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Toronto's Best Fried Chicken


Where can I get awesome fried chicken (KFC style but please not KFC) in Toronto?

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    1. re: Full tummy

      Stockyards fried chicken is indeed awesome. I also really enjoyed the fried chicken at Harlem.

      1. re: jamesm

        A third here for Stockyards. It only comes in a chicken/fries combo. I just wish they'd let me switch their fries for their onion rings. They are as good as the chicken.

        1. re: mikeb

          Fourth Stockyards as the best fried chicken in the city. Good portion. Well seasoned and juicy. Cooked to order. Harlem is a close second although I'm not keen on the honey drizzle.

          For a KFC type, fast food version. I'd go for Chick N Joy.

          1. re: sbug206

            Fifth Stockyards. Harlem is on my to-do list

          1. re: jamesm

            I went to the Harlem at church and richmond, terrible food, filthy and awful service.

            1. re: TheDewster

              We went to Harlem awhile back and the service was very friendly and they went out of their way to accomodate our seating. I really enjoyed the chicken lafayette dish. The jambalaya was alright but would likely get something else next time. My girlfriend's fried chicken was really, really good. Not Stockyards good, but still well executed. Nice sweet-spicy drizzle on it. The only real fail was the candied sweet potatoes. Way too sticky sweet but that may just be a personal preference. It certainly didn't strike me as filthy. It was dark and dimly lit but I didn't notice any 'filth."

              1. re: jamesm

                I agree. I have been a few times (though I prefer the Queen st location) and while it is a bit dim, the service has been good and I dont think its dirty. And I like those sweet potatoes he he. But I do have a super sweet tooth.

          2. re: Full tummy

            Stockyards gets my vote. Tried it last week for the first time - crispy exterior, moist tender meat, and best of all - great flavor. Almost as good a BBQ King in Charlotte NC.

          3. I don't really eat much fried chicken however I like the korean fried chicken at Ajuker. They have a saucy version and a plain fried version. I don't know what exactly KFC style means but the plain version is just good, crispy, fried chicken. I much prefer this chicken to popeyes or KFC. They have a location in christie korean-town and also one in thornhill that I haven't tried.

            4 Replies
            1. re: szw

              My favourite too. The one downtown offers a larger menu with more traditional Korean dishes. Thornhill is really just chicken and the pickled daikon.

              But it's less battered than the KFC ones.

              1. re: szw

                Do you mean the Ajuker that was beside Christie Pits at Bloor and Crawford? It's gone. Long gone. It's Madras Masala now. No fried chicken but good food nonetheless. Try the Chicken 65 appetizer.

                  1. re: ibraineater

                    It never closed, they just moved. They have been on Bloor/Christie for a while still, and as I mentioned, there is another location up north.

                1. When Yumcorp bought out Col. Sanders they proceeded to ruin his products by changing formulae. Pitty, the original chicken with it's crispy semolina flour crust and sassafras leaf aroma was unique.

                  1. if your looking for a "popcorn chicken" style, i would definitely recommend sukhothai's garlic chicken.
                    perfect crisp and taste mmm

                    1. Yung Sing pastry sometimes has tempura drumsticks.
                      they are excellent.
                      KFC without that horrible chemical taste

                      1. Chiming in for Stockyards. Went by there this early afternoon with my CH-sibling and it was a delectable lunch of succulent chicken with a crispy outside and moist meat inside. Although it's a crowded space, we grabbed the meal to go and ended up not eating outside, but rather, seated in a cramped car space, unable to wait for even the short trip over to a park bench to taste the very delicious meal.

                        It's so nice to be able to see everything fried up fresh. :D

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: HSz

                          Stockyards is great. We live nearby and it's a pretty regular treat. Yum!!

                        2. Recently ate at the Cajun Bajun and had the Baxter Street fried chicken - crispy and not greasy outside, tender, juicy white breast meat on the inside.

                          I don't normally go for fried chicken, but i would eat this again in a heart-beat!

