • The Coop's Fury which is blended with Habanero powder for an extremely fiery kick. (12/10)

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King of the Coops makes all of their meals right in house. You can order a chicken tender basket with as many chicken tenders as you want. I always order extra because the leftovers taste just as good for lunch the next day (especially if you have an air fryer to help make them extra crispy again). Each basket is served with their housemade King's sauce, a slice of potato bread and homemade pickles. Some of the meals such as the chicken tenders and sandwiches come with their hand cut fries which are absolutely amazing. Not only does King of the Coop have my favorite Nashville Fried Chicken but they also have my favorite fries in the entire Tampa Bay area.

King of the Coop also has a variety of handhelds all of which are unique in their own way but you cannot go wrong with any of them. Each sandwich on their menu gets more and more complex depending on how you like it. If you want to start simple, choose the Hen. This includes two nashville hot chicken tenders and king sauce on a toasty potato bun.

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Then one step from the Hen, is the Dirty Bird. This sandwich adds on an extra layer of pimento cheese for a creamy layer which is absolutely incredible. The pimento cheese adds a little kick but tons and tons of flavor. If you are a coleslaw lover, go for the Classic Nashville Chicken Sandwich.

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Then of course, the most complex is my personal favorite sandwich on their menu. And this is the King Mac which is a large Nashville Hot Chicken Sandwich layered with a hefty amount of the creamiest Mac n Cheese, pimento cheese, incredible cole slaw and two chicken tenders of your choice.

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If you are in the mood for something other than chicken, King of the Coop serves a mean cornmeal breaded Mississippi Catfish. The Fish is always cooked perfectly and the catfish pairs perfectly with their breading.

To end your meal, King of the Coop has recently dropped their famous dessert too because they are now even offering some sweeter options for those of us with quite the sweet tooth. Drizzle some maple syrup all over your chicken and waffles for the classic southern sweet and savory combination or end your meal off with some of "not your mama's nana pudding" which has blown everyone's minds. It is made with nilla wafers, bananas, vanilla creme and bourbon banana jam and it is absolutely droolworthy. They have recently begun to outsource their desserts to a local baker that brings her homemade desserts fresh and new to each King of the Coop location everyday and they are AMAZING. My favorite is the alll new creamy chocolate and peanut butter trifle.

You can pair the meal with some sweet tea, kool-aid or lemonade and you have the best ever southern fried chicken meal.

I asked you how spicy you can handle? If you think you can go all the way, I challenge you to compete in their Take the Throne Challenge. This challenge includes 5 tenders drenched in Nashville OIl, Caroline Reaper Pepper Poweder, and Kings sauce. If you can finish this in 10 minutes along with fries, pickles, potato bread and a water, you will be throned King of the Coop. Do you have what it takes??

If their chicken was not enticing enough for you to come visit, they also run an incredible Friday deal!! I highly recommend going on a Friday where you can add Tenders (up to 3) to your order for only $1.00 each!! I always add 3 extra for lunch the next day:) So really you get two meals for an extremely low price. It is the best of all worlds.

Next time you are craving some fried chicken, head over to King of the Coop!! Follow me if you are looking for more local small businesses to support. Our Tampa community is absolutely killing the food game and I want to help you find the best spots.

With love and good food,

CollegeandChocolate

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My mission is to share my passion of food and help you to find and support local businesses

Tampa, FL
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