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Where can i find the Best Fried chicken in the GVRD

vancouvermatt Jan 7, 2012 12:35 PM

I've been asking arounda nd searching yelp and really i havent found anything.

I'm looking for amazing fried chicken. Has anyone had this in vancouver? I've been told the shore club makes a good fried bird but I;ve yet to try it.

Any suggestions are appreciated!

  1. el_lobo_solo Jan 7, 2012 06:39 AM

    For the marinated in buttermilk variety, you can try ReFuel and the less than a month old Chewies. Other takes on fried chicken wings include Phnom Penh (Cambodian) and Zabu (Korean).

    8 Replies
    1. re: el_lobo_solo
      vancouvermatt Jan 7, 2012 07:25 AM

      Thanks for the suggestions!

      I absolutely love Phnom Penh, their chicken wings are out of this world. Zabu is a new one to me though i will ahve to check it out.

      Really what i want is some good old fashion down home country style fried chicken. The stuff i would expect to find on the table at an alabama grandmothers sunday dinner. Hope that paints a good enough picture haha.

      I have never heard of chewies. i will have to check that place out.

      1. re: vancouvermatt
        LotusRapper Jan 7, 2012 09:25 AM

        "Really what i want is some good old fashion down home country style fried chicken. The stuff i would expect to find on the table at an alabama grandmothers sunday dinner. Hope that paints a good enough picture haha."

        If you're south of the line, try Old Country Buffet [gasp] in Bellis Fair. I know what y'all thinking, but fried chicken is something they're pretty good with. And Haggen's (when fresh from fryer) is darned good too.

        1. re: vancouvermatt
          lunchslut Jan 21, 2012 07:28 AM

          Makes me sad that when someone asks for Southern style fried chicken they get tons of Asian style recs. would be nice if the Vancouver food scene could be a bit more balanced.

          1. re: lunchslut
            YVR flyboy Jan 21, 2012 07:51 AM

            A good Carribean place should have fried chicken. All the carribean places in Toronto have it on the menu。,

            1. re: lunchslut
              LotusRapper Jan 21, 2012 08:27 AM

              Big Al used to have a Southern joint in Marpole, on Hudson if memory serves. Had v. decent fried chicken. And a buffet too. We went there at least half a dozen times before they closed.


              1. re: LotusRapper
                flowbee Jan 21, 2012 10:43 AM

                Big Al does the 1st and last Saturdays of the month at The Lion's Den Cafe near Kingsway & Fraser (beside Les Faux Borgeois). Not sure what food he cooks on those days though...

              2. re: lunchslut
                peter.v Jan 21, 2012 08:16 PM

                This is a hard one. As much as I'd love to have real authentic "southern" food, there's a reality to living in Western Canada. There's no history of migration from the south to BC (or to Canada really). Balance really isn't the key here, it's that there isn't the population base to provide the cultural incubation for that side of the food scene. I know you all know this, but you can't really fault Vancouver for a lack of southern food (or Mexican, etc).

            2. re: el_lobo_solo
              kati3 Jan 24, 2013 09:12 AM

              More recommendations is you are south of the border:

              Portland - Pine State Biscuits
              Seattle - Serious Biscuit

              Both had the tastiest fried chicken with their biscuits.
              Sorry I couldnt help with in town recommendations :)

            3. LotusRapper Jan 7, 2012 09:08 AM

              I've been wondering about that too. There was a time when the now-defunct Lee's Chicken (Kingsway & Royal Oak) and Uncle Willy's actually served up pretty good 'uns. I even like Church's, but definitely not KFC.

              ReFuel's seem a bit inconsistent to me, sometimes better (more moist) than others.

              Gyoza King on Robson has terrific chicken karaage, FWIW.

              I had L.A. Chicken once in Richmond, pretty good.

              1. k
                kinnickinnik Jan 7, 2012 09:19 AM

                For wings, that 'dessert' place in the Aberdeen food court is pretty great! Have yet to find Southern-style fried chicken locally (not that I've looked all that much - have had Refuel's and sadly it was a miss - tough - when I had it).

                The 'salty-peppery' chicken at 'Beefy-beef' Noodle place (Main street?) was quite good on one try - moist chicken, crispy, and well seasoned.

