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Chicken meal at Thirsty Bird
Photograph: Anna Kucera

The best chicken shops in Sydney

The simple chook is all the rage right now, so we've rounded up the best on field – from the institutions to a crop of promising newbies

By Divya Venkataraman
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Fried, roasted or chargrilled: Sydney's a city with a serious appetite for chicken. Just look at the recent influx of chicken joints to the city, which cater to your every chook-based need – from the convenience of drive-throughs to a fresh take on Korean fried chicken, to the traditional Sunday roast. We've rounded up our favourites in the fight for fowl supremacy.

Want more? Check out the Sydney's 53 best restaurants right now. If you're looking to tighten your belt just a notch, check out our list of the city's best cheap eats

Recommended: the best alfresco restaurants in Sydney

We're having chicken tonight

Plates of food at El Jannah
Photograph: Supplied

1. El Jannah

Restaurants Granville

One of the original heavyweights in the Sydney chicken game, El Jannah has been kicking since 1998. The unbeatable garlic sauce is its selling point here – that and a rpice point that means dinner for two here is less than a wine and a bar snack many other places. Hit up locations around Sydney, including Granville, Campbelltown, Penrith, Punchbowl, Blacktown and Newtown. 

BBQ chicken at Henrietta Chicken
Photograph: Supplied/Henrietta C

2. Henrietta

Restaurants Middle Eastern Surry Hills

Crown Street's vibey Lebanese charcoal chicken shop combines fast-casual dining with a little touch of fancy. From the team behind nearby Middle Eastern eatery Nour, Henrietta is dishing up Middle Eastern-style chook (best eaten with a wrap and a slather of garlic sauce) and a selection of bread, dips, pickles and salads.

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3. Butter

Restaurants Surry Hills

Despite its name, this chicken joint is all about fried chicken, Champagne and – oh, yeah – sneakers. Hold the butter. Ex-Nomad chef Julian Cincotta is at the helm of food here. After lining the walls of a Surry Hills corner joint with hip, unusual sneakers and serving up crisp chicken, it made its mark in Parramatta, and opened in Chatswood in late 2020 (with a new charcoal menu). Aside from chicken, you'll find ramen, stuffed doughnuts, kicks from brands like Hypebeast and Raised by Wolves, and of course, bubbles.

 

4. Frango

Shopping Petersham

Another of Sydney's big-hitters, Frango (meaning 'chicken' in Portuguese) has perfected its butterflied and charcoal-grilled mainstay over the 30 years since it first opened up in Sydney. Now there are outlets in Petersham, Smithfield, Bella Vista, Gregory Hills and Penrith, plus Australia's first charcoal chicken drive-through is now officially up and running, thanks to these good folk. 

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5. Hawa Charcoal Chicken

Restaurants Granville

The smell of Granville is surely chicken skin charring to a smoky crisp as fat drips and sizzles onto glowing charcoal below. This expansive eatery does barbecue chicken, Lebanese-style. Garlic sauce is mandatory, with pickles, flat bread, falafel and tabouli on their mammoth mixed plates.

Belle's Hot Chicken bucket
Photograph: Kylie Knight

6. Belles Hot Chicken

Restaurants American Forest Lodge

Melbourne import Belles is now scattered around Sydney, having planted its flag at Tramsheds, Darling Square and Barangaroo. Under the guidance of head chef Morgan McGlone, Belles offers  something for every level of spice tolerance – and you can guess which end the frankly violent-sounding ‘Sex Panther’ sits. Grab another glass of natty wine to go with that one. 

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7. Chicken Shop

Restaurants Paddington

The Chicken Shop on Oxford Street is a lifter not a leaner when it comes to a takeaway dinner. It's the casual tuckshop to Merivale's redux pub, the Paddington, and you can even order online so that your order is ready to go when you are. They use free range, Bannockburn hens, make an ace roast chicken roll and their gravy is some of the best in town.

Roast chicken with potatoes
Photograph: Supplied/Sunday

8. Sunday

Restaurants Potts Point

Sunday is a Potts Point rotisserie by one of the co-founders of Belles Hot Chicken, designed to evoke the casual, hearty comfort of Sunday night family dinners, but set inside a snazzy new restaurant and bar – the best of both worlds.

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Chargrill Charlie's burger and fries
Photograph: Supplied/Chargrill Charlie's

9. Chargrill Charlie's

Restaurants Coogee

This local chain has been in the chicken game for a while, and it's amassed a cult following of its own through its 16 stores spread across Sydney and Melbourne. Grab extra-large chickens, a half or quarter chook, or the classic – a chicken and chip pack – for the ideal pick-me-up after a lazy day of sun-lounging and swimming. 

Charcoal grilled chicken
Photograph: Flickr/Omar Chatriwala

10. Clem's Chicken Shop

This is a mainstay of the Newtown community, providing much needed hangover food for the uni crews, a quick dinner for families on the run, and comforting nostalgia for anyone who grew up with a local chicken shop in their neighbourhood and fueled teenage antics with spicy fried drumsticks and a can of Coke.

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Interior at Thirsty Bird
Photograph: Anna Kucera

11. Thirsty Bird

Restaurants Potts Point

From the team behind Mr Crackles on Oxford Street comes Thirsty Bird – more ace late-night treats for Potts Point and Newtown. Fried chicken is what Thirsty Bird does best – and that's the only thing it's interested in here, be that in the form of a tender, a wing or stuffed in a burger. 

Chicken chips and salad at Sivas Portugese Charcoal Chicken Pete
Photograph: Daniel Boud

12. Silvas

Restaurants Petersham

Petersham is the traditional enclave of Sydney's Portuguese community, and Silvas is a well-kept secret outside of the area (Frango's gets a lot of the limelight). But this unassuming eatery is a charcoal chicken gem. Go for low-key vibes and juicy, juicy chook. 

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Fried chicken on a plate at Goobne
Photograph: Supplied/Scott Ehler

13. Goobne

Restaurants Korean Haymarket

‘Goobne’ means ‘oven-roasted’ in Korean, and it's also the name of the global chicken chain which hit Sydney's shores in 2019. You can find Korean fried chicken all around Sydney, but Goobne's is oven-roasted and doesn't use a drop of oil – it's a healthier alternative for when those resolutions are still going strong.

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