Howlin’ Ray’s L.A.'s Best Hot Chicken

There are very few foods we would wait in hours-long lines for, but Howlin’ Ray’s, the hot chicken shop in the Chinatown Far East Plaza, is one of them. Husband and wife team Johnny and Amanda fell head-over-heels in love with Nashville-style hot chicken and decided to bring their passion back to L.A. They spent a lot of time studying the OGs of the hot chicken world (Prince’s, Hattie B’s, Bolton’s) and perfecting their recipe. Howlin’ uses honest, high quality ingredients such as Mary’s Free-Range Chicken (all natural, hormone and antibiotic-free chicken from California). There are many hot chicken copycats around L.A. now, but none compare to the original, in terms of flavor or in terms of friendly staff.

When you walk through the door at Howlin’, the fun, boisterous welcome from the workers make the wait worth it. And then you take a bite… The fried chicken sandwich on a brioche bun is our favorite, but we also tried the off-menu “Tim’s Style Sando” which uses grilled cheese sandwiches as buns. We chose the “medium” level of heat, which has a perfect amount of heat without being too overpowering, but you can pick “country” if you want no heat, and all the way to “Howlin” if you want it extra, extra hot.

Looking for more great spots for food and drinks in Los Angeles? Check out our city map of L.A.!

These hot fried chicken sandwiches are worth the hours-long waits.
These hot fried chicken sandwiches are worth the hours-long waits.
The classic fried chicken sandwich, on a brioche bun.
The classic fried chicken sandwich, on a brioche bun.
The off-menu “Tim’s Style Sando,” which uses grilled cheese sandwiches as buns.
The off-menu “Tim’s Style Sando,” which uses grilled cheese sandwiches as buns.
We order our chicken on the "medium" heat level – just enough of a kick, but not overpowering!
We order our chicken on the “medium” heat level – just enough of a kick, but not overpowering!
There are many hot chicken copycats around L.A. now, but none compare to the original.
There are many hot chicken copycats around L.A. now, but none compare to the original.

How spicy do you like your fried chicken? Leave a comment below.

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Kaitlin Orr

Kaitlin Orr and Anders Husa are food & travel bloggers and creative content creators. From their base in Copenhagen, they operate the largest and most influential restaurant-focused travel blog in Scandinavia.

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