Charcoal chicken shops were popular in Melbourne long before fried chicken did. They can still be found anywhere and are always a good bet for grabbing a charred chicken breast and a bag of chicken-salt chips.
A new variety of chicken restaurants, however, has just emerged. Some of us are run by ex-chefs looking to get away from night duties, while others are operated by folks with no formal training but a lot of enthusiasm.
Even though the pricing and atmospheres may differ, the next-generation method of cooking is always the same: free-range as well as organic birds cooked slowly and carefully. Beer marinades, specialised smoking wood, and even homemade chicken salt are all on the table.
FAQs About Melbourne
Many chicken shops are located in Melbourne's CBD, all of which serve tasty chicken, but Hatch'd, Cookshop Rotisserie and Super Tasty Rooster are some of the best.
There are 2,664 Takeaway Chicken Shops businesses in Australia as of 2022, an increase of 1.4% from 2021.
The only gluten-free items are the chicken and the chips and perhaps some of the salads. The gravy is not gluten-free.
This list includes casual dining, fast-casual, and fast-food restaurants that typically specialise in chicken dishes such as fried chicken, chicken and waffles, Chicken sandwiches, or biscuits. Sometimes a chicken restaurant may be referred to as a "chicken shack".
Melbourne was the capital of Australia from 1901-1927. The capital then shifted to Canberra, which remains the capital to this day. In 1850 during the Victoria Gold Rush, Melbourne became the richest and largest city in the world. In 1906, the world's first-ever feature film was shot in Melbourne.
It's simple, yet this method of "excellent chicken done correctly" is effective. A quarter, half, or whole free-range version grilled over the coals and offered with stuffing, roasted vegetables, chips, salad, and gravy; designed as much for take-out or catering.
With a pedigree in fine dining, Founded on the principle of "do one thing competently," this sleek, cutting-edge coop focuses solely on providing customers with ethically and sustainably raised chicken. Each chicken is chemical-free rotisserie roasted because of being brined for nights and seasoned with bush spices.
Pickett's Deli & Rotisserie
To hell with the mundane. Pickett puts the chicken in the spotlight where she belongs. A sophisticated rotisserie slowly frying Bannockburn poultry to perfection will have you mesmerised as you perch at the tabletop of this eatery in the historic Queen Victoria Market. Melbourne chef and businessman Scott Pickett is responsible for the New York-style setting.
Do you like to be naked or clothed? In other words, this chicken is perfect for those who are watching their waistlines. Locally raised chicken is served alongside a variety of organic salads, veggies, and house-made sauces at this restaurant run by four Italian siblings. Due to its artistic atmosphere, it is frequently frequented by locals.
Need your chicken fix at 3 in the morning? We are a 24 hour establishment located in a classic Melbourne laneway This vintage-style tavern, café, and concert hall serves up some tasty chicken. The kitchen takes great pleasure in its enormous Brazilian rotisserie, and it also offers fried options with glazes like honey/butter.
After being sick of the same old thing, "Fox" came up with the brilliant idea of opening a new den that specialised in providing organic, free-range roast chickens alongside a variety of creative salads and vegetables. As word of Fox's plan spread, more and more dens popped up in Melbourne's outer neighbourhoods. With titles like "The Vixen," "The Fantastic Mr. Fox," and "The Sly Fox," who could say no to the roast chicken rolls?
Rockwell & Sons
Monday nights at this trendy Collingwood cafe are best described as "winner, winner, chicken supper." After a slow brining procedure that includes massage and buttermilk, the birds are fried and served the with chef's prefered accompaniments. Because of the high demand, reservations for these weekly dinners must be made several days in advance, and the offer is limited to entire chickens.
Belle's Hot Chicken
From Nashville comes this 1950s-style diner Melbourne serves up authentic southern fried the chicken with both traditional accompaniments like coleslaw and more modern additions like roasted pumpkin salad. The idea is straightforward: pick your meat and temperature. The meat is the simple part; the sauce is where things get interesting, so consider your heat tolerance before placing an order.
Gami Chicken And Beer
What was once a little store in the suburbs has grown into the talk of the poultry industry. Four Korean college freshmen in 2006 were planning for their futures. They finally located it. as a chicken. The Korean word for "exquisite taste" is "gami." That's also what you'll find in each of the stores that are steadily multiplying – Korean chicken-style plus local Melbourne craft beer.
