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RATINGS
Food
Service
Value
Atmosphere

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Location and contact

South Loop
1.1 miles from Shedd Aquarium
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Meals
Lunch, Dinner
CUISINES
American, Fast Food
FEATURES
Takeout, Wheelchair Accessible, Reservations, Seating
Reviews (79)
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71 results
Traveler rating
20
39
11
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LanguageEnglish
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Traveler rating
20
39
11
1
0
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All reviews fried chicken wings fries breast kfc wabash fry tender
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Reviewed November 9, 2021

Family oriented restaurant with delivery available try it out and see if you like it! Great for special date night or family night

Date of visit: November 2021
Helpful?2  
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Reviewed April 29, 2021

In our quest to discover the best fried chicken in Chicago, my wife and I did a lot of eating and a lot of research. One thing we learned is Harold's Chicken Shack is a Chicago original. Harold Pierce, an African-American entrepreneur, and his wife...Hilda founded the restaurant in 1950 as a small operation on 39th Street on Chicago's South Side. It was called H&H in those early days and specialized in dumplings and chicken feet, both common soul food. Eventually, it became one of the few examples of a thriving fast food chain that was owned by and principally served the black community. Today, Harold's has more than 40 locations in Chicago and vicinity, including the flagship at 124 East 35th Street. We sampled the chicken and takeout service at 612 South Wabash and 1501 West Madison in the West Loop, near United Center. In case you haven't compared Harold's chicken to KFC or Popeye's or Brown's Chicken, Harold's is different in two ways--(1) it is cooked in a mix of half beef tallow and half vegetable oil, which provides taste closer to the traditional fried chicken of the American South, while most chains use only vegetable oil and (2) Harold's chicken isn't fried until it is ordered while some chains fry their chicken in large batches and store it on warming racks until it is purchased. I ordered a 1/2 white chicken dinner, two wings and two breasts with fries, cole slaw and bread. My wife opted for an eight-piece chicken tender dinner with fries, cole slaw and bread.More

Date of visit: April 2021
Helpful?2  
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Reviewed December 1, 2019 via mobile

Fantastic chicken at a great price. I would only go for the chicken and fries though, not the desserts at all. Hot wing sauce is on point too!!

Date of visit: November 2019
Helpful?2  
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Reviewed October 6, 2019

Harold’s does not disappoint!! I ate there everyday while in Chicago & almost cried when I realized I didn’t grab my mild sauce to go. I first tried Harold’s in ATL, but heard chicago was were it originated. I had the wings covered in mild...sauce with some Obama tea. I tried my first pizza puff here too. I am so excited that AZ will be opening one this month.More

Date of visit: July 2019
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Reviewed August 11, 2019

I have heard many great reviews of Harolds Chicken for some time and finally found myself near one. The chicken was dry and with little taste. I had the hot sauce on the side and it seemed to be simply a bottled hot sauce. The...cole slaw included with the chicken dinner was a container of an ounce or two. The fries were good.More

Date of visit: August 2019
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Reviewed August 6, 2019

This restaurant has pretty good food and the service was great. We had the Catfish nuggets and they were pretty tasty. My son had the chicken wings and said they were also quite good. The fries and coleslaw that came with the nuggets dinner were...also pretty good. We got the cheesecake for dessert and it left something to be desired but overall the food and the service were on par.More

Date of visit: July 2019
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Reviewed June 10, 2019

Nothing fancy. Great chicken, fish and grub. College or working student style. Fresh hot and tasty. A must try when visiting Chicago!

Review collected in partnership with Conrad Hotels & Resorts
Date of visit: June 2019
Helpful?2  
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Reviewed June 4, 2019

My wife and I were in chicago and walked over to Harolds for lunch. I got the lunch special of fried chicken wings, slaw, and drink and she got fried chicken breast. The chicken was excellent, crisp skin and moist meat. Highly recommend

Date of visit: May 2019
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Reviewed June 2, 2019

The food was very good, however, the menu online is not the same as what is available at the restaurant, we did an office order based of the online menu but had to reorganize once we arrived. The quality of the food was very good.

Date of visit: May 2019
Helpful?2  
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Reviewed April 23, 2019

I went to #71 near McCormick Place (the convention center). A small, VERY unassuming walk-up store. Take out only at this location. Be prepared to wait a while as the chicken is essentially fried to order. Always has been; always will be. So, just the...OPPOSITE of fast food chicken. WELL worth the wait. Be prepared to be elbow to elbow with all manner of customer, especially hard working folks before or after their shifts. This, in my opinion, is a good thing. The basic meal comes with chicken on a slice of white bread, fries, and a very small portion cup of cole slaw. I get mine with Harold's hot sauce; it's not too hot and it's very tasty. And the fried chicken is just like older guys like me remember it. Small pieces (no chicken on steroids!); tender; tasty. Very inexpensive. Years ago fried chicken stopped tasting like fried chicken to me. But not at Harold's. Fried chicken like I remember it. That's a good thing.More

Date of visit: April 2019
Helpful?2  
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Reviewed December 27, 2018

Don't let the modest looks of this little place fool you. The fried chicken here is excellent! Be a little patient as they make it fresh for you when you order. It's worth the wait.

Date of visit: December 2018
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Reviewed October 29, 2018

I didn't eat here but my wife did. She said it was the best fried chicken she has ever had. Generous portions and very affordably priced. It's in a great location and it's open late on the weekends. The service was stellar - very friendly...and helpful when she asked what she should get. Tasty, tasty!More

Date of visit: October 2018
Helpful?
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Reviewed October 24, 2018 via mobile

Suitable for take-out or dine-in, Harold's Chicken Shack serves hot, crisp, tasty fried chicken. I greatly enjoyed a recent lunch -- it's fast food that tasted made-to-order. Really good fried chicken pieces, wings, or fried chicken sandwich. Tasty french fries too. Bottom Line: You'll enjoy....Harold's does chicken right!More

Date of visit: October 2018
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Reviewed August 7, 2018

This is the real deal if you want super hot, fresh, chicken and fixins fresh out of the fryer. Not a diet place and not fancy, but fingerlicking good.

Date of visit: July 2018
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Reviewed July 18, 2018 via mobile

I went to the taste fest and the line for Harold’s Chicken was wrapped around the corner. I waited and went to the restaurant. The chicken was good, not like expected with the amount of traffic. The fried catfish is something I would recommend. That...fish was some of the best I’ve had. That catfish with some lemon pepper seasoning. Babbyyyy. That’s the only thing that saved this from an average rating 😂More

Date of visit: July 2018
Helpful?1  
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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Frequently Asked Questions about Harold's Chicken Shack Downtown

Yes, Harold's Chicken Shack Downtown offers takeout services.

Harold's Chicken Shack Downtown is rated accordingly in the following categories by Tripadvisor travelers:
  • Food: 4
  • Service: 3.5
  • Value: 4
  • Atmosphere: 3