When it comes to planning my travels, I love to get recommendations from friends, and everyone kept telling me to go to Hattie B’s for Nashville Hot Chicken. We knew that there would be a line out the door (I think the line is so constant that it is practically a Nashville landmark). In an attempt to beat the long lines, we went to the West location of Hattie B’s, instead of the original Midtown location, and we only had to wait in line for 30 minutes on a Saturday.
The menu at Hattie B’s consists of fried chicken and sides. You can get white meat, dark meat, tenders, or a sandwich, and you can pick your spice level (Mild – Shut the Cluck Up). My friend Jocelyn had given us really specific instructions to order a Mild or Medium spice level because the Hot is really hot. There are several sides to choose from including Southern classics like mac and cheese, greens, black-eyed peas, French fries, and coleslaw. If you don’t like chicken, Hattie B’s probably isn’t the place for you.
I had the chicken sandwich (with mild level heat) with a side of mac and cheese and a PBR. The sandwich consists of juicy crunchy fried chicken topped with coleslaw and pickles on a soft bun. I ate every bite. Charles had the Nashville hot fried chicken (medium heat) with a side of Southern Greens. We also got a side of ranch dressing which helped to cut the spice.
Hattie B’s was so good, that I returned two days later. This time, I got to sit down with Chef Brian Morris who explained that Hattie B’s was named after the owner’s daughter, who is now five years old. The Nashville Hot spice mix is proprietary to Hattie B’s, as is the seasoning for the French fries. I ordered the small fried chicken (dark meat, medium spice) and sides of the mac and cheese and french fries. The French fries are some of the best I have tasted – the crinkle cut gives the fries more surface area making them crispier, and the slightly spicy salt mix was wonderful. I found the dipping the fries in ranch was a delightful combination.
If you are visiting Nashville, definitely add Hattie B’s to your itinerary. The restaurant has a cult-like following, and for good reason. Their Nashville Hot Chicken is just that good.
Hattie B’s has two locations in Nashville, plus a location in Birmingham, and they are expanding to Atlanta.