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We Went to 8 Restaurants to Find the Best Fast-Food Chicken Sandwich

We sampled this popular menu item from eight restaurants to find out once and for all which one makes the best fast-food chicken sandwich

Chicken Sandwich Group Shot
Kristina Vänni for Taste of Home

In order to find the best fast-food chicken sandwich money can buy, we visited and taste-tested sandwiches from eight different restaurants. To ensure a level playing field and a fair comparison, the original chicken sandwich was ordered at each location. The sandwiches were analyzed by examining the chicken patty itself, the bun and the toppings.

It’s worth noting, however, that many of these fast-food spots also offer a spicy chicken sandwich or other flavor varieties, so don’t feel limited to the original when ordering your own.

Here are the fast-food joints we visited:

  • Burger King
  • Chick-fil-A
  • Culver’s
  • KFC
  • McDonald’s
  • Popeyes
  • Wendy’s
  • White Castle

Keep reading to find out how your favorite chicken sandwich ranked!

Chicken Sandwich White Castle
Kristina Vänni for Taste of Home

8. White Castle

The $2.09 Crispy Chicken Slider from White Castle was the least expensive (and also the smallest) chicken sandwich on our list. These no-frills sammies consist of a bun, a breaded chicken patty and a slice of cheese—no sauce, vegetables or pickles.

The slider-size sandwich was fun to eat and is a perfect-size snack option if you don’t feel like filling up on a whole sandwich—or if you want to try it side-by-side with White Castle’s iconic burger slider! Unfortunately, this was our least favorite chicken sandwich of the bunch. The chicken tasted like a processed patty rather than a battered piece of fresh chicken.

We ordered the Crispy Chicken Slider, but White Castle also offers a Chicken Ring Slider and a Chicken and Waffles Slider, for those who want to experience other chicken sandwich options.

Bottom line: Sliders are always fun to eat, but the White Castle chicken sandwich needs improvement to really compete with others on this list.

Chicken Sandwich Burger King
Kristina Vänni for Taste of Home

7. Burger King

The Burger King Ch’King Original Chicken Sandwich is a newcomer to the fast-food chicken sandwich game. This $5.29 hand-breaded chicken patty is served on a toasted bun with mayonnaise. (It’s worth noting that the Burger King website shows the sandwich also served with pickles, so it is possible ours was not prepared properly.)

We appreciated the hearty piece of chicken in this sandwich, and the well-seasoned patty offered a satisfying crunch. However, it was hard to overlook that the chicken was quite overcooked, resulting in a tough and chewy texture.

In addition to the Ch’King Original Chicken Sandwich, Burger King offers spicy and deluxe versions.

Bottom line: If the chicken wasn’t overcooked and retained more of its moisture, this could have ranked higher on the list.

Chicken Sandwich Mcdonalds
Kristina Vänni for Taste of Home

6. McDonald’s

McDonald’s came out with their Crispy Chicken Sandwich in 2020, and it sells for $4.49. It’s served on a toasted bun with sliced pickles, but without mayonnaise or other sauce.

We enjoyed that the larger piece of chicken hung over the sides of the bun, resulting in a few extra chicken bites. But again, we felt this sandwich was a bit overcooked and lacking moisture. Some mayonnaise would’ve added interest and made up for the lost moisture.

Besides the Crispy Chicken Sandwich, McDonald’s also offers spicy, deluxe and spicy deluxe versions.

Bottom line: McDonald’s is always a convenient fast-food option, but their chicken sandwich didn’t rank as high as others on the list.

Chicken Sandwich Culvers
Kristina Vänni for Taste of Home

5. Culver’s

The Culver’s Crispy Chicken Sandwich sells for $4.29. It’s served on an attractive toasted bun with lettuce, tomato and pickles. There isn’t any mayonnaise on this sandwich, but Culver’s offers a variety of sauces, so you can add what you like to make the sandwich your own.

Even before taking a bite, we appreciated this sandwich being served in a box rather than a bag because it helped protect the bun and kept the sandwich from being crushed in transport. We also enjoyed the burst of freshness from the veggie toppings on the Culver’s sandwich.

However, there was so much lettuce and tomato that it almost started to take away from the chicken, which should be the star. We also felt the chicken patty was a bit under-seasoned.

In addition to the Crispy Chicken Sandwich, Culver’s also offers a spicy version and a grilled chicken sandwich.

Bottom line: The fresh vegetables were a nice contrast to the fried chicken in this sandwich, but the balance of veggies to chicken just felt distracting. Culver’s did, however, do better in our best fast-food burger taste test.

