Coconuts’ guide to finding great fried chicken joints around Metro Manila

Katherine’s Café’s Cereal Fried Chicken. Photo: Kaka Corral
Katherine’s Café’s Cereal Fried Chicken. Photo: Kaka Corral

There’s no denying that Filipinos are obsessed with fried chicken. Here, we’ve got the dish in all forms — with or without breading, Asian-style and American-style — and we love them all.

U.S. fast food chain Popeyes is set to open multiple branches in the country this year and people are already anticipating the taste of their fried chicken, biscuits, and mashed potatoes.

The hype is real, so we’ve rounded up a list of chicken joints diners can enjoy right now.

The usual suspects

Jollibee

Photo: Jollibee/FB
Photo: Jollibee/FB

Jollibee is and will always be the fried chicken staple in the Philippines, more so now that it has made its way into the hearts of international diners too.

Its Chickenjoy (PHP89/US$1.69/one-piece fried chicken served with rice) is loved for its flavorful crispy skin, juicy meat, and light gravy.

It can be found just about anywhere in the Philippines, making it a go-to for families and office workers alike.

Check its list of branches here.

 

Max’s Restaurant

Photo: Max's website
Photo: Max’s

Max’s is a homegrown restaurant that is a household name in the Philippines.

Their fried chicken is cooked Filipino-style (no breading), resulting in a thin, crisp skin. It’s traditionally eaten with a dipping sauce made of banana ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, and hot sauce found in every table inside the restaurant.

Apart from its iconic chicken, Max’s also serves classic Filipino dishes in all its branches worldwide, making it a go-to for Filipinos abroad.

Check its list of branches here.

 

Ministop 

Uncle John's sriracha glazed chicken. Photo: Ministop website
Uncle John’s sriracha-glazed chicken. Photo: Ministop

Ministop is a 24-hour convenience store chain that serves a mean fried chicken.

It’s called the Uncle John’s fried chicken (PHP70/US$1.33), a breaded bird with a good crunchy-skin-to-juicy meat ratio. It’s usually served with rice but is also available with Filipino-style spaghetti (PHP99/US$1.88).

Those who want something extra can get the Uncle John’s sriracha glazed fried chicken (PHP74/US$1.41), which is tangy and spicy like the popular hot sauce.

Check its list of branches here.

 

Wendy’s 

Photo: Wendy's Philippines/FB
Photo: Wendy’s Philippines/FB

This fast food chain is mostly known for its hamburgers internationally but in the Philippines, it’s their fried chicken that people love.

Theirs is slightly salty and savory with its meat moist. It costs PHP103 (US$1.96) with a cup of rice and gravy.

Tip: Pair it with their signature iced tea and a serving of their Frosty ice cream.

Check its list of branches here.

 

KFC

Photo: KFC Philippines/FB
Photo: KFC Philippines/FB

Of course, this list wouldn’t be complete without Kentucky Fried Chicken.

Its classic fried chicken with rice (PHP89/US$1.69) is a go-to lunch option for students and office workers but they’re also known for their turning just about anything into a chicken dish — including a burrito, burger, and salad.

 

KFC Double Down. Photo: KFC Philippines website
KFC Double Down. Photo: KFC Philippines 

Tip: The Double Down (Original with drink and a side dish: PHP192/US$3.65; Junior size with drink and a side dish: PHP111/US$2.11) is a seasonal must-try item. It’s a sandwich — formed with two pieces of fried chicken fillet rather than hamburger buns — with bacon, cheese, and a special sauce. Of course, here in the Philippines, people usually pair it with an order of rice and a bowl of unlimited gravy.

Check its list of branches.

 

HOT STAR Large Fried Chicken

Photo: HOT STAR Large Fried Chicken Philippines/FB
Photo: HOT STAR Large Fried Chicken Philippines/FB

Taiwan’s famous street-style fried chicken shop first made its way into the country in 2014. It’s known for its large chicken cutlets (more or less comparable to the size of a human face), which is usually big enough for sharing.

There are different fried chicken flavors including the original, BBQ, and sweet & sour, just to name a few.

The signature XXL chicken is priced at PHP165/US$3.14 and its junior size chicken at PHP99/US$1.88.

Check its list of branches here.

 

McDonald’s

Yes, in the Philippines, McDonald’s serves fried chicken. That’s just how much diners love ’em.

