By: Lynne O’Meara, Southern Maryland Restaurants

Chaptico, MD – If you ask a Southern Marylander where to find the best-fried chicken, most people will answer…Chaptico Market. There’s a reason for that response. The chicken is amazing! I have attended many baby showers, weddings, birthday parties, and other events where Chaptico Market chicken has been featured. It’s always a hit!

Owners Jodi and Lucas Black have kept a family tradition alive. Jodi’s great-grandfather (John Wood) opened Chaptico Market and Deli in 1965. He started serving sandwiches and chili. John’s daughter (Virginia aka Monkey) and her husband (Jackie Tennyson) took over and added to the fresh, homemade food. Six years ago, the business was purchased by their Son (Ronnie) and his wife (Gwen). And last April, their daughter Jodi and her husband Lucas took over.

Jodi remembers growing up with the family business. Working there since she was 12 years old, she is excited to continue the family legacy. Jodi told me her grandmother, Virginia, “was so devoted to the store”. Virginia lives near the business and stops in often. Sometimes she even makes suggestions…lol!

Chaptico Market and Deli is located just off Budd Creek Road (Rt 234) between Crain Highway and Leonardtown. Just off a traffic circle, the market is an interesting mix of just about anything you could possibly need. They have milk, beer, wine, bread, and basic groceries. In fact, bottles of wine are interspersed with auto supplies and toilet paper.

They are best known for their Fried Chicken and Southern Maryland Stuffed Ham. Jodi told me their top three sellers are the chicken, the ham, and their homemade country sausage. The chicken is hand-battered, seasoned and deep-fried. I’ve heard that in the summer, they can go through up to 6,000 pounds of chicken in a week. That’s a lot of chicken! The ham, a multi-day process, is served year-round. During the recent holidays, they converted the ice cream shop (which is open in the summer) to a dedicated space for the preparation of stuffed hams. The sausage is a long-time recipe. I did not try the sausage, but it’s on my list for my next visit…along with more chicken!!

They have many choices of hot, prepared food. When I was there, some of what they offered included fried chicken (they always have fried chicken), potatoes (prepared several ways…mashed, fried, with cheese, and roasted). They had green beans, baked beans, corn, mac & cheese, greens, pork BBQ, fried rice, spaghetti, chili, meatloaf, sausage, and ribs.

In addition to hot food, they have a cold case with sandwiches, deviled eggs, homemade salads, cakes, and pies. Jodi is excited because soon they will have a new display case, more conveniently located, for these items. Everything looks amazing. As much as I like my readers…sorry, I couldn’t taste everything!

I ordered a Fried Chicken Platter. I chose white and dark meat chicken, Cheesy Potatoes, and Green Beans. The chicken really is marvelous, perfectly cooked, and finger-licking good! The potatoes and beans were good too. I had Deviled Eggs with Old Bay seasoning, and they were terrific. The Macaroni Salad was perfect with just the right amount of sweetness. I also had Watergate Salad (pistachio), Banana Pudding, and an Apple Dumpling…everything was delicious. As I always tell you…I did not finish all this food. I tasted!

The prepared food is served for carry-out only. They have very devoted customers and at times are very busy. I have been there when the line was all the way to the door. And since there is no seating, I was not surprised I was not the only patron eating in my car!

Jodi is delightful and so excited about being a part of the Chaptico Market and Deli family business. She told me “We could not do this without our employees”. She said they all work extremely hard and are very devoted. She emphasized how important customer service is to them. Everyone is so nice, friendly and helpful!

In addition to the Market, they offer catering. You can pick-up pre-ordered food, they can drop it off to you, or they can fully cater an event.

I’m looking forward to having some ice cream this summer when their Ice Cream Parlor reopens. I’m sure it will be wonderful too! But before summer, head to Chaptico Market and taste the deliciousness!

Chaptico Market and Deli is located at 25466 Maddox Road, Chaptico, MD.

The hours are:

  • Sunday through Thursday………5:00 am to 7:00 pm
  • Friday and Saturday…………….5:00 am to 8:00 pm



Rating (out of 5): I can’t give my regular ratings because there is no dining area. But the food is 4.8…delicious!

Lynne O'Meara

Lynne retired after 30 years of federal service with the Office of Naval Intelligence in 2015. After retirement, she was a Commercial Real Estate Agent, which is where she learned about the business side...