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Best of Toronto

The Best BBQ Chicken (Churrasqueiras) in Toronto

Posted by Liora Ipsum / April 9, 2014

bbq chicken torontoThe best Portugese BBQ chicken in Toronto is the product of time-honoured slow roasting techniques that yield crispy, flame-kissed skin trapping in moisture and delicious natural juices. Aside from mouth-wateringly moist meat, it's the iconic Portugese piri piri sauce characterized by flavourful - and not too hot - chili, lemon and oil that gives Portuguese chicken its finger-licking qualities.

Here are the churrasqueiras in Toronto making the best BBQ chicken.

See also:

The Best BBQ Restaurants in Toronto
The Best Ribs in Toronto

Best Portuguese Chicken

Best Portuguese Chicken

Located on The Queensway east of Islington, this rotisserie goes by BPC for short. On the menu are impressively moist chicken dinners ($18/whole, $10.50/half) including parisienne potatoes, veggie-studded rice pilaf or vibrant salad. More »

St. Matthews' BBQ Chicken

St. Matthews' BBQ Chicken

On Rogers Rd., this temple to Portuguese chicken has a loyal following for its perfectly-seasoned, slow-roasted poultry that boasts a crispy skin and moist, tender flesh. Quarter chicken combos sell for just $7 and include fluffy rice and golden potatoes. More »

Churrasqueira Costa Verde

Churrasqueira Costa Verde

Whole grilled or rotisserie chickens sell for $13 at this Oakwood take-away counter that's known to be generous when applying the piri piri. Grilled vegetables, roasted potatoes, rice, fries and salads are offered unsparingly as sides. More »

O Bairradino

O Bairradino

The seductive smell of BBQ wafts from the corner of Lansdowne at Wallace thanks to this old school chicken joint that slow-roasts chickens, rabbits and even show-stopping suckling pigs. Half-platters of chicken sell for $10 and are served with golden pearl potatoes, rice and black olives. More »

Churrasqueira Martins

Churrasqueira Martins

This recently renovated Portuguese grill on Rogers Rd. does take away in addition to offering elegant on-site dining. The menu focuses on flame-licked meats highlighting juicy, sauce-slathered chicken and fresh seafood dinners. More »

Churrasqueira Do Sardinha

Churrasqueira Do Sardinha

This Portuguese eatery in Little Italy is well-loved for its slow-roasted chicken painted with deliciously spicy home-made piri-piri sauce. Quarter chicken combos, loaded with glistening parisienne potatoes and rice, are excellent value for under $10. More »

Churrasco Villa

Churrasco Villa

The recipes at this churrasco near Eglinton and Mount Pleasant originate in the old country. Slow roasted chicken is fired over natural wood charcoal and sold a la carte for $15 or less. Add sides like handcut fries, rice pilaf, roasted potatoes or seasonal vegetables, or take advantage of lunch specials and family sized combos. More »

Churrasqueira Portugal

Churrasqueira Portugal

The juicy piri piri chicken at this traditional Portuguese restaurant on Eglinton West boasts crisp skin and juicy meat. Plates come overloaded with rice and potatoes, offering impressive value for combos starting at under $10. More »

Discussion

38 Comments

Ryan / April 9, 2014 at 05:07 pm
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I really don't wanna be that guy, but overlooking Bairrada is a war crime.
Alison / April 9, 2014 at 05:37 pm
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The potatoes at Churrasco Villa are the best. They are enough to make it #1 for me
Terry / April 9, 2014 at 06:10 pm
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Mmmmm - Eduarda's on Dupont St.
Jay civic / April 9, 2014 at 06:40 pm
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Ryan, bairrada is for Canadians who don't know any better. This list is on point
David / April 9, 2014 at 06:54 pm
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Sardinha O Rei Dos Frangos is closed till Easter.
Mike / April 9, 2014 at 07:05 pm
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O Patio on Keele and Ingram has some pretty amazing chicken.
Alex / April 9, 2014 at 07:30 pm
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No way! Earlier today I was thinking, when will BlogTO release a list of what they think are the best churrasqueiras.
JOhn / April 9, 2014 at 07:40 pm
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St. matthews is really great, can't lie. Just go when the chicken is fresh.

Estrela on keele just south of lawrence is my new go to place though.
Jo / April 9, 2014 at 07:50 pm
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Somebody should let all the Portuguese-decent folks at Bairrada know that Jay civic somehow knows something about Portuguese churrasqueiras that they don't...

