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Best of Toronto

The Best Fried Chicken in Toronto

Posted by Todd H / January 31, 2011

Fried Chicken TorontoThe best fried chicken in Toronto illustrates not just how crazy we are for the stuff, but how wildly different a single category of food can be. From the more well known southern-style fried chicken with its herbed, crispy, and thick flour breading to the secret ingredients of an Indian father's favourite spicy chicken, Toronto is blessed with a range of options that allow us to avoid the bland KFC many associate with this category.

Serve fried chicken up with waffles, cheddar mashed potatoes, collard greens or even a lassi and you have a comfort food re-imagined, re-invented, and re-juvenated.

Here is the best fried chicken in Toronto.

See also:

The best BBQ Chicken in Toronto

The Stockyards Smokehouse & Larder

The Stockyards Smokehouse & Larder

It seems like Stockyards (St. Clair and Bathurst) is on all the best of lists, but maybe that’s ‘cause it’s awesome?! They start off brining and marinating the chicken over 2 days, then dust it with seasoned flour, fry it and serve it up with fries, coleslaw and hot sauce or chili honey pepper glaze (if you’re dining in). It’s a big seller with 30 a day (weekdays) and 70 (weekends) being dished up –not including their Chicken and Waffle brunch item. Insane. More »

Harlem/Harlem Underground

Harlem/Harlem Underground

Envisioned by Carl Cassel and Ana Silva as a place where art, food and music co-exist with equal importance, Harlem and its younger sibling Harlem Underground are the closest Toronto gets to soul food. Marinated for 2 days then coated with herb-laden flour and deep fried until golden, their chicken is crisp and fall off the bone moist. Served with fluffy Belgian style waffles and seasonal veg the only thing that makes it better is a side of Okra Fricasse. Yum! More »

The Drake Cafe

The Drake Cafe

Available at brunch on Saturdays and Sundays – and sometimes for the Chef’s daily special, The Drake’s Fried Chicken and Waffle is seriously something special. Perfectly fried buttermilk and bbq spice marinated boneless chicken is served atop a parsley, tarragon and chive infused buttermilk waffle that’s topped with Creme Fraiche and a “loose Niagara cherry compote”. Served with Ontario Maple Syrup it’s decadently delish, perfectly portioned and Chef’s Mom approved! More »

Chick-N-Joy

Chick-N-Joy

Serving Leslieville since 1977, it’s clear that Chick-N-Joy is doing enough right to enjoy a lasting and loyal following. The chicken is always fresh, never frozen, butchered by owner Johnny (yes, he’s been here for 30 plus years) and given a light dusting of seasoned flour. Along with pressure cooking, this gives the chicken a crispy, thin exterior and super moist interior. With their fresh cut fries for $4.95, it’s almost criminal. More »

The Counter

The Counter

Only open a few months and already one of the busiest hotel restaurants in Toronto, it’s clear that 24hr dining and Chef Robert Mills’ simple, straight-up diner food have hit the right note. A big serving, the half-chicken is marinated in buttermilk, lightly dipped in flour, fried and served with Yukon Gold mashed potatoes with cheddar on top. With everything made from scratch and in house it’s no wonder they serve a couple hundred a month. More »

Maroli

Maroli

A completely different take on fried chicken, the recipe for Maroli’s Malabar Chicken is super secret, but I can tell you that it has 16 spices, is made with boneless chicken breast, is slow fried at low temperature and has an out of this world flavour with just the right amount of heat. Enjoy it with might be the best lassi in Toronto and you’ll realize why this place is starting to win awards. More »

Discussion

31 Comments

Fried Stems / January 31, 2011 at 10:48 am
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Harlem Underground should NOT be on this list. I was just there on Sunday and ordered the chicken and waffles because I had them almost a year ago at the Drake and wanted to try Harlem's version. They were dry, overcooked and sweating in grease with none of the buttermilk or seasoning flavour cutting through. The chicken and waffles at the Drake however, was one of the most memorable meals I've ever had. The sour compote was a perfect accompaniment to the heaviness of such a dish. The batter for the chicken was perfectly seasoned, the meat was moist and I believe they only use chicken breast which I prefer. Haven't stopped thinking about this dish ever since. Go Drake!
Marion Cobretti / January 31, 2011 at 10:48 am
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No love for The Port?
Hey Hey / January 31, 2011 at 10:49 am
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That Maroli Chicken sure is the best around.
Jenelle / January 31, 2011 at 10:54 am
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Is there any eatery that serves organic, pasture-raised, grain-fed fried chicken? The article says C5's chicken is "natural," but who knows what that really means.
Warren / January 31, 2011 at 10:58 am
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City Fried Chicken.
Lucy Polo / January 31, 2011 at 11:17 am
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Albert's is the look! Only available Thursday-Saturday, but it's some of the best in the city, no question!
Andrea / January 31, 2011 at 11:31 am
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One of my favorite food so far, a delicious fried chicken.
v. replying to a comment from Jenelle / January 31, 2011 at 11:40 am
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l2LBICPEK6w
marion cobretti replying to a comment from Jenelle / January 31, 2011 at 11:44 am
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Oh God, please tell me you're kidding. It's effing fried chicken for Pete's sake. The growth hormones are an integral flavour in real fried chicken
marioncobretti replying to a comment from Fried Stems / January 31, 2011 at 11:46 am
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Woah. Chicken and waffles from the Drake was one of the most "memorable meals" you've ever had? Yowza, that's uhh, well, there it is.
Ryan L. replying to a comment from marion cobretti / January 31, 2011 at 12:19 pm
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Agreed. Demanding organic, pasture-raised grain fed <b>fried chicken</b> is a lot to ask, even by BlogTO's standards.