                          1. So, I recently had the Stockyards chicken. Wonderful crispy skin. Reasonably juicy. Needs a little more salt and pepper, though, in my opinion. The fries were delicious and something like the frites you'd expect at a French restaurant. Coleslaw was very yummy, mostly cabbage, mayonnaise, and celery seed. Hubby had the ribs which were very smokey, if that's your preference; he would have liked them saucier, but had no problem eating the full rack, so enough said.

                            Definitely recommend the chicken. Let us know if you go.

                            1. has anybody tried "mom's fried chicken" at galleria suppermarket at yonge/steeles?

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: junkie

                                Tried it. Didn't care for the sauced version, but the original was VERY good. Will be going back.

                              2. Stockyards and Popeys, Popeys kills KFC!

                                4 Replies
                                1. re: Bobby Wham

                                  A must try is Chicken N Joy on Queen St. E.
                                  Fresh cut fries and excellent chicken.

                                  1. re: Musta

                                    Gotta admit I've been craving Chick 'N' Joy on Queen Street East all day and probably will visit right after work for some amazing food!


                                    1. re: YummyYummy

                                      This is gonna sound cheap (it is), but do they have a 'Tooney Tuesday' special like the one at Lawrence E. and Kingston Rd.?

                                      1. re: Yongeman

                                        I think the Queen St place is an original, not part of the small chain in the east end.

                                2. Stockyards is great for fried chicken. You may want to try Korean fried chicken in Korean town on Bloor like SZW suggested, a very interesting alternative.

                                  4 Replies
                                  1. re: jingloh

                                    Excellent suggestion on the Korean fried chicken. Very tasty stuff.

                                    1. re: jingloh

                                      I didn't like Ajuker's chicken. Too many broken pieces, over battered, kinda greasy, no flavor, etc. The real turn off was the broken bones w/ jagged edges and bits of bone that I'd accidentally bite on. Not at all like the Korean fried chicken places in NYC.

                                      1. re: GoodGravy

                                        I found that Ajuker's chicken had way too much skin and fat. maybe that's the way the Korean's like it, but not really my thing. The sauce is crazy good though. Maybe I'll try the fried calamari next time.

                                        5 Glen Cameron Rd, Markham, ON L3T, CA

                                        1. re: acd123

                                          Yeh, I agree with GoodGravy that the chicken ingredient they use is really poor quality. Now that you mention it, there were lots of jagged bones piercing here and there. I doubt Koreans actually enjoy that part. But the sauce, that's just amazing.

                                    2. Another vote for Stockyards, it really stands out as the best FC in TO and is by far the best thing on their menu as well.

                                      I dont get the love for Harlem though, dry fried chicken and just very underwhelming and dumbed down flavor wise Soul Food, really not a good represenation of the real thing.

                                      3 Replies
                                      1. re: Matt H

                                        I just did Harlem Underground not so long ago .. chicken was not good. Very fatty, as if fat was not trimmed at all. But am I expecting too much?

                                        Harlem Underground
                                        745 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M6J, CA

                                        1. re: jennjen18

                                          I dont think your expectations are too high, I just think that Harlem serves subpar soul food and has a long way to go in the quality department.

                                          1. re: Matt H

                                            I wouldn't classify the food at Harlem as Soul food. It's more like soul/Caribbean fusion.

                                      2. stop sending people to stockyards, I am tired of waiting in lines!!

                                        18 Replies
                                        1. re: shekamoo

                                          I'm just a bit curious what makes Stockyards a favourite for Fried Chicken? For sure the cooked to order part sounds great although takes time, while KFC cooks in batches then in a holding oven.

                                          Juicy chicken really depends on when the Chicken comes out from the fryer and how long it sits out. 1/2 Chicken portion would be a 4.5 piece compared to KFC, Stockyard is on par excluding those sides/drinks.

                                          To me, it would be the the seasoning, marinade, even-coating of flour on the pieces that makes one better over another but that's just my preference. My experience with those were kind of lacking, could it be a one time thing? I didn't even have to wait for mine, it was ready in 5 minutes. Did they give me leftovers?

                                          1. re: Learn2CooknEat

                                            Cajun Bajans Baxter Street Fried chicken is unbelieveable. It arrives really dark brown, almost black, which is a little scary, but the coating is light and slightly sweet and spicy, inside tender and moist.

