Where to find the best chicken tenders in Louisville, KY


One of City Editor Sarah’s favorite tenders comes from Hillcrest Tavern. | Photo by LOUtoday

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They’re crispy, they’re golden, and Louisville has lots of opinions on where to get them. We’re talking about chicken tenders.

Sarah here, I put out an ask on Facebook several weeks ago seeking the best locally fried chicken tenders in the city and ~177 people commented on the post. So let’s get into it. We’re serving you the best tenders in the 502 divided by neighborhood.


First String Bar and Grill, 5921 New Cut Rd.

This sports + karaoke bar not only offers a classic chicken tender basket, it also serves a fried pepperoni appetizerwhich has piqued our interest.


80/20 @ Kaelin’s Restaurant, 1801 Newburg Rd.

Though Kaelin’s is known for being the birthplace of the cheeseburger, its tenders are equally important to the local foodie community. We love them with buffalo sauce.

Camp Taylor

Louie’s Hot Chicken & Barbecue, 4222 Poplar Level Rd.

Tenders here come in sets of three + you can add an extra tendie for $1.50.

Clifton-Irish Hill

Chik’n & Mi, 1765 Mellwood Ave.

While Chik’n doesn’t technically offer tenders, it’s been written up as having the best fried chicken in the state + we especially love the chicken nuggetsa close cousin to the tendie — tossed with sweet soy sauce.

Crescent Hill

The Fishery, 3624 Lexington Rd.

With a banner outside boldly proclaiming, “The best chicken tenders in the city,” Louisvillians seem to agree that the fried chicken strips here aren’t messing around.

Joella’s Hot Chicken, 3400 Frankfort Ave.

These fried tenders are served best at the “hot but not scary” level + you can get them vegan.

Frankfort Avenue Beer Depot, 3204 Frankfort Ave.

While this smokehouse is known for its barbecue, it’s chicken tenders are certainly up to scratch. Pro tip: Get the chicken tenders catered for your next gathering — 75 tendies are only $70.

Hillcrest Tavern, 3212 Frankfort Ave.

This behemoth basket of breaded goodness comes with hush puppies, fries + a heap of crispy chicken tenders. You can eat on this for days.


Cunningham’s Creekside, 6301 River Rd.

Facebook user Jean Demars T. recommended getting the tenders extra crispy + adding on a side of onion rings at this riverside eatery.

Indian Hills

KingFish, 3021 River Rd.

Grab your tender basket in the dining room on the river or from the restaurant’s food truck, On The Rocks.


Brownies The Shed Bar & Grille, 9900 Linn Station Rd.

These all-white meat tenders are breaded with Lay’s Potato Chips + served with your choice of dipping sauce.


Wicks, 3348 Hikes Ln.

It’s more than just pizza that this local staple is known for — it also offers its “Wicky Tenders,” in non-traditional flavors like bourbon sriracha, teriyaki, and roasted garlic. Though classic BBQ + buffalo sauces are available as well.


Great Flood Brewing, 12717 Shelbyville Rd.

These tenders are served with country gravy + honey mustard, and Facebook user Meagan J. said her chicken tender snob teenager said these are the best.


Derby City Gaming, 4520 Poplar Level Rd.

Work up an appetite on one of the 1,000 horse racing games then snag the jumbo tendersoffered in four different heat levels — at Railbirds Hot Chicken.

Old Louisville-Limerick

Daddy Rich’s, 617 W. Oak St.

Chicken wings are the main staple at this fast-casual restaurant, but Facebook user Kyle N. said the tenders here converted them from being a wings-only person.

Seasoned Pub & Grill, 6021 Timber Ridge Dr.

This Prospect-based eatery is the first recommendation we’ve seen offer grilled tenders in addition to the classic fried variety.

Phoenix Hill-Butchertown

Royal’s Hot Chicken, 736 E. Market St.

These tenders hardly need an introduction — you can get them as a sandwich, taco, or on top of a plate of gooey mac and cheese. They’re best enjoyed hot. We’ll take your extra pickles.


Platinum Food Mart, 1025 W. Broadway

Facebook user Harry D. commented that the Krispy Krunch chicken served here is a must-try.

St. Matthews

Texas Roadhouse, 5005 Shelbyville Rd.

Louisvillians have a lot of love for this locally-based chain’s “critters” — aka chicken fingers — and you can get them at five different locations across the city.

Jaggers, 6464 New Dutchmans Pkwy.

These exquisite tenders were conceived by the same minds at Texas Roadhouse and you can get a modest 4-piece or up the ante and get 100 tendies for $109.

Bonus: Several users also recommended Fireside Bar & Grill in Sellersburg, IN. Though it’s not technically Louisville, since City Editor Katie grew up there, we’re not afraid to take our tender hunt across the river.

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