Roaming Rooster vs. Chick-Fil-A: Which Serves the Best Chicken Sandwich Combo? 

Photo by Mina Holtzman

In the past few weeks, we have heard lots of disagreements about where to get the best chicken sandwich combo in Tenleytown. To settle the debate, we went to Chick-Fil-A and Roaming Rooster to try their original chicken sandwich, lemonade, fries and sauce. Additionally, we factored in other components like price, sauces and proximity to GDS. 

Store #1 – Chick-Fil-A 

Overall rating: 8/10

Chicken sandwich: 7.5/10

Lemonade: 8/10 

Fries: 7.5/10

Sauce: 9/10

Price: $13 

Proximity to GDS: 0.4 miles

Our first destination was Chick-Fil-A. When we arrived, we had to wait in a long line to order and waited an additional ten minutes for our food to arrive. But after opening the unmistakable red and white bag, we were immediately welcomed by the inviting smell of a Chick-Fil-A meal. 

Initially, the combination of the fries’ crispy exterior, their fluffy interiors and the smoky and sweet Original Chick-Fil-A sauce on the side made them irresistible. However, after a few minutes of cooling down, the fries became stale and tasted like cardboard. The lemonade was a great companion to the fries and sauce; it struck a perfect balance between sweet and sour and tasted like it had been freshly squeezed. 

Lastly, we ordered the iconic Chick-Fil-A Original Chicken Sandwich. The sandwich arrived misshapen, so we had to reconstruct it. The chicken was juicy with a crunchy exterior, but it tasted dry sandwiched between the toasted buns. Overall, the simple and tasty meal made it no surprise that Chick-Fil-A has garnered a cult-like fan base. The two pickles added a nice crunch that completed the sandwich. 

Store #2 – Roaming Rooster

Photo by Eva Vinik

Overall rating: 8.3/10

Chicken sandwich: 9.5/10

Lemonade: 7.5/10 

Fries: 8.5/10

Sauce: 7.5/10 

Price: $22

Proximity to GDS: 0.3 miles

Roaming Rooster had some big shoes to fill after our Chick-Fil-A experience. When we arrived, there were very few people in the restaurant. There was no line, and our OG Nashville chicken sandwich, sides and trademark “rooster sauce” arrived quickly. 

The texture of the fries contrasted the pillowy ones at Chick-Fil-A and offered a saltier, more flavored crunch. The sauce tasted great—however, it tasted plain and was too liquidy. In addition, we had to pay for the sauce, whereas it was free at Chick-Fil-A. The lemonade tasted tangy and sweet, but when compared to Chick-Fil-A’s, it had an artificial and overly tart flavor. 

We tried the OG Nashville Chicken Sandwich—the original chicken sandwich at Roaming Rooster. We thought $10 was very expensive for a single sandwich, but it came with two pieces of chicken and a sweet and tangy coleslaw that formed a good combination with the perfectly breaded chicken. The sandwich did not quite capture the classic, nostalgic appeal of the Chick-Fil-A sandwich, but it provided a more fresh and flavorful bite. 


Ultimately, it was difficult to determine a winner between Chick-Fil-A and Roaming Rooster. The Chick-Fil-A meal was simple, but it was its simplicity that made it delicious. Also, the combo meal that Chick-Fil-A provided was more affordable than purchasing each item individually at Roaming Rooster. On the other hand, the Roaming Rooster meal felt more homemade, and the unique flavors were refreshing. The wait time for the food was also significantly faster. If you’re looking for a cheap, simple meal for lunch, Chick-Fil-A is reliable and well priced. But if you are looking for a delicious chicken sandwich combo with excellent service, Roaming Rooster should be your go-to.