The Absolute Best Chicken Parmesan In The US

Chicken parmesan is Italian-American comfort food at its finest; crispy, breaded chicken hiding under a blanket of cheese and tomato sauce. What else could possibly heighten this plate? Your favorite carbohydrate — a bed of spaghetti, waiting to be untangled. Known formally as chicken parmigiana, this dish comes in all shapes and sizes. Whether you're enjoying elevated dining or you just want a quick bite at a neighborhood spot in sandwich form, there's a chicken parmesan option for you.

Traditionally, butterflied chicken breast is the protein of choice, while Italian seasonings, mozzarella, and Neapolitan tomato sauce make up the toppings. For pasta, spaghetti is commonly used and chicken parmesan enthusiasts will tell you it must be cooked al dente like pasta in Italy. What's interesting, however, is that you won't find this dish in Italy.

According to Paesana, chicken parmesan is of North American origin. The immigration of Italian people to places like New York and New Jersey led to the creation of this Italian-inspired American dish, and over time it spread to other parts of the country. So if you've decided to attempt a national chicken parmesan food tour (no one is stopping you), here are some places to get you started.

Carmine's - New York, New York

If there's one place in the world you can count on for solid Italian-American fare, it's New York City. If you're in the Big Apple and looking for a chicken parmesan, Carmine's in the borough of Manhattan is one joint to add to your list. It was voted one of the best family-style Italian restaurants in New York City by Time Out magazine, which praised its food and its friendly staff.

With Carmine's chicken parmesan, you'll get a good-size piece of pan-fried breaded chicken made crisp and golden brown, finished with melted gobs of a mozzarella and Romano cheese blend. This will be sitting in a pool of rich marinara sauce. This dish goes for $34.95, but, considering their marinara sauce is made onsite with Italian plum tomatoes, you're paying for quality.

Carmine's has an overall rating of 8.9 on Foursquare, and people are loving this dish. "Surprisingly fantastic," "amazing" and "must-try" are just some of the things people have said about the chicken parmesan. One happy customer wrote that it's "Chicken parmigiana or nothing," while several other customers have praised the meal for its "outrageous" (in the best of ways) size, adding that this is something to be mindful of when ordering.

Crust - Miami, Florida

If you're looking for a reliable, delicious plate of chicken parmesan while having options to indulge in less traditional versions of the dish, you now know that Miami's Crust exists. Crust's chicken parmesan is on the traditional side. It's lightly breaded chicken breast drenched in marinara sauce and topped with mozzarella and parmesan, with a layer of linguine underneath. You get a generous portion for $26.95, and it's worth noting that it isn't the only parmesan dish available. If you're looking for a change in meat, there's a meatball parmesan on the menu, and also shrimp. If you're a vegetarian, breaded eggplant and grilled zucchini parmesan are options, and they come as entrées or small plates.

Crust has earned several foodie accolades in recent years. In 2019, it was named on OpenTable's "Top 25 Hidden Gem Restaurants in Hot Destinations" list. In 2022, Crust was ranked among the top 100 pizza restaurants in the United States by Yelp, where reviewers rave about the chicken parmesan. Many claim that Crust's chicken parmesan serves two people and then some (hello leftovers), and some confirm it's the best chicken parmesan in Miami. "The breading of the chicken is made with panko so the texture is so much crunchier and thicker than others," wrote one happy customer. "It was completely covered in sauce and cheese. The sauce tasted so rich and homemade."

Giuseppe and Sons - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

In the mood for a fine-dining experience? Giuseppe and Sons in the Center City neighborhood of Philadelphia is here to satisfy your chicken parmesan craving.

Giuseppe and Sons is one of the best restaurants to get chicken parmesan in Philadelphia according to Philadelphia Magazine, which called the dish "huge, cheesy, and crispy." Their chicken parmigiana (on their menu for $26) has a breadcrumb topping and is drenched in tomato and mozzarella cheese. It is also possible to substitute the chicken for veal, and an eggplant parmigiana is available as a small plate (the earliest forms of this dish were actually made with eggplant, as proteins like chicken weren't readily available, per Paesana).

As for the chicken parmesan at Giuseppe and Sons, customers describe it as delicate, tender, and well worth it in terms of portion size. If you need convincing, just take a quick glance at Yelp. "The chicken parmesan is the absolute best," one happy regular said. "Always makes me feel better when I am sick." People also praise their chicken parmesan sandwich, which can be ordered during lunch hours.

