It's pretty easy to see that there's a certain style of chicken that's preferred in Montreal. Unlike many North American cities where fried chicken reigns supreme, rotisserie (including Portuguese-style) chicken is the king in Montreal.
But that isn't to say there aren't plenty of amazingly delectable fried chicken restaurants in Montreal. From classic Southern-style to Asian-inspired fried fowl, Montreal makes up for its lack of KFCs and Popeyes by boasting some truly unique and high-quality fried chicken eateries.
Ignoring any place that serves fried chicken with waffles (because that's another list, and honestly, fried chicken doesn't need to be paired with anything other than gravy and a biscuit) here are some of the best Montreal fried chicken restaurants.
A go-to for many Montrealers when it comes to fried chicken, Icehouse gets major points for taking a simple-yet-bold approach to serving their deep-fried fowl. Instead of giving you plates, the server will just dump an entire bucket of chicken right onto the paper-lined table for you to get your hands greasy with.
Using a batter that's sweetened with a touch of maple (we're in Quebec, after all), Icehouse's fried chicken is definitely solid, although I do believe their ribs are better. Actually, I think their ribs are the best in Montreal, but that's a different listicle entirely.
Dinette Triple Crown
Here is the crown jewel of fried chicken (pun very much intended) in Montreal, at least in my not-so-humble opinion. Tender and juicy with a perfectly crisp skin, Dinette Triple Crown does the best fried chicken outside of the American South. And as someone who's enjoyed the poultry-ecstasy of Willy Mae's, I can back up that claim.
Major points are also awarded to DTC for the BBQ restaurants amazing side dishes, which are definitely as delicious as the mains. Then there's the added benefit of being able to take your order to the nearby park for a picnic (the resto gives you your own basket) in the summer.
Diablos BBQ Smokehouse
3619 Saint Laurent
Offering all sorts of Southern specialities, Diablos is a staple among the Montreal smokehouse scene, and their fried chicken is no slouch even though it isn't made in the restaurant's smoker. Marinated in spiced buttermilk and seasoned with a secret blend of ingredients, Diablos's fried chicken has a crispy skin that packs a solid punch of spicy flavour.
Admittedly, almost all of the fried chicken joints in Montreal take a somewhat classy approach to the dish. Outside of a couple PFKs on the island, there is a definite lack of any simple, greasy, fast-food style fried chicken spots. So thank the lord of foul there's Poulet Bronzé to fill that void in the Montreal food scene.
Don't expect anything out of this world at Poulet Bronzé or some new, crazy approach to make fried chicken. Poulet Bronzé keeps things basic and comforting, which is what you want out of fried chicken anyway.
630 de Courcelle
Don't typecast Grumman's as just a taco place (although they do make amazing tacos) because the Saint Henri eatery has a delectable assortment of other dishes. Case in point: the fried chicken at Grumman 78.
Served alongside a Johnny Cake (a cornmeal flatbread; think not-so-fluffy cornbread) and coleslaw, with ranch and Anicet honey. Not exactly the largest serving of fowl you'll get, Grumman78's take on the dish is still plenty flavourful, and is a great way to satisfy a fried chicken craving.
101 Fairmount W
Now we enter the realm of Asian-inspired fried chicken in Montreal, with Cartel Street Food Bar being our first entry.
Marinated in pisco (a white brandy made in Peru), and seasoned with sichuan salt & pepper, Cartel's fried chicken are zesty morsels of flavourful fowl. Meant to be shared tapas-style (like the rest of Cartel's menu), the pisco-marinated fried chicken should definitely be included on your list of dishes to get at Cartel the next time you go.
4006 Sainte Catherine W
Japan's answer to fried foods is karaage, a cooking method that sees food battered then deep fried in oil. The most popular type of karaage is chicken, and Imadake's is perhaps the best Japanese fried chicken in all of Montreal.
Incredibly crispy, Imadake's fried chicken dish is then complimented by a zesty flavour and a tender interior. Served with a wasabi aioli for dipping, a layer of creamy spice is added to the dish that perfectly rounds out its flavour profile.
6135 Sherbrooke W
Unlike American-style fried chicken, Korean recipes tend to be crispier and spicier, thanks to the use of rice flour for the batter and the inclusion of various special seasonings. And in Montreal, if you want some authentically delicious Korean-style fried chicken, DaWa is one of the premiere spots to get some.
As described, DaWa's chicken achieves a level of crispiness unseen at many restaurants, without relinquishing any juiciness. You also have the option of having "plain" or Korean sauce-doused fried chicken, with the latter being a little spicier.
Aside from DaWa, Mon Ami is the place in Montreal to grab Korean-style fried chicken. And it's no surprise, the fried chicken is beyond crispy, incredibly tender, and perfectly seasoned.
The crispiness of the skin is achieved through the use of rice flour in the batter (as is Korean culinary custom, as already mentioned) that also ensures the chicken isn't bogged down by too much grease either. Mon Ami also has a Korean BBQ sister restaurant, but don't even worry about that, it's all about their fried chicken.
Okay, so I know I said I would stick to just fried chicken on this list (hence the lack of any eateries that have fried chicken and waffles) but Escondite earns a spot on this list for originality and sheer deliciousness.
Much like you'd guess from a taco joint, Escondite makes a fried chicken taco that's stacked with a chipotle crema, corn bread croutons, and iceberg lettuce for some fresh crunch. Sure, it's not fried chicken proper, but you're still eating it with your hands, and you won't even mind once you get your tastebuds on this explosion of fried flavour.