The Best Fried Chicken Spots in Vancouver
Vancouver, can you smell that?
It’s invading your nostrils everywhere you step in the city. It’s keeping you up at night. It’s even distracting you at your job.
You inhale the air, almost tasting the fried goodness in every whiff, and start to crave the crispiness of the skin harmonizing with the moistness of the meat.
But where can you find the best fried chicken in Vancouver? Which restaurants have the secret touch that’ll have you coming back for more, day after day? After all, a simply mediocre chicken place won’t satisfy your cravings.
Lucky for you, we have compiled one of our most succulent lists to date: the top 10 best fried chicken restaurants in Vancouver!
1. LA Chicken
When you step inside LA Chicken, it’s nothing fancy, but its loyal masses don’t seem to mind that. Instead, the legions of customers both old and new making their journey to this absolute haven of a fried chicken spot seem more focused on the culinary factors. Namely, the satisfyingly crispy breading nestling the juicy meat that falls off the bone before you can take your first bite. Hell yes.
There’s fries, coleslaw, and gravy but make no mistake, LA Chicken is first and foremost a fried chicken joint—and once you’ve had your first bite you’ll be very content with that fact. Now onto the difficult decisions; spicy or original?
Location: 11780 Thorpe Rd, Richmond, BC V6X 1J5
2. Phnom Penh
A family-style restaurant, Phnom Penh is known for its Cambodian style fried chicken wings (and butter beef).
These are no regular chicken wings nor is Phnom Penh an ordinary chicken place, evidenced by eager diners standing in line for hours anticipating their first bite. Unlike your common fried chicken, Phnom Penh is able to accomplish a light dish bolstered by the addition of just a touch of sugary sweetness to balance the salty wings. We’re kidding - it’s a absolute flavour bomb that will make you want more and more.
Needless to say, there’s no wonder Phnom Penh has grown into jam-packed local staple.
Location: Chinatown 244 E Georgia Street, Vancouver, BC V6A 1Z7
3. Zabu Chicken
A true trendsetter in the Vancouver Fried Chicken scene, Zabu is renowned for its own brand of “KFC”; Korean Fried Chicken.
Zabu’s Korean spicy chicken has a reputation for making diners sweat. The radiating heat is best cooled down by the pickled radish or yogurt soju. However, if you’d rather forego any burning sensation, Zabu’s fried chicken is also served with a savoury soy sauce that’ll be sure to leave your taste buds jumping with glee.
Comfortably coated in a thin layer of batter, Zabu’s chicken is served in heaping portions, seasoned with delicate care, and boasts a pleasant salty and sweet flavour profile.
The Colonel wishes his KFC was this good and rowdy.
Location: 1635 Robson Street, Vancouver, BC V6G 1C8
4. Jukes Fried Chicken
If you suffer from a gluten intolerance or simply have an aversion to gluten, we’ve got some incredible news for you; thanks to Juke, you can actually enjoy fried chicken! Even better? Although lacking in gluten, Juke’s fried chicken isn’t lacking in satisfying crispiness, tantalizing juiciness, or mouthwatering flavour.
You can order these gluten-free pieces of heaven in non-spicy or spicy with the classic fixins like cornbread, brown-butter corn on the cob, or Juke’s signature dirty fries which arrive perfectly cooked and smattered with gravy, green onions, and pickled onions. Aside from their fried chicken, you can find rotisserie chickens, Vietnamese-inspired nuoc cham ribs, and 'Big Boy' fried chicken sandwiches at their Little Juke location on Davie Street.
Dare we say even gluten lovers would be enamoured by Jukes delectable fried chicken.
Chinatown 182 Keefer Street, Vancouver, BC V6A 1X4
Davie 1074 Davie Street, Vancouver, BC V6E 1M3
What’s better than fried chicken? It’s fried chicken that’s available 24 hours a day—and that’s what you get at HiFive24.
You can enjoy an order of HiFive24’s juicy, high quality, farm fresh, expertly battered fried chicken at any time of any day. Then, you can complement your delicious late-night entrée with a whopping order with delicious potato wedge-fries. If you choose to dine-in, you’ll be privy to a minimalist cafeteria setting, an unbelievably friendly staff, and bottomless drinks out of cups boasting a vintage Pepsi logo!
HiFive24 prides itself on being a healthier option for fried chicken, using only fresh ingredients and trans fat free oil. Now you can feel a bit less guilty stuffing your mouth.