In terms of crunch level, the chicken skin is above average. But it has a more subtle or mild taste for its chicken skin. Its gravy, however, has a strong meaty taste which is great to pair with for the whole meal. Customers can order a one-piece Chicken McDo with rice and a drink for PHP110 (US$2.09).

Photo: McDonalds Philippines website
Photo: McDonald’s Philippines

Check its list of branches here.

 

Frankie’s New York Buffalo Wings

Photo: Frankie's New York Buffalo Wings/FB
Photo: Frankie’s New York Buffalo Wings/FB

People continue to wait in long lines just to get a taste of this home-grown restaurant’s chicken. And for good reason.

Their fried wings are the best kind of savory and come in several flavors like classic Buffalo-style, cheesy bacon, spicy Caribbean jerk, honey mustard, and salted egg, among others. Fans of the restaurant recommend flavors like the garlic parmesan, honey garlic, and Nagoya tebasaki.

A half dozen is PHP199 (US$3.78) while a dozen wings is PHP369/US$7.01.

Check its list of branches here.

 

The cool chicks

Birdhouse

Photo: Roasted Garlic Parmesan/FB
Roasted Garlic Parmesan. Photo: Kaka Corral

Birdhouse is a local fried chicken restaurant that first opened in Uptown Place Mall, Taguig City in 2016.

It offers a wide range of flavored wings, but the bestselling ones are the Roasted Garlic Parmesan and Smokehouse BBQ (PHP199/US$3.78/6pcs; PHP395/US$7.51/12pcs).

The Roasted Garlic Parmesan wings are coated in garlic and roasted cheese, which gives it a salty yet tangy balance. The Smokehouse BBQ wings are smoky with deep flavors.

Smokehouse BBQ. Photo: Kaka Corral
Smokehouse BBQ. Photo: Kaka Corral

Check its list of branches.

 

Stories by LilyPad

Stories by LilyPad's Godofried Chicken. Photo: Kaka Corral
Stories by LilyPad’s Godofried Chicken. Photo: Kaka Corral

Stories by LilyPad is a nice little neighborhood restaurant in Quezon City, offering comfort meals and some good sweets.

It serves all-day breakfast items and a delicious grilled cheese sandwich with tomato soup.

A must-try though is the Godo Fried Chicken (PHP298/US$5.67), which consists of two pieces of fried chicken — a thigh and a drumstick — garlic rice, and a zesty but creamy vinaigrette.

Tip: Try a cookie! Theirs is crunchy, with a chance of melty chocolate chips

FIND IT:

Stories by Lilypad is at 46 Times St., West Triangle, Quezon City
Operating Hours: Tuesday to Sunday 7am to 10pm
Contact: +639 568240094

 

Bucky’s

Photo: Buckys/FB
Photo: Bucky’s/FB

Local restaurant Bucky’s is known for its “non-brownie” brownies and its modern comfort food.

It serves all kinds of dessert but it also frequented for its Fried Chicken with Mashed Potatoes (PHP275/US$5.23). The two-piece double fried chicken is cooked to a golden brown and until crunchy. It is served with buttery country gravy and roasted garlic mashed potatoes

Tip: Grab some dessert after. We recommend parfait, soft-serve ice cream mixed with dark chocolate chips, marshmallows, crushed polvoron (powdered milk candy), salted caramel syrup, and brownie chunks.

FIND IT:

Bucky’s has two branches at:

5666 Don Pedro St., Poblacion, Makati City
Operating Hours: Tuesday to Thursday, 11 am — 10 pm; Friday to Sunday, 11 am — 11 pm
Contact: +639 167545140

The Grid Food Market, Power Plant Mall, Rockwell, Makati City
Operating Hours: Monday to Thursday, 11am – 9pm, Friday to Sunday, 10am – 9pm

 

Kko Kko

Photo: Kko Kko/FB
Photo: Kko Kko/FB

Korean restaurant Kko Kko has at least 13 locations scattered around the metro after its first branch opened in 2016. It’s best known for its Chicken Cheese Fondue (PHP698/US$13.27/half order good for two to three persons; PHP1,098/US$20.88/whole order good for three to four persons).

The dish has melted cheese in a bread bowl served with fries, onion rings, and boneless chicken chunks tossed in a sauce of your choice.

