mcdonald's spicy chicken sandwich

McDonald’s Spicy Chicken vs Popeyes, Chick-fil-A: Who Has the Best Sandwich?

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It seems that in 2019 some of the major fast food chains finally took notice of the wild success and hype around Chick-fil-A and its chicken sandwiches and decided to come up with a product that could compete. 

Here we are at the beginning of 2021 and we’ve seen Popeyes expand its business greatly by introducing two chicken sandwiches that literally had people killing each other over them. With all the controversy and profit being made, it was only a matter of time before McDonald’s, arguably the most recognizable fast food chain in the world, decided to come up with a chicken sandwich of its own. 

I recently had the chance to taste one and I wanted to rank it among all of the other chicken sandwiches in what seems like a war between chains so far. Read on to see where McDonald’s ranks among other chicken. 

1 – Popeyes


Sorry Chick-fil-A fans, but to me, this is the greatest of all chicken sandwiches. The coating on the Popeyes chicken mixed with the thick, juicy piece of meat inside makes for the best sandwich on this list.

The exterior of the Popeye’s is easily the most crispy of all these sandwiches. The meat is also never dry, and the spicy mayo and pickle that tops off the spicy version perfectly compliments it. This sandwich almost became a religious experience for me as I found myself eating it at least once a week. It easily tops my list and is a must try for all chicken enthusiasts. 

Check out this recipe to make your own Popeyes chicken sandwich.

2 – Chick-fil-A


Is this chicken anointed by God, or is it just that good?

I honestly believe it’s a combination of both. I love the flavor of the coating on the Chick-fil-A sandwiches and I would probably say it’s the best tasting if we were ranking that part of the sandwich alone on this list, but we’re not. There are a few things that are inferior on this sandwich in comparison to Popeye’s including the bun and size of the chicken patty.

It’s a sauceless sandwich out of the box, but that part works for me since the coating has such great flavor. However, this one ranks a little bit lower on my list due to the lack of crispiness. 

3 – Wendy’s

To be honest, Wendy’s is really the first place that I went to religiously for chicken sandwiches. Long before a Chick-fil-A ever opened a location in NYC, I was walking to Wendy’s with my friends to order that spicy chicken sandwich combo.

The Wendy’s sandwich is simple with a typical salty fried flavor and a topping of tomato and mayo and in my younger years, I found the sandwich to be a bit spicy. However, as I grew and ate more spicy food, the sandwich had little to no kick for me anymore and chains that specialized in seasoning just had more of a knack for delivering hot outer coating. I still like this sandwich and eat it from time to time, but it definitely doesn’t have the pizazz of the first two sandwiches on this list. 

4 – McDonald’s

This is going to be a short list and McDonald’s ranks on the bottom of it. I know Burger King and Shake Shack also have sandwiches but I haven’t tried Shake Shack’s and it’s been awhile since I went to BK for chicken.

So with McDonald’s I have to say that its spicy chicken is a rip off of Popeyes minus the crispy coating. The outside of the sandwich is very similar to the McChicken which is certainly not quite on the level of any of the chains listed above in terms of flavor and texture. It also uses the same exact combination with the spicy mayo and pickle found on Popeyes sandwich.

McDonald’s failed to do anything original with this one. Now, it does taste pretty good, and if you’ve never had Popeyes, you might like it a lot more. It’s a solid sandwich and has a better sized patty than Chick-fil-A in my opinion, but is missing that flavor combo that makes the holy chicken chain so special.

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