If You Can Get Your Hands on One, the Popeyes Chicken Sandwich Truly Is the Best Around
The sandwich, the myth, the legend: The Popeyes chicken sandwich puts all other fast-food options to shame. After Popeyes locations across the country kept selling out of the new offering since its release on Monday, I had to try it myself—and I discovered it’s worth the hype.
As The New Yorker explained, this is Popeyes’ first sandwich option since the chain introduced the now-discontinued chicken po-boy in 2003. But the fact that it keeps selling out shows just how much demand there is for a new fried chicken sandwich at fast-food chains, even if Popeyes’ competitors think otherwise. The Popeyes chicken sandwich is better than what you’d get at a sit-down restaurant, and for a fraction of the price.
What’s in the Popeyes chicken sandwich?
Popeyes keeps it simple, with a brioche bun, a fried chicken patty, pickles, and mayo. (The spicy version contains, fittingly, a spice-laden mayo topping.) At the Popeyes location I visited in Manhattan, both the spicy and regular sandwiches I ordered had one pickle slice each, although they look more pickle-laden in the Popeyes press photos.
And for $3.99, the Popeyes chicken sandwich is a total steal. The chicken patty is absolutely huge—I could barely finish half of one sandwich, and I’m not a dainty eater. You could easily leave Popeyes satiated with just this sandwich and no side dishes (though you’d be missing out on the chain’s delicious red rice and beans). For under $5, especially in New York, that’s no easy feat.
How does the Popeyes chicken sandwich taste?
To put it simply, Popeyes blows its competition out of the water. The chicken is crunchy but not overly greasy. The bun is thick, but it’s not drowning in butter like the ones at Chick-fil-A. And the spicy chicken sandwich has a nice kick, but it’s considerably less spicy than the one at Chick-fil-A. The sandwich is also much better than the press photos let on—my sandwich had a bigger chicken filet and way less sauce.
At Chick-fil-A, I top my chicken sandwich with Chick-fil-A sauce or ranch, depending on whether I get the original or the spicy sandwich. And while I love Popeyes ranch, I didn’t feel the need to use much of it this time around. The chicken speaks for itself at Popeyes, more than at Chick-fil-A or McDonald’s. It’s perfect on its own, and the mayo doesn’t overpower it or detract from the chicken’s simple goodness.
Personally, I’ll keep visiting the chain for individual pieces of fried chicken—I like being able to dip them in Popeyes’ sauces and to isolate the chicken on its own. (The sandwiches also take seven minutes to prepare, while the fried chicken sits ready-made under a heat lamp, so you’re not saving time by ordering the sandwich, either.) But if you’re in the market for fast-food fried chicken, Popeyes should be your first stop. This massive sandwich is juicy and flavorful, whether you choose the original or the spicy version.