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Vancouver’s Best Fried Chicken, Ranked

Our city is enjoying a fried chicken boom right now, with several different styles vying for supremacy. We map the best spots here.
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Vancouver’s Best Fried Chicken, Ranked

It’s National Fried Chicken Day, which begs the question: Who does the best fried chicken in Vancouver? It’s a seriously tender call. Accordingly, I’ve mapped and listed all of my current favourites – the ones I consider to be contenders – below for your ranking consideration. Your votes are appreciated, but good luck choosing just one…

Kingyo Izakaya
871 Denman St.

Capable, unpretentious and fun, Kingyo is also one of city’s most consistent restaurants. I always recommend it to out-of-towners looking for an emblematic bite of Vancouver, and this is partly due to their always excellent boneless fried chicken karaage with shredded red pepper (which I never fail to order).

DownLow Chicken Shack
905 Commercial Dr.

The Downlow Chicken Shack is the newest addition to Vancouver’s fried chicken scene, and they are totally blowing up on account of their unique (in Vancouver) “Nashville Hot” style. This stuff is wicked delicious, and never mind the line-up; it moves fast.

Zabu Chicken
1635 Robson St.

Is there better Korean fried chicken in Vancouver? Possibly, but there’s just something special about Zabu that makes me return time after time. The flavours and crunches are just so distinct, and the options are welcome. Order both the Soy and the sweeter Yang Nyum styles. Good luck trying to decide which is best.

Mogu (Food Truck)
Howe St. at Dunsmuir St.

Wait, do food trucks count? They do when the product is as addictive as Mogu’s sweet and spicy karaage. This stuff is so good that it deserves to be considered here among its brick and mortar brethren. Seriously, if you haven’t tried this stuff yet, pounce!

810 Quayside Dr.

High quality bird rubbed with the company’s signature spice mix, coated in yellow mustard and thoroughly doused and dusted in a sieved blizzard batter of potato starch and all-purp/rice flour. Still waiting for a location closer to home…

Burdock & Co
2702 Main St.

Wait, chef Andrea Carlson does fried chicken? It’s true, and fabulously so. The pieces are boneless, succulent bites that come dusted with dill powder on pickle mayo. A refined option, but no less delicious.

1809 West 1st Ave.

Another fancy take on fried chicken, this time from the very creative Mike Robbins. His buttermilked pieces are crispy, boneless, wicked tender and deliciously lit with turmeric pickles on a puddle of electric mustard sauce. Tastes like McNuggets did when you were a six, which is to say the best thing ever.

Mamie Taylor's
251 East Georgia St. (Closed)

They’ve had a couple of side twists and variations here over the years, but the fried chicken itself has remained consistent. At the time of writing it’s served with potato and cheddar waffles with spicy honey, slaw and a little of the Chinatown restaurant’s superb gravy, which makes everything it touches extra amazing.

Juke Fried Chicken
182 Keefer St.

Their gluten-free batter is loved by many. Good on the bone and off. We love the entire line-up here, but have become especially partial to the fried chicken sandwiches and the fried chicken tenders. New location opening soon.

LA Chicken
11780 Thorpe Rd.

No list of fried chicken would be complete without mention of this strip mall staple in Richmond with its sun-bleached 80s decor and two piece boxes loaded up with fries, (questionable) salad and gravy. Just try to talk us out of it…

Duffin's Donuts
1391 E. 41st Ave

If we ever did a “Best 4am Fried Chicken” poll this invariably entertaining bastion of edible eclecticism would beat out Church’s by a landslide. They do the Fritou stuff here, so it’s crispy, available in both regular and spicy.

Dixie's Authentic Texas BBQ
337 E. Hastings St. (Closed)

This Central Texas-themed BBQ joint is best known for its superb brisket, but their cornmeal-battered (boneless) fried chicken is ridiculously on point (shows best in sandwich form with a side of tots, because Texas).

Who does Vancouver's best fried chicken?

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Did we miss your favourite FC option? Let us know via @scoutmagazine

There are 12 comments

  1. Big Al – glaringly absent – makes all of these otherwise impressive candidates look like kindergarten.

  2. Well Big Al doesn’t have a restaurant, buds. Juke is good for gluten free option but it kind of is no contest to the rest of the names on this list, with the exception of Zabu, one of the worst eateries I have been to serving alcohol to minors and absolutely mediocre Korean Fried Chicken. Bonelss option from Damso is 100 times better if you are looking for a good KFC fix.

  3. One that never gets mentioned is St. Augustine’s. They only do buckets of fried chicken on Mondays, but they are AWESOME. I try to make it down every week.

  4. Frying pan and Tuc are good, but not as good as Dixies. Down LO should not even be on this list and I’m glad,.. I work near it and initially was disappointed but now realize that if it was good and reasonably priced,. my arteries would be at risk.

  5. Oh no. No no. St Augie’s and Cocoru DO NOT deserve to be on this list. Not at all.

    That said, if Duffin’s is in there…… anything goes? XD

  6. Big Al cooks at the Lion’s Den about once per month. He’s been making outstanding fried chicken in this town since long before just about everyone else on this list. Long Live the King!

  7. Just curious how many of these places know the pedigree of the chickens, have been to one of the farms, talked to the chicken farmer…?
    Or how many just order in the cheapest by the pallet?
    I can see by the list that some of these places care about the supply line, but do they all?

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