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The Best Food at Popeyes, Ranked

By Lana Kisner | December 30, 2023

As one of the best fried chicken chains, the Popeyes menu offers a variety of Louisiana-flavored dishes. From their signature chicken to sides to chicken sandwiches, you can mix and match flavors and create a combo meal to your heart’s desire. Here are ten of my favorite menu items to order at Popeyes, ranked from worst to best.

10. Mashed Potatoes With Cajun Gravy

Mashed potatoes are a classic side dish to pair with fried chicken, and Popeyes’ version comes with Cajun gravy, which puts a Southern twist in the flavor department. It’s savory and creamy, and the gravy has just the right amount of spice to keep things interesting. You can order this side item in a regular or large size.

9. Cinnamon Apple Pie

If you want to end your meal on a sweet note, the Cinnamon Apple Pie is a delicious dessert option. It’s served warm with a crispy crust on the outside and hot cinnamon apple filling inside. It reminds me of McDonald’s Apple Pie with its golden color and shape.

8. Cajun Fries

The Cajun Fries are one of the best fast-food fries I’ve ever tasted, hands down. They’re always served crispy, and the seasoning has just the right amount of spice and flavor, which makes it a great side item to pair with any meal on the Popeyes menu. Like most Popeyes side dishes, you can order them in regular or large sizes.

7. Chicken Nuggets

Chicken nuggets are undoubtedly one of the most popular fast-food menu items, and Popeyes’ version doesn’t disappoint. Their nuggets are made with white meat chicken breast pieces and battered in buttermilk coating before being fried. Meal sizes range from 8 to 48 pieces, which makes them a great option for individual or large orders. There’s also a 6-piece kids meal option for the little ones. Pair these bite-sized morsels with your favorite Popeyes sauces, and you’re in for a treat!

6. Chicken Tenders

Chicken tenders fall into that sweet spot between nuggets and fried chicken meals. They’re larger than traditional nuggets but small enough that you can still dip them and eat them with one hand. Popeyes’ tenders include a crunchy coating that’s marinated with Louisiana herbs and seasonings for that Southern flavor. Standard meal sizes are 3-piece or 5-piece and come with a side dish, a biscuit, and your favorite dipping sauce.

5. Ghost Pepper Wings

If you want more heat in your meal than the regular Cajun seasoning, Popeyes’ Ghost Pepper Wings may be right up your alley. They can be on and off the menu though, so make sure to get some when they’re available.

To give you an idea of how spicy these wings are, ghost peppers are six to ten times hotter than habanero peppers. These are breaded and marinated in a ghost pepper spice blend, so you may want to have a drink on hand when trying them. They’re also served with a dipping sauce, which means you can get creative with new flavor combinations. 

4. Biscuit

As one of the longest-running items on the Popeyes menu, the Biscuit definitely deserves some recognition. In fact, I ranked it #1 on my list of the best Popeyes sides. I love these warm and flaky buttermilk biscuits because they’re so versatile. You can dip them into Cajun gravy, turn your chicken tenders into a sandwich, or pair them with honey sauce to satisfy your sweet tooth.  

3. Popcorn Shrimp Meal

Popeyes is best known for its chicken, but their Popcorn Shrimp is a great option if you’re in the mood for some seafood. These shrimp are battered in their signature buttermilk and Cajun spice blend, so you know they will be flavorful. Order them with a side of cocktail or tartar sauce, and each bite will simply melt in your mouth.

2. Signature Chicken

The Signature Chicken is what really put Popeyes on the map. Here’s a fun fact: Before the chain became successful, it was a struggling restaurant called Chicken on the Run, which served traditional Southern fried chicken. It was reopened in 1972 as Popeyes Famous Fried Chicken and started selling their signature New Orleans-style chicken – Well, the rest is history.

What makes Popeyes’ chicken special is their 12-hour marination process with the traditional Louisiana herbs and seasonings. These are then battered up and fried until golden brown for that crunchy outside and tender inside we all know and love.

1. Chicken Sandwich

My favorite item on the Popeyes menu is their Chicken Sandwich. I really think this is one of the best fast-food chicken sandwiches of all time. I love their classic chicken sandwich, but you can also order the spicy version. Both sandwiches include a chicken breast fillet that’s marinated in a blend of Louisiana spices and coated in buttermilk breading. They are served on a toasted and buttered brioche bun and topped with pickle slices and mayo. If you’ll try only one item from the Popeyes menu, let it be this one!

About the Author

Lana Kisner is a writer on the team with more than 15 years of experience in the food service industry. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, exploring new restaurants, listening to live music, and hiking with her dog.