Parson’s Chicken & Fish
2952 W. Armitage Ave., 773-384-3333, parsonschickenandfish.com
Best new: Since Parson’s opened in mid-May, the wait for one of its 40 inside seats has clocked in at upward of two hours—rain or shine. What the cluck is going on in there? Some kick-ass cornmeal-crusted fried chicken, that’s what. True, this joint has more than the usual suspects—you’ve never seen a shaved vegetable salad or hirame appetizer at Harold’s, have you?—but fried chicken rules the roost. The white meat oozes almost as much juice as the dark, and after a couple of bites a warm peppery glow fills your mouth. Follow the crowd and wash it down with a Negroni Slushy.
Bavette’s Bar & Boeuf
218 W. Kinzie St., 312-624-8154, bavetteschicago.com
Best overall: The fried chicken at this nouveau steak house—with a coat of absolute crunch and not a speck of oil in sight—is the juiciest, most sophisticated bird in town.