                                            Cajun Bajan Cafe
                                            133 Manville Rd, Toronto, ON M1L4J7, CA

                                            1. re: BequiaT

                                              That sounds awesome, but I read on their website a few months back that they won't know where & when Cajan Bajans will re-open again.

                                              1. re: Learn2CooknEat

                                                AAAAAAARRRRRRGGGGGHHHHHHH - Cajun Bajan is closed!? Say it ain't so!

                                              2. re: BequiaT

                                                Went to the Cajun Bajan last weekend for some chicken & ribs and it was CLOSED! It's all papered over and there's some diner 'opening soon' in it's place.

                                                Very sad. If anyone knows if they've relocated, please let the 'hounders know!

                                                Cajun Bajan Cafe
                                                133 Manville Rd, Toronto, ON M1L4J7, CA

                                              3. re: Learn2CooknEat

                                                leftovers I hope they did not serve you, but it has always taken more than 5 minutes for me. my position on stockyards is that it serves the best ribs and FC in Toronto, and I crave both of these frequently, so I have become a regular who appreciates less of a crowd!
                                                but I hear you on the overall quality of the FC, they could do better I guess

                                                1. re: TheDewster

                                                  IMHO... Nothing beats BROASTED chicken. Essentially Fried chicken cooked in a pressure fryer using a bit of oil. Product is delicous, crispy, juicy and they claim it has less fat than traditional fried chicken. Difficult to find, but there seem to be pockets where "in the know" folks rave about this chicken... I first tried it in the Leamington/Windsor area. The BROASTER company (google it!) defends the patent on this vigorously, so only chicken cooked in their machine and using their marinades and coatings can be called BROASTED chicken.

                                                  The question is: do any CHers know where to find Genuine BROASTED chicken in T.O.? My family there would like to find somewhere local, instead of driving out this way (there seems to be a few Mennonite places in N. of Waterloo that have it)

                                                  1. re: kwfoodiewannabe

                                                    That sounds very similar to KFC's Pressured Deep Fryer method. It cooks 4 x 9 piece chickens maximum in one go in a reduced time of roughly 25min or so. I believe it cooks faster because of the pressure cooking style. So that's broasted, eh. New word, very cool.

                                                    Those broaster fryers look very suspiciously similar to KFCs, I worked back in highschool days.

                                                    1. re: Learn2CooknEat

                                                      Yes, KFC is "broasted". Anna Mae's restaurant in Millbank (Kitchener-Waterloo area) calls their chicken "broasted", and it tastes pretty much like KFC to me...


                                                      1. re: Full tummy

                                                        Sorry...Full Tummy, have to disagree... Can't stand KFC and probably haven't eaten it in 20 years, save for the odd (unfortunate) rare taste test of some new heavily hyped past product offering... Re: Anna Mae's chicken - it's delicous! I don't think the lineups are for the lovely "crafts" for sale in their "gift shop", but I could be wrong.

                                                        Re: Broasted chicken, I suspect (and have for quite some time) that the fryers ARE quite similar to KFC, so I can only surmise that the secret to this stuff lies in the coatings and marinades (again available only through the official Broaster channels) I have never taken anyone (even with a fair bit of pre visit hype) who didn't think this was some of the best fried chicken around. No doubt someone could approximate this, and the quick frying method, but I haven't seen it, save for the original Broasted chicken. (at this point I should probably add that I do not own any stock in this company!)

                                                        Again...just my opinion, and (thankfully) only a 20 minute country drive for me!

                                                        1. re: kwfoodiewannabe

                                                          No doubt there are differences, and KFC is not using the proprietary Broaster techniques and equipment; however, the technique is very similar, resulting in a product that is also more similar than different. For example, Anna Mae's chicken much more closely resembles KFC than it does Stockyards' version.

                                                            1. re: stockyards

                                                              No wonder I've never heard the term as a past employee...
                                                              One of Colonel's many secrets.

                                                            2. re: kwfoodiewannabe

                                                              Akram's in Kensington does Broasted Chicken, although not exactly fried chicken.

                                                              Hoof Cafe does a Fried Chicken special at times.

