The Best Fast Food Fried Chicken Sandwich On Any Menu

Done right, a fried chicken sandwich can beat a burger any day of the week. The ideal fried chicken sandwich is crispy, juicy, fresh, and well-seasoned. These days, it seems like every fast food chain is jumping on the fried chicken sandwich train — in fact, back in 2019, Popeyes kicked off what eventually became the fried chicken sandwich wars. Even though it's unlikely this war will end any time soon, with chains like McDonald's and Burger King all releasing chicken sandwiches in the early 2020s, Mashed has crowned one fast food chain the fried chicken sandwich winner.

Shake Shack's Chick'n Shack is the best fast food fried chicken sandwich on any menu, as Mashed determined in a ranking of 20 such sandwiches. That may be a lot of items to try, but the journey brought many delicious moments. Juicy, crispy fried chicken is naturally the most important factor in any of these sandwiches, but the other elements deserve love, too. The bun should be sufficiently light and fluffy, the veggies should be fresh and vibrant, and the sauce should enhance (but not overpower) the chicken's flavor. Shake Shack's Chick'n Shack checked off all of these boxes, even for our critical tasters.

What makes Shake Shack's sandwich so good?

Shake Shack only has two chicken sandwiches on its menu: the classic Chick'n Shack and the avocado bacon chicken. Mashed focused on the classic option, though the avocado bacon sounded good, too. The chain's classic fried chicken sandwich contains chicken (of course), lettuce, pickles, buttermilk herbed mayo, and a potato bun. This straightforward combination is no-frills but emphasizes the quality of each component. The Chick'n Shack even landed a spot on another Mashed list: the best fast food chicken sandwiches of all time.

The chicken in this sandwich is delightfully crispy and naturally juicy, and Shake Shack gives you a nice, big piece. The meat is also all-natural and antibiotic-free, making it more accessible for those with specific dietary concerns. The potato bun carefully shelters the chicken breast in its soft, fluffy embrace, and the toasted bottom provides extra stability. The pickles are clean and acidic, providing essential balance to the fatty chicken. Lettuce ups the crunch factor, and the buttermilk herbed mayo is a great sauce choice for extra herby seasoning. Shake Shack's fried chicken sandwich just does everything right.