Dan Tana's - Los Angeles, California

If you're on the hunt for a place serving chicken parmesan in its classic form, you can't do much better than Dan Tana's in Los Angeles. "Dan Tana's is pretty much the Godfather of LA chicken parmesans (and not just because it feels like Don Corleone definitely ate here)," says The Infatuation. "This Santa Monica Blvd. spot has been open since 1964, and this dish is a throwback to the days when no one in West Hollywood worried about portion size, trans fats, or putting three pounds of cheese on top of chicken and calling it a meal." There's way more to this chicken parmesan than mountains of cheese, however.

Dan Tana's chicken parmesan boasts a well-balanced sauce that has all the lightly sweet yet savory feels, and the breaded chicken has just the right amount of crunch. Called "chicken parmigiana alla Nikola" on their menu, it will set you back $42. Yes, it's on the pricier side, but many people on Tripadvisor say it's good value for what you get. One satisfied customer said that the "Parm was good old school Italian cooking," while another said that it was "to die for." Diners have also mentioned this dish's alternative — a version made with veal. According to Bricco, the veal brings a sofer texture to the dish and can be more flavorful due to the higher fat content, so it's also worth a try.

Salute - Stowe, Vermont

Voted one of the best restaurants in Vermont by Only In Your State, Salute in Stowe is known for its calm vibes and is perfect for a date — a date with a plate of chicken parmesan, that is. A chef-owned kitchen, Salute specializes in elevated Italian dishes, wood-fired pizza, and, of course, chicken parmesan. Salute's chicken parmesan consists of the meat bearing its name lying beneath a heavy pour of warm marinara sauce with a mound of melted mozzarella. It comes with rigatoni pasta instead of spaghetti. The dish costs $24.

If you want to switch things up you could go for the veal or the eggplant instead of the chicken (the eggplant option is the cheapest on their menu), but reviews suggest that chicken is the way to go. According to Tripadvisor, Salute's chicken parmesan makes the cut and then some. "The sauce was homemade and had an amazing flavor and the chicken with melted cheese on top was so tender, juicy, and flavorful," said one very happy diner, while another praised the dish for its freshness. This is a delicious, comforting Italian-American meal containing all the best qualities of chicken parmesan on one plate.

Tat's Delicatessen - Seattle, Washington

If you're on the West Coast and missing East Coast sandwiches, Tat's Delicatessen has got you covered. Due to a higher population of Italian-Americans on the East Coast, you know you won't go wrong finding a New York-style chicken parmesan, be it plated or as a sandwich. This is what East Coast natives Brian Tatman and Jason Simodejka have been bringing to the Pioneer Square neighborhood of Seattle since 2004.

The chicken is presented as delectable breaded strips. These get drenched in house-made marinara sauce and broiled with mozzarella cheese and parmesan. Chicken parmesan is traditionally made with mozzarella and no other cheese — ironic given that parmesan is in the name, we know, but that's been attributed to its relation with Parma, Italy by some experts (via Paesana).

Prices range from $14 to a little under $19 for Tat's chicken parmesan depending on what size you'd prefer to order, as detailed on their menu. What does the public have to say? Some call it "killer" on Yelp, and others agree that the chicken parmesan sandwich is the best sandwich on Tat's Delicatessen's menu. One reviewer reported that the portion size is huge, and waiting in line during their busy lunch hours is well worth it.

Pop's For Italian - Detroit, Michigan

A chicken parmesan of a less traditional but nonetheless scrumptious form can be found at Pop's For Italian, which is located in Detroit, Michigan. Also structured as a sandwich, Pop's offers a mouthwatering take on an old Italian-American classic with elevated vibes and a casual bar you can sit and dine at.

Pop's for Italian's chicken parmesan sandwich is made from two fresh, soft pieces of focaccia bread. It features marinara as a sauce, mozzarella cheese, and an arugula zucchini noodle salad. The chicken is fried to a crisp, and this beautiful rendition of a chicken parmesan dish goes for $14, putting it on the cheaper side of this list. Meanwhile, their plated chicken parmesan is topped with sprouts and served with spaghetti, and it has parmesan cheese sprinkled on top.

