Food & Drink

The Best Fried Chicken In Auckland

By Kathryn Steane

Someone pulls apart some crunchy, juicy chicken from Brew'd Hawt.

If we could only eat one dish for the rest of our lives, there's a good chance it'd be fried chicken. Crispy on the outside, juicy on the inside and even better when accompanied by something saucy (especially if there's some spice involved), it's the feel-good food we never get tired of.

Once only the territory of KFC, now there are myriad options for this mouthwatering treat, taking inspo from Japan, Mexico, Korea and beyond. So grab the napkins and dig into some of this tasty goodness at one of the following restaurants—finger-licking 100% guaranteed.

Brew'd Hawt

Manukau

Crunchy, juicy fried chicken topped with pickles from Brew'd Hawt, one of the best spots for fried chicken in auckland.No self-respecting list of the best fried chicken in Auckland would be complete without South Auckland newbie Brew’d Hawt. The brainchild of fried chicken aficionado Aari Puri—formerly of Pickle Pickle and Boy & Bird—this elevated fast food spot has quickly become the go-to spot for fried chook of all shapes, sizes and seasoning. Crunchy, juicy chicken is the order of the day here, thanks to the team’s signature coating of premium, three-flour, coating—which took years of perfecting—guaranteed to stay perfectly crispy for 26 minutes, they’ve timed it. How's that for dedication to the fried chicken cause? You’re the master of your spice level; let the natural crunch take centre stage with the OG level, or dial the chilli up with ‘Hawt Hawt.’ Burgs more your thing? Smoosh your fave into a premium brioche or lettuce bun with real cheese. All kinds of yes.

Peach's Hot Chicken

Panmure & Food Truck

Deliciously succulent chicken on a plate at Peach's Hot Chicken.We're not kidding when we say that the fried chicken at Peach's Hot Chicken will change your life. Made in the authentic Nashville style from a recipe handed down by the owner's grandmother, this epic interpretation is available in a range of spice levels, including the infamous Holy Cluck (which, we must warn you, is not for the faint-hearted). Let the flavours speak for themselves with a couple of pieces served simply alongside some white bread and pickles, or indulge in what has to be our fave dish here, the best-selling Baller Sandwich. Think crunchy, boneless fried chicken thigh crammed inside a soft brioche bun with coleslaw, cheese, pickles and lashings of aioli-style sauce. 

Ockhee

Ponsonby

A plate of fried chicken skin from Ockhee.There's much to love about this funky spot on Ponsonby Road, not least its fried chicken, which here goes by the name dak gang jeon. Once again taking the Korean route, Ockhee has two mouthwatering options for you to choose from—spicy soy and sesame glazed, or sweet chilli and roasted peanut glazed (now that's what we call Seoul food). Extra points for their addictive fried chicken skin (pictured above). Hell yes.

Winner Winner

Pukekohe 

A fried chicken basket with pickles and bread from Winner Winner in Pukekohe.Another choice spot that's flying the flag for South Auckland, and with a name like Winner Winner, it's no surprise that these guys are a contender for Auckland's best fried chicken. Bought to us by the same team behind BurgerFuel, Winner Winner's famously delicious free-range fried chicken is brined for 12 hours, cooked in a lip-smacking buttermilk batter then served in one of three tasty options (The Basic, Hot Dipped or Proper Hot). Who said all the best fried chicken was in the central city?

Gochu

Commercial Bay

Three people hold up fried chicken from Gochu, one of the best fried chicken joints in Auckland.Gochu's fried chicken game is strong. Their Korean version combines succulent, bite-sized pieces of meat with an ultra-crunchy batter slathered in a vibrant, spicy sauce that will have you returning time and time again. Step things up a notch by ordering an even hotter version, though be warned, this one packs a serious punch, so you'll definitely want to have a bevvy or two on hand to cool your jets. 

