What the cluck was up with Columbus eateries in 2014? It seems having fried chicken on the menu was a rite of passage for new restaurants. Here are versions from eateries old and new you just can't miss.

What the cluck was up with Columbus eateries in 2014? It seems having fried chicken on the menu was a rite of passage for new restaurants. We're not complaining, of course. We ate it up, down to every last battered and fried bite. Greasy-fingered and full, we can now consider ourselves connoisseurs of Columbus fried chicken. Here are versions from eateries old and new you just can't miss.

Mya's Fried Chicken

We've been promised this weekend-only food truck's recent hiatus from the parking lot of a Clintonville convenience store is temporary-and we surely hope that's true. We're longing for Mark Tolentino's Deep South chicken with charmingly uneven browning (a telltale sign it's been fried in a shallow pan) and a quick dip in herb-infused honey that coats the buttermilk crust in sticky sweetness. myasfriedchicken.com

Wildflower Cafe

Before fried poultry was a thing, it was a weekly special at Wildflower Cafe. And so we must pay homage to the original local favorite-a barely greasy, stick-to-your-ribs chicken dish that fulfills every basic thing you need from the Southern classic. A crispy, flavorful coating. Tender and juicy meat underneath. It's no-frills diner fare that's comforting in every way. wildflower-cafe.com

Bodega

When the Short North bar temporarily shut down this year, they did more than remodel the interior. The menu got a fryer-focused makeover with applewood-smoked legs and breasts as the starring act you can eat on its own or atop a sandwich or salad. Smoking gives every bite a campfire-like flavor. Basic dinner orders come with a side of honey or house hot sauce, so choose your own adventure. columbusbodega.com

Hudson 29

It's hard to believe no Cameron Mitchell restaurants served bone-in fried chicken before The Pearl opened in 2013. Now it seems the buttermilk-battered dish is a CMR staple. The Crispy Buttermilk Chicken sandwich is one of the best things we've eaten at Upper Arlington's Hudson 29 (and at $14, one of the best values). Crispy strips of white meat are layered with crunchy slaw and punchy pickle relish with serrano peppers on a puffy house-made bun cut into thirds for easy eating. hudson29.com

Smokehouse Brewing Co.

If it's a crunchy, thick crust you love on your fried bird, look no further than Smokehouse Brewing's Double Dip Buttermilk Fried Chicken-a new addition to the menu that came along with the name change (they dropped the Barley's) over the summer. Chicken is brined in house hot sauce-spiked buttermilk and double dipped in seasoned flour. smokehousebrewing.com