Hot Chicken Takeover

59 Spruce St.
Columbus, OH 43215
614.800.4538
website

Ever since it exploded onto the scene a few years ago, Hot Chicken Takeover has been, well, on fire.

The first location for this spicy chicken chain opened in the iconic North Market in Columbus a few years ago, and just about immediately gained a following, both for its spicy take on fried chicken and for its social enterprise, hiring former inmates and helping them with a shot at a stable life. For both reasons it has since begun to grow its footprint in Central Ohio with ambitions beyond there.

Pull up a seat. You’re going to want to try this place.

The chicken comes in four takes, one a standard fried chicken option and ranging up to the Nashville-style mouth-searing spice that thrill seekers always love. Some of the things to try:

  • Hot Chicken: Of course the first thing to try. There’s a modest heat, a strong heat and a “wow” heat! And they don’t mess around. Oh and as an aside, people almost always get some ranch sauce to temper down that heat. Use it. I don’t recommend going for the bread base though, that’s mainly there to sop up some of that hot goodness!
  • Fried Chicken: So you don’t like spicy food? There’s no shame in that. This area is full of offices and making a mess isn’t a good idea anyway. Without spiciness, the chicken is an extra-crispy and has a set of peppers and spices that would be muted if you just got it spicy all the time.
  • Mac and Cheese: There’s a short list of sides available with the food, and this is most certainly the one people love the best. It comes automatically with most dishes and it’s got this nice mix of cheesy and thick sauce that doesn’t overwhelm.
  • Cole slaw: A vinegar-based cabbage salad also coming standard with a lot of the dishes too. Something that cools down that heat a bit, too.

The restaurant is kind of a classic fast-casual experience – seating is on long community-style benches and you head up to the counter, take an order and wait. Expect the place to have long lines during the week during lunch hour. But come early! That big chalk board on the wall shows the number of pieces left, and when they’re out they’re done! It’s not unusual to see them run out, either.

Expect to see and hear a whole lot more from this place. Not just because it’s a great restaurant and has a real potential to expand, but because the social enterprise here has really paved the way for other businesses to follow it. The lines are here for a reason. Give it a try.

Recommendations

  • Come earlier in the day and get in line! It’s always crowded here.
  • Ranch sauce is free with your food. Get at least a cup of it to help with that heat, especially if you like hot.
  • They don’t kid around with that heat either! I don’t recommend the hottest version, especially if you’re trying it for the first time.

Hot Chicken Takeover Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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