Centre Charcoal Chicken
In Melbourne, we found Centre Barbecue Chicken in Bentleigh to be the best option for charcoal chicken. Centre Charcoal Chicken is smoked for an hour and twenty minutes over coal, giving it the most distinct smokiness of any chicken. The result is a chicken with crisp skin and tender meat. Homemade chicken salt is used to marinate the Lilydale free-range chicken, and it is also used to generously season the chips that are fresh out of the deep fryer and are light and airy with a satisfying crunch. Everything we dip into it, from curry sauce chicken strips coated in rice bubbles to creamy scalloped potatoes studded with sliced fried bacon, tastes great because of the gravy's silky texture and robust peppery undertones. Chicken dim sims with generous amounts of batter and cabbage will also be available, much to the delight of dimmy enthusiasts. Although Centre Charcoal Chicken is mostly a takeout establishment, it does include a few tables for diners who prefer to enjoy their meal in the company of others. While the chicken gyros here are famous, the lamb gyros are just as good because they're all cooked over charcoal.
Preston Chicken Shack
It's easy to miss Preston Chicken Shack, one of many stores around the Preston Southwest Shopping Centre; just keep an eye out for the ones with the polyester strip curtains. Many regulars know the owners, Cathy and William, by name and frequent their family-run chicken business. The chicken leg piece is larger than at other places, with more breasts and thighs, and it has a nice sear on the skin and a huge flavour punch from the peppers and salt used in the cooking process. Stuffing made with chicken from Preston Chicken Shack is as flavorful as that from Coles rotisserie chicken, but amped up to 11. It's really moist, just like the greatest charcoal chicken we've tried. The chips really stand out because of the excellent balance between the chicken salt and the crunchiness of the chips. Fans of potato cakes will find that they are just as light and airy as their chip counterparts. The tabbouleh, cucumber, and tomato salad is freshly made and lavishly seasoned with olive oil, making it a great choice as a green side dish.
Chicken Workshop is run by a husband-and-wife team who clearly adore one another and work together so well that you can just taste the labour of love in their dishes. In addition, it tastes great. Rather than fried dim sims like potato cakes, this is where you go for incredible Reuben sandwiches stuffed with homemade pastrami and chicken filling. Juicy roast chickens turn on a rotisserie, herbs and fat from the bird are incorporated into the silky sauce, and gyros are also offered. A place to satisfy any craving for sandwiches, burgers, chicken, or souvlaki.
Variety has been the spice of life, or to at least it is at Soho institution Hatch'd, which does ordinary unlimited access charcoal chicken, Spanish seared chicken and Portuguese chargrilled chicken. The man working the counter markets the honey bbq Spanish chicken as such sweet kind, the Portuguese chicken as fiery. He's probably kidding – the Portuguese chicken will rate as 'light' on the Nando's chilli scale, but there's a depth of pepper flavour that lingers to the chicken skin after being roasted over charcoal for at minimum an hour and a half. The Portuguese as well as Spanish fowl are entirely grain products – i.e. sans packing – but we taste the stuffing of the standard chicken and discover it's herb-filled but little dry. The chips are heated to light gold and showered in generous sprinkling of poultry salt, but they'll be let down due to being too battered. Why that doesn't letting Hatch'd back is its noteworthy gravy — it's a darker brown much richer than the light varieties usual everywhere else. Hatch'd a touch finer than your ordinary chicken restaurant, which means its large range of fresh salad is a touch more interesting as well. Try the basil fusilli pasta salad sprinkled with tangy bursts of light apricots or the deceptively satisfying celery, garbanzo and feta salad.
Residents in Richmond are familiar with Sachin, who works at the welcoming, family-run business Smokey Chooks. The skin of this free-range Bannockburn chicken is the crispiest of any we've tried; it's paper thin and melts in your mouth thanks to the addition of rosemary and salt before roasting over a coal rotisserie. The chips' rosemary spice makes them taste just like Grill'd's. But the roast pumpkin, carrot, pine nut, and spinach salad tastes fresher than the ordinary chicken shop salad, and the thick pounded potato cakes keep crunchy under their hefty coating of chicken salt. Chicken nuggets with roast veggies are also highly recommended. Smokey Chook's chicken is halal and gluten-free, much to the delight of those with coeliac disease.
Super Tasty Rooster
Super Tasty Rooster is the major competitor of Cookshop in the inner north, and it attracts a customer base as eclectic as the speciality coffee shops and cafés in the area. The quarter chicken at Super Tasty Rooster is plenty and delicious, but some bites are a little dry. Its golden chips, bathed in poultry salt, are its shining star. Unfortunately, the potato cake, which is battered quite thinly, shares the chicken salt problem with the chips. On the other hand, the chicken croquette and the creamy pasta au gratin with peppers and streaky bacon are both delicious complements to the main dish. Salads are simple but filling. You might also discover rizogalo which has Greek roots like Super Tasty Rooster, to be a suitable dessert, despite its sickeningly sugary execution.