Why?
Who knows, cause he likely can't say it in Portuguese.
brandon / April 9, 2014 at 08:05 pm
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Bairrada gives you the serious white guy treatment. Definitely hit or miss if you'll get yesterdays chicken or not.
brandon / April 9, 2014 at 08:06 pm
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at least the express bairrada...
PJ / April 9, 2014 at 08:16 pm
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Nandos... Bay and College or close enough to there
Ehjay / April 9, 2014 at 08:20 pm
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Churrasco of St. Lawrence

Been going there since I was a kid.
Tammy terrific / April 9, 2014 at 08:32 pm
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Where was Bairraida (1000 college st) on the list? It has to be number one.
It is the best and their flaming sausage is fantastic.
Tammy terrific / April 9, 2014 at 08:34 pm
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I like the Chicken Guys too. They are on N side of college across from the West end YMCA. Great Sandwiches. They come in one flavour - Chicken.
DL / April 9, 2014 at 10:31 pm
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Sardinha #7 absolutely destroys Sardinha #1.

And for anybody saying Bairrada, get a clue.
DL replying to a comment from Mike / April 9, 2014 at 10:32 pm
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They actually are pretty good. Decent take-out hot table, too.
Daniel / April 10, 2014 at 12:47 am
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Honestly, do yourselves a favor and head up to Keele and Lawrence area to Churrasqueira Estrela. It is seriously the best chicken in Toronto...as close to authentic Portugal quality as you can get.

PROTIP: call ahead and reserve...they are always busy and you will wait for a while if you dont.

PROTIP #2: its located right beside Seara bakery which has the BEST natas (custard tarts).
The Porkchop / April 10, 2014 at 08:35 am
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Its funny how Blog TO comes out with this list on Churrasqueria's when they show the least authentic Portuguese chicken. Chicken made on a spit rotating in an oven is not Portuguese Chicken, its westernized Swiss Chalet Chicken. I dare for you to find a Churrasqueia in Portugal preparing chicken in that way? Its done on a BBQ with coals is the most common way of preparing, thus the name Churrasco meaning burned or charred. Plus you cant cook a whole chicken like the 1st photo above, has to be flattened.

Want authentic chicken 2 places off the grid where Portuguese people go, you wont get more authentic.

Alex Rei dos Letioes
219 Ossington Ave, Toronto, ON M6J 2Z8

or

Meta dos Leitoes
210 Geary Ave, Toronto, ON M6H
marT / April 10, 2014 at 08:44 am
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BPC is the driest, most bland chicken I've ever had, not to mention overpriced. Even metro has better chicken. smh
Brandon replying to a comment from The Porkchop / April 10, 2014 at 09:28 am
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Churrasco Villa flattens their chicken and puts its in cages to cook it over coals. Sardinha cuts up their chicken into pieces and cooks it on a grill too (though they do have the rotisserie option as well, but it's nowhere as good as their grilled chicken).
Ray / April 10, 2014 at 11:05 am
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YES! Agreed, Ossington and Dundas has the best chicken

Alex Rei dos Letioes
219 Ossington Ave, Toronto, ON M6J 2Z8
JonM / April 11, 2014 at 10:59 am
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Sardinha O Rei Dos Frangos is owned by Greek's I thought. Anyway its good. You can't really define best, because to be honest most are really really good. Still don't know why people still go to Swiss Chalet when Torontonian's have so many great Portugese bbq joints to choose from. Ah well...
Tony Davino / April 11, 2014 at 11:25 am
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Costa Verde (Rogers and Oakwood) is by far the best churrasceira
in Toronto.
Tee / April 11, 2014 at 12:31 pm
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Wento to Churrasco Villa yesterday. Best in the city. And their potatoes....wow.
Rose / April 15, 2014 at 06:50 pm
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I've eaten Best Portuguese Chicken, and the chicken was alright, but the potatoes were kind of bland, and the rice was overcooked and REALLY bland. The salt cod balls, however, are delicious.
Lynn / April 24, 2014 at 03:18 pm
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My fav is Red Rooster Churrasqueira uptown in Vaughan/Maple. Chicken is so good and sauce is AMAZING. I can drink it. I've tried a few places downtown and none compared.

Has anyone tried Red Rooster uptown? If so, what do you recommend downtown that comes close?

