Best Fried Chicken in Melbourne

Updated December 1st, 2022


There's a sort of primitive pleasure to eating fried chicken. You're gnawing the bones to get at the last morsels of meat and your fingers are all covered in grease. It's real caveman stuff. Would you have it any other way, though? It's way more fun than using cutlery or even nibbling carefully at the edge of a burrito.

So choose a style (American or Korean?), a cut (thigh or wing?) and your spice level, and get stuck in.

Related pages:
Best Burgers in Melbourne
Best Tacos in Melbourne
Best Late-Night Eats in Melbourne

  • Inspired by Nashville, the original home of hot chicken. True to form, the most blistering variant here has been known to make people cry – in a good way.

  • Moist, zesty and actually tastes like chicken, rather than last week’s oil. Juanita’s bird almost doesn't need the optional honey mustard, ranch or “boss sauce”. But you definitely should try it with them.

  • Gami was among the first Korean fried chicken chains to land its bird in Melbourne over a decade ago. Now it has 24 stores across town, with some of the most cheap-and-cheerful chook on this list; best devoured with a side of pickled radish and slaw.

  • When it landed in New York, Eater magazine named this Korean chain the best fried chicken in the city. And now, it's in Melbourne. Tender, crisp fried chicken made using a method perfected over 40 years.

  • Last time we checked, Leonard’s original seasoning was a classic blend of onion, garlic, paprika and cayenne. That recipe may well have changed, but it’s not important – this place will never lose its loving touch.

  • Sonny’s Fried Chicken & Burgers is the Curtin’s formidable in-house kitchen. Here you can choose white or dark meat, half and whole birds, plus every kind of Southern-style side you could shake a drumstick at.

  • Down-home comfort food is the specialty at this New Orleans-inspired smokehouse. Sure, the fall-apart-tender pork and juicy brisket are both hard to look past. But you should take a chance on the buttermilk-soaked tenders, served with white gravy and pickled jalapenos.

  • Towering KFC-style buckets, succulent tenders and popcorn pieces are the tip of the wing at this Southern-influenced joint. Lashings of the house peach sauce are highly encouraged.

  • The protruding bone on Lagoon’s togarashi-dusted chicken chop is the perfect device for dragging the meaty end through a tangy glop of bulldog sauce.

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  • The snacky menu at this outstanding craft beer bar is izakaya-influenced, which means edamame, tempura, yakitori skewers and a banging kaarage chicken that’s perfect with a few suds.

  • Replicating an American truckers rest stop comes with its caveats: the burgers should be a formidable two-handed affair, and the fried chicken needs to be served with waffles or without. You can get the whole hog here.

  • The exact dressings rotate frequently, but this fun Thai restaurant and bar always puts a fiery twist on its crisp fried chicken ribs. Plus you can usually get them till late.

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  • Jessi Singh's vibrant diner deals in “unauthentic” Indian food. Look no further than the IFC (“Indian Fried Chicken”) served with mustard seed mayo and pickles.

  • A red neon arrow beckons you inside for a choose-your-own-chicken adventure. Just decide what cut, heat and sauce you want – then add on silky mash with 48-hour gravy and some wads of garlic-butter brioche.

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