A chicken sandwich can take many forms, from grilled cutlets and chopped-up chicken salad to gloriously golden deep-fried chicken. Whether served on a bun or inside a wrap, it's a simple, satisfying American standby.
While the exact origins of the chicken sandwich are extremely murky, American restaurants have been serving them in some form for almost a century. One of the earliest mentions of a fried chicken sandwich appeared in a newspaper advertisement for the Booker T Café in Topeka, Kan., all the way back in 1936.
While you can find a great chicken sandwich at pretty much every fast food chain (but maybe not at Taco Bell), there are also a lot of juicy, craveable chicken sandwiches at sit-down restaurants across the country, too. In fact, many of your favorite full-service chains are serving not-so-humble chicken creations between the bread right now.
Here, we've rounded some of the best of them, so you know what to order the next time you're out for a meal.
Cheesecake Factory Spicy Crispy Chicken Sandwich
With its famously robust menu, it's hardly a surprise that the Cheesecake Factory offers a fantastic chicken sandwich. The restaurant's spicy chicken sandwich features a crispy fried fillet with melted cheese, lettuce and tomato, served on an airy brioche bun. You can choose between spicy buffalo sauce or spicy mayo to top.
Texas Roadhouse Mushroom Jack Chicken Sandwich
A chicken sandwich at a steakhouse? Absolutely! Texas Roadhouse serves a sandwich made with fresh chicken breast that's topped with sautéed mushrooms. melted jack cheese, lettuce, tomato, and onion served on a Texas-sized bun with steak fries and a pickle spear. You can add cheddar cheese and bacon or even Texas red chili to your fries if you're really hungry!
Carrabba's Italian Grill Chicken Caprese Sandwich
This grilled chicken sandwich, from the popular Italian chain with around 200 locations, is the perfect pick-me-up on a busy workday. Chicken cutlets are topped with fresh milk mozzarella, tomatoes, fresh basil, pesto with pine nuts and walnuts on a baked ciabatta roll. This hearty sandwich also comes with your choice of cup of soup, side salad, side of French fries, penne pomodoro, or sauteed broccoli.
LongHorn Steakhouse Crispy Buttermilk Chicken Sandwich
Another favorite steakhouse, LongHorn offers an excellent crispy buttermilk chicken sandwich, which is not only delicious, it's a great deal. The sandwich is made from chicken breast hand-breaded and fried to order, topped with lettuce, onion, tomato, pickles and house made ranch on a toasted potato bun. Then, for under ten dollars, you also get your choice of sides, including a loaded baked potato, shrimp and lobster chowder, or steakhouse mac 'n' cheese.
Maggiano's Little Italy Chicken Parmesan Sandwich
Only available at lunch, this breaded patty, smothered in marinara and provolone, is worth taking an extended lunch break for. Served on a grinder-style roll, the sandwich lives up to Maggiano's reputation for large portion sizes. You can get it with Vesuvio potatoes and add a side house, Caesar, or Italian salad for a few dollars more.
Del Frisco's Grille Southern Fried Chicken Sandwich
Nutrition information unavailable
The more casual outpost of the Del Frisco's brand offers a nearly perfect fried chicken sandwich topped with shaved lettuce, red onions, and finished with a spicy truffle citrus mayo that adds the perfect amount of brightness to contrast the crisp of the fried chicken. With 73 locations across 16 states in the U.S., Del Frisco's Restaurant Group also operates Del Frisco's Double Eagle Steak House, Barcelona Wine Bar, and Bartaco.
Cheddar's Scratch Kitchen Buttermilk Fried Chicken Sandwich
Based out of Irving, Texas, this chain is known for making everything on its menu from scratch, which is exactly how you should want a buttermilk fried chicken sandwich to be made. Fresh from the fryer and super crispy, Cheddar's version is made with hand-breaded buttermilk fried chicken and served on a toasted bun with lettuce, tomato, mayo, and American cheese. You'll also get a hearty side of fries.
Buffalo Wild Wings Buffalo Ranch Chicken Sandwich
If anyone knows chicken, it's B-dubs, and the buffalo ranch chicken sandwich shows this prolific sports bar chain is more than just a wing master. Hand-breaded chicken is topped with shredded lettuce and tomato, drizzled with buffalo sauce and ranch on a fluffy challah bun, for what's basically a giant boneless buffalo wing on a bun.
Outback Steakhouse Bloomin' Fried Chicken Sandwich
Bloomin' onion fans, we've got important news for you: Outback's chicken sandwich is hand-battered in the Aussie-themed chain's signature Bloomin' onion seasoning, deep fried and drizzled with spicy signature bloom sauce, then topped with house-made pickles, onion, lettuce and tomato. You can also get the chicken grilled instead of fried, and the sandwich comes with a steakhouse side of your choice.
Chili's Bacon Avocado Grilled Chicken Sandwich
With more than 1,500 locations around the U.S., chances are you've had a chicken sandwich at this massively popular chain. If you haven't, you should try the bacon avocado grilled chicken sandwich during your next visit. This grilled chicken sandwich has it all in the toppings department: bacon, Swiss cheese, sautéed onions, lettuce, tomato, and mayo, piled high on a toasted buttery roll. This umami bomb of a sandwich comes with an order of fries, making it a meal for lunch or dinner.