Chicken Sandwich Wendys
Kristina Vänni for Taste of Home

4. Wendy’s

For $5.39, Wendy’s sells their Classic Chicken Sandwich with lettuce, tomato, mayonnaise and pickles on a toasted bun.

In this sandwich, we found there was a nice crunch from the lettuce without overwhelming and taking away from the chicken. The chicken patty was on the thinner side, but the balance with the veggies helped the chicken shine through. The only downside to this sandwich: It tasted more like a processed chicken patty than the hand-battered chicken many have come to expect from fast-food chicken sandwiches.

In addition to the Classic Chicken Sandwich, Wendy’s offers several other flavorful options including spicy, grilled, Asiago Ranch Club, Big Bacon Cheddar and a Hot Honey Chicken Sandwich.

Bottom line: Wendy’s sells a solid chicken sandwich, and we’re excited to try other flavors in the future. A few more tweaks to their recipe and they could be a real contender in the chicken-sandwich game. Until then, you might be better off with a Wendy’s frosty.

Chicken Sandwich Kfc
Kristina Vänni for Taste of Home

3. KFC

KFC is known for its fried chicken, so we were excited to sample their Classic Chicken Sandwich. For $4.99, a pleasantly juicy and well-seasoned chicken patty was served on a toasted bun with mayonnaise and pickles. Aside from the classic option, KFC also offers a spicy version.

The chicken was hearty and crisp, and the sandwich was well balanced. It was definitely an enjoyable sandwich that we would gladly order again.

Bottom line: KFC is a solid player in the fast-food chicken sandwich game, but it’s not a champ yet. While this sandwich certainly satisfied, there were still a couple sandwiches that were even better!

Chicken Sandwich Chick Fil A
Kristina Vänni for Taste of Home

2. Chick-fil-A

While we tested and ranked a total of eight chicken sandwiches, the truth is the fast-food chicken sandwich competition really comes down to our top two contenders, which are truly head and shoulders above the rest. In fact, it was very difficult to decide which sandwich should take the No. 2 and No. 1 slots.

Coming in at the runner-up position for the best fast-food chicken sandwich is the Chick-fil-A Original Chicken Sandwich. It’s sold for $4.75 with pickles and without mayonnaise, served on a perfectly buttered and toasted bun. And for those who crave a sauce, Chick-fil-A offers a bunch of options.

We decided that of all the sandwiches sampled, Chick-fil-A’s was a leading contender, with chicken that was moist and flavorful as well as perfectly seasoned. The sandwich had a great crunch while the toasted and buttered bun kept the sandwich moist and satisfying.

In addition to the Original Chicken Sandwich, Chick-fil-A offers a deluxe chicken sandwich, spicy chicken, spicy deluxe, grilled chicken and a grilled chicken club.

Bottom line: In the end, the best fast-food chicken sandwich comes down to a matter of preference. And for us, there was one sandwich with a slight edge that put it in the No. 1 spot. Keep reading to find out.

Chicken Sandwich Popeye
Kristina Vänni for Taste of Home

1. Popeyes

The Popeyes versus Chick-fil-A war is ongoing, but we’ve finally picked a side. Sliding in at our No. 1 spot for the best fast-food chicken sandwich is the Classic Chicken Sandwich from Popeyes.

Even before taking that first bite, this sandwich won the award for the most visually appealing of the bunch. The pieces of battered chicken were large, and the bun had a lovely sheen. Priced at $4.49, this delicious sandwich was topped with mayonnaise and the most impressive pickles of all the sandwiches we tried.

Early on, we decided that pickles were an essential component to the perfect chicken sandwich. They provide texture, crunch and balance to the fried chicken. We loved the huge slices of pickles on the Popeyes sandwich that covered the whole surface of the bun, ensuring the perfect amount of pickle in each bite. On this sandwich, the fried chicken pieces were large, well battered and offered outstanding crunch.

Besides this Classic Chicken Sandwich, Popeyes offers a spicy version as well as a buffalo ranch chicken sandwich.

Bottom line: The incredible crunch from the battered chicken, as well as the impressive pickles and beautiful bun, made Popeyes the overall best chicken sandwich experience.

Taste of Home
Originally Published on Taste of Home

Kristina Vänni
Internationally recognized culinary authority Kristina Vänni is a well-known food writer, engaging TV host, award-winning recipe developer, and food stylist. In addition to writing for industry-leading food publications, she is a frequent featured expert on national media outlets and has served as a spokesperson and recipe developer for numerous national brands. Kristina is currently writing her first cookbook, an exploration of the traditional and seasonal cuisine from her family's dairy farm in Finland.