You don’t need to travel down south to get your soul food fix. Love & Honey Fried Chicken brings the flavor to Fishtown with carefully crafted cuisine, homey ambiance, and warm service. Owners Todd and Laura Lyon have built a brick–walled shop that's certainly something special. Each aspect of the dining experience enhances the next and engages your senses, from the comforting smell of the food to the funky music and the welcoming personnel.
There’s no getting around it: the chicken is the star of the show. Todd has spent years refining his chicken recipe, and his hard work has paid off. He says it all starts with the quality of the chicken, which is completely free–range and devoid of any hormones or antibiotics. Each piece goes through an eight–hour brine before finally being coated with the Lyons’ secret recipe and then placed in the fryer. The result is the fried chicken of your dreams. The skin is perfection: salty and crunchy and topped with a touch of honey drizzle that makes your taste buds sing. You’ve never known happiness like this. But hold on—it’s not over yet. Once you crack through that shell, you find meat that is unerringly soft, juicy, and briny. The two textures dance cleanly in your mouth, without any excess grease or fat.
You have the option of getting either three pieces or six pieces with your meal, although three is definitely enough for one person. And what’s truly commendable about the Lyons’ product is the fact that you don’t walk away from it feeling like you’d expect—that is, bloated, regretful, and a little bit ashamed. For fried chicken, Love & Honey is remarkably clean cuisine.
Even though the chicken is the main attraction of Love & Honey, the sides hold their own like it’s nobody’s business. The cornbread muffins that come with each three–piece and six–piece order are sweet without being saccharine, and the salted honey butter that comes with each muffin takes this side to a whole new level.
A quick tip about another side at Love & Honey: forget everything you know about coleslaw. Most restaurants treat slaw as a throwaway side, serving you some cabbage swimming in mayo that you ignore and push to the edge of your plate while trying to enjoy your entrée. One more time for the people in the back: forget everything you know about coleslaw. Love & Honey’s slaw tastes unbelievably fresh with its homemade buttermilk ranch base coupled with the surprising addition of dill into the mix. It’s the perfect companion to the slight sweetness of the fried chicken. Don’t sleep on it.
As far as the mac and cheese goes, its creaminess and lightness in flavor is reminiscent of a macaroni or potato salad. So if you’re a mac salad fan, this side is for you. We even tested our theory and took the mac and cheese home with us for leftovers, popping it in the fridge. The next morning was cold macaroni paradise. In comparison to the cornbread and the slaw, the mac and cheese isn’t the star of the show, but it’s a testament to the quality of Love & Honey Fried Chicken where a satisfying and high quality side like the mac and cheese isn’t even the best one.
It’s common practice for a restaurant to outsource all their desserts to a local bakery, but as we already discovered from the first part of our meal, Love & Honey is anything but common. The chicken joint’s selection of four pies (a sweet potato, a coconut cream, an apple, and a special pie of the month) are all made in house and garnished in front of you with fresh toppings. If you want something classic, you can’t go wrong with the apple pie with its moist–without–being–soggy apples and dollop of fresh whipped cream on top. But you truly can’t leave the shop without at least trying a bite of the sweet potato or coconut cream pies. Imagine a Thanksgiving dinner in heaven—these two pies are being served for dessert. Both were fluffy yet somehow still rich in flavor, and the toasted marshmallow fluff on top of the sweet potato is everything you’d want in this world. While it’s tempting to finish a piece of pie on your own, these desserts are the perfect size to be shared. Bring a friend, grab two forks, and dig in.