                1. tdeane Jan 7, 2012 11:07 AM

                  I gotta say, I never thought much of Church's but I tried their spicy recipe recently and it's pretty delicious. I'm kind of hooked on it, but I always order all dark meat with the thigh being my favourite. I still don't know why people like fried chicken breasts. I also really like their spicy thigh sandwich and their hot and sweet which is a spicy thigh sandwich topped with coleslaw instead of lettuce and tomato. It's too bad their fries suck.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: tdeane
                    LotusRapper Jan 7, 2012 11:28 AM

                    I too prefer dark meat pieces, the thigh is my fave, breasts are usually a tad too dry.

                    I recall once having really good fried chicken at Helen's Grill (Main/King Edward), but found the rest of the place disappointing in many ways.

                  2. grayelf Jan 7, 2012 05:41 PM

                    No idea if this would be considered the OP's target bird style but I too really enjoyed LA Chicken in Richmond a couple months ago. Only one try but it was at 4 pm, off hours, which bodes well methinks. The spicy had a good bit of zip but wasn't too hot, the coating was thin, crunchy and relatively greaseless and the meat itself moist and flavourful. I'd go back.

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: grayelf
                      eatrustic Jan 8, 2012 11:25 AM

                      Good to know about L.A. I work near that area of Richmond and am always haunting that little strip looking for some good takeaway. Haven't had American style store-bought fried chicken in a couple of decades (except for ReFuel) so it'll be interesting.

                      1. re: eatrustic
                        grayelf Jan 8, 2012 11:32 AM

                        You will feel like you've stepped in a time machine for sure. Report back, won't you?

                        1. re: eatrustic
                          LotusRapper Jan 8, 2012 12:02 PM

                          Whole Foods has (had ?) dang good baked "fried" chicken in their deli section. Not cheap, mind you.

                          1. re: eatrustic
                            _js_ Jan 8, 2012 12:27 PM

                            Just be prepared to wait or call ahead to order. L.A. Chicken fries chicken to order so it is a bit of a wait when buying a tray-load.

                        2. b
                          bill_n_opus Jan 7, 2012 05:45 PM

                          I've had the ReFuel variety ... and I must say it was very, very tasty. Could eat a ton of it.

                          As for Chicken Karaage, Octopus' Garden does an awesome version of it, it was my fave. Don't think it's on the menu anymore (last time I checked) but you can ask Sada-san to cook you up a batch. I could also eat that stuff, all-day, everyday.

                          As for Southern-style fried chicken ... I have no recommendations apart from searching for Southern-style restaurants around town ....

                          1. y
                            YVRChow Jan 8, 2012 02:08 AM

                            Some very good recommendations in the thread so far, and I definitely second LA Chicken in Richmond for classic chicken. A few more to add to "the list":

                            - My Chau on Kingsway. Their chicken is fried without breading. Delicious though.
                            - Hue Ky Mi Gia on Fraser. Also non-breaded and incredibly juicy.
                            - Wo Fung Dessert in Aberdeen Centre. Chicken wings that are very good.
                            - Liu's on Capstan Way in Richmond. Taiwanese style - very good.
                            - Happy Day on Kingsway. They have my favourite Korean style fried chicken in the area.

                            and who can forget Duffin's. I know that sounds like a crazy recommendation, and they keep the chicken in a heating unit. But their spicy fried chicken is surprisingly good.

                            11 Replies
                            1. re: YVRChow
                              YVRChow Jan 8, 2012 02:49 AM

                              By the way, here is a shot of the unbreaded My Chau chicken to give you an idea....

                              1. re: YVRChow
                                grayelf Jan 8, 2012 02:53 AM

                                The chix at My Chau is deffo my favourite of the fried chicken I have et so far but it's good you supplied a pic for the OP so he can assess if it would address his craving. It's different from the breaded/coated variety but so good with the dipping sauce, not to mention the ridiculous noodle soup it can (and should!) be ordered with. Dang, I wish it weren't closed on Sundays...

                                1. re: grayelf
                                  YVRChow Jan 8, 2012 03:12 AM

                                  Have you tried the one at Hue Ky Mi Gia too? It is a similar style, and also quite good.

