Franchise Face-Off: Popeye's vs. KFC

Do you have a favorite among these two chicken competitors?

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By David Hammond

Comparing Popeye’s and KFC may lead to the proverbial “distinction without a difference.”

Yet, it always amazes me how even impersonal-seeming franchise operations have their passionate adherents.

I stopped by Popeye’s over the weekend and had the two-piece Bonafide (dark meat). I ordered it “spicy,” which seems like the right way to go. I must admit, the exterior of the chicken did have a pleasant crunch and a decent peppery punch.

Do you have a favorite among these two more-or-less-the-same chicken competitors?

Reader Comments

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John Butch Murtagh from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: February 23rd, 2012 11:31 PM

Carrie - always thought about stopping into the Brickyard restaurant. Do they have spicy?

Carrie Marling Bankes from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: February 23rd, 2012 4:10 PM

Since Chris opened up the field to other contestants, I'm voting for the Guatemalan fried chicken at Pollo Campero over by the Brickyard Mall. Amazingly good.

John Butch Murtagh from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: February 23rd, 2012 3:58 PM

Gee Chris - hard to believe you are worried about calories. My mother would have said "that boy needs a little meat on his body." Of course she said the same about me and I have been carry fat on my back for decades. Will definitely take your advise on Chicken and Waffles.


Posted: February 23rd, 2012 3:04 PM

Yup, no contest. Chicken and Waffles.

Chris Koertge from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: February 22nd, 2012 10:04 PM

If I MUST play the game I'll pick Popeyes, but the hands down favorite is Chicago's Home of Chicken and Waffles. If I'm going to consume 2000 calories and 80 grams of fat in a deep fried golden mass of chicken I'm going to spend the extra money and do it right. The quality sides, such as collard greens, beans and rice and/or candied yams, and availability of fresh, well-cooked fried catfish (which is surprisingly hard to find in Chicagoland) only further the gap between CHCW and the fast food competition. The freshness, juiciness and flavor aren't comparable and all 3 are within a 1/2 mile stretch on Madison. If friend chicken is truly a favorite I don't see how you can overlook the other choice that's right under your nose.

Sarah Corbin  

Posted: February 22nd, 2012 9:19 PM

OK - my family loves Popeyes, but I just can't tolerate it. MSG is ingredient #2 on their ingredient list for the seasoning. Must be just enough to throw me over the edge.

David Hammond from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: February 22nd, 2012 5:51 PM

Fried chicken is one of my favorite foods, and I hardly ever eat it. When I order it in a regular sit-down restaurant, I always get too much to eat, so places like Popeye's and KFC serve the valuable purpose of giving me a small dose of a food I like without overwhelming me with too much of a good thing. John Butch Murtaugh, even though I like fried chicken, once a month sounds about right to me.


Posted: February 22nd, 2012 5:31 PM


Jim Coughlin  

Posted: February 22nd, 2012 4:15 PM

Hands down winner for me is Popeye's. Better taste and price than KFC.


Posted: February 22nd, 2012 4:00 PM

Seriously, someone got paid to write this? Come on now.

John Butch Murtagh from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: February 22nd, 2012 12:11 AM

I haven't been in KFC, one of my growing up favorite fast food places, since I discovered Popeye's about twenty years ago. In my hi-wgt days, I ate lunch there three or four times a week. Fat cells have me down to once a month. Always order spicy. The regular while more robust in size has a boring KFC flavor, and always order it so you get a biscuit.

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