This Royal Farms Chicken review is not sponsored.
When we drove up to New York in March, we took the scenic route. It was more along the coast instead of up 95, and other than that, I can’t tell you much about it because my dad was the driver so I wasn’t paying attention to the roads.
What I was paying attention to, though, were the amount of Royal Farms gas stations we were passing. I had never in my life heard of Royal Farms and now, they were all over.
A gas station is a gas station, you think. But the Royal Farms gas stations were all advertising — no, boasting — World Famous Chicken. On the gas pumps, inside the station, on its website. World Famous Chicken.
Crickets. Not one single reply.
On the way back from New York, we didn’t take the scenic route, so we didn’t pass any Royal Farms and didn’t try the chicken.
All was not lost, though.
A month later, Pete and I were driving up to Virginia. I packed us snacks and drinks for the ride, but since we were driving through dinnertime, I told him we were going to stop for Royal Farms fried chicken.
All drive long, I kept thinking about Royal Farms chicken. We didn’t see a sign, though, and when it got closer to dinnertime, I decided to check the map to see where the closest Royal Farms was.
The only one on our route was a mile from our hotel in Virginia. Well, we decided, we’re not eating dinner until we get to the hotel.
It was worth the wait.
Royal Farms World Famous Chicken: Is It Worth A Stop?
What is Royal Farms?
Royal Farms, if you’re unfamiliar like I was, is a Baltimore-based gas station with over 300 locations, owned by Cloverland Farms Dairy.
The majority of the Royal Farms locations are in Baltimore, but there are many in Virginia, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, and New Jersey.
The gas station does sell gas, as you would assume, but it also sells various convenience products for travelers, like drinks, packaged snacks, and, the (self-proclaimed) world famous chicken.
So, is Royal Farms chicken good?
Believe it or not, Royal Farms chicken is actually really good.
Food & Wine named it one of the top 10 Gas Station Foods Across the Country That Are Worth the Detour and earned the title of “2018 Gas Station Fried Chicken” from Philadelphia Magazine.
But we, normal people who just like chicken, did like it too.
How does Royal Farms cook its chicken?
Royal Farms chicken is pressure cooked chicken, so it’s not fried.
It starts with fresh, never frozen chicken. That chicken is hand-breaded with a blend of secret spices then pressure cooked, which gives the texture and taste of fried chicken without actually (technically) being fried chicken.
But that breading on the outside, oh my gosh. It’s really crunchy and delicious. And it doesn’t get soggy, not even the next day, after sitting in the fridge overnight.
With lots of fried chicken, you really need to revive it in the oven. Once it starts to cool and sweat, the breading gets soggy.
But not Royal Farms
The breading stayed fresh and crunchy, even when we pulled it out of the fridge for dinner the day after we bought it.
I got an 8-piece meal (two breasts, wings, thighs, and legs), a side order of fries, and four rolls, plus jalapeño cheese.
If you’re asking my advice: Skip the fries and rolls.
The chicken is really fresh. Actually, Royal Farms chicken is made fresh ’round the clock. Seriously. You can get fresh Royal Farms fried chicken 24/7.
The associate told me a batch of chicken just came out when I was there. When I asked if there were chicken strips available, he said it would take 10 minutes because they have to first hand bread the chicken then cook it for seven minutes.
So there really is no chicken waiting frozen somewhere.
The fries tasted so old though, like they had been sitting in the bottom of dirty grease for a long time before they got to us. The rolls looked similar to those heat and go Sister Schubert’s rolls. They just weren’t anything special.
The 8-piece meal with fries and rolls cost $19.99, so I would have preferred to skip the fries and buns and just buy more chicken.
The jalapeno cheese was a hit, though. It was just jalapeno-flavored nacho cheese, which isn’t really anything mind blowing, but we all really enjoyed it. And couldn’t remember the last time we had nacho cheese, so sometimes just the nostalgia indulgence is worth it.
Can you just go for the Royal Farms fried chicken?
Yes, of course.
If you’re hungry for chicken, just go. Royal Farms is not a restaurant that’s exclusive to gas station patrons.
There’s no drive through window for the chicken, though. That would actually be amazing. You do have to get out of the car to get food.
You go up to a kiosk and use that to place your order. You can scroll through the options, choosing between items like chicken strips, a chicken sandwich, individual meals, and family meals.
When you place your order, a receipt prints out.
You pick up your order where you placed it, but you pay at a separate kiosk that acts as a register.
To pay, you need to scan your receipt and choose if you are paying with a Royal Farms credit card or not.
If you’re a member of the Royal Farms loyalty program, RoFo Rewards, you can scan your card and earn points for your order. After a certain number of points, you can earn free chicken.
At least, that’s how it’s supposed to work.
Problems with the Royal Farms Loyalty Card
Okay, so here’s the deal. I got the RoFo Rewards card when I got my chicken. If you know me, you know I’m frugal and I want to save money as much as possible. So even if I go to Royal Farms once in a blue moon, I still want to earn points for my purchases.
So I got the card (it’s free) and used it for my chicken purchase.
One of the Royal Farms associates told me I could take the card home and register it. That … was kind of a falsehood.
I went home, went to the website, and was caught in an infinite loop of trying to actually register the card. It wasn’t working.
I googled to see if I could find anything else out, and my search for advice was as successful as my original registration. All I found were complaints from people who also couldn’t register their cards. They left comments for Royal Farms, all of which went unanswered, and then caused more complaining.
So is the loyalty card worth it? Probably not. I mean, in theory you can get free chicken on your birthday, but if you can’t register the card to add your birthday, you’ll never get the offer for free chicken.
Can you order Royal Farms online?
Online ordering is now available on Royal Farms’ website for select, participating locations.
You’re not ordering directly from Royal Farms though. You’ll order through either EZCater or DoorDash.
Would you go back?
Absolutely yes. From now on, any time I have the chance to stop for Royal Farms chicken, I’m stopping.
Royal Farms Menu
Royal Farms has more than just chicken. You can check out the entire Royal Farms menu so you can decide what you’d like to try before you get to the gas station.
Have you tried Royal Farms World Famous Chicken? Let us know in the comments.