To find the best fried chicken in the city, look no further than across the South Street Bridge and down six blocks. Originally, when I had called Andy’s Chicken to ask if I could make a reservation, the woman on the line—slightly taken aback—told me it would be unnecessary. As I walked into 2108 South Street, it became clear why: Andy’s Chicken is a low–key eatery with two benches painted bright blue and a modest kitchen with about three employees. It’s the sort of neighborhood place where it wouldn’t be weird if a stranger next to you in line started talking to you. The TV on the exposed–brick wall was playing a 90s and 2000s Pandora station filled with Weezer and Green Day hits. There are several things reminiscent of Federal Donuts: the painted bright colored walls and the cute little T–shirts sold with a geometric chicken logo emblazoned across the front..
However, as soon as I got my order of original fried chicken with six sauce samples, it became clear that their chicken far exceeds Federal Donuts’. Honestly, when I first saw them advertising “Korean style fried chicken,” I was consumed by a weird kind of food regionalism. I’m Korean so I might be biased, but Korean fried chicken is the best fried chicken—similar to people from Chicago claiming that deep dish pizza made anywhere else isn't real. I walked into Andy’s Chicken thinking “try me,” but they did and succeeded. The scent of the chicken laid out in front of me was unmistakably Korean. This is the real deal, folks.
After taking in the scent imported from 7,000 miles away, I tried each of the six sauces: sweet chili, hot & spicy, honey garlic, sweet BBQ, cajun, and soy. The sweet chili, sweet BBQ, and soy sauces taste exactly as their names would lead you to expect—it’s hard to go wrong with those. The honey garlic wasn’t quite like I remembered it, but it might be worth the try if you want a break from the usual spicy sauces. On the other hand, the cajun sauce wasn’t particularly memorable. The real star was the hot & spicy sauce: a little grainier than the others, it was a perfect mixture of spicy and sweet, softening the chicken crust and putting a twang in the flavor. You can even choose between two levels of spice to challenge your hard–trained tongue. So next time you want a little challenge or want to see what good fried chicken is actually like, head over to Andy’s Chicken
TL;DR: Actually good Korean fried chicken, certified by a Korean, born and raised.
Location: 2108 South Street
Tuesday–Sunday: 12 pm–9 pm