Get ready to check out Toronto’s best fried chicken.
Neighbourhoods throughout Toronto chart a hopeful, diverse constellation of options when craving fried chicken, whether classic, southern style or with a fusion twist. There’s really no excuse for settling for corporate chain experience — you owe yourself better, and besides, what exactly do white-suited business magnates and spinach-pumping sailor types know about fried buttermilk goodness, anyway?
These are Toronto’s best fried chicken options, by neighbourhood.
ST. CLAIR WEST
St. Clair West’s Stockyards Smokehouse and Larder’s fried chicken might be the city’s best. Fully invested in the southern tradition of patience, chef Tom Davis’ thyme and jerk seasoned bird bathes 24 hours each in brine and buttermilk. Take four pieces of that served atop a waffle and all drizzled in chili maple molasses and citrus glaze, and you’ve got a recipe for success.
Options abound for fried chicken in the Junction. With locally sourced chickens and spices straight from Mumbai, Love Chix coats bone-in thighs and boneless breasts in love and honey hot sauce. During brunch hours The Hole in the Wall makes a mean chicken and waffles plate. Indie Ale House does it two ways — southern style with potato salad, ranch sauce and hot and honey mustard, and shanghai style with pickled daikon and hoisin sauce on a sandwich, while Roux flips southern fried chicken and buttermilk bran waffles drizzled with bourbon maple syrup.
You deserve to be taken in if you sleep on the southern boneless chicken thighs and bourbon-vanilla and waffles at High Park’s Mugshot Tavern, and you know it.
In Roncy, The Ace serves country-style boneless fried chicken morsels on a heaping plate of collard greens, cornbread and ham gravy.
When in Parkdale, know that popular izakaya Guu offers deep fried chicken karaage and garlic mayonnaise pairing.
WEST QUEEN WEST
On Ossington, Oddseoul serves fried chicken inspired by the Carolinas and fusion tempura-fried chicken.
In King West, Mascot’s restaurant space does a plate of buttermilk fried chicken with mustard greens, wild mushrooms, hot sauce and ranch dressing that’s intended for sharing but easily enjoyed on one’s own.
In Baldwin Village, Mo’Ramyun offers fried chicken wings coated in ramen noodles.
In the Annex, The Fry delivers Korean style chicken with a kimchi kick, while Rose and Sons often does a large-format buttermilk fried chicken dinner, available classic style or “Nashville” hot.
Breaking with southern tradition, Kensington Market’s Dirty Bird forges ahead with a “northern fried chicken” that’s dusted up all sweet in maple sugar. And, you might be pleased to know that the breading is a gluten free flour blend.
When in the Financial District, hit Real Sports Bar & Grill for garlicky tenderloins and house sauces that are the stuff of pre- and post-game dreams. For larger parties, if you give Momofuku Noodle Bar 24 hours’ notice, they’ll prep two whole birds (one southern style, one Korean style) for your group (parties larger than nine are asked to order a double order) along with a spread of fixings: scallion pancakes, ginger scallion sauce, jalapeño garlic sauce, pickled vegetables, radishes, herbs, and tabasco salt.
YONGE & DUNDAS
If you long for large, tender slabs of crispy fried chicken bigger than your palm, get to Hot-Star Large Fried Chicken at Yonge & Dundas. Meanwhile, Don Don Izakaya serves up crispy morsels of garlic-ginger fried chicken with kewpie mayo.
In Church-Wellesley Village, Smith serves fried chicken boneless with ham gravy and collard greens, while Kinka Izakaya (formerly Guu) builds their nugget format bird in a sweet and salty soy, mirin, and ginger marinade.
Corktown’s Carbon Bar does more than barbecue right. Here, you’ll also find a crispy buttermilk skinned classic worth writing home about amongst the righteous pit gems.
Morgans on the Danforth is your spot for a pint of Ontario craft and a plate of buttermilk fried chicken. Here it comes with a heap of mashed Yukon Gold, winter slaw, and sriracha honey for an extra kick.
Building a solid case for ham-fisted puns and frill-less comfort on King East, Cluck Clucks reigns with an enviable arsenal of chicken & waffle dishes, best dispatched with one of their creamy house sauces.
In Leslieville, Eastside Social delivers upscale casual comfort in a plate of buttermilk chicken with salted fingerling potato and chive salad.
Feature image courtesy of LWYang via Flickr.