8669 10th Ave, Burnaby, BC V3N 2S9
203 SE Marine Dr, Vancouver, BC V5X 3L6
8669 Tenth Avenue, Burnaby, BC V6N 2S9
6. The Frying Pan Food Truck
Frying pan’s mission statement is to serve the best fried chicken in the world. While it’s a lofty goal and utterly impossible to quantify, this fantastic food truck is certainly on the right track by already being one of the best in the city.
The energetic, cheerful staff is known for serving a bevy of mouthwatering dishes, including a hearty fried chicken burger that diners won’t stop raving about. If you’ve even got any room left after the burger, you can order the Frying pans crispy bulgogi fries. And hey, if you possess an actual bottomless pit, you can order a fried egg on top of your fried chicken burger!
Food trucks really know how to have fun - and the Frying Pan is no different. We can safely proclaim they’re standing as one of the premier fried chicken places in Vancouver!
Location: 505 Burrard St, Vancouver, BC V7X 1V3
7. Church’s Chicken
Church’s painstaking process is the most sterling example that frying the most nuanced, richly flavoured chicken is truly a labor of love. It starts when they marinate their farm fresh chicken in their original recipe of spices the night before. They then hand-bread each piece of chicken. With that kind of dedication to the process, crunch and flavour are almost guaranteed!
When you go to Church’s, you’ll enjoy generous portions served piping hot, a perfectly balanced batter, and wonderfully crisp skin over tender cuts of chicken.
Don’t let the fast food label fool you, quality is the reason Church’s has its sterling reputation throughout Vancouver.
Locations: All of BC
8. Duffin’s Donuts
How could a place with “donuts” in its name be famous for anything other than donuts? By making some of the best fried chicken in Vancouver. That’s how.
We get it, a donut shop serving Chinese food, noodles, tortas, donuts, and boba might confuse – even concern – you at first. However, you’ll be blown away by Duffin’s fried chicken once you take your first illustrious bite. Suddenly you’ll be overwhelmed by chicken that’s crispy on the outside, juicy on the inside, and served to perfection 24 hours a day!
And you bet this is a good spot for those late night food shenanigans.
Duffin’s is family owned and has been around for thirty years—giving the staff plenty of time to craft each subtle hint of texture and flavour in every one of the cultural smorgasbord of menu items.
Location: 1391 East 41st Avenue, Vancouver, BC
9. Downlow Chicken Shack
It’s funny how a place called Downlow could make you feel so high with the scrumptiousness of its otherworldly fried chicken.
Considered as the first Nashville hot fried chicken joint in the city, Downlow is refreshingly buzzing with old school hip-hop and oozing of playfulness. With the heat level option of mild to “A Side of Milk”, Co-owners Doug Stephen and Lindsey Mann’s crispy fried chicken will have you hooked on your first bite. After all, there’s a reason why there’s a cult-like following for this Southern U.S. item.
Downlow’s delectably juicy boneless chicken thigh is its signature dish, characterized by the crispy skin synonymous with any fried chicken worth savouring. It’s best ordered with the DL sauce (a spicy mayo-based sauced) drizzled delicately on top and cornbread on the side. In fact, we’d feel irresponsible as gastronomical enthusiasts if we didn’t further elaborate on the deliciousness of the cornbread. Layered with cheese and jalapeno slices and a slathering of honey and butter, this ‘side’ dish packs the satisfying punch of any main course.
Downlow’s hot chicken is made from hormone free, antibiotic free, free run, non GMO, and grain fed birds. And since they prepare your bun right when you order, you’ll have it nice and fresh to really send you to the heavens on your first bite.
Eating-tip: Enjoy your hot chicken by ripping a small piece of your bread and of the chicken to create a small wrap.
Not-so-secret-item: Fries on the Downlow.
Location: 905 Commercial Dr, Vancouver, BC V5L 3W8
Named after the owner’s late grandmother, Annalena is an eclectic, uniquely designed restaurant with various alternative motifs; including an elegantly wooded bar area with a Tetris motif.
The stunning buttermilk fried chicken with horseradish maple aioli and salt and vinegar style crispy skin on the side, is only one delightful piece in this modernized Canadian menu puzzle. You’ll also be swept off your feet by a diverse range of culinary excellence, ranging from a rich lobster bisque to cured tuna with fresh papaya.
While Annalena is more than just a fried chicken place, there is no doubt it’s still host to some of the best fried chicken in Vancouver.
Location: 1809 West 1st Avenue, Vancouver, BC
Once you’ve conquered your fried chicken food bucket, it’s time to move on as there’s more to taste in Vancouver. If you’re looking to warm up from the city’s rainy weather, the best ramen shops are waiting for you.