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The Best Chicken Strips in Iowa City

It's the go-to meal: when you're at an unfamiliar restaurant and nothing seems to be appetizing, you order chicken strips with french fries. AMAZING. It may be a simple meal, but you can customize it your own way with ranch, barbecue, ketchup or whatever your heart desires. I love chicken strips so much that I took it upon myself to find the best chicken strips in Iowa City for you! 

I compared each restaurants' chicken strips on three categories: crispiness, flavor and price. To keep comparisons consistent, I ate them without any sauce (it was a little saddening, but I did it for the consistency). 


I visited Melk on a Tuesday when they were having their deal for $2 chicken strips with fries. $2 for each individual strip seems pricey, but the strips were pretty large, and as I mentioned, the order came with fries. I was really interested in trying Melk's chicken strips because on the menu they are called Cap 'n Crunch chicken tenders. Who wouldn't want to try these? 

Overall, these were solid chicken strips. The flavor was hard to describe- nothing overwhelming, but it was definitely different in comparison to traditional chicken strips. It was ever-so-slightly sweet but not very flavorful. To put it simply- it's something you will have to try yourself to understand. I gave Melk a score of 5/10 on flavor. Crispiness is a 7. It was pleasantly crispy, but nothing that blew me away. 

Price: $10

Overall score: 12/20

Hamburg Inn No. 2

This was my first time at Hamburg Inn No. 2, so I was excited to see what they had to offer for their chicken strips. I ordered a half-pound order with no sides for $7. They were very crispy, but not to the point where it hurt my mouth. I gave them 9/10 for crispiness. Flavor was okay. They definitely needed dipping sauce, so I gave them 6/10 for flavor. 

Price: $7

Overall score: 15/20

The Mill

The chicken strips at The Mill did not disappoint. We only received four strips for the price, making it a little pricier than others (but it was well worth it). The breading was pure perfection. There wasn't too much breading, and it was nice and crispy. I gave it 10/10 for crispiness. As for flavor, it was pretty good without any sauce. My only complaint would be that they were a little too peppery. Maybe I'm just too picky, but I did give them a 7/10 for flavor because of this. 

Price: $8.50

Overall score: 17/20

Vine Tavern & Eatery

These chicken strips were simply amazing. They were not the crispiest chicken strips, so I gave them an 8/10. Where they lacked in crispiness, they made up in flavor. The chicken in these was so flavorful and juicy. They rightfully earned a 10/10 in flavor.

Price: $9.59

Overall score: 18/20

Sadly, my list only covers a small fraction of what this city has to offer when it comes to food. As a foodie, I tested the restaurants I know of and love. The Vine Tavern & Eatery may have the highest score on my list, but I would love to discover if I'm missing out on even bigger and better chicken strips. 

Teresa is from Clarksville, Iowa and is a sophomore at the University of Iowa studying business administration. In addition to Her Campus, she is a member of the sorority Alpha Chi Omega. Teresa spends her free time drinking coffee or binge-watching Hulu.
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