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Where to Find the Best Fried Chicken in Sydney

At these 13 top chook spots you can get your fried chicken slathered in maple syrup, served crispy or sandwiched in a soft bun.
By Marissa Ciampi
January 24, 2023
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By Marissa Ciampi
January 24, 2023
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WHERE TO FIND THE BEST FRIED CHICKEN IN SYDNEY

At these 13 top chook spots you can get your fried chicken slathered in maple syrup, served crispy or sandwiched in a soft bun.

Doused in gravy, hot sauce or sambal, served on a plate with mac 'n' cheese, or sandwiched in a soft bun — fried chicken is the epitome of comfort food in lots of places around the world, and Sydney is no exception. This city's restaurant scene offers heavenly bird done in every way imaginable.

These local joints combine nationalities and styles to champion the fried side of the chook. In Sydney, you can eat fried chicken with Taiwanese, Korean, Japanese or Indonesian influences, as well as heaps of American-style versions. If you really want to indulge, bookmark this list and hit all 13 restaurants before the end of the year. Go on, we dare you.

  • 13

    In 2018, this Crows Nest favourite swapped out its namesake lobster rolls and dedicated itself to the fried chicken business once and for all — which, according to owner Tom Baker, was already over 50 percent of the food sold at the venue. Now dubbed Johnny Bird, the signature free-range chicken continues to be some of the best in the city.

    The boneless tenders and thighs are marinated overnight and heavily spiced, resulting in a finished product that is both juicy and peppery. Plates of the stuff come with your choice of house-made sauce — including chipotle mayo, smoky barbecue and Nashville hot — and can be served with classic southern sides like fried pickles, sweet potato fries, homemade slaw and mac ‘n’ cheese. Diners can also tuck into wings and burgers of the same calibre.

    You can order pickup from Johnny Bird’s website or delivery via Menulog and Doordash.

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  • 12

    Melbourne’s much-loved home of Korean fried chicken finally made its way to Sydney in 2018, and it has swiftly become a city-wide favourite. The brand now has outposts in World Square, Castle Hills’ Castle Towers, Penrith’s Station Street, Campbeltown’s Hyde Parade, Edmondson’s Ed Square and Market Street in the CBD. Considering it also boasts over 20 locations in Melbourne, you can expect that number to keep increasing, too.

    Here, expect signature cuts like wingettes and drumettes, along with the classic half or whole bird — served with or without the bones and either doused in sauce or with a side dipping option. All of the chicken here is RSPCA-certified, too.

    You can order Gami Fried Chicken for pickup via its website or delivery via Menulog and DoorDash.

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  • 11

    Long before it had multiple outposts around the city, Sydney institution Mary’s was just a raucous Newtown joint slinging burgers, beers and some of the best fried chicken in the region. This reputation still holds true today — though now you can grab the American-style dish at Castle Hill, the Entertainment Quarter, Circular Quay and Castlereigh Street.

    Marinated in buttermilk, hot sauce and maple syrup, the fried chicken can be ordered as a burger or in half, whole or Larry Bird portions — that’s two whole chooks. And, if you’re dining with vegetarians, Mary’s fried cauliflower is just as good.

    Swing past Mary’s for pickup or order delivery via DoorDash or UberEats.

    Image: Kitti Gould.

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  • 10

    The brainchild of renowned Australian chef and former Nashville resident Morgan McGlone, Belle’s Hot Chicken combines spicy fried chicken with cool natural wine. Belle’s has two Sydney outposts at Tramsheds and Barangaroo, both with their fair share of spicy fried chook to dig into.

    Get stuck into drumsticks, tenders and wings, paired with your choice of heat — ranging from a mild southern to spicy versions like Really F**kin Hot. It also has an impressive selection of extra greasy sandwiches, either full of fried chicken or spiced mushrooms for the vegetarians. And, we can’t forget the obligatory sides — our top three picks are the fries, coleslaw and gluttonous mac ‘n’ cheese.

    You can order Belles Hot Chicken for pickup at its website or delivery via DoorDash.

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  • 9

    Set along Newtown’s Enmore Road, this joint is serving up some of Sydney’s most authentic Korean fried chicken. Opened by sibling duo Julie and Jeff Oh back in 2017, the shop has become known around the city for its signature dish, served in four styles: original, sweet chilli, soy garlic and ‘spicy bomb’.

    It’s best to pair your fried chicken with traditional bibimbap, which is an Oh family recipe. The rice bowl comes topped with a whole heap of veggies, including radish kimchi, bean sprouts, carrots and shiitake mushroom, and is a refreshing accompaniment to the deep-fried main attraction. House-made kimchi and other more westernised sides like fries and slaw are available. And, if you’re dining in, you can BYO your own wine.

    You can pre-order pickup for Flying Tong by calling 8056 5985, or order delivery via UberEats and DoorDash.

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  • 8

    Chef Kerby Craig has long been a legend in the local burger scene, but his fried chicken has also earned a special place in the hearts of many. And, with Ume Burger open in the Barangaroo dining precinct and Darling Square, there are more than a few ways to get your fried chook fix between the two.

    At Ume Burger, diners can indulge in classic Japanese karaage, served with a hot sauce and tonkatsu sauce — you can even add cheese, bacon, curry and more spice for a fully loaded version. Accompanying the fried chook is a range of beer and wine.

    You can pre-order pickup from Ume Burger’s website, or order delivery via UberEats.

