The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

Point/Counterpoint | Battling for the best chicken in Iowa City

Opinion columnists debate if Raising Canes or Chick-fil-A is the best chicken option in town.
© KEN BLEVINS/STARNEWS / USA TODAY NETWORK, Celeste E. Whittaker/Courier Pos
Chick-fil-a along College Road Jan. 24, 2024 in WIlmington, N.C. It’s located in Monkey Junction, which got its name after a former service station and grocery store popular for having monkeys that entertained customers. KEN BLEVINS/STARNEWS Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers opens in Burlington Township on Jan. 17.

Raising Cane’s

You’ve just gotten off work late, and there’s nothing you wouldn’t do for a chicken sandwich and fries. You can’t go to Chick-fil-A­ — they closed hours ago. A quick Google search strikes relief into you as you learn that Raising Cane’s is still open, located at 2800 Commerce Drive in Coralville. Iowa City residents are not to fear, however — we’ll soon see our own storefront in the Old Cap Mall.

As you pull up to the drive-thru, you observe an artwork that would move Van Gogh to tears: a giant image plastered on the side of the building of a yellow Labrador named Cane wearing sunglasses. “That’s hilarious!” you think as you burst out laughing. “Dogs don’t wear sunglasses!” This is no ordinary dog, but then again, this is no ordinary chicken restaurant.

Then, the most beautiful combination of words in the English language emerges from your car: “Can I please get a Box Combo with no slaw, extra toast, an Arnold Palmer, and two extra sauces?”

The chicken is hot and fresh. The fries: crispy and salty. The Texas toast? Fluffy and delicious, of course. The beverage washes it all down with a luxurious sweetness. A single tear dances down your cheek as you vow to never torture yourself with the soggy trash they serve at Chick-fil-A.

Then there’s the sauce. The sauce takes the food from the mountains to the heavens. The first time I tasted the sauce with the Texas toast, I actually teared up. If bottles of Cane’s Sauce were sold in stores like Chick-fil-A Sauce is, I’d buy it and use it as shampoo.

In my life, I have been cheated; I have been lied to; I have been betrayed. But at the end of every bad day, within a glowing Styrofoam box sits a meal that medieval nations would’ve fought wars to consume. There is no struggle that cannot be resolved by the sound of a jubilant drive-thru worker reciting a poetic rhyme when asking to take your order.


What makes Chick-fil-A the best? Variety.

If you want tenders, Chick-fil-A has it, but it also has nuggets, sandwiches both spicy and regular, wraps, and a grilled option for each chicken item. Located at 1451 Coral Ridge Ave. Suite 620 in Coralville, hungry students and residents alike will find abundance at Chick-fil-A.

At Chick-fil-A, there is an item for everyone, with salads, mac and cheese, and more than just tenders, there is an item to make everyone happy. There are also seven sauces you can choose for dipping and eight dressings for your salad.

Chick-fil-A also has a breakfast menu, a feature that Cane’s lacks. A breakfast menu that includes chicken biscuits, sausage muffins, hash browns, and yogurt parfaits. Chick-fil-A also has a plentiful dessert menu with chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, or cookies-and-cream shakes.

Chick-fil-A also has a rotation of seasonal items that help to keep the menu fresh.

From chicken tortilla soup and honey pepper pimento chicken sandwiches to mango milkshakes, the menu never gets boring at Chick-fil-A.

Don’t take my word for it; consumers have already made their choice clear.

According to NBC, in 2023, Chick-fil-A was the No. 1 fast food chicken chain, having polled for 45 percent of the popular vote, compared to Cane’s at No. 4 with just 7.5 percent. Clearly, Chick-fil-A remains dominant in the chicken landscape.

If you want good chicken that is more than just tenders, Chick-fil-A is the place to go. With a menu that spans from breakfast to dinner with multiple options  for quality food that can make any hungry customer happy, it is easy to see why Chick-fil-A dominates over the competition.

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About the Contributors
Evan Weidl
Evan Weidl, Opinions Editor
Evan Weidl is a senior majoring in political science. He previously worked in the opinions section as a columnist.
Caden Bell
Caden Bell, Opinions Columnist
Caden Bell is a third year transfer student student at The University of Iowa majoring in Ethics and Public Policy. This is his first year at the The Daily Iowan.