I wouldn’t touch a naked pickle, but bread it and fry it in oil and I’m all over it.
The history of fried pickles is a salty tale. Some say they were first introduced in a 1962 issue of the Oakland Tribune. The recipe called for sweet pickles and pancake mix. But it was Bernell “Fatman” Austin in Atkins, Arkansas, who made them popular at his restaurant, The Duchess Drive-In. Fatman’s Original Fried Dill Pickles are still made with Austin’s original recipe at the annual two-day Picklefest each May in Arkansas.
Can’t wait for Picklefest or unwilling to make the drive for brine perfection? These 18 local restaurants offer a variety of fried pickle options. Here’s where to find them in Charlotte:
401 W. 9th St., (704) 332-6789
Al Mike’s in Fourth Ward uses kosher dill pickles chips to make their fried pickles. They’re lightly floured and fried in vegetable oil. Ranch and a cucumber dill dressings are available for dipping; $5.25 per order, enough to share with two to four people.
1626 East Blvd., (704) 714-4888
15105 John J. Delaney Dr. #A, (704) 919-2700
8625-A Lindholm Dr., Huntersville, 28078, (704) 237-4055
8915 Christenbury Pkwy., Suite 70, Concord, 28027, (980) 430-5101
Bad Daddy’s fried pickles are made with dill spears. They’re breaded with flour and a proprietary (read: secret) spice blend and fried in a soy-based oil. The ranch dressing is housemade; $7.95 for a full order and $3 for a small order during Happy Hour, Monday-Friday 3-6 p.m.
3220 N. Davidson St., (704) 817-8231
Bread and butter pickle chips are tossed in a tortilla breading and fried in peanut oil. They’re served with housemade blackened ranch; $5 for a standard-size Chinese food container.
2224 Park Rd., (704) 371-4300
These Schwartz’s kosher crinkle-cut pickles are breaded with flour, cornmeal, dill and spices. The chips are fried in vegetable oil and served with the housemade chipotle ranch dressing; $8 for 20 to 25 fried pickles.
201 N. Tryon St., Suite 1010, (980) 224-8674
Cowbell’s fried pickles are made with dill pickle chips. The breading is a proprietary blend of flour and spices. They’re fried in canola oil and served with two sides of housemade buttermilk ranch dressing; $8, for two or more people and $4 for a single order, Mon.-Fri. 2-6 p.m. and after 10 p.m.
4310 Sharon Rd, (704) 365-1922
Boar’s Head dill pickles crinkle cut chips are breaded in seasoned flour and fried in soybean oil. The pickles are mixed with flash fried cherry peppers. They’re served with ranch and horseradish aioli sauces; $8 for 25 pickles or add them to your entree for $3.
10403 Park Rd., (704) 541-4113
D.D. Peckers’ Dill spears are covered with a spicy onion breading, fried in vegetable oil and served with homemade ranch or hot ranch; $6.95 for six spears.
1901 Commonwealth Ave., (704) 375-8959
These fried pickles are made with dill chips. They’re lightly breaded with flour, cayenne pepper and garlic. They’re fried in soybean oil and served with homemade ranch; $6.25 for a regular basket and $8.50 for a large basket.
14015 Conlan Circle, (704) 752-7284
16609 Statesville Rd., (704) 237-4387
330 N. Tryon St., (980) 939-1166
4435 Park Rd., (704) 527-5783
Duckworth’s kitchen uses crinkle-cut dill pickles to start. Then they toss them in the housemade breading — made with flour, thyme, black pepper and onion and garlic powder. They’re fried in peanut oil and served with a housemade ranch, sometimes called “white gold” by customers; $4.99 for about 50 fried pickles.
617 S Sharon Amity Rd., (704) 442-0147
Eddie’s recipe includes breading the dill chips with Zatarain’s Seasoned Fish-Fri. They’re fried in a vegetable and canola oil mix and served with ranch and habanero ranch; $7.25 for eight ounces.
201 E. 5th St., (704) 900-8088
Fitgerald’s dill chips are breaded in cornstarch, fried in vegetable oil and then seasoned with Old Bay. They’re served with housemade ranch; $6.99 for a large handful.
2410 Park Rd., (704) 372-2009
Dill pickle chips are tossed in a cornstarch and wheat and rice flour mixture. They’re fried in canola oil and served with housemade ranch; $7.95 for one quart.
400 S. Graham St., (980) 218-9228
Graham Street Pub & Patio make their fried pickles with Schwartz’s Kosher Dill Pickle Slices. They’re breaded with cornmeal and spices, fried in soybean oil and served with sriracha ranch dipping sauce; $7 for one pound.
2511 South Blvd., (704) 522-6227
2414 Sandy Porter Rd., (704) 504-8500
19601 Liverpool Pkwy., Cornelius, (704) 892-3554
142 E. John St. Matthews, (704) 444-0332
Claussen dill pickle slices are breaded in flour, cornmeal and a secret blend of spices and fried in vegetable oil. They’re served with housemade buttermilk ranch; $5 for about 45 pickles.
Photo by Melissa Kocembo
1700 Montford Dr., (704) 523-7633
Bowling and fried pickle fans can expect Schwartz’s crinkle-cut pickles soaked with jalapenos in a pickle brine juice. The chips are breaded with a house-mix of lightly seasoned Autry flour and fried in vegetable oil. They’re served with a spicy ranch made with chipotle and chili peppers in a buttermilk ranch; $7 for six to seven ounces.
1600 W. Morehead St., (704) 332-0402
9818 Gilead Rd B-101, Huntersville, (704) 727-0142
Greg’s Pickles are made with kosher dill crinkle cut chips. They’re dipped in buttermilk, breaded with flour and a secret spice mix and fried in vegetable oil. The pickles are served with their homemade ranch; $4.95 for a small basket and $6.95 for a large basket.
5000 Whitewater Center Pkwy., (704) 391-3900
The River’s Edge serves sliced dill pickles breaded in a mixture of corn and wheat flour and fried in soybean oil. A spicy ranch dipping sauce is offered on the side; $8 for 30 to 32 pickle chips.
4810 Ashley Park Ln., (704) 643-8535
Rusty Bucket Deep-Fried Pickles are made with kosher dill pickles. The spears are marinated in milk and then lightly coated in cornstarch. They’re breaded with beer batter and fried in a neutral-flavored oil. The pickles are served with a made-from-scratch cilantro ranch dressing.
$9.29 for six spears.
Where do you get your fried pickle fix? Tell us in the comments below.
Update: This story has been updated to include Pinky’s Westside Grill. Thanks for reminding us!