                                  1. re: YVRChow
                                    YVRChow Jan 8, 2012 03:14 AM

                                    Here is a photo of Hue Ky Mi Gia's:

                                    1. re: YVRChow
                                      grayelf Jan 8, 2012 10:55 AM

                                      Thanks for the nudge, I will definitely do so! Did you by any chance try it for the first time in May of this year?

                                      1. re: grayelf
                                        YVRChow Jan 8, 2012 11:36 AM

                                        Yes, it was in the Spring - and I do believe it was either April or May as I recall.

                              2. re: YVRChow
                                flowbee Jan 20, 2012 11:20 AM

                                So I tried some takeout fried chicken from Happy Day. Flavourwise it's good, with a really rich and spicy sauce. But I was disappointed that it was no longer crispy by the time I got home. I used to love the korean fried chicken with sauce at Ajuker Fried Chicken inside of H-Mart in Coquitlam. But for some reason that stall no longer does fried chicken. :( I thought it was the best. It stayed crispy even during the long drive back to Vancouver. I guess it's due to the special Korean double-frying technique.

                                1. re: YVRChow
                                  LotusRapper Jan 20, 2012 11:45 AM

                                  Hi YVRChow - does Happy Day offer indiv. pieces to go ? Last time I was there (shortly after the changeover from Lee's), they were only a sit-down resto with a lot of different Korean combinations. But not a walk-in/take-out place in the traditional sense.

                                  1. re: LotusRapper
                                    YVRChow Jan 21, 2012 02:39 AM

                                    It is definitely a sit-down resto/Korean pub atmosphere. I think the chicken only comes in large plates - but if you ask nicely?!?!?!?

                                    1. re: YVRChow
                                      fmed Jan 21, 2012 03:44 AM

                                      I have had it "to go" there. They put the chicken in paper bags.

                                      1. re: fmed
                                        flowbee Jan 21, 2012 10:50 AM

                                        We got ours in a cute box that has the top where you fold it closed and it has built-in handles.

                                2. LotusRapper Jan 8, 2012 03:16 AM

                                  Lee's Chicken still operates in Newton (Surrey) and Abbotsford.

                                  There's also another genre of Korean fried chix wings and drummettes that's just starting in Vancouver (but well established in NYC and LA) which I've not tried. There's a place on Robson called Zabu Chicken which I drove past over the Christmas holidays which caught my attention, presuming they're what I'm thinking they are. If anyone has been and can share feedback of this place that'd be awesome.

                                  Sorry to sidetrack. Again.

                                  4 Replies
                                  1. re: LotusRapper
                                    YVRChow Jan 8, 2012 03:22 AM

                                    Zabu is pretty good. Although I prefer the Korean fried chicken at Happy Day on Kingsway.

                                    Here is a shot from Zabu though so you know what it is like. The light crispy rice flour based batter encased the juicy well marinated tender chicken. There was a nice garlic flavour to the marinade which really rounded out the flavours as it was combined with a slight saltiness from the soy and a hint of sweetness (I'm guessing honey?). It all blended together beautifully.

                                    1. re: YVRChow
                                      LotusRapper Jan 8, 2012 03:43 AM

                                      Ya got me at "light crispy rice flour" .........

                                      1. re: YVRChow
                                        el_lobo_solo Jan 8, 2012 11:37 AM

                                        that's quite a survey of chicken pix YVRChow, nice! I looked up the location of Happy Day, and it's the old location of Lee's Chicken, IIRC. Now I"m wondering if it was just a change in name or complete change of menu because there were some Korean items at Lee's. I'm also curious about the Duffin's version you mentioned upthread. Definitely not a "crazy recommendation". When I've looked up other fried chicken places on CH boards for the southern USA, I was surprised at how many people swear by places like Duffin's or even convenience / corner stores.

                                        1. re: el_lobo_solo
                                          YVRChow Jan 8, 2012 11:48 AM

                                          You know, I think you are correct that Happy Day is the old Lee's location. Don't know about ownership change though as I had never gotten in to the original Lee's before the change. I must say I'm baffled at how Duffin's keeps their chicken so juicy when it is sitting in that warmer. But somehow they do. I've only had the spicy version, and I really like it.