                                                              I think the time issue w/ Stockyards is that they will do batches in anticipation of demand. I go early so every time I've gotten it faster than expected, it's fresh out of the fryer.

                                                              I have yet to find shallow pan fried chicken in Toronto. I can see why as it involves a lot of work constantly flipping it, but that's the best way to do it.

                                                        2. re: kwfoodiewannabe

                                                          Way OT, but back in the 70's/early 80's, lots of restos and take out places in NYC used to advertise Broasted Chicken. Albert Brooks even did one of his films about it on SNL.

                                                    2. Just tried the fried chicken @ the counter. It was juicy, but there was a lack of seasoning in the batter. I heard Stockyards does a great fried chicken...I know that the Drake does one too on waffles for brunch, has anyone tried?


                                                      7 Replies
                                                      1. re: ekim256

                                                        Well I got around to posting pictures for the above.
                                                        Buttermilk Fried Chicken ($14
                                                        )Cute presentation but I'd rather have a cold piece of KFC. Sad.
                                                        Eh. This arrived piping hot, but bland - there was a complete absence of spices and flavour in the breading. My friend commented that it wasn't juicy, but I didn't find it too dry.

                                                        Instead of the cheddar mashed potatoes, we opted for the Poutine Classic. Which were a major thumbs down :(

                                                        We asked if they make their pie in house and not surprisingly, they do not - nor did the waitress know where it came from. So we opted out.
                                                        The novelty of The Counter is the fact that it's open 24/7 but the prices and underwhelming food will keep me away. $12 foot longs and $7 PB&J sandwiches (made with Kraft and white bread!)??


                                                        The Counter
                                                        550 Wellington St W, Toronto, ON M5V, CA

                                                        1. re: ekim256

                                                          I ate at the Stockyards Smokehouse and Larder on St Clair on Saturday and I thought the fried chicken was fabulous. The Beignets were absolutely fantastic the only bad thing was the coleslaw which was bland and just cabbage with white stuff not mayo and pepper. Some apple slaw would have been killer with the hot sauce and great fries. The place is tiny and you have to eat along a bar rail but boy was it good. Wanted ribs but they are not available until 5. The smell of the ribs was fantastic.

                                                          1. re: ekim256

                                                            The Counter is not all bad but I can't understand how people can enjoy that BLAND fried chicken. It has such promise because it is breaded and cooked perfectly which makes the lack of flavour that much more upsetting! Season the chicken!!!

                                                            1. re: justsayn

                                                              The Counter is all bad. Terrible not just bad.

                                                              1. re: JennaBean

                                                                Well it astounds me that you just keep going back to a terrible restaurant where you have thereby had the chance to try everything on the menu. The santa fe salad or something to that effect is very good. The onion rings are solid. The back bacon is as authentic as it gets. I think we also enjoyed the mac and cheese although I am a bit vague on that. A person in my office swears by the burger.

                                                                1. re: justsayn

                                                                  I don't. I went once by choice and once b/c the group picked it. Never again. The second time there was a big group so we ordered many items. Our onion rings were soggy and only slightly warm. The salads came with obviously bottled dressing, the fried chicken was greasy and bland, the mac 'n cheese was meh at best. Really really bad food not to mention indifferent service.

                                                              2. re: justsayn

                                                                I find the fried chicken at the Counter to be an excellent delivery vehicle for hot sauce and the included ranch dressing.

                                                          2. Yip's, the chinese deli in the basement of St Lawrence Market, does delicious, straight-forward fried chicken with a crunchy, light batter. Not too salty, and chicken is always moist. Plus it's $5 for 6 pieces. I'm surprised no one's mentioned it yet.

                                                            1. I was recently pleasantly surprised by the fried chicken at Ritz Carribean (location across from the Eaton Centre but I think the two Yonge St locations might share a kitchen anyway). I don't love their jerk, but it's one of the few filling lunches I can get for under $5 downtown so I do go there occasionally. I got there early one Saturday and could tell the fried chicken had just been put out so I took a chance. Oh and I also got a giant fried dumpling for maximum greasy goodness. Not best in Toronto but for the price, very enjoyable.