The sauce at Churrasco Villa is close but way too salty.
John replying to a comment from Lynn / April 24, 2014 at 06:35 pm
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Hey Lynn, been to red rooster a few times. St Matthews on Rogers is pretty similar, but the sauce isn't the same.
PCG / April 28, 2014 at 03:35 pm
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Have you tried The Portuguese Chicken Guys on 898 College St?
Order today on justeat.ca or orderit.ca or just drop by and take home the best portuguese chicken and potatoes in TO.
bryan / April 29, 2014 at 09:53 am
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O Patio on Keele south of Lawrence is my personal favorite. They use charcoal to grill theyre chicken which beats most places who use Rottisorie.
Joseph / May 18, 2014 at 05:58 pm
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I love Churrassco Villa. Been there and I was satisfied with the steak and rice I got for dinner
JP23 / May 19, 2014 at 07:57 pm
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Not having Darosa on this list is a complete miss. Insanely complete miss. Easily one of the best if not the best (been to 75% of the places on this list) within the city. Such a shame.
Mel Madeira / June 24, 2014 at 11:15 am
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I must agree with "the porkchop" how can you say its authentic!? Lately I took a crowd to a place that rocked my portugese socks off " O Patio" on keele and ingram
This place HAS ROOM!! Not only that!!! The Food from Chicken to seafood is KILLER!!!!! I must say also reasonably priced. Sandra the waitress was extremely polite and helped all with there choices. Prompt service and the chefs know what they are doing. Hats off to this new great wonder of Toronto. I drove all the way from Stoney Creek Ont to try this place out. Thats what I do. I look for gems like these. Try it ! You won't be disappointed. Octopus stew over rice is #1. 💖👍
pica boca / July 6, 2014 at 09:42 pm
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Not sure how these are complied but when selected a Portuguese chicken house one must select an authentic churrasqueira. I believe all mentioned don't use charcoal. Charcoal is the single most important part to a good churrasqueira. Here are three that use authentic charcoal
- Martins (Keele and Rogers) not only do they use charcoal they import it from Portugal.
- Estrella (south of Lawrence)
- O Patio (just south of Estrella)

Enjoy!
Steve replying to a comment from David / July 21, 2014 at 01:52 pm
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One of my favorite places. Love the food. Haven't had a chance to go this summer. Why did it close? Is it open now
Melissa / July 28, 2014 at 04:46 pm
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This list seems to be the same that is published year after year. If you are talking about authentic Portuguese chicken you can't count on rotisserie chicken.

AUTHENTIC is grilling chicken over a charcoal grill.
Estrela, Patio,Alex rei dos leitoes.. these guys know what they are doing.

I found another gem of a churrasqueira on St Clair at the corner of Blackthorn Avenue its called Aritides dos Leitoes. They also use a charcoal grill which makes moist chicken with crispy and succulent skin. Their vegetable rice pilaf and parisienne potatoes are to die for!!! definitely my new churrasqueira of choice and anyone who enjoys and appreciates Portuguese fare should definitely check out this churasqueira.
Patricia / August 11, 2014 at 12:04 am
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I just moved into the st Clair area and Melissa you were not kidding about Aristides dos Leitões. The amazing smell coming from that place is ridiculously good .. No joke you can smell it a block away(just follow your nose and it wi guide you straight to their door). The environment is homey, the owners, managers and everyone that work there are so welcoming. And their chicken is hands down the best I've ever had. Juicy, grilled on a charcoal grill, crispy skin and it has that kick without having to add any extra hot sauce. I usually go to churrasqueiras just for chicken but there was this amazing looking codfish dish that I went back for dinner and I will definitely be going back many more times after today. They are fully LLBO licensed so I plan on eating a lot of chicken and drinking some wonderful and cold superbock on their patio! Oh and they are the only churrasqueira that I have ever seen that cover everything on their hot table. You are like a kid on Christmas morning waiting to see what they uncover and it makes so much sense for health reasons as well as the food is actaully hot when it is served to you (unlike some of the other churrasqueiras I've been to in the past)

Everyone who says they know and love and understand portuguese food should definitely pass by Aristides dos Leitões. You will be hooked Just like I am
Celeste / August 25, 2014 at 09:23 am
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ADL= Amazingly, Delicious, Leitao. Aristides Dos Leitões newest churrasqueira everyone in the Portuguese community is in love with the consistently crispy leitao, juicy chicken, large servings are always guaranteed to satisfy hungry family. My kids love this chicken over any fast food, Aristides Dos Leitões makes eating restaurant food healthy. Also must compliment on the cleanliness of the entire restaurant, always so clean! I am always impressed every time I go to Aristides Dos Leitões.

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