                                    2. k
                                      kwl Jan 10, 2012 10:52 AM

                                      I've had the fried chicken dinner twice at Save on Meats and both times it has been great. I highly recommend trying it. It has a nice crispy batter with moist meat.

                                      3 Replies
                                      1. re: kwl
                                        kinnickinnik Jan 10, 2012 01:57 PM

                                        Good to hear - thanks for the rec!

                                        1. re: kwl
                                          vancouvermatt Jan 11, 2012 04:09 AM

                                          I've actually already had their fried chicken and i was unimpressed. Although as a disclaimer i was there at 9pm on a weekday. I think it had been sitting there for a while. I will try it again at dinner time. That place is just too cool anyways

                                          1. re: kwl
                                            kati3 Jan 24, 2013 09:06 AM

                                            I would have to disagree. I love Save On Meats but this wasnt for me. The chicken was fried quite well but the breading was very thing and I found it to be quite flavorless, lacking salt even. Seemed like no herbs or spices or anything.

                                          2. y
                                            YVR flyboy Jan 10, 2012 08:52 PM

                                            Any of the Guu franchises in Metro Vancouver(& now 2 locations in Toronto) have amazing chicken karaage on the menu. I have nicknamed it " Japanese fried chicken". Every time I get a craving for fried chicken in Vancouver, I think of them.(it's a long way's from Vancouver, but if you ever get to New York City, in Manhattan there is a soul food restaurant in the Village called the Pink Teacup)

                                            1. m
                                              mlgagnon Jan 12, 2012 05:20 AM

                                              By far the best Fried chicken I have had anywhere in BC is at Herbies Drive in in Cache Creek. we plan road trips around a stop at Herbies.

                                              It is made to order, the fried and coleslaw are fresh and you have to have a Quencher with it.

                                              2 Replies
                                              1. re: mlgagnon
                                                LotusRapper Jan 12, 2012 05:26 AM

                                                Speaking of road trips, whenever we're down across the line, we buy fried chicken from the deli of Haggen and/or QFC, two chains which IMHO have better fried chicken than their Safeway, Fred Meyer, Albertsons, etc.

                                                Sometimes I'd luck out and can get gizzards and livers too, but that's the exception these days. There was a time when even KFC here sold them.

                                                1. re: mlgagnon
                                                  Burma VonFurston Jan 22, 2012 03:49 AM

                                                  Re: Hungry Herbies chicken
                                                  Whoa, I don't know if you have been there lately, but I just had their fried chicken last Monday and it was dry, dry DRY....to the point of "jerky" on the outer portion of the meat. (I ordered the 9 piece and 4 pieces were fried without the skin attached.)
                                                  Such a shame.

                                                2. y
                                                  YVRChow Jan 22, 2012 02:14 AM

                                                  So has anyone checked out Chewies? Is it any good for fried chicken?

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: YVRChow
                                                    el_lobo_solo Feb 3, 2012 01:31 PM

                                                    Got around to Chewies this evening. This place is always busy. The white meat chicken is moist with a hint of sweetness from the honey and butter marinade. It was good, but ever since tdeane mentioned Church's spicy chicken upthread, I've re-found my love of Church's and have polished off 2 of the 8 piece boxes over the last few weeks. I like to have that crunch from the battered skin. Chewies really doesn't offer that. Enjoyed the gumbo much more. Someone in our group had the large portioned beet salad, which also got raves.

                                                  2. flowbee Jan 22, 2012 09:43 AM

                                                    If you ever go to St. Augustine's on Commercial, don't get their fried chicken. Seriously overpriced and seriously underseasoned. Extreme disappointment. I know we're drunk but at least give us good food!

                                                    1. fmed Feb 4, 2012 06:15 AM

                                                      One place to look out for is Max's Fried Chicken (a Filipino chain) which is opening soon(?) on Kingsway. They just opened a branch in Toronto a couple of weeks ago. Whole unbattered, seasoned (dry brine I think) chicken is dunked whole into a deef frier.

