Up until today, I was unaware that this place was even a chain restaurant in Illinois.

Part of that reason is that in the Rockford area, where I live, we had one of these joints that lasted all of about two seconds.

Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash
Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash
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Maybe it was the location or maybe it was something else but that place is gone from The Forest City and it's still called The Best Restaurant Chain in Illinois.

Mashed put together a comprehensive list of the best chain joints in America "to help you separate the best chains from those you should avoid with all of your might...by weighing recommendations, online reviews, awards and other forms of recognition."

Photo by Dan Gold on Unsplash
Photo by Dan Gold on Unsplash

The listed Culver's for Wisconsin's best chain restaurant, and you know what, it makes sense for Illinois. Probably more sense when you consider Mashed said Harold's Chicken Shack is The Land of Lincoln's very best chain joint.

Say what?


Harold's Chicken Shack has become an institution in Illinois over the last 70 years. An entrepreneur named Harold Pierce started this restaurant in 1950 in Chicago and it didn't take long for his place to become very popular. Today, Harold's Chicken Shack sells a variety of tasty poultry options including fried chicken, wings, tenders, and giblets.

The article goes on to mention the reviews of Harold's Chicken Shack. Of the 410 Yelp reviews of the 612 South Wabash Avenue location of Harold's Chicken Shack, the restaurant sits at 3.5 out of 5 stars.

Deidra D. on Yelp says "this is the best fried chicken I have had from a fast food place in a long time." Adding, "It's not fancy, service is OK but the food is the bomb!"

On the other hand, Brittney C. said "This place is overrated like hell. Somebody lied to me when they said this was the best chicken ever."

What do you think? When you consider Lou Malnati's and Portillo's are officially chain restaurants, is Harold's Chicken Shack really Illinois' best restaurant chain?

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