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Hattie B’s Hot Chicken

Hattie B’s Hot Chicken has crafted a reputation for serving up some of the best hot chicken in town, drawing locals and visitors alike with its perfect blend of heat and flavor. From the sizzling spice levels to the mouthwatering sides, Hattie B’s is more than a dining destination; it’s a Nashville culinary institution that promises an unforgettable, and perhaps sweat-inducing, experience for those seeking a true taste of Music City.

Hattie B's Chicken sign on door.

Nashville is known for many things. Music, arts and culture; a booming tourism industry; and yes, the world-famous hot chicken recipe born right here in Tennessee. Nashville’s Hot Chicken Recipe is so iconic that it has practically earned its own designation on the National Register of Historic Places – but what exactly is “hot chicken” you might ask?

The answer to this question can be found at Hattie B’s Hot Chicken, where they have taken the beloved Southern dish and made it their own with a perfect balance of spice, flavor, crunchy coating, and moist meat.

On a layover of sorts in Nashville with several hours and hungry bellies to fill, my friend Jennifer from Sweet T Makes Three and I made our way to Hattie B’s.  The decision was made while we were deplaning at BNA and we asked some guys about where to eat.  They both responded with Hattie B’s and smiled.

Hattie B's Hot Chicken building.

We were in Nashville on a Saturday, so it only took us about 20 minutes to get to there from the airport.  We came in on Broadway and saw the sign.  We parked in the parking lot behind Hattie B’s/Gigi’s Cupcakes.

My first inclination was that it was Saturday and we wouldn’t have to pay for parking.  We proceeded to the entrance and discovered that the wait time was approximately an hour.

Lynda and Jennifer waiting in line.

Fortunately, I thought better and decided to go check out the parking situation.  I stood in line to pay while the parking attendant came to the lot.  On a Saturday.  I told her I was in line to pay and narrowly escaped getting a boot on my car.  (Tip:  Be sure to pay for parking!  The $18 fee is cheaper and less hassle than a boot and up to a $50 fine.)

Water cooler outside restaurant for customers waiting in line.

Even in October, it gets hot in Nashville.  Super hot.  There were two bright orange coolers with cups outside of the restaurant to keep soon-to-be patrons hydrated.

People peddling and drinking beer.

One benefit of waiting is that you can do some people-watching in Nashville.  We saw several of these Nashville Pedal Tavern‘s go by us while we waited.

Door to Hattie B's.

One thing you will notice from the door to the menu is a little bit of snarkiness via a nod to the restaurant’s star – chicken.

Beer bottle with head on top.

The counter is only a few feet deep into the restaurant, while the line outside snakes its way across the front and down the street.  Once inside, it doesn’t take that long before you can place your order.

The Menu

Hattie B’s menu is a refreshing change from the typical chicken joint.  Yes, you can get a plate of chicken with either white meat or dark and order chicken tenders, wings, or a sandwich. However, the heat level is up to you – Southern (no heat), Mild (a touch of heat), Medium (warming up), Hot! (feel the heat), Damn hot!! (fire starter), and for those brave souls who dare, Shut the cluck up!!! (burn notice).

What also makes this joint different are the sides and desserts.  With each plate, diners can choose two sides:  southern greens, crinkle-cut fries, pimento mac & cheese, baked beans, red skin potato salad, creamy coleslaw, and black-eyed pea salad.  All plates come with a slice of bread and pickle slices.

Desserts include banana pudding, peach cobbler, floats (root beer and Coke), and ice cream.

Menu Item Only at Hattie B’s

Want to try something different? Dirty Bird Fries are a concoction of seasoned crinkle-cut French fries, pimento cheese, and dark meat tender bites topped with Nashville Comeback Sauce, green onions, and kosher pickles. You get to choose your level of heat with this unique dish, just like the other Hattie B’s chicken items.


My friend and I both ordered chicken tenders.  Jennifer was a brave soul and got hers “HOT” while I opted for “Medium.”  For our sides, we both ordered a side of black-eyed pea salad and for our other side dish, Jenn ordered the pimento mac & cheese while I got the red skin potato salad.

People in line at the counter.

Jennifer and I had not eaten since breakfast when we were in Florida and we were hungry.  By the time we ordered, it was nearly 4 o’clock.

After waiting an hour in line and paying an exorbitant parking fee, I couldn’t help but wonder if it was worth it.  I think subconsciously I was thinking, “Please, Lord.  Let it be worth it!”

Basket of chicken tenders, bread, and potato salad.

After we ordered and paid, we found a table and sat down.  We placed the number that we were given on our table and waited roughly 10-15 minutes for our food to arrive.

The chicken was hot (temperature-wise) and juicy!  Not only was the chicken good, but the sides were, too.  I would order the same meal again.  And again.

Bowl of black eyed peas.

Jennifer also ordered the banana pudding, which came to us with two spoons.  So it was like a sign from above that I HAD to try that, too.  I am happy to report that for only $3, the pudding is worth the splurge.

Bowl of banana pudding.

We ate there on a day that Ed Sheeran was going to perform in Nashville.  We suspect that might be why the line was still wrapped around the building after we finished (around 4:30ish).

Public display of affection in front of Hattie B's.

The Hattie B’s location at the corner of Broadway and 19th Street was the first Hattie B’s location.  You can now get their famous Nashville Hot Chicken in Birmingham, Atlanta, Memphis, Nashville West, Nashville Melrose, and Las Vegas.

Hattie B's and Gigi's cupcakes sign.

Hattie B’s has been featured on the Food Network, the Travel Channel, and on USA Today.  If you can’t make it to a location, you can try making it at home thanks to this recipe from the Food Network.

What do you like to eat at Hattie B’s?

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5 Comments

  1. Ah, this looks absolutely delicious! I really want to visit Nashville so I’ll be sure to add a stop at Hattie B’s to the itinerary! Thanks for the great guide!!

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