Best Alternatives to the McChicken


McDonald’s claims that their McChicken is a classic, and perhaps that’s true. It’s also true that when it comes to the category of premium fast food chicken sandwiches, McDonald’s came late to the party, and other brands (notably Popeye’s and Chick-fil-A) have become a lot more popular.

Of course, there’s always the brand cache of McDonald’s itself, which is no small thing. It also helped that they’ve released a terrific trio of new chicken sandwiches, including the Spicy Crispy Chicken, Chicken Deluxe, and the basic Crispy Chicken. It also didn’t hurt their image when they partnered with BTS. When you consider that the average McChicken cost is $1.56 only, then it all works out.

Still, plenty of chicken sandwich experts will tell you that the McChicken isn’t the only option out there. In fact, you ought to try the other options before you can decide which one’s the best. And if you go this route, you better start your taste test journey with these excellent fast food chicken sandwiches:

Popeyes Chicken Sandwich

Yes, you’re paying about $4 for this. Is it worth 2 McChicken sandwiches (with an extra dollar as change)?

Many will immediately say yes, since they consider this just about the best sandwich you can ever get in a fast-food establishment. In fact, they say that Popeyes offers the very best fried chicken, whether it’s in between buns or not.

It combines the crunchiness of the buttermilk butter, the crispness and tanginess of the 2 large pickles, velvety mayo, and the sweetness of the brioche buns. The chicken breast is the star of the show, with its ideal mix of seasonings (including salt and spices), in the crunchiest batter of them all.

You may have some trouble actually getting one of these, as Popeyes have been selling them left and right, with people even forming lines. As plenty of people will insist, it really is that good.

Chick-fil-A Original Chicken Sandwich

This also has a lot of fans, though some people may wonder why. Quite a few people think it’s good, though it’s $5 cost may be a bit too much

There’s no arguing with the quality of the chicken itself, though. It’s magnificently juicy, and the light batter is perfectly seasoned. With the 2 pickle chips and the bun, it’s a no-fuss sandwich, which you can always customize with the terrific Chick-fil-A sauces.

But without those sauces, you may find the sandwich a bit on the dry side. The batter is perennially soggy, like the bun. And while you may enjoy the acidity of the pickles that match the great chicken, those pickle chips are relatively tiny.

In the end, you probably just go with the chicken nuggets and forego the sandwich.

Hardee’s Hand-Breaded Chicken Sandwich

This is another new entry in the chicken sandwich war, as Hardee’s only launched this in May of 2021. But it’s great, with its crisp crunchiness on the outside and its juiciness on the inside. The potato bun does its job, offering a great taste without outshining the excellent chicken and also offering a nice balance.

Perhaps the only complaint that you may have about this is that it doesn’t have enough pickles inside the sandwich. But that’s easily solved—just order extra pickle, you nitpicky you!

Church’s Chicken: Chicken Sandwich

This is also pricier than the McChicken, with its $4 price tag. But many consider it a close contender to the mighty Popeyes chicken sandwich.

The seasoned batter offers the unmistakable flavors of pepper and garlic, then gives way to the juicy and tender chicken breast underneath. You have the tart pickle chips, along with the mayo and terrific honey butter on the sweet brioche bun. This tastes almost magical, and a worthy adversary to Popeyes.


This beloved Filipino brand has become bigger, with new establishments all over the world. When a Jollibee’s first opened in London, the lines were simply ridiculous.

But wait a while until the fervor dies down, and you can get inside and order the fantastic Jollibee’s chicken sandwiches. You have 3 to choose from here: Original Chicken, Spicy Chicken, and Spicy Chicken Deluxe. Plenty of people (including non-Filipino’s) will insist that no visit to a Jollibee’s is complete without one of these terrific chicken sandwiches.

Carl’s Jr. Big Fillet Chicken Sandwich

You may have an issue with the $6.89 price tag, especially if you’re treating a large group to lunch and they all order the Big Fillet Chicken Sandwich from Carl’s Jr. But you’ll impress your buddies, and not just because of the price tag.

They’ll love the white meat chicken with the well-seasoned batter, while the mayo is plentiful and the bun is soft.

Try any of these chicken sandwiches, and expand your chicken horizons!

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