We’re calling it. Fried food is the best food. And there is nothing that tastes better fried than chicken. Period.
Sydney is well and truly on it’s way to becoming a juicy, crispy, crunchy and glazed, fried chicken mecca of the world. Let’s just say, Sydney has a lot of fried chicken going around—and we’re totally okay with that.
Wipe away those tears of joy team, and work your way through Sydney’s best fried chicken everything.
Not much can go wrong when you can order an entire box of finger-lickin’ good thighs, tenders and wings, all topped in an epic hot sauce. Butter is the seriously cool sneaker and fried chicken gem serving up fried chicken sandwiches with pickles, dashi butter and slide slaw or, yep you guessed it, a whole box of the good stuff.
The Workers is frying up super tasty share boards of buttermilk chicken wings (as usual, sharing is optional), exactly the way we love our fried goods—southern style—and with all the condiments (think chipotle mayo and BBQ sauce). Plus their fried chicken burger, stuffed with avocado, lettuce, tomato and smoked chilli mayonnaise gets the big post-feed belly rub of approval from us.
Serving burgers, slushies, beers, shakes, sundaes and fries, you can’t fault the epic feeds at Jake Chalmers. Churning out a juicy and flavour packed fried chicken burger with a pretty special black garlic aioli (rumours say it’s magic).
Everyone remembers their first meal at Mr Crackles and knows for a fact that life is never quite the same after. As the name suggests, the crew here are perfecting fried chicken exactly how we dream it to be—crackly and greasy AF. The chicken katsu roll is a serious life-changer filled with crumbed chicken, asian slaw and wasabi mayo, we’d eat it all over again (and we do).
The Henson does fried chicken tacos and they do them well. These bad boys are topped with radish, avo and salsa, making ordering seconds totally acceptable. On the other hand, you might want to fill your spare stomach space with the karaage chicken burger. It’s great (to put it simply) and no one should live their life without trying it.
Anyone will tell you the golden fried patties at Juicy Lucy are da bomb—us included! This go-to chicken shop is an inner city institution and you’ll gladly fall into a four-day food coma when you order their famous Juicy Lucy burger fully stuffed with spice and sriracha mayo. And who knows, maybe you’ll have room for the mouth-watering sticky wings. Let’s hope you do.
Shut the front door, Bar Luca is no stranger when it comes to nailing fried chicken. You’ll find the tastiest fried patties around when you order the fried chicken wings with smokey BBQ sauce and dill aioli. And not that you need more convincing but the chicken karaage burger with wasabi aioli, pickled veg and coriander is utterly out of this world.
Belle’s Hot Chicken
Just so you know, there’s no going back to ye average ol’ grilled chicken breast once you taste the fried fare at Belle’s Hot Chicken. The menu is basically a fried food fanatic’s dream. Choose tenders, drumsticks or wings, followed by the level of heat, sauces and if you're game, the baller bucket, with 16 tender chicken wings has your name on it.
This bustling hub is serving up Asian-fusion fare of the more-ish kind (self-restraint does not exist when you walk through its doors). Ms G’s is plating up seriously delicious Japanese-style fried chicken in the form of chicken katsu and crispy fried chicken wings with tom yum mayonnaise (emphasis on the YUM). They also have a Bangkok fried chicken—just get here, okay?
Sure, Johnny Lobster might be known for its hella good seafood (the best around) but if you haven’t treated your taste buds to the fried chicken on offer, you’re kinda missing out. The fried chicken game here is strong with the classic fried chicken smothered in hot sauce, the cajun-style fried chicken roll, the glorious fried chicken burger and um… the fried chicken waffle and vanilla ice-cream breakfast (but only on the weekends).
So this Korean restaurant in Potts Point is a little bit fancy, but don't think they're going to skip the Korean fried chicken. The TKFC (named after chef Tae Kyu Lee) is covered in a thick and spicy BBQ sauce that gets us deliciously messy every time.
Say goodbye to “clean eating” because no one can resist the Fat Bubba’s chicken burger at The Soda Factory. You’ll score southern-fried chicken (and it’s hella flavoursome), American cheese, tomato, lettuce and chilli mayo on this bun. And of course, there’s a bucket of fried chicken with homemade ranch dipping sauce. You can never have too much fried chicken, right?
This American food joint is throwing down some of the best house made waffles in Sydney, complete with game-changing flavours, every single week. And here’s a (big) hint, the southern fried chicken burger is actually super healthy. Ok, maybe not. But when it tastes this damn good calories don’t even matter.
For Malaysian-style fried chicken you’ll want to snatch up the ayem goreng at Mamak. It’s marinated with herbs and spices and packs one helluva flavour punch.
The Milk Bar By Cafe Ish
Who needs a summer body anyway? The Milk Bar has an awesome menu filled with fried chicken goods including the barnyard burger; a monster stack of two beef patties, pork crackle fried chicken thigh (we can already hear the crunch), bacon, cheddar, jalapeno lime aioli and house BBQ sauce. And on the side, they have the greatest milkshakes ever.
Everyone is battering on about the fried chicken burger at The Norfolk and for a damn good reason too. It’s spicy, saucy and served with oozing cheese and mayo, so licking it off your arm is totally okay.
Hot Star Large Fried Chicken
For a fried chicken feed bigger than your face—head to Hot Star Large Fried Chicken. It’s served in a handy paper bag (yep, canteen style) so you can grab it on your way home in the wee hours of the morning.
Newtown & CBD
Mary’s really needs no introduction in Sydney but just in case you’re an out of towner—this is where to head for a little perfect dirty burger. You could order their classic cheeseburger but that’s not really why we’re here. Order the whole fried bird or Larry bird and throw some mashed potato and gravy on the side.
From the same legends who once brought you the infamous fried chicken at Moon Park comes Paper Bird—Sydney’s much loved Asian fusion restaurant. Their fried chicken is shrimp brined and served with soy and syrup, and it’s damn good.
If you love yourself a cheeky bucket of pork crackling from Mr Crackles, then get ready to dive headfirst into a big ol’ bucket of fried chicken at Thirsty Bird. FYI, they’re by the same team and yeah, they know a thing or two about crispy AF meats. It’s all pretty simple—order one, three, or eight pieces of southern fried goodness with all the sides. But definitely the mac ‘n’ cheese with bacon.
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Juicy Lucy | Image Credit: Claudia Shmueli