Check its list of branches here.

 

Dulcelin Gourmet X HogsHaven Smokehouse

Photo: Dulcelin Gourmet X HogsHaven Smokehouse/FB
Photo: Dulcelin Gourmet X HogsHaven Smokehouse/FB

This Asian fusion restaurant serves comfort food and its buttermilk fried chicken (PHP299/US$5.68) is the absolute bomb. It comes in big cuts and a regular order can feed two people.

Customers can also order a large serving (PHP699/US$13.29) fit for a group of five to six.

It comes with homemade sausage gravy and maple syrup that diners pour over the chicken for a mix of savory and sweet flavors.

Tip: For dessert, we recommend trying their specialty mango torte (PHP150/US$2.85/slice) — a cake with a frozen nutty crust, fresh mangoes, and cream.

FIND IT:

Dulcelin Gourmet X HogsHaven Smokehouse is at 2 West 4th St. Quezon Ave., Quezon City
Operating Hours: Monday to Sunday, 6:30am to 10pm
Contact: +632 374-2165

 

Chubby Chicken

Photo: Chubby Chicken/FB
Photo: Chubby Chicken/FB

American-style restaurant Chubby Chicken offers Chicken Strips (PHP135/US$2.57), which come with rice or fries and a sweet, tangy dip. Customers can choose to have their chicken strips sweet or spicy or mixed.

Tip: Try the soft and chewy fried Oreos (PHP99/US$1.88) for dessert.

FIND IT:

Chubby Chicken has two branches at:

Unit 18, G/F, Xavier Residence, Esteban Abada Cor. Rosa Alvero St., Loyola Heights, Quezon City
Operating Hours: Monday to Sunday, 10:30am10:30pm
Contact: +63 9172526480

3/F, Jarasa Building, Regalado West, Fairview, Quezon City
Operating Hours: Monday to Sunday, 10am10pm
Contact: +632 427-2222

 

Kettle

Photo: Kettle/FB
Photo: Kettle/FB

Southern-style restaurant Kettle offers comfort food, which includes a hearty but not greasy buttermilk fried chicken (PHP289/US$5.49/solo; PHP589/US$11.19/platter).

Their chicken skin is crunchy and its meat tender.

An order consists of two chicken fillets with big corn muffins. One solo order is good for two people, while the platter is good for three to four people.

FIND IT:

Kettle has two branches at:

5/F, East Wing of Shangri-La Mall in Mandaluyong City
Contact: +632 696-0936

5/F, SM Aura’s Sky Park Dining in Taguig City
Contact: +632 887-3564

 

Bad Bird

Photo: Bad Bird/FB
Photo: Bad Bird/FB

Umami rhymes with yummy. Coincidence?

Chicken joint Bad Bird is best known for its Umami Fried Chicken (PHP290/US$5.52) that has breading dredged with spices that bring out the fifth taste.

It’s inspired by Japanese and Korean flavors and comes with dirty rice and pickles.

Customers can order according to their preferred spices: safe, spicy, and chemical. They also have a choice of several Japanese and/or Korean-inspired side dishes.

Check its list of branches here.

 

Fat Daddy’s Smokehouse

Photo: Fat Daddy's Smokehouse/IG
Photo: Fat Daddy’s Smokehouse/IG

The Southern-inspired smokehouse and barbecue restaurant serves all things smoked and grilled. But for those looking for something fried, the Southern-style buttermilk fried chicken (PHP390/US$7.41) should not be missed.

It consists of two pieces of chicken thigh fillet marinated in buttermilk and spices. It comes with a side dish of your choice, honey, homemade gravy on the side, and a corn muffin.

FIND IT:

Fat Daddy’s Smokehouse is at G/F, UP Town Center, Katipunan Ave., Diliman, Quezon City
Operating Hours: Monday to Sunday, 11am9pm
Contact: +632 717-4482

 

Moonshine

Photo: Moonshine PH/FB
Photo: Moonshine PH/FB

Moonshine is a speakeasy in Pasig City that hosted casual parties but it doesn’t just serve the oh-so-usual bar chow.

The American-Filipino resto-pub has the JFC (PHP400/US$7.61), boneless fried chickens served with citrus coleslaw, house gravy, and creamy mashed potato.

