The 29 TASTIEST fast food chicken sandwiches of all time, ranked

The greatest chicken sandwiches of them all

<p>ChickfilA /Facebook</p>

ChickfilA /Facebook

There's just something about a fast food chicken sandwich that sparks cravings. Some have proven so popular, they have their own fan pages – and people have launched campaigns to bring discontinued and limited-edition items back for good. The 2019 launch of Popeyes' fried chicken sandwich sparked what became known as the 'chicken sandwich wars', with each fast food chain battling to serve the best.

To settle the debate once and for all, we’ve ranked the top fast food chicken sandwiches through the years, counting down to the greatest of all time.

Read on to discover the best fast food chicken sandwiches ever.

We've based our ranking on the enduring popularity of each sandwich in its place of origin and beyond, and on the opinions of our well-travelled (and well-fed) team. The list is unavoidably subjective.

29. Tims Crispy Chicken Stack, Tim Hortons, various locations



This Canadian chain may be better known for its coffee and legendary Timbits, but Tim Hortons serves up a pretty good chicken sandwich, too. Tims Crispy Chicken Stack is a customer favourite, featuring a crispy chicken fillet, lettuce, cheese, a hash brown and regular and smoky tomato mayo, all packed inside a toasted brioche bun. If that’s not enough, you can take it up a notch by adding crispy bacon.

28. McChicken Sandwich, McDonald’s, various locations



The McChicken Sandwich originally launched in 1980 and met with a rather lukewarm reception; Chicken McNuggets, released a year later, proved much more popular. However, its relaunch in 1988 was far more successful and the fillet of crispy chicken topped with lettuce and ‘sandwich sauce’ and served in a soft, seeded bun has been a classic menu choice ever since.

27. Sonic Chicken Slinger, Sonic, USA



Launched in 2021, the Sonic Chicken Slinger has become a staple menu item at popular US drive-thru chain Sonic. A crispy chicken fillet with lettuce, pickles and mayo served up in a brioche bun, the Slinger is simple but packed full of flavour. It also has a reputation as one of the healthier chicken burgers on the market.

26. McCrispy, McDonald’s, various locations



The McCrispy became the first permanent chicken sandwich addition to McDonald's menu in 15 years when it appeared in October 2022, landing in various markets including the US, UK and Canada. It consists of a crunchy chicken breast fillet marinated in black pepper and cayenne and served in an artisan sourdough bun with iceberg lettuce and black pepper mayo. The sandwich, which replaced the much-loved Chicken Legend, launched with plenty of fanfare but received mixed reviews on social media.

25. Grilled Chicken Sandwich, Burger King, various locations



Burger King became the first major fast food chain to launch a grilled chicken sandwich in 1990 – six months before Wendy’s, and four years before McDonald’s. Known as the BK Broiler in the States, it was one of the most successful fast food launches ever, although it was discontinued in most markets in 2019, after several recipe and name changes. Still available in Cyprus and the Caribbean, it consists of flame-grilled chicken, lettuce, tomatoes and mayo (or honey mustard sauce), all served in a sesame bun. From June 2024, BK will be testing the water and rolling out flame-grilled chicken sandwiches in select US markets.

24. Love Me Tender, Chicken Licken, Botswana and South Africa



This popular South African joint is the largest fried chicken chain in the world that didn’t originate in the US, so it makes sense that it serves a juicy and delicious chicken sandwich. The Love Me Tender features a thin, crispy chicken fillet, lettuce, tomato and the chain’s signature Dreamy Creamy sauce on a toasted sesame bun.

23. Gochujang Chicken Sandwich, Shake Shack, various locations



This Korean-style chicken sandwich, first served in South Korean branches of Shake Shack, launched as a limited-edition item in the US in 2021. Following huge success, it then appeared in UK branches, before arriving in Hong Kong in 2022 and finally returning to the US in January 2024. It featured a crispy chicken breast glazed with gochujang, topped with toasted sesame seeds and slathered in a white kimchi slaw. It remains to be seen whether the much-loved sandwich will become a permanent fixture.

22. Grilled Chicken Sandwich, Wendy’s, various locations



Consisting of herb-marinated chicken breast topped with mayo, lettuce and tomato, all slipped inside a toasted bun, Wendy's Grilled Chicken Sandwich launched in 1990 and quickly became a popular menu item. Renowned as a healthier choice than a fried chicken burger, it came as a surprise when Wendy’s removed it from its US menus in April 2023, replacing it with the Grilled Chicken Ranch Wrap. There were petitions to bring it back to the US, but for now, it’s still missing – it is however still available in the UK.

21. Buffalo Chicken Sandwich, Harvey’s, Canada



Harvey’s has been serving up fast food delights since 1959 and continues to be one of Canada’s most loved chains. This place seriously delivers flavour-packed menu items, including the ever-popular Buffalo Chicken Sandwich. Slotted in a multi-grain or white bun, it features a Canadian chicken breast that’s coated in a signature blend of spices and tossed in Harvey’s spicy Buffalo sauce, plus the customer’s choice of toppings, from onions and pickles to black olives and hot peppers.

