Kansas City Restaurant Stroud's Is Famous For Its Pan-Fried Chicken

Whether you're planning a trip to Kansas City or going on a pilgrimage to find the best fried chicken in the country, there is one spot you're going to want to make sure you stop at. Stroud's is a three-location local chain in Missouri and Kansas famous for its pan-fried chicken. According to the restaurant's website, the business got its start in 1933 as a Kansas City barbecue restaurant but switched to serving chicken during World War II because of the government's rationing of beef.

While the original Stroud's location was closed in 2006 due to an eminent domain construction project, the chain is still using Helen Stroud's original chicken recipe, which when it first went on sale cost only $0.35 per plate. 

Stroud's was bought by brothers Mike Donegan and Jim Hogan in 1977 following the Strouds' retirement. Years later, in 1983, Hogan, Donegan, and Donegan's twin brother, Dennis, expanded the business to its Oak Ridge Manor location inside a historic, renovated 1840s log cabin (via Newsbreak). While Hogan sold his share of the business in 2000, the Donegan family remained part of the business until Mike passed away in 2021.

A local legend

Since its introduction of Helen Stroud's pan-fried chicken, Stroud's has been a popular Kansas City staple. Alongside its famous chicken, NewsBreak notes the restaurant is known for its fried catfish, its homemade chicken noodle soup, and its cinnamon rolls, which are served alongside your entrée as a sort of combination side and dessert. And despite all its success, the chain's chicken recipe is reportedly quite simple, with Kansas City's Fox News 4 reporting in 2018 that the recipe only requires the chicken to be dredged in a flour mix with salt and pepper before pan frying on the stove instead of deep frying.

Whatever the secret, it has worked for the chain. VisitKC notes that the restaurant has been recognized with a James Beard Award for Excellence in the "Home Style" category, as well as a Zagat Award for Best Restaurant. Newsbreak also notes it has been featured on multiple television programs including The Travel Channel's "Man v. Food" and "No Reservations," Food Network's "The Best Thing I Ever Ate," and KCPT's "Check Please." Tasting Table has also recognized it as one of our 45 Best Fried Chicken Restaurants in America

Currently, there are three Stroud's locations, including the historic Oak Ridge Manor in Kansas City, Missouri, a venue in Overland Park, Kansas, which also hosts the company's catering location, and Stroud's Express in Mission, Kansas, per Newsbreak.