Fried chicken has become God's gift amongst foodies of late. No longer do you need to rely on the Colonel to provide you with greasy chicken pieces for a late night snack or to cure your hangover, with a sway of fried chicken restaurants now dominating the country.
Melbourne, arguably the food capital of Australia, has an abundance of fried chicken restaurants to fulfil your cravings. To help make sure you're getting the finger licking chicken you deserve, here's our pick for Melbourne's best fried chicken spots in 2019.
Sonny's Fried Chicken & Burgers
As well as being known for hosting some of the best gigs in Carlton, the John Curtin Hotel is also home to the delicious Sonny's Fried Chicken. As the name suggests, Sonny's specialises in chicken and burgers, and while the burgers are top notch, it's hard to go past the crispy, 24-hour brined, pressure fried chicken.
You can have white meat (breast), dark meat (drum & thigh) or an entire chicken, with a range of dipping sauces available. Sonny's also offer some awesome sides, including corn on the cob, smooth potatoes 'n' gravy and deep fried pickles. If you're a fan of wings, get down to Sonny's every Wednesday after 5 pm where you can grab a 1kg tray of wings for just $20, with jugs of lager going out the door for $12.
Although they only opened a few months back, Korean fried chicken chain Pelicana has fast become a favourite amongst Melbournians. You can choose from a half or whole chicken, bone-in or boneless, and select from 11 delicious flavours, including hot and spicy, honey butter, garlic, white cheese and Pelicana's own special sauce.
Pelicana offers a range of tasty sides on an extensive menu that includes wraps, burgers and loaded fries. For those who enjoy an eating competition, try Pelicana's Chicken Eating Challenge. All you have to do is devour 2.2 kilograms of fried chicken, a serve of chips and a drink in less than 15 minutes. Easy right?
F.A.T. (Fried And Tasty)
Dedicated to supplying customers with the best Southern flavoured chicken in Melbourne, F.A.T. uses a secret recipe for their mouth-watering chicken passed down through the generations. Located in Brunswick East and Fitzroy, there's a wide range of options, from hot wings and chicken tenders through to burgers and waffles. They also boast F.A.T. Packs, a modern take on the classic chicken pack ideal for eating on the run. It's not just the chicken that hits the spot, with F.A.T. milkshakes up there with some of the best in Melbourne.
Belles Hot Chicken
After getting a taste for fried chicken while working in Nashville, Aussie chefs Morgan McGlone and Aaron Turner returned home and opened Belles Hot Chicken in Fitzroy. Although Morgan now has a new partner in Miranda Campbell, Belles is still going strong, having opened two further restaurants in the CBD, as well as a spot in Sydney.
There are six different flavours you can add to your wings or tenders, ranging from the mild Southern to the tongue burning Sex Panther. All your standard sides are available along with chicken nuggets and sliders, while the Belles Chicken Sandwich is an icon in its own right.
Leonards House Of Love
This American-style '70s bar is also one of Melbourne's best spots for fried chicken. The popcorn chicken and XXX hot wings are aces, but it's Leonard's fried chicken sanga that's worth your $14. A large chicken thigh is accompanied by curried mayo slaw, pickles, and American BBQ and ranch sauce, it's a sandwich for the ages. If that's not enough, there's a range of fancy fries, from your standard cheese and gravy fries to the breakfast-themed bacon and egg fries.
Leonards House Of Love is a personal favourite and the ideal place to cure your hangover with fried chicken and a cold American beer.
Gami Chicken & Beer
Priding themselves on serving 100% RSPCA-approved chicken, Gami Chicken & Beer is another fried chicken institute that's been in business for almost 15 years. Started by two friends in the suburb of Carnegie, there are now 17 stores across the country, but don't let that fool you into thinking Gami's quality has decreased with each franchise.
This is authentic Korean chicken that tastes just as amazing as it looks. You have the choice of two different sauces to go with your chicken and can grab a full chook, mixed wings or chicken spare ribs. Gami also offers a wide selection of Korean dishes for those who want something other than chicken, but when it tastes this good, why bother?
Le Bon Ton
This New Orleans themed late night bar and eatery serves up scrummy grub that will make you feel like you're really in America's South. Among the beef brisket, pork belly and smoked steaks, Le Bon Ton also serves up two variations of wings that are to die for. There are the standard smoked hot wings with cayenne pepper sauce & chipotle ranch or the Southern fried chicken buttermilk soaked tenders with cracked pepper, white gravy & jalapeños. Both make the trip to this Collingwood establishment worth your while.
Kong is a Japanese/Korean BBQ joint with an extensive menu that includes traditional Japanese buns, Korean style burgers, dumplings and rice dishes. While all these options are great, it's the wings that will have you coming back. Kong tries to keep things simple by offering only three options (BBQ soy wings, hot wings and Korean fried wings). If you've tried any of them, you'll know the really hard choice is choosing which flavour to go with. That said, my vote goes towards the Korean fried wings. You'll struggle to find any better.
4Fingers Crispy Chicken
Although another chain restaurant, 4Fingers Crispy Chicken is still miles ahead of KFC. Originating in Singapore after the owners discovered the best Asian crispy chicken they had ever tasted in New York City, 4Fingers has spread throughout Malaysia, Indonesia and now Australia, with their Melbourne location a must visit.
Wings, drumettes and drumsticks are the order of the day and are served with soy garlic, spicy sauce or a mix of the two. Chicken burgers, chicken salads and chicken rice boxes are also up for grabs, while the chicken chop, a juicy chicken thigh hand brushed with soy garlic or spicy sauce is a must try for anyone with an appetite.
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