20. Double Down Burger, KFC, various locations



All chicken and no bun, the Double Down left fans in a frenzy in March 2023 when rumours suggested it was returning to the UK after a 10-year hiatus. Sadly for Brits, it actually reappeared on US menus for a limited time instead. Originally launched in 2010, the Double Down sandwiches bacon, cheese and BBQ sauce between two pieces of crispy fried chicken. According to the chain, it generated 'more buzz than any test market item in KFC history' and the UK KFC website teases that 'it's goodbye for now but not forever'.

19. Cluck Sandwich, Jack in the Box, USA



Cult American burger joint Jack in the Box has the highest search volume of any US fast food chain not already in the UK, with Brits desperate to try one of its iconic sandwiches. Jack in the Box joined the so-called chicken sandwich wars with the December 2020 launch of its Cluck Sandwich: a crispy chicken fillet slathered in the chain's 'Mystery Sauce', served in a brioche bun with pickle slices.

18. Tower Burger, KFC, various locations



The Tower Burger, a crispy Original Chicken fillet with lettuce, cheese, mayo and a hash brown, first launched in 1997 and has been a top menu choice since then. However, this beast of a chicken sandwich was discontinued in Australia in 2018, before briefly returning in 2021. Outraged Aussie Tower Burger fans then started up a ‘Bring back the Tower Burger’ Facebook page and launched petitions and the much-loved burger made a return Down Under in June 2023, albeit for a limited time only. Apparently, it’s the most requested burger in Australian KFC history and there are also petitions for its return to the US.

17. Chicken Royale, Burger King, various locations



While Burger King may be known as the 'Home of the Whopper', its delicious Chicken Royale has a loyal fan base. Known as the Original Chicken Sandwich, Long Chicken and BK Chicken in some countries, the sandwich features crispy, coated chicken, creamy mayo and lettuce served in a toasted sesame seed bun. It may be a very simple sandwich, but it's one you can always rely on to be tasty.

16. Big & Golden, Golden Chick, Texas, USA



This Texas fast food chain hit the headlines in 2020 when, in a bid to emulate the success seen by Popeyes the year before, it launched the Big & Golden. To make the delicious creation, brine-marinated chicken breast is hand-breaded, dipped in batter and deep fried, before being slotted into one of Golden Chick’s freshly baked buns, accompanied by the chain's signature sweet-savoury Lotta Zing sauce and five thinly sliced pickles.

15. Golden BBQ Chicken Sandwich, Popeyes, USA



Adding to Popeyes’ legendary range of chicken sandwiches, the chain announced it would be debuting a new item in May 2024 – and fans were excited. Available at select US locations, the Golden BBQ Chicken Sandwich comes complete with a buttermilk-battered chicken breast topped with sweet yet tangy Golden BBQ sauce, served on a toasted and buttered brioche bun with barrel-cured pickles. Already loaded with flavour, diners can customise it by adding Havarti cheese and smoked bacon. We’re hoping it’s rolled out globally.

14. Chicken sandwich, Fatburger, California, USA



Cult burger chain Fatburger first opened in California in 1947, and its popularity has grown ever since. It regularly hits the headlines with special-edition chicken burgers – one of which saw chicken and bacon sandwiched by waffles – but it’s the classic chicken sandwich that remains the most popular item on the menu. It consists of a juicy chunk of grilled, crispy or spicy chicken breast, served in a spongy bread bun with lettuce, tomato and mayo.

13. Classic Chicken sandwich, Wendy’s, various locations



Another happy consequence of the chicken sandwich wars, Wendy’s Classic Chicken sandwich launched in October 2020 – replacing its Homestyle Chicken sandwich, which had been on the menu for over a decade. The Classic Chicken features a premium crispy chicken fillet topped with mayo, lettuce, tomatoes and pickles, all served up in a toasted bun. Fans say it has the perfect blend of juiciness and crunch.

12. Chicken sandwich, Church’s Texas Chicken, various locations



This popular chain started life in Texas in 1952, serving chicken in various forms, and now has locations across the US and in various other countries. Its chicken sandwich, which launched in 2020 following an ongoing campaign by Church’s fans, is the item that remains enduringly popular though. A honey-butter brioche bun is filled with a juicy, hand-breaded chicken fillet, three crispy pickles and either regular or spicy mayo.

11. Chicken sandwich, Jollibee, various locations



Filipino fast food chain Jollibee is so adored that people queued for seven hours when its flagship UK store opened in Leicester Square, London, in May 2021. Its chicken sandwich – a double, hand-breaded crunchy breast fillet, lettuce and garlic mayo in a toasted brioche bun –launched in September 2021, and chicken burger fans say it’s one of the best they’ve ever tasted.

