Here in Lubbock, we take food seriously. And there are certain dishes we have incredibly high standards for. I've seen people nearly come to blows over chicken wings, brisket and jalapeno poppers. I love that kind of passion when it comes to food, as I certainly feel that strongly about it too.

There is one particular dish for which Lubbock folks have the highest of high standards , and that's Chicken Fried Steak (CFS). It makes sense, chicken fry is a Southern staple and we live in a city that is an island surrounded by ranch land. When you look up the CFS Wikipedia, the region listed for it is "West Texas/Oklahoma". Okay, we can share one thing with Oklahoma, I guess.

Real quick- why is it called "chicken fry" when its clearly beef? It's entirely the cooking technique of dredging the beef in seasoned flour and deep frying in like chicken. Which leads to the almost hilariously named "Chicken fried chicken" which seems redundant but indicates the chicken was pounded flat like CFS.

So, who in Lubbock has the best of this oh-so-Lubbock dish? If you're lucky, it's your Momma, Grammy, Pops or Tía. But unless you have one of those earth angels on-call, you might have to satiate your craving at one of Lubbock's many amazing restaurants that serve CFS.

I asked my friends who are trusted foodies to dish their CFS favorites. Here they are in no particular order. In fact, I challenge you to try them all and crown the winner yourself.

Lee's Cafe (7604 Milwaukee, Ste 400).

Enormous portions and the finest soul food sides. Lee's is my personal favorite. See also: Bucket of Love at 6012 82nd St, Ste E, which also has CFS and is owned/ operated by the same family.

Caprock Cafe (34th & Indiana or 82nd & Slide)

Caprock Cafe is "where Texas plays" and where, as one of my friends puts it, "Caprock has it down to a science. Unrivaled in my opinion"

Perika's Terrace (116 S. Main, Seminole) 

I'm told it's well worth the short drive to Seminole for a Perika's Terrace CFS, and you can even opt for jalapeno bacon gravy, if you're feeling adventurous.

All American Eatery (8901 Highway 87)

I have literally only heard phenomenal reviews of All American Eatery and I'm ashamed I haven't tried it yet. That cream gravy has my name on it.

Cast Iron Grill (620 19th Street)

Where it's all about the, "boots, pie and chicken fry!" FYI- Cast Iron is only open for breakfast and lunch, and only open Monday through Friday, so you'll need to make plans to try this chicken fry.

Lubbock's Breakfast House (7006 University)

This is Wes Nessman's favorite CFS (besides the one he makes, which is heavenly), and he particularly likes that there's a breakfast version with eggs. He is extremely picky about where and what he'll eat, so this is quite high praise.

The Tea Room at KK's Craft Mall (409 Indiana Ave Rear)

Miss the CFS from the orginal Ranch House? You can still get them, if you keep your eyes peeled:

I'm biased, but my dad made some of my favorites for the Ranch House before they closed years he makes them at the Tea Room inside KK's Corner Mall once a month

Ike's Woodfire Grill (4414 82nd Street Suite #218)

Ike's has HUGE portions for most of their menu items, and the CFS is no exception at a whopping 1/2 pound. You can also pick from the West Texas traditional cream gravy or brown gravy if you want more extreme umami.

509 Grill (509 N College Ave in Levelland)

As an SPC alum from back in the day, I was always searching for good food in Levelland, and usually just ended up with a breakfast croissant from BK. It seems like lately Levelland is really coming into its own as a food destination, and that makes me very happy.

Riversmith's Chicken and Catfish (406 Avenue Q)

CFS from a seafood place? Yup, and it's delicious. Riversmith's is a Lubbock's old-reliable when it comes to almost anything fried.

50th Street Caboose (5027 50th Street)

If you want your CFS with a side of fun (and one of those to die-for strawberry daquiris) then 50th Street Caboose is a Lubbock tradition. You can really work up a mighty hunger after a few rounds of Skee-ball and Clown Toss.

Dirk's (1636 13th Street)

Served in strips, Dirk's CFS is arguably Steak Fingers, but I'm not here to be technical. I haven't had the opportunity to try Dirk's yet, but I constantly hear rave reviews.

Bryan's Steaks (1212 50th St)

I have a special place in my heart for Bryan's. You can read all about it here.

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