When you look around the city and observe what’s been happening in the food scene in the last few years, one thing that stands out is a huge boom of fried chicken in Montreal. Sure, Montreal is known for its rotisserie chicken, and our chicken wing game is strong, too. There were classic Montreal fried chicken spots before now, but lately, they're proliferating: we've got new restaurants opening up everywhere from Laval to the West Island and places in between.
Among all of those Montreal restaurants, however, it’s not just about eating pieces upon pieces of the best fried chicken. It’s about all the ways it can be prepared and twisted into all kinds of delicious and inventive dishes as well, from poutine and tacos to sandwiches and brunch.
Read on to dig into some of the best fried chicken dishes in Montreal.
Fried Chicken Poutine from Olivia’s Authentic Chicken
Where: Multiple locations
Why You Need To Go: What started with a single NDG spot slinging Korean fried chicken — a signature style of twice-fried bird that’s been battered with potato starch for an extra crunch — has exploded into a total of seven locations. Among all the dishes they make, there’s one dish that we keep coming back to, and that’s the fried chicken poutine. The house gravy and squeaky cheese curds are on point, and it’s one of the best of its kind on the island.
Fried Chicken Bao from Les Crazy Chickens
Where: 3532, rue Notre-Dame O.
Why You Need To Go: It’s not all about fried chicken sandwiches, and this small Korean spot in Saint-Henri is proof of that. While they do in fact make a mean fried chicken sandwich, their large open-faced bao sandwiches, filled with lettuce, onion, cilantro, spicy mayo and juicy cuts of chicken thigh, are super addictive and cheap, going for around $16 for two of them.
Fried Chicken Buckets from Dinette Triple Crown
Where: 6704, rue Clark
Why You Need To Go: Make no mistake, there are a lot of places to get buckets of fried chicken, but chef Colin Perry’s Kentucky-style recipe is the best place to get it. Crispy, flavourful, and juicy on the inside, and served with all kinds of spicy and salty sauces as well as hot sauces? This is without a doubt one of the OGs when it comes to fried chicken in Montreal for a reason.
Fried Chicken Wings from Épicerie Pumpui
Where: 83, rue Saint-Zotique E.
Why You Need To Go: With an ultra crispy recipe thanks to their use of rice flour, Pumpui’s fried chicken wings have been a delicious staple on their menu ever since they first opened up. Served with a sweet chili sauce and gluten-free, it’s a Thai take that brings some spice-of-life variety to the city.
Fried Chicken Thighs from Satu Lagi
Where: 1361, av. du Mont-Royal E.
Why You Need To Go: It’s one thing to bite into the juicy fried drumsticks of this gluten-free Indonesian restaurant’s chicken, but when you pair it with their sambal oelek and kaffir lime butter or fermented honey chili? You’ll quickly find out why it’s one of the best of the best in town. If it gets too spicy, order a couple cocktails to wash it down.
General Tao from Restaurant Keung Kee
Where: 70, rue de la Gauchetière O.
Why You Need To Go: General Tao counts as fried chicken, when you think about it — it’s made with pieces of chicken that are battered and then fried before being tossed in a signature sauce. Every Chinese restaurant has their own style to it, but the one being served at Chinatown’s Keung Kee is the best for balancing out sweet, salty, and spicy flavours.
Korean Fried Chicken from DaWa
Where: 6135, rue Sherbrooke O.
Why You Need To Go: Korean fried chicken has popped off in Montreal in a big way, but among all of the places that do it plain and simple—fried and then rolled in all kinds of sauces—DaWa in NDG is a standard-bearer. Every flavour ranging from honey soy to General Tao, creamy onion, and sour cream are all delicious, and the chicken is exceptionally juicy every time.
Fried Chicken and Waffles from Evalina’s
Where: 3981, rue Notre-Dame O.
Why You Need To Go: You didn’t think we’d write up a whole list of fried chicken dishes in Montreal and not bring up chicken and waffles, did you? Thing is, we wanted to pick a spot where the waffles are just as good as the chicken itself, and this is the spot. Thanks to a recipe culled from Saint-Henri’s Bucky Rooster’s and a new brunch menu from Evalina’s, the whole plate here is in perfect harmony.
Cornflake-Crusted Chicken Tenders from Bird Bar
Where: 1800, rue Notre-Dame O.
Why You Need To Go: Shout-out to tenders for being quick and easy-to-eat cousins of fried chicken that comes out of buckets. They ain’t just for kids anymore, especially when you try the ones from this Griffintown restaurant specializing in fried chicken. Dip them in any three of their ten sauces that go from garlic coriander and Frank’s Red Hot to spicy mayo and duck gravy, and enjoy the capital-C Crunch of this dish.
Spicy Fried Chicken from Les Street Monkeys
Where: 3625, rue Wellington, Verdun.
Why You Need To Go: This Cambodian restaurant in Verdun has many chicken dishes worth ordering on the menu, but their spicy fried chicken is among the best. That’s because it’s made with all the rich aromatics you find in other dishes like shrimp paste, makrut lime leaf, and lots of garlic. All of that takes this up to a level to which few other restaurants can hold a candle.
Popcorn Chicken from Roch Le Coq
Where: Multiple locations
Why You Need To Go: Fried chicken at its snackable best. The sandwiches here are great too, but there’s just something about ordering batches of these bite-sized pieces of Roch Le Coq’s recipe for fried chicken and eating it on the go by the mouthful. We just can’t seem to get enough of it, but they’re not enough of a meal for you, try them out atop their poutines.
Fried Chicken Sandwich from Mitch Deli x Messorem
Where: 2233 Rue Pitt, Montréal, QC H4E 4H2
Why You Need To Go: Just about every neighbourhood in Montreal’s got a restaurant doing a good fried chicken sandwich, but who’s making a great one? It’s got to be this one from Mitch Deli’s cantine located inside the Sud-Ouest brewery of Messorem alongside the Lachine Canal. It’s a huge piece of juicy meat that’s got a major crunch factor to it, squished between soft brioche buns with lettuce and slices of bread & butter pickles.
Karaage Sando from OSMO x Marusan
Where: 51, rue Sherbrooke O.
Why You Need To Go: This discreet Japanese restaurant and café in the Plateau has a small and tidy menu of things like pastries and tamago (egg) sandwiches, but the option made with karaage’s the one you need to try. Served on bread with tomato and greens, it’s a surprisingly light dish that goes great with their selection of wines and sake.
Hot Wings from Cunningham’s Pub
Where: 75, rue Sainte-Anne, Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue
Why You Need To Go: Hot wings had to make an appearance on this list, and few make them better than this pub that Halle Berry once deemed the best in the entire city. They’ll make them saucy or dry, and as spicy as you can take it, all served by the half-dozen and dozen. They’re so confident in their sauces that you can buy them to go.
Fried Chicken Burritos from Icehouse
Where: 51, rue Roy E.
Why You Need To Go: This Plateau haunt from chef Nick Hodge makes all kinds of fantastic fried chicken dishes, but if you have to pick just one, you need to try the burritos. Packed into a huge flour tortilla with pimento cheese, pickles, corn, rice and lots of chipotle mayo, it’s just as good eaten at the restaurant as it is for a takeout order brought straight to your home. The tacos with iceberg lettuce, pico de gallo and cheddar are great as well.
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