10. Zaxby's Signature Sandwich, Zaxby’s, USA



Zaxby’s launched its Signature Sandwich to much fanfare in March 2021, with the advertising slogan: ‘the chicken sandwich war ain’t over yet’. With fans saying Zaxby’s serves the juiciest, most flavour-packed chicken in the US, it’s no surprise that the item was a big hit. The sandwich consists of a hand-breaded chicken fillet, pickles and Zax Sauce (or Spicy Zax Sauce), all stuffed into a split-top potato bun. The chain also recently introduced its Signature Club Sandwich, adding cheese and bacon to the mix.

9. Big Flavour Burger, Wingstop, various locations



Wingstop sparked a social media frenzy when it launched its chicken sandwich, the Big Flavour Burger, in September 2022. Four weeks' supply of the sandwiches sold out in just six days. Available in any of the chain’s 10 signature flavours, from sweet and tangy Hawaiian to super-hot Atomic, it consists of crispy chicken tenders, crunchy slaw, pickles and house ranch, packed into a toasted brioche bun.

8. Spicy Fi'ed Chicken Sandwich, BurgerFi, USA



Credited as starting the 'spicy chicken sandwich wars', the Spicy Fi'ed Chicken Sandwich first appeared in November 2020 and is available in selected BurgerFi outlets only, so fans regularly campaign for it to join their local branch’s menu. It features chicken breast from Springer Mountain Farms, house-made hot pickles, fresh jalapeños, ghost pepper honey and spicy mayo. Not a spice fan? There's also a milder version with honey mustard sauce.

7. Chicken Legend, McDonald’s, UK



British fast food lovers were outraged when McDonald’s axed the Chicken Legend in October 2022, to make way for a slew of new menu items. A simple snack of crispy, breaded chicken, lettuce and cool mayo in a toasted oat bun, the Legend had a huge fan base – there’s now a petition to bring it back, with customers regularly taking to social media to lament its loss.

6. Chicken Big Mac, McDonald’s, various locations



Fans of this limited-edition burger were thrilled when it returned to McDonald's menus in the UK in March 2023 – but alas, it was gone again come May. A twist on the ever-popular beef Big Mac, it consisted of two crispy, coated chicken patties, a triple-decker bun, sliced cheese and Big Mac sauce. The Chicken Big Mac has also made an appearance in Canada, France, the United Arab Emirates and select McDonald's branches in Florida.

5. Fillet Burger, KFC, various locations



The 'original and the best’ according to KFC, the Fillet Burger consists of a chunky piece of Original Recipe 100% chicken breast, lettuce and mayo, all sitting pretty in a sesame seed bun. This one's a classic for a reason; die-hard KFC fans say you can’t beat the Colonel’s recipe for perfectly seasoned chicken and this simple burger is a mainstay of KFC menus worldwide.

4. Ch’King, Burger King, USA



Launched in the USA in 2021, the Ch’King was only around for a year before it was axed from Burger King's menu and replaced with the Royal Crispy Chicken Sandwich range. Despite its short life, dedicated fans took to social media to slam BK for getting rid of the ‘greatest chicken sandwich of all time’. Two years in the making, the mammoth burger, which comprised hand-breaded chicken breast, pickles, signature sauce and a potato bun, was reportedly too time-consuming and costly to continue making.

3. Zinger Burger, KFC, various locations



After proving a bestseller in 120 countries around the world, KFC's Zinger Burger launched in the USA in 2017. It was created in Trinidad and Tobago in 1984, and now Australia alone sells more than 22 million spicy Zingers each year. Consisting of a peppery, double hand-breaded crispy chicken fillet, a dash of spicy sauce and a handful of lettuce in a toasted sesame bun, the Zinger is also available as a Stacker (with two chicken fillets) and as a Tower Burger, with an added hash brown.

2. Fried chicken sandwich, Popeyes, various locations



The 2019 launch of Popeyes' signature fried chicken sandwich – which comprises 12-hour marinated fried chicken breast, fresh pickles and creamy mayo in a soft brioche bun – led to a 38% jump in same-store sales that year. Since then, the mania has continued, with the chain expanding into the UK – the opening of the Oxford store in 2022 saw queues forming at 5am, with around 2,000 chicken sandwiches sold in one day.

1. Original Chicken Sandwich, Chick-fil-A, USA

<p>ChickfilA /Facebook</p>

ChickfilA /Facebook

When the chicken sandwich wars began, Chick-fil-A instantly took to social media to argue that its chicken burger was the original and the best. The recipe dates back to 1946 and remains a true classic: chicken breast is perfectly seasoned and breaded, pressure cooked in 100% peanut oil (to retain its juiciness) and served with dill pickle chips in a toasted, buttery bun. The Original Chicken Sandwich remains the bestseller in the US, having only briefly dropped to second place when Popeyes' chicken sandwich launched in 2019. To put its popularity into context, the sandwich accounts for a staggering 45% of all online chicken sandwich orders in the US.

Now discover the most iconic fast food menu items of all time

Last updated by Lottie Woodrow.