When it’s time for a chicken and chips night, there is no shortage of potential across Sydney. Veritable connoisseurs of the cuisine, Sydneysiders know just how succulent a roast chicken should be, and regardless of whether your preference is fried, roasted or grilled there is a store doing chickens justice near you. From the Portuguese chicken hub of Petersham to Surry Hills where Southern style fried chook is de-rigueur, these are the chicken shops with the juiciest fare that we can’t get enough of.
Butter, Surry Hills
Chicken Confidential, Sydney
Chicken Confidental, Sydney
Chicken Confidential, Sydney
Chicken Confidential, Sydney
It’s Portuguese for chicken. Famed for their chicken’s sticky, salty skin and succulent meat, Frango’s is a favourite when any regular Portuguese chicken burger just won’t do. Their original Portuguese Chicken Burger ($9.50) boasts a squeeze of the Frango’s signature piri piri chilli sauce, marinated breast fillet, lettuce, tomato and cheese that will have you hooked from the first mouthful. Go gourmet on the chip front with a large serving of their sliced hand cut potatoes ($13.50). They’re completely addictive.
Petersham, Bella Vista, Penrith and Smithfield
Taking Barangaroo by storm, Belle’s Hot Chicken is just that – and boy, who knew a heat kick could be so addictive. Offering chicken ribs in peach BBQ sauce ($14), tenders ($18), drumsticks ($17) and wings ($17) with heat intensity ranging from Southern to Hot to Really F**kin Hot make sure you’re well aware of what you’re getting yourself into. The Mississippi Comeback sauce is not to be missed and make sure you add a side of the Carolina Slaw ($5.50) to your order.
Barangaroo and Forest Lodge
Southern style fried chicken doesn’t come any better. Thirsty Bird’s rigorous preparation process of brining, air drying and seasoning makes for some of the city’s most succulent chicken around. You can indulge for as little as $4.50 for one piece, but to be honest you’re much better off committing to three and a sauce for $13. While the popular approach may to be stick to ordering a single side as your meal’s accompaniment, with choices including waffle fries ($6), mac n cheese with bacon ($5), mixed pickles ($5) and buffalo wings ($9) you’d struggle to argue against ordering one of everything. We’d also choose to forget any self-control and demolish a Katsu burger with Japanese crumbed chicken, kewpie mayo and tonkatsu sauce ($13).
3/2-14 Bayswater Road, Potts Point
Do you like shopping? Champagne? Fried chicken? Lucky for you there is a place where lovers of this trifecta can find their version of heaven. As you consider your impending sneaker purchase, tuck in to The Chicken Sandwich with pickles, dashi butter and a side of slaw. The house 3 Pac undoubtedly packs heat, with one thigh piece, two tenders and a side of slaw with your choice of heat, and the Size 13’s box is for those with big feet and an even bigger appetite – four thigh pieces, nine tenders, two sides of slaw and three sauces will confidently fill any shoes or stomach.
6 Hunt Street, Surry Hills
Delivering mouth-watering rotisserie chickens to the good people of Newtown since 1982, it’s obvious Clem’s know what they’re doing. A whole chicken will set you back a tidy $15, while a half-chicken and chips meal deal (let’s be honest, that’s what we’re about) is just $11.50. If you prefer your chicken battered and fried, the fried chicken dinner deal with veggies or salad (from $9.95) is the answer. Be sure to take home one of their homemade pasta bakes for dinner tomorrow night.
210 King Street, Newtown
Chicken is not just a staple for The Char team, it’s an obsession. The Char’s Portuguese Chickens are things of legend ($17.90) and with all of their sauces made in house (Greek, Thai, Peri Peri and Garlic) you won’t be letting any chips go sauce-free. If committing to an entire chicken is a little ambitious, try out a piece of their perfectly crunchy schnitzel ($5.90) or go clean with a grilled chicken breast with salad ($12.90). The organic quinoa or bean and avocado salads are always a worthwhile side addition.
Bronte and Bondi
Word is out. Celebrity Chef Luke Mangan has unveiled his newest venture in Sydney’s Chifley Plaza, stating simply that Chicken Confidential does burgers better. Only using organic chicken from Queensland’s Inglewood Farms, the Chicken Confidential burgers are a step up from your average; the Yes Ma’am fried chicken burger with lettuce, tomato, red onion pickle and confidential sauce ($14) rings true to those punchy southern style flavours with the Gangnam Style ($14) with crispy Korean style fried chicken, pickled vegetables, herbs and kimchi sauce layers the umami taste on thick. Add a caramel or double vanilla shake ($7) and you have yourself the perfect combo.
Level 1, Chifley Plaza, 2 Chifley Square, Sydney
We could hardly call this a comprehensive list without mentioning the infamous Chargrill Charlies. So well known the chain is graced with the ‘Chooka’s’ title, Charlie’s is one of the few chains who excel at offering the ultimate in ‘make your own’ pack combinations. Start every combo with a whole, half or quarter chicken (all hormone and chemical free) add chips, veggies or salad (we can’t get over the roast tomato and spinach) and a devil wing or marinated drumstick for good luck. Make sure you check their blackboard specials that rotate daily. On an unrelated but very relevant note, if it’s good enough for Justin Bieber to gorge on, then we’re 100% on board.
Mosman, Neutral Bay, Willoughby, Wahroonga, Lane Cove, Woollahra, St Ives, Mona Vale and Rose Bay
You’ll be very pleased to hear that the Chicken Insitute’s Damn Good Chicken is in fact damn good. Fried chicken with spicy salt and lime ($22) pushes all the right buttons while the garlic chicken, peanut butter chicken and peri peri chicken ($24) options are equally as pleasing. We’d team ours with a healthy side of BBQ corn with cheddar and chipotle ($4) and the kimchi poutine with cheddar and gravy ($9). If you’re after something a little different the minced chicken miso with thick noodles, cucumber and egg ($17) is completely delicious.
61 Fitzroy Street, Surry Hills
Offering up all the chicken shop classics, Pablo’s is always there when you need a hug in the form of delectable chicken and chips. The double Portuguese chicken burger with chicken breast, chilli, tomato, lettuce and mayo ($13.50) has helped to resurrect hundreds of those suffering from the night before, and Pablo’s somehow manages to turn a humble chicken roll ($9.50) into a thing of revered beauty. The only way to improve on a Pablo’s visit is to go the extra mile and indulge in the house’s cream potato bake ($5.50 - $10) – no dessert could ever top it.
664 Crown Street, Surry Hills