FIND IT:

Moonshine has two branches at:

The Sapphire Bloc, Sapphire Cor. Onyx Corner Garnet Rd., Ortigas, Pasig City
Operating Hours: Monday to Thursday, 10am — 3am, Friday to Saturday, 10am — 4am, Sunday, 10am — 3am
Contact: +63 9278000920

Glorietta 1, Roofdeck, Makati City
Monday to Thursday, 11am — 11pm, Friday, 11am — 12midnight, Saturday to Sunday, 10am — 12midnight
Contact: +63 9452088437; +632 950-3213

 

Catabolic Café

Catabolic Café's Chicken & Waffles. Photo: Kaka Corral
Catabolic Café’s Chicken & Waffles. Photo: Kaka Corral

The Catabolic Café is a local comfort food restaurant in Quezon City’s Malingap St., just a street away from the famous eat street Maginhawa.

The Chicken & Waffles (PHP270/US$5.14) combo is a bestseller with its peppery taste that comes from a spice marinade. It comes with a special spicy-sweet maple syrup, which gives the chicken a sweet and spicy kick.

It also has two fluffy waffles and some butter.

FIND IT:

Catabolic Café is at 22 Malingap St., Brgy. Teachers Village West, Quezon City
Operating Hours: Monday to Sunday, 11am — 11pm
Contact: +632 366-8822

 

Katherine’s Café 

Katherine's Café's Cereal Fried Chicken. Photo: Kaka Corral
Katherine’s Café’s Cereal Fried Chicken. Photo: Kaka Corral

This local resto serves American-Filipino comfort food. The place is very inviting with its bright and cheery interiors, neon signs, and food quotes on the walls.

The Cereal Fried Chicken (PHP368/US$7) is cereal-crusted buttermilk fried chicken (either classic or spicy) served with rice or fries, and milk gravy.

Its chicken skin is delicious and perfect for serious food ‘grammers because they’re beautifully golden brown.

The skin is crunchy, the meat succulent, and the milk gravy is pleasantly sweet and tangy.

FIND IT:

Katherine’s Café has two branches at:

1/F, Ayala Malls Vertis North, Bagong Pag-Asa, Quezon City
Operating Hours: Monday to Sunday 10am — 11pm
Contact: +63 9177760928

2/F, Glorietta 3, Ayala Center, Glorietta Complex, Makati City
Operating Hours: Monday to Sunday 10am — 10pm
Contact: +63 9279618365

 

Señor Pollo 

Photo: Señor Pollo/IG
Photo: Señor Pollo/IG

Señor Pollo‘s Latin-style chicken is one of the best of its kind in Manila.

Its one-piece Fried Chicken is priced at PHP179/US$3.40 and is served with two side dishes and gravy.

The meat is moist and tender, its skin is crackly and peppery. The cuts are big and the chicken itself is flavorful enough on its own without the gravy — but don’t deny yourself of the similarly peppery tasting gravy.

Check its list of branches.

 

Nono’s

Photo: Nono's website
Photo: Nono’s

Nono’s is a local comfort food restaurant owned by Chef Baba Ibazeta Benedicto, who launched the restaurant after her successful venture into desserts with the Classic Confections dessert shop.

Nono’s Homestyle Fried Chicken (PHP565/US$10.75) has two pieces of crispy boneless chicken fillet with country-style gravy, served with dinner rolls, pieces of corn on a cob, and a choice between rice or fries.

Check its list of branches here.

 

Cranium Board Game Lounge + Resto

Photo: Cranium Board Game Lounge + Resto/FB
Photo: Cranium Board Game Lounge + Resto/FB

This casual dining restaurant near De La Salle University in Manila is a go-to chicken joint for college students because of its immense amount of board games, and its unlimited chicken wings deal.

The unlimited wings and board games promo is priced between PHP298 — PHP328 (US$5.68 — US$6.25), depending on the time. They come in different flavors like soy Korean, honey BBQ, spicy sriracha, mild buffalo, and mango habanero, to name a few.

The deal also comes with unlimited rice and iced tea.

FIND IT:

Cranium Board Game Lounge + Resto is at G/F, D’ University Place, 2421 Leon Guinto Sr. St., Malate, Manila
Operating Hours: Monday to Thursday, 11am — 11pm; Friday to Sunday 11am — 1am
Contact: +639 17873 2313

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