The Sunrise
Kessler’s Favorite

The Sunrise

Roost Chicken & Biscuits

Photos: Jeff Marini

Bird breakdown:A thick, juicy Nashville-spiced breast with bacon, cheddar, and a runny egg on a biscuit

Spice level:3 out of 4

Crunch factor:Outstanding, especially given the diner breakfast heaped on top

The skinny:An impeccable fry job finds the center of the crispy-juicy Venn diagram and earns this sandwich top honors. Plus, the egg stayed runny, and the biscuit is tender enough to impress your Southern meemaw. for locations


The Cambodian Chicken Sandwich

The Cambodian Chicken Sandwich


Bird breakdown:A thigh marinated in a spicy paste of lemongrass, ginger, and galangal, breaded in rice flour, and topped with a green papaya salad

Spice level:2 out of 4

Crunch factor:Pretty much nil. The thin dusting of rice flour crisps up only at the edges.

The skinny:Could be juicier, but the marinade lends such a deep flavor you don’t care, and the zippy papaya salad — with slivers of lime, peel and all — and minced chiles provide freshness and upfront heat that amp up the marinade’s burn.

4356 W. Armitage Ave., Hermosa


The Crispy Fried Chicken Sandwich

The Crispy Fried Chicken Sandwich

GG’s Chicken Shop

Bird breakdown:A pounded-tender breast that keeps its moistness thanks to a buttermilk brine, with spicy mayo, spicy honey, bread and butter pickles, and shredded cabbage on a brioche bun

Spice level:1 out of 4

Crunch factor:Good. The craggy crust stays crisp from bag to car to home.

The skinny:It was conceived by no less a chicken maestro than Boka’s Lee Wolen, so the construction is solid: You get a bit of each topping in every bite. Think of it as a fast-food sandwich gone to finishing school.

1729 N. Halsted St., Lincoln Park; pickup and delivery only


The THC Sando

The THC Sando


Bird breakdown:A heavily dredged thigh just back from a tour of Asia, with Indian tandoori spices, Korean gochujang aïoli, Filipino atchara (pickled green papaya), and a Japanese moniker

Spice level:1½ out of 4

Crunch factor:Impressive, considering how slicked with sauce this thing is

The skinny:It’s sweet and easygoing at first, with an after-throb of chile. This is a glop-a-thon of a sandwich, but a delicious one.

850 W. Superior St., West Town; pickup and delivery only


The Nashville Fried Chicken Sandwich

The Nashville Fried Chicken Sandwich

Fry the Coop

Bird breakdown:An oversize breast topped with slaw, special sauce, and pickles. (There are six in-house heat levels, topping out at “lil insanity,” but even the “hot” level 4 will give you hiccups.)

Spice level:4 out of 4

Crunch factor:A heavy dose of red pepper in the dredge darkens and, unfortunately, decrunchifies the chicken.

The skinny:The breast is dry, though the garnishes help, and the buttered and toasted brioche bun offers a textural contrast. for locations


The Big Boss

The Big Boss

Big Boss Spicy Fried Chicken

Bird breakdown:An enormous thigh that juts so far from its bun it could make a pork tenderloin cutlet envious, flavored with chef Jassy Lee’s Belizean (and Nashville-level-hot) marinade and topped with slaw and slivered raw jalapeños

Spice level:3 out of 4

Crunch factor:Very high, thanks to a crackly breading that seems to take on a life of its own

The skinny:The “hot” (at the middle of five in-house heat levels) packs a backslap but doesn’t flatten you, and while the meat impresses with its size — it’s so big it needs an oblong box — sadly, it’s as dry as that box.

2520 S. Halsted St., Bridgeport