What could be more convenient than two of Americans favorite foods, fried chicken and doughnuts, served not just in the same venue, but on the same dish? Aside from the immediate, artery-clogging reaction, South Philly’s Federal Donuts attracts more people in ten minutes than the Sixers have all year. With a slogan like, “Coffee Donuts Chicken,” the South 2nd Street restaurant has made headlining success with transforming the typical donut shop into an eating experience.
With two new locations, one on Sansom Street in Center City and the other on North 7th Street, set to open soon, famous chef Michael Solomonov has produced an explosion in the modern dining scene. If the thought of eating chicken besides a sticky, glazed doughnut results in laughter, then the best course of action would be to give this place a try. In all likelihood, you’ll be walking away laughing at yourself for thinking such a combination surely cannot work.
With places like Zahav, Percy Street Barbeque, Bodhi Coffee, and CookNSolo (also operations of Solomonov) flourishing, Chef Solomonov has made a significant, influential impression creating originality in the culinary world. While his most successful venue is very much debatable, Federal Donuts could make a case for most popular.
Federal Donuts, or FedNut as it is frequently called, is open seven days a week, with longer hours on the weekend.
Two important notes to mention: first, the FedNut’s ambitious “fancy doughnuts” are often sold out by morning’s end. And once they’re gone, they’re gone, at least, until the following morning. Second, it’s of importance to note every patron must carry cash, as FedNut only participates with this form of payment.
A few of the indulgent fancy doughnuts include flavors like Cookies & Cream, Blackberry Anise, Crumberry, Sticky Bun, and even seasonal favorites like Pumpkin Spice Latte. As for the hot, fresh doughnuts, the Indian Cinnamon and Lavender Vanilla are sure to become Homer Simpson’s favorites.
What Federal Donuts accomplishes best is the ingenuity and creativity behind the fried chicken, which just so happens to be leagues tastier than any fried chicken. Why? Because FedNut serves Korean-style fried chicken. This means they dip the chicken in a corn-starch based batter and fry it twice for optimal flavor results.
Along with the one-of-a-kind fried chicken, comes sides of Japanese cucumber pickles and a honey doughnut. For each order of fried chicken, diners can select a choice of their own dry seasoning (buttermilk ranch or coconut curry), wet glaze (chili-garlic or honey ginger), or simply plain.
One of the greatest aspects of Federal Donuts is their continuing rise in recognition. The New York Times wrote an article in early 2012, focusing on the enchantment of the fancy doughnuts, as if they were some sort of buried treasure.
And it’s true. You want to order them all just in case breakfast goes extinct. This café-like venue stands out as one of the best places to get a doughnut or a fried drumstick not just in Philadelphia, but also in the country!
Even though there are countless cafes and doughnut shops plugging up every metropolitan city, every diner should realize that it’s not about how sticky your fingers get. The bold, blue awning stands as a marker, visible from a few blocks away.
It signals everyone, both near and far, to experience something out of the ordinary: fried chicken and doughnuts. It signals the youthful wonder of the kid within every person walking through the bold, blue door. You never know what mind-melting combination Solomonov and the gang will be cooking up next. And you never know how long they’ll last.