Photo By Thomas Obungen

Here are Honolulu's OTHER fried chicken sandwiches

Our list of great local non-Popeyes sandwiches grows
Share Button

So it's not like Popeyes invented the chicken sandwich. Remember? Here's where you can get good to great versions in Honolulu at local spots that aren't national or global chains.

See also: Is Popeyes chicken sandwich worth all the hype?

Artizen by MW

artizen cafe chicken sandwich
Photo courtesy Artizen Cafe

What: Hot Chick’n Sandwich
Where: 250 S. Hotel St., Downtown, 524-0499,
Cost: $13
Details: Tired of waiting for Popeyes, Artizen by MW came out with their Hot Chick’n sandwich days before Popeye’s brought their widely popular chicken sandwich back. “I like making simple things really good," Artizen chef Brandon Lee says. "And this is the pinnacle of that: fried chicken. Spice. Pickles.” This one's off menu and limited to 10 per day. Served with fries or salad. Grace Ryu

Burger Hale

Photo credit: Thomas Obungen

What: Karaage chicken sandwich
Where: 2309 Kuhio Ave., Waikiki, 377-4402,
Cost: $8.99, 10% kamaaina discount available 
Details: This one's a whopper. Michelle Karr-Ueoka's homemade mochi Portuguese sweet buns are the base for a juicy karaage chicken thigh. The furikake mayo ups the umami factor and the Asian slaw brings it all together with a balanced touch of acidity. This chicken sando is a total sleeper on Burger Hale's menu — it should be the star of the show. — Thomas Obungen

Earl Kakaako

earl classic chicken sandwich
Photo courtesy EARL

What: Classic chicken sandwich and spicy chicken sandwich
Where: 400 Keawe St., Kakaako, 744-3370
Cost: $9
Details: An @earlkakaako special that appeared at the height of Popeyes mania and sold out, these sandwiches reappeared Sunday, Nov. 24 and will be there this Sunday, Dec. 1. At this point that's all we know. — Mari Taketa

See also: Kakaako just got two new artisan sandwich shops

Ethel's Grill

ethel's grill chicken sandwich
Photo courtesy Ethel's Grill and @kamera_obasan

What: Secret Menu Not Popeyes chicken sandwich
Where: 232 Kalihi St., Kalihi, 847-6467
Cost: $14.95
Details: From Ethel's Grill's Instagram: "KALIHI style spicy chicken sandwich !!!!!!!! Yes I said KALIHI STYLE!!!!!!! And NO TAKE BACKS!!!!!!" On the specials board since mid-November, this sandwich has a dollop of egg salad atop a spicy marinated, deep-fried chicken thigh dusted with extra spice and drizzled with chili oil. It's available until Nov. 26; after that, Ethel's says its future is uncertain. — Mari Taketa

Feast by Jon Matsubara

feast chicken sandwich

What: Jon's Fried Chicken "JFC" sandwich
Where: 2970 E. Manoa Rd., Manoa, 840-0488
Cost: $12
Details: Take Matsubara's well-seasoned double-fried chicken and slap it between sweet brioche buns, add K-Town gochujang sauce and umami aioli with a healthy dose of chili pickle and you've got yourself a meal and a half. Psst: This sandwich is a limited, off-menu item. – Thomas Obungen


Photo credit: Kelli Shiroma

What: Korean fried chicken sandwich
Where: 2 N. Hotel St., Downtown, 369-1390,
Cost: $11
Details: You'll find this on Fete's lunch menu: a thick, soft brioche bun stuffed liberally with crunchy fried chicken, a layer of Asian pear slaw and an addictive garlic-sesame aioli. The chicken is delectably crispy with the perfect hint of spice; the slaw gives the sandwich a sweet aftertaste. This one's also available at happy hour from 2 to 5 p.m. — Kelli Shiroma

