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Where's the best fried chicken in the GTA ?

Can someone suggest where I can find the best fried chicken in or around the GTA ?

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  1. Pretty sure there are multiple threads on this but if not, some of the typical ones mentioned:

    Harlem
    Stockyards
    Popeye's (yeah, for real)

    Maybe even The Counter...

    14 Replies
    1. re: ylsf

      I'm not impressed with Stockyards rendition. Think its over-rated. Coating was crisp but the whole thing was way under-seasoned. A piece of KFC fresh out of the pressure oven taste better!
      Fried chicken at Loblaws super store at Bayview and Hightech is mighty fine! Sold out quick around lunch time though!

      1. re: Charles Yu

        Non-sense. Stockyards fried chicken is some of the best in the city. It's flavourful, moist, perfectly cooked, well-seasoned and delicious. I've not found better (and I've been looking!). Comparing it to KFC is like comparing George to Swiss Chalet - and I'd hardly think you'd appreciate that.

        1. re: justxpete

          Another vote for Stockyards, I think hands down they are the best in the city. I do not enjoy their BBQ in the least, but the Fried Chicken is great and have never had a bad order.

          Harlem is a place I really wanted to like, but found everything we ordered mediocre. They need to decide whether they want to cook Soul Food or Caribbean, because they are not doing either any justice.

          I also echo the comments about Popeye's being different in Toronto than Stateside. I love Popeye's (Especially when I lived in Orlando, FL) but I find it poor in all the locations I have tried in the GTA.

          1. re: Matt H

            I like a heavier coating than Stockyards so for me Hadley's is the best hands down in the city. I like Church's spicy. Popeyes on Yonge south of Bloor seems to be an excellent location IMO.

          2. re: justxpete

            Just a thought on Stockyards fried chicken. When they first opened I had tried their chicken and everything was good about it except it was just as Charles said, way under seasoned and bland. I went back a couple weeks later and got the same thing and it was perfectly seasoned, moist etc.

            I remember asking a friend and I can't be 100% clear on whether he had talked to Tom about it or not but he seemed to be pretty sure that they didn't brine their chicken when they first opened but started doing so a little while after.

            Again, can't be 100% sure about this as it was a long time ago but it certainly would explain things.

            1. re: Notorious P.I.G.

              They actually missed out on the 'brining' part??!! Strange??!!
              Great to hear about the improvement. Will give it another try soon and hopefully will not hear fellow chowhounders addressing my review as 'non sense!! ' anymore!

              1. re: Charles Yu

                For what it's worth, I love Stockyards fried chicken... but the first time I ordered it, one piece was completely under-seasoned (as in zero seasoning), but the other pieces were perfect. So consistency with the chicken may certainly be an issue. But it's one of my favourite places in the city, so no real complaints.

                1. re: Charles Yu

                  They've definitely been brining for at least two years. When did you first visit?

            2. re: Charles Yu

              I'd never compare them to KFC, but I'm not bowled over by their fried chicken. And when I tried their BBQ chicken it was very, very pink inside so the point I just threw it out as a precaution.

              1. re: Shimso

                i've only had stockyards' fried chicken once. while i thought it was fine, it didn't really make too much of an impression.

                1. re: Shimso

                  Chicken well smoked (meaning properly) is always pink inside, sometimes ours is really pink almost bordering on red. Think of this though, the last time you actually cut into chicken even raw was it ever the same colour pink?

                  1. re: BusterRhino

                    Buster, are you guys still doing a Fried Chicken Special?

              2. re: ylsf

                I found Harlem's chicken greasier and left me with a heavy feeling. Stockyards I enjoyed, it was some of the best fried chicken I've had in this city. I think KFC is getting their chickens from Swiss because my wife ordered from a location nearby recently and the size of the drum stick looked like from a double leg dinner at Swiss Chalet (I mean the drumstick part of the double leg). Are they frying chicks and not full grown chickens any more?

                As for Popeye's, I haven't had any bad experiences with the location nearest me and the chicken was tasty. Far from Stockyard quality, but tasty none-the-less. Only got one back from my 8 piece box. KFC has been doing that for years. I remember buckets in the 80's that had a few backs in it. Never understood that really.

              3. i'm partial to the church's at st clair and dufferin.

                1 Reply
                1. re: autopi

                  Yea, thats good! Spicy is the way to go.

                2. Had a really bad experience with Popeyes recently and found out through the process that the Canadian Popeyes operate pretty well on their own with very little quality controls by the US company. There isn't a Canadian home office or CS dept to monitor quality standards.
                  Have never heard of Harlem or Stockyards, some details and taste comments please.
                  Where are they ?

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: TanglinBoy

                    We had Popeye's anniversary special 8 piece box last week, and it was dreadful. Don't other places reserve the chicken backs for other purposes (e.g. making stock)?

                  2. Hadley's - with french toast!

                    1. Stockyards was the best I've had in Toronto. Harlem and the Counter (now The Tompson) didn't do it for me. Harlem was jerk seasoned and slightly sweet while the Counter's had no flavor at all. Popeye's is Popeye's so usually no surprises about what you get. Haven't tried Church's up here, but if they're like Church's in the states, they're usually good for salty fried goodness.