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Forget Popeye’s: Check out these locally made spicy chicken sandwiches!

Posted on: August 26th, 2019 by Taryn Jeffries No Comments

While Popeye’s and Chik-fil-a are busy fighting over whose spicy chicken sandwich is tops, we’ve over here scouring the city for the best local spicy chicken sandwiches. If you don’t want to buy into the corporate fat cat chicken debate of 2019, you can hit up these locally owned and operated business that are serving up spicy, crispy chicken delights in your backyard. 

PhoenixBites Top Picks for Local Spicy Chicken Sandwiches

Crazi’s Hot Chicken


Crazi’s food truck offers a variety of heat levels for their Nashville style sandwiches, but be forewarned – theirs is what I refer to as creeper heat. At first bite, you’re thinking, “Well, this isn’t so bad”, but then it builds and you’ll be wanting quick access to a cool beverage. The sweetness of the bun helps a little, but you will still want that drink. Crazi’s sandwiches are not on the saucy side so you’ll definitely have a much cleaner bite.

Ginger Monkey Tavern

135 W. Ocotillo Road, Chandler, 85248


I fell in love with Ginger Monkey on my first visit. I saw pesto deviled eggs on their “Appeteasers” list and I was immediately in love. In-line with the restaurants clever creations, Chef Mat Meyer has created the Dawson. The Dawson is a double breaded chicken breast that has been tossed in a house made Sriracha buffalo sauce and then topped with pepper jack cheese, housemade coleslaw and pickles all layered between grilled sourdough bread. If you’re in the East valley, make sure not to miss this spot and special.

The Handlebar Diner

5149 S. Inspirian Parkway, Mesa 85212


We love the Handlebar Diner, not just because of Chef Adam and his commitment to the community, but for the quality of ingredients and dedication to creating a menu accessible to all diners. Case in point: Chef Adam’s spicy fried chicken sandwich is outstanding in the field and he wants you to try it. So much so, that he’s dedicated to donating 25% of the price of his Crispy Clucker throughout the month of September to Against Abuse to help women and children victimized by domestic violence. Even if you’re not into hot chicken sandwiches, go support this restaurant and all that Chef Adam is doing for all of us. 

The Hot Chick

4363 N. 74th St., Scottsdale 85251


The Hot Chick is serving up tasty chicken and groovy 70’s vibes. Your food is ordered and served from a charming camper within the dining space that features cassette tape adorned walls and old school arcade games. While this spot features seven different organic, free-range antibiotic and hormone-free chicken sandwiches, make no mistake there is only one Hot Chick. Their hot chicken offering is crispy, flavorful and all sorts of hot!

Jewel’s Cafe

4041 E. Thomas Road, Phoenix 85018


Chef Justine Dachel takes hot chicken very, very seriously. As the co-founder of the valley’s Hot Chicken Throwdown, you would expect that her version would be, literal, fire. Trust that you will not be disappointed. Want yours in a sandwich? Done! With waffles? Done. If you want traditional, go for the sandwich. If you’re a little trepidatious about the heat, I suggest the chicken and waffles version as the house-made buttermilk syrup might help to temper the heat, if even the slightest bit. 

The Larder + the Delta

200 W. Portland St., Phoenix 85003


Think Tuesday’s are just for tacos? Not at the Larder + the Delta. Chef Stephen Jones is mixing up some very special Nashville hot chicken to go on Tuesdays only. His chicken is perfectly layered with notes of sweet and oh-so-spicy. Make room for this in your schedule, you won’t be disappointed. 

Monroe’s Hot Chicken

45 W. Jefferson St., Phoenix 85003


I mean, its right there in the name, begging you to call on them to get your fix. If you really want to get burned in the best possible way, you need to get yourself a taste of the Nashville Hot Chicken sandwich at Monroe’s. They lace their bone-in chicken breast with the heat of cayenne pepper. This isn’t some quasi-spicy sauced dolloped on top of fried chicken. The heat here really permeates the chicken from the crispy skin all the way into the juicy meat. 

Mrs. Chicken

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Introducing Mrs. Chicken!

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4011 N. 32nd St,. Phoenix 85018


Want to get in on all the hot chicken action, but not sure if you can handle the heat? Mrs. Chicken offers you five different heat levels to ease your way into the fire. The levels range from classic all the way to XXXHot in which you must sign a waiver if you want to attempt it. 

Outta Bronx

4105 E. McDowell Rd., Phoenix 85005


Outta Bronx is all about serving up authentic New York style deli sandwiches and while the hot chicken sandwich isn’t synonymous with NY, they are definitely doing their interpretation justice. They start with a buttery French baguette and layer on crispy chicken breast, fried pickled jalapenos, melted jalapeno jack cheese and dress it with lettuce, tomato and spicy mayo. Not the traditional Nashville Hot Chick, but still spicy and delicious. (I also hear that their French fry combos are bomb!)

Do you have a favorite local spot to feed your spicy chicken sandwich craving? Tell us about it!

About the Author - Taryn Jeffries

Editor and Chief Eating Officer of PhoenixBites, 2017 Food Writer of the Year (Arizona Culinary Hall of Fame) Taryn grew up in a small town in Illinois with a doting Grandmother who taught her the way around a kitchen and that food is representative of love. Her current quest is to find the love in local dishes and the chefs behind them. In addition to running all things PhoenixBites, Taryn is also a freelance writer, sharing her insight on the best dishes and where to get them each and every month.

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