Foodland Farms Pearl City 

Photo credit: Kelli Shiroma

What: Korean chicken sandwich
Where: 1150 Kuala St., Pearl City, 453-4509
Cost: $13.99
Details: The Korean chicken sandwich from the new Foodland Farms Pearl City comes with kochujang glaze, Kewpie mayo and pickles in a brioche bun, plus fries on the side. It's currently featured as Foodland Farm Pearl City's Restaurant Week special for a discounted price of $8.99 through Nov. 24, 2019. — Kelli Shiroma

See also: New Foodland Farms Pearl City is OMG

Hank's Haute Dogs

hanks haute dogs hot chicken sandwich
Photo credit: Melissa Chang

What: Nashville hot chicken sandwich
Where: 324 Coral St., Kakaako, 532-4265,
Cost: $7.95
Details: Hank's trendy new item is a creation of Top Chef alum Dale Levitski, who also happens to be an old friend and protege of restaurant owner Henry "Hank" Adaniya. A breaded and fried chicken thigh is tossed in a cayenne- and paprika-based Nashville-style hot sauce, then slathered with mayonnaise and topped with dill pickles. This one's a relative bargain — and props for a chicken that stays crispy a long time. — Mari Taketa

See also: Hank's haute new hot chicken sandwich

La Tour Cafe

la tour chicken sandwich
Photo courtesy La Tour Cafe

What: Kickin' chicken sandwich
Where: Various locations,
Cost: $12.90
Details: La Tour Cafe isn’t new to the crispy chicken game — their crispy chicken sandwich is a longtime favorite. Bread enthusiasts will appreciate La Tour's chewy, springy baguette. They recently added a spicier version, the Kickin' Chicken sandwich, made from crispy honey-glazed tenders, buffalo sauce, charred corn jalapeno relish, blue cheese sauce, cilantro and fried garlic served with chips or salad. — Grace Ryu

Scratch Kitchen & Meatery

What: House biscuit chicken sandwich
Where: 1180 Queen St., Kakaako, 589-1669,
Cost: $16
Details: Only available during brunch, this sandwich is filled with cabbage slaw, tomato and chipotle crema and served with house-cut fries. — Thomas Obungen


Fried chicken "Caesar" sandwich is part of Senia's prix fixe lunch menu. - Photo credit: Kelli Shiroma

What: Fried chicken "Caesar" sandwich
Where: 75 N. King St., Downtown, 200-5412,
Cost: Part of $38 lunch three-course prix fixe menu
Details: Only available during lunch at Senia, this hefty chicken sandwich is one of the second course options. It features chicken breast soaked in a juniper and citrus brine overnight, then it's coated with flour and fried. That explains the juicy, tender interior juxtaposed against a gloriously crispy batter. The sandwich is served between housemade brioche buns filled with Hirabara Farms romaine and an addictive, creamy "Caesar" aioli, and it comes with lunch potatoes. Each bite is satisfying on multiple levels — the crunchy-yet-tender chicken; ultra soft bread; and whatever's in that aioli that makes it so dang tasty. — Kelli Shiroma

See also: Best fried chicken: Our Top 5

Shaloha PITA

shaloha chicken schnitzel pita
Photo credit: Thomas Obungen

What: Schnitzel pita sandwich
Where: 3133 Waialae Ave., Kaimuki, 744-4222,
Cost: $12
Details: Shaloha pounds flat a chicken breast, breads and fries it to crisp perfection and tops it with creamy, extra smooth hummus, Israeli salad, red cabbage slaw and tabbouleh, all in fluffy housemade pita bread. Don’t forget the spicy sauce and lots and lots of napkins — it’s a messy one! Available year-round. Grace Ryu

Square Barrels

Photo courtesy Square Barrels

What: Mother Clucker
Where: 1001 Bishop St., Downtown, 524-2747,
Cost: $16
Details: This massive sandwich features bacon, guacamole, chicken thigh, mayo and spices between two thick slices of Texas toast. — Kelli Shiroma