3.5 Rating

🙂 = Delicious fried chicken and donuts! We got our order within a few minutes, and gobbled it up within 10-15 minutes. Thus, an easy in and out.

🙁 = There are no bathrooms, but they recommend easily hopping across to Dizengoff, their sister restaurant across the street. No high chairs. Street parking may be hard to find, but plenty of garages.The only reasons for a lower gummy bear rating is that it can get crowded with nowhere to sit, and it also lacks a bathroom. BUT, this isn’t the type of place you would go to sit for an hour. So, it’s not that big of a deal.

While a common Southern combination is fried chicken and waffles, here in Philly, we are all about fried chicken and donuts. For that combo, Federal Donuts is the place to be! With several locations around Philadelphia, we went to the one close to Rittenhouse Square on Sansom Street. It’s a small restaurant, and at peak hours, it can get very busy. We came mid-day, and it was fairly empty so we had a chance to browse around and ask questions.

Checking out the "fancy" donuts, and settling for some hot fresh ones. Oh, and the cool machine which fries them!

Checking out the “fancy” donuts, and settling for some hot fresh ones. Oh, and the cool machine which fries them!

You can choose fried chicken (which comes with a donut) or just donuts. As we are always hungry, we chose to do both! You can choose to have half chicken or whole chicken. If you choose half, you get 4 pieces. When we visited, you could also just order wings. Next, you can choose a dry rub or a glaze for the chicken. We get messy quickly (because after all – we are toddlers!) so daddy ordered the dry rub. The options included za’atar, buttermilk ranch, or coconut curry. We got the za’atar, which is a very “herby” Middle-Eastern blend of spices. We didn’t love the spices (though they are daddy’s favorite), but we enjoyed some of the chicken underneath (the spices were easy to remove). We went back in to ask what they would have recommended for us, and they said next time to try the buttermilk ranch. If you wanted to opt for the messy, glazed version, there are chili garlic, honey ginger, or sweet soy garlic glazes. The honey ginger sounds awesome – and, after all, they give you as many wet napkins as you want!


Now the best part – the donuts! You can choose between the “fancy” donuts (with flavors like lemon ricotta, grapefruit brulee, and strawberry shortcake, to name a few), or, what we opted for- the hot fresh donuts (though all the donuts are made daily)! There is a cool machine that fries the fresh hot donuts, and then dunks them into one of the spice mixtures – we got to choose between the vanilla spice, strawberry lavender, and cinnamon brown sugar. We opted for the vanilla spice and strawberry lavender mixes. We also got a plain donut when we ordered the fried chicken. Three donuts makes two toddlers very happy, even when we had to share. They were hot and sweet! Turns out we aren’t that picky when it comes to donuts. While the fancy donuts looked fancy, there is just something about hot, fresh donuts, that makes us happy.

There is some seating inside, but it isn’t too great for toddlers unless you come at a time that’s less busy. There are a few tables outside. Our recommendation? Munch on some chicken, eat up some donuts, and continue on. Or, better yet, get some to-go and enjoy it at Rittenhouse Square – picnic style, only 2 blocks away!

1632 Sansom St

Philadelphia, PA 19103

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