                                                      3 Replies
                                                      1. re: fmed
                                                        ck1234 Feb 4, 2012 09:00 AM

                                                        If you're wondering "where" on Kingsway...


                                                        1. re: fmed
                                                          LotusRapper Feb 4, 2012 10:08 AM

                                                          IIRC, Max's Deli (Oak St) became Filipino-owned a few years ago, correct ?

                                                          Not to digress from Max's FC.

                                                          1. re: LotusRapper
                                                            fmed Feb 4, 2012 10:44 AM

                                                            I didn't know that actually. I haven't been to Max's Deli in ages.

                                                        2. l
                                                          ladypea Feb 5, 2012 07:30 AM

                                                          Though a bit underseasoned, the chicken and waffles at two chefs and a table's brunch was pretty fine! And I second refuel, even if their biscuits are dense hockey pucks.

                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. re: ladypea
                                                            NoMoreSnuggles Feb 6, 2012 02:25 AM

                                                            It's not *quite* what you're probably searching for, but the buttermilk fried chicken bites at Revel Room are tasty.

                                                          2. j
                                                            J and V Jan 23, 2013 02:39 PM

                                                            Any updates on this? Some of the places noted below are closed but the picture in today's Globe made my wife and I simultaneously exclaim that we wanted to find great fried chicken (southern style).

                                                            9 Replies
                                                            1. re: J and V
                                                              YVRChow Jan 24, 2013 01:56 AM

                                                              A few additional ones I've tried:

                                                              Chicken World (1412 E. 49th) offers fried chicken made to order. They use halal meat. A 4 piece was $6.50. The chicken was lightly breaded with a nicely seasoned breading, perfectly crispy, with incredibly juicy well marinated meat inside. This was very good fried chicken. The fries were run of the mill, but prepared nice and fresh.

                                                              Max's (3546 Kingsway) had a nice crunchy skin, but it was a bit short on seasoning. The meat on the lower half was moist, but the breast meat was very very dry. Not the best spot for my taste, but some others have really liked it.

                                                              And perhaps the most amusing (although Korean style, not Southern style) was the "inside flesh digested love stick" at Dasarang (4501 North Rd. in Burnaby). The chicken itself was breaded a bit thicker than other versions I've had (and preferred), and the sauce was a bit more corn starch laden. The heat was not mixed completely with the sweet outside and inside with almost separate flavour profiles. Hard to describe, but it was as if the sauce wasn't allowed to cook and totally mesh its flavours properly. The chicken was moist on the inside, and I didn't notice any "pre-digestion" of the inside meat.

                                                              1. re: YVRChow
                                                                LotusRapper Jan 24, 2013 02:18 AM

                                                                Man, a chance to try "inside flesh digested love stick" is totally worth dragging myself out to Burquitlam for ;-)

                                                                I've wondered about that Kitchen World on 49th. In fact I drove by last week and glanced over at their storefront, which at around 11:45am was closed. Do they have seating inside or is it all take-out ?

                                                                1. re: LotusRapper
                                                                  YVRChow Jan 24, 2013 02:40 AM

                                                                  Chicken World has 1 table - not much ambiance. Mostly for take-out.

                                                                  Enjoy the love stick - hopefully it is better for you than it was for me. :)

                                                                  1. re: YVRChow
                                                                    LotusRapper Jan 24, 2013 07:00 AM

                                                                    Maybe I'll pass on the love stick ....

                                                                    I just re-read my post above. "Kitchen World" ?!?!? Guess my ""CPU" was having a dyslexic cycle due to AM caffeine deficiency !

                                                              2. re: J and V
                                                                Burma VonFurston Jan 24, 2013 11:00 AM

                                                                It's not fancy, but I just had L.A. Chicken in Richmond (corner of No 5 road and Thorpe.)
                                                                We ordered the 10 piece (half original half crispy/spicy) with family fries and gravy. It came to just under $27 after tax.
                                                                It comes in a big ol' aluminum tray. The chicken was freshly fried and super crispy. Totally hit the spot for a fried chicken craving.
                                                                Also, I'm not a gravy kind of person, and I was surprised that I couldn't stop shoveling that peppery stuff into my face.