David / January 31, 2011 at 12:28 pm
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Believe it or not, Caplansky's has incredible maple fried chicken. I've eaten fried chicken at some of the top spots in the US, including the legendary Pies n' Thighs of Brooklyn, and never enjoyed it. But the Caplansky's stuff is really amazing, and so light, with a touch of sweetness.
Apollo Creed replying to a comment from Jenelle / January 31, 2011 at 01:53 pm
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I can't stand demanding hippies like you! Your type should stop eating out and just make your own damn food at home! That YouTube video posted by v. was pretty funny, but sad at the same time because there are alot of people like this in our city.
Baxter replying to a comment from v. / January 31, 2011 at 02:26 pm
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Thats Incredible ! God help us, cause those people exist.
o.k. replying to a comment from Jenelle / January 31, 2011 at 02:57 pm
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These gilded hippies. I cant stand them! Toronto is full of 'em. F-sakes go raise/kill/clean your own damn chickens if your this picky.

Bob But Not Doug / January 31, 2011 at 03:28 pm
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I'd love to second Chick-n-Joy, since it's just around the corner from where I live, but...it's okay and that's about it.
Ken Smale replying to a comment from o.k. / January 31, 2011 at 04:02 pm
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Oh but where will her oil come from? And energy to heat the oil? And energy to manufacture the cast iron pot and the fuel to bring it here and the light to brighten the shop and OH MY GOD!!!!! The currency to exchange for its purchase.

LJ replying to a comment from o.k. / January 31, 2011 at 04:06 pm
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agreed
parkdaler / January 31, 2011 at 04:32 pm
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Totally agree re: the first comment. Harlem's chicken was AWFUL..Stockyards is for sure the top 3 in the city...(try the biscuits!)
mikeb replying to a comment from Bob But Not Doug / January 31, 2011 at 05:16 pm
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I totally agree that Chick n Joy servers pretty average chicken. It even shows in the picture--the chicken is almost the same cardboardy colour as the fries. The fried chicken at Stockyards is the best in the city and it is also the best thing at Stockyards.
NSO / January 31, 2011 at 05:17 pm
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1) Real Jerk should be on here ...

2) This "Best $ITEM in Toronto" thing is DONE TO DEATH. Seriously, BlogTO, get another idea already before we all have to endure "Best Haggis in Toronto" or "Best Gloryhole in Toronto", as certainly appears inevitable. I love Toronto, live downtown, and this stuff is making even me sick of hearing about the place.
Henry / January 31, 2011 at 06:15 pm
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No Korean joints!?!?!?!
Brad / February 1, 2011 at 12:27 am
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nice to see a best of without comments from 3 years ago
Steve / February 2, 2011 at 08:46 am
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Harlem Underground's chicken was not good. My pieces of chicken had barely any meat and were mostly surrounded by rock hard pieces of batter. It was barely edible
Heather / February 9, 2011 at 06:35 pm
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Steve:

That's odd. I was there two days ago and they really stood up to my expectations. My chicken pieces were really meaty and the batter was delicious...were we in the same place? Or maybe they change the chef...

Heather
Nick / February 28, 2011 at 10:29 am
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Why wasn't Arjuker on this list? I'd say AJC trumps at the very least, half of the spots on this list.
Hassan / February 20, 2012 at 01:09 am
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Chick-N-Joy on Whites and Kingston Road in Pickering is the best fried chicken joint by-far!
COSPLAY / September 26, 2012 at 10:39 pm
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Totally agree re: the first comment. Harlem's chicken was AWFUL..Stockyards is for sure the top 3 in the city...(try the biscuits!)
Honest Chicken / October 10, 2012 at 10:41 pm
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Stockyards is a great place - everything seems carefully thought out. But the fried chicken is bland. I went there for it, having heard all of the hype. I was ready for greatness. I was already a believer. And.... bland. I was shocked. Perfectly presented, perfect sides, etc. etc. But just.... bland.
dan thomas / October 2, 2013 at 03:40 pm
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Hi,
Please help.
Where I can buy/get deep fried turkey in toronto?
Please provide place, address and phone number.
Thanks.
MissDeeDee / February 13, 2014 at 12:09 am
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Harlem Underground should not be on this list! What a waste of time! Their chicken was tasteless! KFC chicken has more flavour. Try Thompson's Diner, their fried chick was full of flavour and crispy.

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