AMERICAN SOUTH
Fried Chicken
Heaven Sent Fried Chicken When Ezell Stephens cut loose from Ezell’s Fried Chicken, he opened the nearly identical Heaven Sent, both home to spicy and original chicken, sweet yeasty rolls, and peach cobbler. Right now the performance edge goes to Heaven, which offers a crunchier crust bursting into juicier, more consistently greaseless meat. The newest location in the Rainier Valley even has a few tables. heavensentfriedchicken.com

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CHINA
Fried Butter Garlic Chicken Wings
Hue Ky Mi Gia Teeming with Chinese families all hours of the day, this sunny International District noodle house just happens to fry up the finest chicken in town. For $7 you get a towering pyramid of meaty wings glistening with garlicky chili sauce—you’ll need a fork for the scallions and garlic and crispy bits. huekymigia.com

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JAPAN
Tokyo Classic (with Chicken)
Katsu Burger The Japanese breaded and fried meat for centuries before chef Hajime Sato decided Americans might enjoy those traditional tonkatsu cutlets inside hamburger buns. His sandwiches are massive masterpieces of tempura, panko breadcrumbs, and ingenuity. katsuburger.com

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KOREA
Fried Chicken
Stone Korean Restaurant Bring friends—$17 buys you an entire bird, wings, thighs, and drumsticks piled high after a rendezvous with extra-hot oil that leaves each piece deceptively nongreasy with skin crisp as a potato chip. stonerestaurant.net

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PUERTO RICO
Mofongo con Pollo Frito
El Pilon Some of the best homecooking in town comes from this friendly Rainier Valley dive, where matriarch Doña Marta makes the rarely seen Puerto Rican dish mofongo: garlicky plantains mashed with pork rinds and served with fried chicken. 206-397-3300

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THAILAND
Crispy Garlic Chicken
Buddha Ruksa The signature dish at this sleek, date-nighty West Seattle spot is fried chicken sauteed with caramelized garlic and served with crispy basil leaves. The flavors are vivid; the crust every comfort-lover’s dream—and if the chicken is dry (it sometimes is) it probably won’t be next time. buddharuksa.com

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VIETNAM
Crispy Drunken Chicken Baguette
Baguette Box The sandwich shops that put banh mi on steroids take a heaping helping of drunken chicken (the spicy-juicy signature of mother restaurant Monsoon) and cram the crisp morsels inside a crackling baguette with caramelized onions and cilantro sprigs. baguettebox.com