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By Telford Mills
May 01, 2017

The Five Best Fried Chicken Joints in Wellington

Make no bones about it, this is the good stuff.
By Telford Mills
May 01, 2017

OK, let's get real. Fried chicken, even at its most prosaic, tops almost anything else in the food world. But we're not here to talk about the prosaic section of the fried chicken pyramid. We're here to talk about the top tier. The stuff that you bite into and moan. The stuff that permeates dreams and reality and keeps you up at night thinking dirty thoughts those have nothing to do with copulation. Put simply, this is the good stuff. Here then, are the top five. If you haven't attached a bib around your chin by now, I will not be responsible for the drool on your shirts. Consider yourself warned.


Let's start Southern. Thunderbird Cafe is a relatively new player in the fried chicken game, but it's easy to see why their bird has risen to the top of many people's lists. Their chook is tender and juicy, coated in a Southern-style batter that lights up your taste buds in all the right places. Even better, it is served with some serious trimmings: mashed potatoes, slaw and an invigorating blackberry chutney. It may not be the cheapest option on our list but my god, is it tasty.

154 Featherston Street


Five Boroughs keeps it simple. Like everything else on their menu, their fried chicken is presented firmly without frills and is all the better for it. Available as a two, four, six or twelve pack, their chicken is coated in buttermilk , deep fried and served with biscuits and gravy. It might be a tad audacious but it works. The chicken itself it excellent and the extras are tasty too (although your stomach may not thank you for it later). If you want your fried chicken the way god intended it, Five Boroughs is the place for you. Just make sure you pace yourself.

Corner of Roxburgh and Majoribanks Streets


Their menu describes their chicken as 'succulent' and it is not an exaggeration. A far cry from Five Boroughs, Mama serves her fried chicken atop savoury French toast, covered with bacon, cheese and pico de gallo. They fill the rest of the plate with chips and 'slaw and slide it over to you with one eyebrow raised. I'll be honest; it's a lot. A good lot for sure, but a lot. The chicken is sublime; expertly battered and cooked but felt a little staggered under the amount of accouterments. It's a commitment, both in terms of size and price (at $26.50 it's the priciest item on our list) but at the right time with the right pal by your side, this is exactly what you feel like.

250 Wakefield Street


Mrs. Kim doesn't mess around. As with all good Korean fried chicken, her bird has a serious kick and she makes no bones about it. It is served with homemade chilli sauce and Coca-Cola and believe me when I say you will be glad of the latter. Mrs. Kim's may not the be fanciest place on our list but its utterly charming and does what it does very well. Come here if you like your chicken spicy; it is not for the faint of heart. But for those who can deal with the heat, I can guarantee that you will be back at Mrs. Kim's before you realise it. And again. And again. It's just that kind of place.

89 Ghuznee Street


Look, I get it. J & M's isn't Logan Brown. It isn't even Mama Brown. It's bang in the middle of Courtney Place and lit by flickering neon tubes. It is last on this list but could never be left off. Why, you ask? Because when it comes to fried chicken, this place is legit. It is cheap where other places are pricey, open when other places are closed. The chicken is greasy but it's great. It comes with chips and leaves it at that. And the best part? You can take your snack box (or, let's be honest, your five-piece pack) and eat it on the couch in your underwear while you watch New Girl. As a friend of mine once said, "J & M may not be the best but it is always there for you." Amen to that.

21A Courtenay Place

Published on May 01, 2017 by Telford Mills

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