                                                                1. re: Burma VonFurston
                                                                  fmed Jan 24, 2013 05:38 PM

                                                                  That's my parents' go-to fried chicken joint. It's quite good.

                                                                  1. re: Burma VonFurston
                                                                    pusherman Jan 25, 2013 09:40 AM

                                                                    I just had it for the first time last week and also can recommend it. It won't make me forget Frenchy's (Houston, best in the world IMHO) but it's solid for take out 3,000 miles from the South. One warning, they didn't bother to include any of our sides in our takeout box, so double check!

                                                                    1. re: Burma VonFurston
                                                                      jcolvin Jan 28, 2013 06:38 PM

                                                                      Yep, LA Chicken is great. It's half a block from me. I don't know why I don't go more often. Perhaps because it is so close (familiarity breeds etc).

                                                                      1. re: jcolvin
                                                                        LotusRapper Jan 29, 2013 01:16 AM

                                                                        I'd be in BIG (pun on big) trouble if I lived 1/2 block from a fried chicken joint !!

                                                                  2. k
                                                                    kati3 Jan 27, 2013 02:01 PM

                                                                    I think Portland Craft has fried chicken and waffles but I have not sampled.

                                                                    There was also this article on fried chicken in the straight but I think most of the suggestions have been covered here already. http://www.straight.com/food/vancouve...

                                                                    I forgot one other place south of the border which I havent tried but seems interesting (and also not so far!). Its called Bayou on Bay in bellingham and they have a fried chicken po'boy.

                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                    1. re: kati3
                                                                      flowbee Jan 29, 2013 11:23 AM

                                                                      Portland Craft's fried chicken and waffles are THE WORST! Don't eat it!

                                                                      (cuz i want it all to myself...)

                                                                    2. k
                                                                      kati3 Apr 15, 2013 09:58 AM

                                                                      I recently had the fried chicken and waffles from the Yolks food truck and it was pretty fantastic -- along with everything else they make.

                                                                      Highly recommend.

                                                                      1. s
                                                                        Scoffier Apr 15, 2013 06:44 PM

                                                                        LA Chicken is my favourite by far (especially the spicy version).

                                                                        Also, Duffin's is pretty good, however it can sometimes be a little greasy. And bonus - it's available 24/7.

                                                                        4 Replies
                                                                        1. re: Scoffier
                                                                          LotusRapper Apr 16, 2013 01:37 AM

                                                                          Isn't Duffin's fried chicken sourced out (I forget name of supplier, but it's right at the top of the glass case) ? And the chicken pieces just sort of sit there all day ? :-/

                                                                          1. re: LotusRapper
                                                                            Scoffier Apr 16, 2013 05:37 AM

                                                                            Yes, the supplier is Fritou. The chicken has always seemed quite fresh when I've been there, so they are probably cooking up small batches throughout the day. Can't say what it's like at 3 or 4 AM though.

                                                                            1. re: Scoffier
                                                                              LotusRapper Apr 16, 2013 07:04 AM

                                                                              LOL ! Ok I've never been at Duffin's that late, I think 12:30AM was about as late as I've ever been there.

                                                                          2. re: Scoffier
                                                                            bill_n_opus Jul 17, 2013 10:47 PM

                                                                            I've been diggin' LA Chicken lately ... it's very good.

                                                                            Note: the darker color chicken looks like the spicy ... but it's actually the "regular". The lighter color chicken is the spicy.

                                                                            Counter-intuitive, I know, but that's how it rolls at LA Chicken.

                                                                          3. h
                                                                            HangTheJedi Jul 15, 2013 09:46 AM

                                                                            guess it'd be zabu chicken but they're pricy. very.

                                                                            1. k
                                                                              kati3 Dec 14, 2013 07:37 AM

                                                                              Just wanted to let you know I had amazing friend chicken at Mamie Taylors....

                                                                              Edit: Originally had Lilly maes here erroneously

                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                              1. re: kati3
                                                                                el_lobo_solo Dec 24, 2013 03:57 AM

                                                                                It is good. Server said the two big pieces are brined with buttermilk, sous vide, then fried. I liked the biscuit, gravy, and spaghetti squash it came with too.

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