Nanu’s Hot Chicken attracts long line outside the Recreation Center | The Triangle

Nanu’s Hot Chicken attracts long line outside the Recreation Center

Photo by Kasey Shamis | The Triangle

With a line that wrapped around the corner from N. 33rd to Market Street, students flocked to Nanu’s Hot Chicken, the new bright red, orange and yellow food truck outside the Recreation Center, from 12 to 7 p.m. on Jan. 11 to claim their free number one: a hot chicken sandwich and extra crunchy fries with Nanu’s sauce. 

Imran Rashid, 34, is one of the owners of the growing hot chicken establishment. He introduced Nanu’s to Drexel University with two of his three brothers: Ikram and Haroom. The Rashid brothers established their first cart in New York in 2003, as a surprise for their mother who was worried about their youngest brother, Adnan, due to his Down syndrome diagnosis. Five years later, the family moved to Philadelphia where they opened their first location at 2210 Cottman Ave during the summer of 2023. 

Before the grand opening on Drexel’s campus, Nanu’s opened a truck on Temple’s campus two months earlier, so they now have three locations. Rashid explained that his dream is to expand beyond Philadelphia and even beyond Pennsylvania. He hinted at opening a new location in New York in the future.

Students had been awaiting the arrival of this new food truck for many weeks and were overjoyed when they saw “free food” written across the banner of the truck. 

“I was expecting to serve maybe 300-400 meals that day, ” Rashid said. However, over 700 meals were served on opening day with a line that barely fluctuated as more students arrived. 

“I slept well that night,” said Rashid.

Some students told him that the spiciest chicken option, the reaper, was not hot enough. 

“Wow!” was all Rashid could reply. “I always get a medium because it’s hot enough.” He plans to create a spicier option for those searching for more heat than just the reaper. 

Although it is always good to have a delicious hot chicken truck just a block or two away from classes, Rashid emphasized that “Nanu’s is not just about the food but about family and friends coming together to think about those who are in need of help… and giving back to the community.” 

Rashid explained that the truck was named after his youngest brother, Adnan: “We call him Nanu…that’s his nickname.”

On behalf of his brothers, Rashid was positively overwhelmed with the turnout at Drexel. 

“I wanted to thank everyone who showed up. Nanu’s is not just a sandwich-serving-little-hut, it will become a brand to support others.”