"Chicken Parm with pesto pasta, my favorite," said one customer (via OpenTable). Another diner wrote that Pop's for Italian's "chicken parmesan will not disappoint," while a third reviewer pointed out that the chicken parmesan is "Fantastic and enough food!!!" So, if you're in Detriot and looking for a chicken parmesan with a near-perfect rating, head on over to Pop's for Italian and you won't be disappointed.

Dante - New York, New York

If you just want an old-school chicken parmesan that tastes incredible, consider paying a visit to Dante in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of Manhattan. Boasting elevated modern cuisine in a restaurant that started back in 1915, it's a registered New York City landmark where actors, writers, and musicians are known to dine. Though this restaurant is mainly known for its chic bar (it's been named the world's best bar by multiple magazines), Dante's chicken parmesan is not to be missed.

It comes with no pasta, with stracciatella and a butter lettuce salad accompanying the dish instead, for a total of $34. On Yelp, customers have shared their love for this restaurant's chicken parmesan. One said that it "was served in a skillet-type dish and had loads of sauce," and another could not hold in his excitement for Dante's chicken parmesan, writing: "The only problem I had was with myself for not ordering 2 sighhhh. Flavor was outstanding & the chicken was tender." It might not be quite as large as some other chicken parmesans out there, but this is a case of quality over quantity.

The Pasta Bowl - Chicago, Illinois

Opened over twenty years ago, Chicago's The Pasta Bowl is ideal if you are looking to enjoy your chicken parmesan in a casual and cozy environment.

At The Pasta Bowl, you will get to enjoy a plate of chicken parmesan traditionally made, besides the cheese part (more on this in a minute). With your breaded chicken, you'll get a decent portion of marinara sauce, all drizzled in melted smoked mozzarella cheese. It comes with a serving of spaghetti and goes for $20, per Seamless. Smoking mozzarella adds a new flavor profile to the chicken parmesan. Caputo Brothers Creamery informs us that mozzarella used to be smoked as a way of preserving it. Now, cold smoking provides additional notes of earthiness without taking away the cheese's natural flavors.

Reviewers on Yelp agree that The Pasta Bowl serves a solid chicken parmesan. One delighted diner said that "The chicken parmesan is massive and delicious!!" Another happy customer confirmed that the order comes with a side of bread and deems it "AMAZING." Consider stopping by and trying this dish with their delicious smoked mozzarella for a mouthwatering new take on a classic.

Cibo Italian Eatery and Deli - New Orleans, Louisiana

Named one of the five best restaurants in New Orleans for Italian food by Hoodline, Cibo's is inspired by New York-style Italian-American fare. Cibo's chicken parmigiana is a little under $16 and served with spaghetti, a house red marinara sauce, and a thick gob of mozzarella cheese with breaded chicken at its side. If you're looking for a quick lunch, you can also order their sandwich version, served with a side salad. The chicken can also be replaced with meatballs for a twist, because why not?

With a full 5-star rating on Yelp, it's no wonder Cibo's has some of the best chicken parmesan in all of New Orleans. While past diners advise potential customers to trust the 5-star rating, they've also got specifics to add about the dish. "Exactly what you'd expect the dish to taste like and, at least for me, wasn't too heavy of a dish," one person said, adding that it's "packed with flavor!" Another admits to becoming "somewhat attached" to Cibo's chicken parmesan. Though it's pretty traditional, sometimes that is all you need when it comes to comfort food.

The Sicilian II - Biloxi, Mississippi

The Sicilian II is yet another place you'll want to check out if browsing for a traditional chicken parmesan while feeling right at home as you dine. The restaurant can be found in Biloxi, Mississippi, and is the best old-school Italian restaurant in the state, according to a round-up shared by MSN.

The Sicilian II's chicken parmesan is hand-breaded gently and deep-fried, though only slightly. It's the meat that makes this chicken parmesan special, with a not-too-tough crunch, according to their menu. Another factor making this restaurant's chicken parmesan stand out is that they bake the dish while it's bathing in tomato sauce. This creates an emulsive flavor profile all around, and a delightful marriage of meat to sauce. You can also order eggplant parmesan instead as a vegetarian option.

What do diners on Yelp have to say? Rating it almost 5 stars, the chicken parmesan is described as "being made with love" by one person. Another reviewer notices that hers was noticeably "made with care" and customers love the restaurant's cozy and welcoming tone. The chicken parmesan here is a Yelp customer favorite, with many deeming it "excellent." Now, how's that parmesan food tour sounding?