#49 of 23 Asheville Restaurants

Rocky’s Hot Chicken Shack (Patton Location)

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Rocky's Hot Chicken Shack on Patton Avenue: Bringing Tennessee-Style Wings And Soul Food to Asheville
Local Expert's Rating:
4.5 / 5
The Bottom Line:

Rocky's Hot Chicken Shack brings spicy Tennessee-style chicken and soul food to Asheville's Patton Avenue. Brace yourself, this restaurant means business with its 'mercilessly hot' wings.

- The SmokyMountains.com Local Expert Team

If you like your chicken hot, you’ll adore the Tennessee-style wings, thighs, and breasts at the Patton Avenue edition of Rocky’s Hot Chicken Shack. From a myriad of five-star reviews to odes in visual art and music, Rocky’s is quickly becoming the culinary version of an Asheville cult classic.

While it’s possible to order your meal online for pickup or delivery, the experience just isn’t the same if you eat away from the restaurant. There’s something about the Rocky’s atmosphere that can’t be replicated anywhere else.

When you arrive, head straight for the counter to order. Options are posted on the wall — and the restaurant’s staff members are happy to provide guidance regarding the best heat level and sides for your palate. Grab a number and find a seat; despite Rocky’s ‘shack’ name, ample seating is available inside. Hit up the patio if the weather is nice.

As you wait for your order, gaze at vintage decor and chicken-inspired works from local artists. The chicken paintings are typically for sale —feel free to ask the staff for more information if you find a particular work of art impressive.

While options are available for those who can’t handle spice, ‘hot’ is built into the restaurant’s name. The takeaway? When Rocky’s labels a menu item as ‘hot,’ you better believe it’s spicy! When in doubt, order slightly milder than your initial inclination. Most chicken lovers are safe with the mild, honey mild, and medium recipes.

Rocky’s staff members are proud of ‘Beer City USA,’ so of course, the restaurant offers a variety of local beers. Brew partners include Highland Brewing Company, Asheville Brewing Company, and Catawba Brewing Company, among others.

A few of our favorite menu items include:

Fried Green Tomatoes
An Asheville classic, fried green tomatoes constitute the perfect shareable platter for your group of friends or family members. The Rocky’s version of this local favorite comes complete with goat cheese and peach pepper jam.

Fried Chicken Plate
You’ll do yourself a disservice if you visit Rocky’s and fail to order fried chicken. While chicken can be ordered alone, most visitors are just as enthusiastic about the sides as they are about the restaurant’s claim to fame.

With a full plate, you get your choice of legs, thighs, breast, wings, or tenders, plus two sides. Over a dozen options for sides are available — good luck choosing! Favorites include mac and cheese, fried okra, and sweet potato casserole. You may be asked to pay a modest additional fee for sweet potato fries or onion rings.

Chicken and Waffles
If you neglect to order the fried chicken plate described above, try the chicken and waffles. This entree essentially substitutes the sides included in the plate meal with a fluffy waffle and pure maple syrup. Choose your favorite chicken piece to go with your waffle masterpiece; most regulars favor chicken tenders for this particular meal. If you’re feeling extra hungry, order the chicken and waffles as a plate — you’ll receive your chicken and waffle, plus two sides.

Nothing satisfies quite like hot chicken and classic southern sides. If you visit Rocky’s Patton Avenue location, you’ll arrive hungry and leave with a huge smile on your face.

Insider Tips
-Not many restaurants boast their own song, but the Rocky’s experience compelled Hank West & the Smokin’ Hots to write an ode to ‘Rocky’s Spicy Chicken.’ It’s included on ‘A Message for the Yogi’ and can be found on the Rocky’s official website.
-Rocky’s offers specials for every day of the week, but be careful: some specials only apply to the Patton Avenue or the Sweeten Creek location. If you have a tattoo and are willing to show it off, visit the Patton Avenue shack on a Tuesday for a discount.