Schapiro's Sports Bar

Eden Terrace

Dry seasoned chicken wings from Schapiro's Sports Bar.Schapiro's Sports Bar is a great watering hole and home to some of Auckland's absolute best fried chicken. Here it comes in the form of beautifully spiced, juicy chicken wings that can not, and will not, be limited to one serve (trust us, we've tried). Choose from the dry seasoned Nashville fried chicken wings that come in three iterations—lemon pepper, original and hot and spicy or grab the napkins for the saucy fried chicken wings in Gochujang or buffalo which both come with ranch and celery. Can't decide? The fried chicken sandwich is also a solid option, just to make your choice that little bit harder. 

Mexico

Ellerslie, Ponsonby, Silverdale 

Fried chicken at MexicoThe spot that's perhaps responsible for starting Auckland's fried chicken craze, Mexico's signature offering still tastes just as good after all these years. Little nuggets of spicy, golden goodness served with both jalapeño and chipotle mayo, this is the sole reason some people dine here. We hope this one never leaves the menu.  

My Fried Chicken

Ponsonby, Newmarket, Takapuna & Mission Bay

A cartoon mouth dives towards a piece of fried chicken. Yum.Fried chicken gets the Korean treatment at My Fried Chicken. We particularly like the Ponsonby Central store, where you can pull up a pew and watch as the chefs prepare their version of this much-loved treat, which comes in super mild, super spicy and everything in between. If you do happen to get a little hot under the collar, a can of Garage beer (of which there are a number of options available) should soon sort you out.  

Kai Eatery

Auckland CBD, Commercial Bay, Ellerslie, Takapuna, Albany

A girl holds a huge piece of chicken in her hands.We know that bigger isn't always better, but when it comes to fried chicken, it certainly is. Lucky for us, there's a super-sized version of the dish being served up at Kai Eatery. Their signature, Taiwanese-style XL Fried Chicken is world-famous in Auckland, and for good reason. Think boneless, butterflied chicken breast bigger than your face with a juicy marinated inner and crispy, generously-coated outer; available in drool-worthy flavours like salt and pepper and peri peri. 

The Candy Shop

Newmarket

Someone holds up the Fried chicken burger at The Candy Shop.The Candy Shop favour the Korean style of fried chicken, which they've cheekily dubbed 'KFC'. Indeed, theirs is a far cry from that offered by the fast-food giant, but we certainly aren't complaining. Choose from the equally delish original with garlic soy dipping sauce, or spicy with tteokbboki (fried rice cakes). Or slap it in a bun and devour sandwich-style. Yummm. 

Lord of the Fries

Auckland CBD, Karangahape Road & Botany

Fried 'chicken' from plant-based restaurant lord of the fries.Is it weird to feature a vegan restaurant in an article about fried chicken? Maybe, but we love the fact that there's a convincing alternative out there for the growing number of plant-based eaters. Yip, Lord of the Fries' version—made from soy protein—is about as close in looks and more importantly, taste, to legit fried chicken as you'll get (it even separates like the real deal). 

Azabu

Mission Bay, Ponsonby

Karaage chicken (aka Japanese fried chicken) is the business and Azabu makes some of Auckland's best. Cluck—er, tuck into this refreshing take on the fast-food classic which comes with pickled daikon, oregano or kale crisp and aji Amarillo mayo—oh, and did we mention it's also free-range?

Lowbrow.

Karangahape Road, Ellerslie

Chicken wings from Lowbrow.Anything the Lowbrow. team touches turns to gold, including their fried chicken. Here it comes in the form of American-style wings, served alongside a creamy ranch sauce and some white bread—perfect for wiping up any precious juices that might try to escape. You can also get your fried chicken fix by way of a sando (burger), or even in a Caesar salad (yes, salad!). 

Want to go the other way? Get something super healthy delivered right to your door.  

Image credit: Brew'd Hawt, Peach's Hot Chicken by Wono Kim, Ochkee, Gochu, Schapiro's Sports Bar, Mexico, My Fried Chicken by Ponsonby Central, Kai Eatery, The Candy Shop, Lord Of The Fries, Lowbrow.

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