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  • 7

    Hungry? Or need a new pair of kicks? Solve one or both of these dilemmas at Butter, Sydney’s over-the-top palace of fried chicken, champagne and sneakers. If you are ordering for more than just yourself, try the size 13s box on for size. It’s a generous party pack of fried thighs and tenders, alongside pickles and multiple sauces — all served in a shoebox.

    Other sides include mash and ramen gravy, five different kinds of fries and fried haloumi fingers doused in hot sauce. Solo diners shouldn’t look past Butter’s Master Spice chicken sandwich, which comes piled with spicy mayo, double cheese, pickles and its fire hot sauce. And those with a sweet tooth will love the fried chicken and doughnut combo: two fried tenders, salted butter and a generous pour of maple syrup, all atop a hot cinnamon doughie.

    You can find Butter at ParramattaChatswood and Surry Hills, or order delivery via UberEats or DoorDash.

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  • 6

    Ayam Goreng 99 has been an eastern suburbs mainstay since opening way back in 1998. Its 25-year career of serving authentic Indonesian eats to Kingsford locals has continuously centred around the fried chicken — which happens to be the English translation of ayam goreng.

    The marinated chook is served with a signature sambel terasi sauce, which combines spicy chilli and prawn paste. It’s cooked in a wok for several hours to achieve a true depth of flavour that diners cannot get enough of. To accompany your fried chook, order plates of nasi goreng, lamb satay skewers and stir-fried greens.

    You can place an order with Ayam Goreng by calling 9697 0030 or order delivery via Pasar Makan and Delivery Mommma.

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  • 5
    Hot Star Large Fried Chicken for late-night eats in Perth

    This Taiwanese fried chicken chain turns out some damn tasty bird. After landing in Australia in 2014, it now has ten Sydney stores — including locations in the CBD, Auburn, Campsie and Eastwod.

    Here, the chicken is pounded out until super thin and about the size of your face; you can have it as is, or loaded with spice. There are also sweet potato and curly fries to accompany your chicken. The small, bright blue takeaway shop is perfect for a quick trip out of the house for takeaway.

    Order Hot Star pickup via its website, or delivery with UberEats and DoorDash.

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  • 4

    Basax’s Haymarket store is open until midnight Monday–Saturday, so you’ll be able to satisfy any late-night cravings for some cheeky chook. There are over ten types of boneless chicken available at Basax, which you can have either oven-roasted or fried and finished with the likes of spring onion, soy garlic or grated cheese.

    You can pair your protein with sides such as waffle fries or even fried dumplings. Also available is a range of hearty Korean stews and soups, including the ever-popular hot pots with either a mixed selection of sausages, pork belly, mushrooms or tofu.

    Basax is available for pickup via its website or for delivery through UberEats, DoorDash and Menulog.

    Images: Arvin Prem Kumar

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  • 3

    After a successful one-off trial at selling fried chicken that saw it sell out in just hours, crispy pork favourite Mr Crackles has provided Sydneysiders with what they’ve been pining for with a dedicated fried chicken shop in Newtown. Like its predecessor, Mr Crackles, Thirsty Bird is a mono-meat venue. On the menu you’ll find chicken — and not much else.

    But rest assured it’ll be some of the best chicken of your life. You can order between one and eight pieces of the crunchy chook in original or hot ‘n’ spicy form. Or, throw it on a burger with fresh slaw and Thirsty Bird’s special sauce. In the sides department, you have a reserved selection of classics like tater tots, mash and gravy, pickles and fried chicken’s unlikely best friend — waffles with maple syrup.

    Thirsty Bird is open for pickup orders at its website or for delivery through DoorDash and Menulog.

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  • 2

    Since opening its original store in Granville in 1998, El Jannah has earned cult status for its Lebanese-style charcoal chicken and finger lickin’-good garlic sauce. Now, the legendary chicken joint has an impressive 16 outlets under its belt — and counting.

    While its grilled chicken is what it’s known for, don’t let that discourage you from venturing over to the fried side of the menu. Order a set of mixed tenders and wings — served with gravy — and be sure to order the largest tub of garlic sauce possible. If you’re more of a burger fan, you can get a southern-style fried chicken patty between sesame buns and slathered in spicy mayo.

    Order El Jannah online for pickup, via UberEats for delivery, or if you live near the Smithfield location, pick up your chicken at the store’s drive-thru.

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  • 1
    Ruby's Fried Chicken

    Ruby’s is the classic Nashville-style chicken takeaway shop from the team behind beloved burger joint Mister Gee. As is often the case with some of the best fried chicken restaurants, the Concord spot’s menu is simple and to the point. Your first decision when ordering is how hot are you prepared to go. There are six iterations of the chicken available on the menu, ranging from the spiceless original through to the FMUF or F**k Me Up Fam spice level which Ruby’s describes as simply “Don’t do it!!”, double exclamation mark and all.

    Once you’ve locked in with a spice level, choose from the five fried chicken boxes available. There’s a classic double tender combo that comes equipped with fries, a dink, house-made pickles and Ruby’s sauce; a Ruby’s snack pack, which piles on tenders, mac n cheese, sauce, slaw and pickles onto a bed of chips; or the Ruby’s sando that places everything on a brioche bun.

    Head in-store at 55 Majors Bay Road, Concord to try Ruby’s.

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Top image: Kitti Gould. 

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