Chicken Shack named one of nation’s best fried chicken spots


Adnaan Zaffer/The Daily Northwestern

Evanston restaurant Chicken Shack, 1925 N. Ridge Ave., was listed by Thrillist as one of the 21 best fried chicken spots in the country for 2015. The restaurant opened in Evanston 25 years ago.

Tori Latham, Assistant City Editor

An Evanston fried chicken restaurant was recently named one of the 21 best fried chicken spots in America for 2015 by the website Thrillist.

Chicken Shack, 1925 N. Ridge Ave., received praise from the website for its chicken batter, barbecue sauce and biscuits. Rick Sanchez, the restaurant’s owner, said being recognized by Thrillist was an honor.

“It is very humbling,” he said. “To be on that level with so much competition is a great feeling. I am very grateful for my staff because we really work as a team.”

Sanchez opened the restaurant 25 years ago after running a fast-food restaurant in Rogers Park. Although he lives in Chicago, he said he was looking for places farther north and chose Evanston because of the city’s “awesome community.”

“It is filled with wonderful people and families,” Sanchez said. “When I first opened, the amount of businesses (in Evanston) were nowhere near where they are now, but it’s really grown.”

Sanchez said he recognizes that he has a large number of supporters throughout the North Shore area and has noticed several people coming in to congratulate him on the article.

One such supporter is Ghikhan Blossfeld-Lau, a McCormick junior who lives down the block on Foster Street.

“As soon as I learned that Chicken Shack had been bestowed the honor, I called them to offer my congratulations immediately,” Blossfeld-Lau said. “Chicken Shack becoming a national treasure hasn’t changed them, though. They still make the same, excellent chicken that they’ve been making since day one.”

Dylan Kraslow, a Weinberg senior, is another neighbor who said he lives on Garnett Place, just down the street from Chicken Shack.

“The smell from the restaurant just fills the entire street,” he said. “It’s very, very good fried chicken, the best I’ve ever tried. It has the perfect amount of breading and seasoning.”

In the past few days, business has increased due to the Thrillist article, Sanchez said.

“I feel that people are curious to see what we are and what our product is like,” he said. “We’re just going to continue to do what has worked thus far, which is stay grounded, stay consistent and provide good customer service.”

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