Classic chicken sandwich showdown: Popeyes vs. Chick-fil-A

Popeyes and Chick-fil-A. Two of the greatest fast food restaurants that exist. Goliath vs. Goliath. I already blogged about the spicy chicken sandwiches facing off, where Popeyes had an 8.7-7.9 edge. Today, I’ll be discussing the restaurants’ classic takes on the chicken sandwich.

I’ll again start with the OG — Chick-fil-A, which is on the left in the below photo. It’s a delicious American icon. It impresses me how good the quality of the food coming out of Chick-fil-A’s kitchen is. The fast food chain doesn’t seem to cut any corners, which I appreciate.

The chicken tastes like actual chicken and is surrounded by a tasty, crispy breading and finished with dill pickle slices. It’s always a sure bet to scratch that fast food itch.

Differing from its Louisiana counterpart, Chick-fil-A doesn’t put sauce on its classic chicken sandwich. Just chicken and pickles. I respect the move of just letting the chicken shine, but I’m a sauce guy through and through. My fridge is like 70% condiments. My move at Chick-fil-A is getting a side of Chick-fil-A Sauce and either dunking the sandwich in it or spreading it on the top bun. It takes the sandwich to a new level. But, I judge the sandwich as it comes, so I won’t let my alterations impact the score.

Now to Popeyes. The defending champ and newcomer in the chicken sandwich game. Its classic chicken sandwich is built almost the exact same — with its mild chicken and finished with pickles and mayo.

I’m not crazy about the standard mayo like I am about the spicy mayo. It’s fine and a nice touch, but that spicy mayo was so good. If the chicken sandwich came without sauce, I’d get a side of blackened ranch and dunk the sandwich in that. I think I know what to add to my next order.

I’m getting sidetracked talking about sauces. Getting back to the task at hand, the Popeyes sandwich has the edge in texture. That crispy breading is just next level. The chicken is probably a hair lower on the quality scale than Chick-fil-A, but the breading gives it a boost. The pickles and mayo are fine, and I generally prefer condiments over not, but it’s all about the chicken here with sandwiches that are so simple and barebones.

The buns were both pretty decent and I really didn’t see one having an advantage over the other. The Popeyes sandwiches are much bigger. The sandwich alone eats like a meal. You can throw down a Popeyes sandwich and be good for hours. With the Chick-fil-A sandwich, I can hammer two of those bad boys and not feel horrible.

To quickly recap before we get to the scores, Chick-fil-A has the slight edge in quality, while Popeyes, for me, has an advantage in flavor and texture.

I’m going 7.7 for the Chick-fil-A sandwich. It’s very good. The quality is always there. It’s served up with a smile. It’s just a solid fast food staple.

For the Popeyes sandwich, and I’m sure you smart readers saw it coming, I’ll go 8.2. That crunch and the flavor of the breading is what puts it over the top. It’s addicting, really.

I didn’t like either classic sandwich quite as much as the spicy versions, which is on-brand for me. I’m a spice guy.

I’m sure some will have issues with this (Hi, Emma). But that’s a wrap. It’s a clean sweep for Popeyes.

For what’s available to me in Minnesota and North Dakota, Popeyes is my favorite chicken next to Raising Cane’s, of course. It’s all great and I wish I had some sort of magic metabolism that would allow me to eat it more.

Also, shoutout to the iPhone 11. The thing really takes some beautiful shots of chicken strips and sandwiches.

Thanks for tuning in. I really enjoy writing posts like this. It feels like I blinked and then there were 690 words on the page. I love comparing chicken sandwiches, so this will not be the last chicken sandwich showdown. If you have any recommendations, don’t hesitate to send them my way. I always enjoy feedback. Thank you again for reading and take care.

Author: thrillswithjmills

Food lover located in Fargo, N.D. Chicken strip aficionado; blogger; aspiring TikTok superstar.

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