Mcmanus Chicken Bar
To get your hands on some McManus crinkle cut chips, you'll have to wait a long because they're fried to order. McManus' owner of 18 years, Dave Chen, makes sure your takeout orders stay fresh by leaving the plastic box lid slightly ajar. Possibly this is why they were voted the finest chips in Houston in the 2019 Nova100 poll; the chips keep their crunch and a generous sprinkling of house-made "secret" chicken salt cling to every ridge. When dipped into the rich brown gravy, they become even more delicious. The chicken that was roasted for two hours was not as successful, tasting harsh and dry in certain places, while the charcoal skin was tasty. The Keen has the greatest curry-infused macaroni salad and buttery scalloped potatoes of any chicken store. The latter dish is reminiscent of British colonial delicacies like kedgeree.
Sunshine Charcoal Chicken
The Filipino-style Spanish chicken at Sunshine Charcoal Chicken is what the restaurant is known for, and it doesn't disappoint. Tender on the inside with caramelized undertones in the blistered exterior, this chicken is the result of a marinade of garlicky fragrant soy and time spent between two metal grills. Chicken nuggets are bite-sized chunks of chicken that are both battered and juicy on the breast. In the same vein, the potato cakes at Sunshine Charcoal Chicken are expertly fried and pair wonderfully with the restaurant's signature Sriracha sauce, which is produced in-house and is tangy and vindictive. The chips are fine, but they don't knock it out of the park. However, you should avoid the salads because they are drowning in mayonnaise. Ignore the disposable silverware and proceed with your bare hands.
Located on a hill among the residential areas of Croydon, the upscale Mon Poulet chicken restaurant is without a doubt the most upscale chicken establishment we have ever encountered. French dishes like terrine and patate chaude, as well as more affordable options like quarter chicken and fries, are prepared by former Yering Station celebrity chef Maxim Croiset. The portions are little, and the pork loin roast chicken doesn't have the same sear and smoke flavour as other options. Patate chaude's description, "hot potato with — about the size and gruyere," sounds delicious, but the dish itself is disappointing. Sandwiched between two slices of chargrilled baked potato, the béchamel lacks the traditional nutmeg and salt flavours. Mon Poulet's hand-cut chips, which forgo poultry salt in favour of regular old table salt but aren't any less delicious because of it, are excellent thanks to their exceptional fluffiness and well timed frying. Our favourite side dish is a honey-drizzled salad of roasted cauliflower and pine nuts; the florets are heated to a golden crisp while staying juicy, and the honey gives the dish a sweet, caramel flavour.
Fairfield Rooster Bar
There is plenty of indoor and outdoor seating at Rooster Bar, and the salads in bain-maries reach as far as the eye can still see. We choose the Portuguese chicken at Rooster Bar above the standard charcoal chicken because it has a more robust flavour profile and a delightfully caramelised, crisp skin. We were disappointed to find that the meat behind the skin was not as juicy or flavorful as we had imagined. The chips have a great texture, consistency, and integrity, but they could need some poultry salt. The mac and cheese has a sauce that tastes like scalloped potatoes and is more like penne n cheese with chicken. Coleslaw and macaroni salad, brightened with sun-dried tomatoes, parsley, and a big glug of olive oil, are safe bets if you're craving a salad.
The Hot Bird
There are no disposable plastics in sight, free-range chickens are the main attraction, and whole-wheat buns are used for the burgers. Classics such as Greek salad & coleslaw are available alongside seasonal options, but be warned: the salads offered here are so wonderful that they tend to disappear quickly. The chicken is moist and tender, and the chips are fresh and gluten-free; they can be topped with melted cheese, fried chicken, the Hot Bird's special sauce, and loops of spring onion.
These restaurants include organic, free-range roast chickens with a selection of fresh, original salads and veggies. The newest Melbourne chicken restaurants are Gami Chicken and Beer, Preston Chicken Shack, and Centre Charcoal Chicken. Gami, which literally means "chicken" in Korean, is the word meaning "exquisite taste" in the language. The Preston Chicken Shack is just one of the many great restaurants and shops in the Preston Southwest Shopping Centre. Regulars at Cathy and William's family-run chicken business likely know them by name.
Silky sauce is made using herbs and fat from a roast chicken cooked on a rotisserie. Chicken, prepared both traditionally and without gluten for those who must avoid it due to a medical condition, is among the options for halal diners. The use of rosemary and salt makes the chicken in this roast so tender that it practically dissolves in your mouth. In Houston, Cookshop's main rival is Super Tasty Rooster. In the 2019 Nova100 poll, McManus crinkle cut chips came out on top as the best chips in Houston.
The two-hour-roasted chicken turned out harsh and dry in spots. At Sunshine Charcoal, located in Croydon, London, we recommend the Spanish chicken and pork loin roast chicken, both prepared in a Filipino way. Maxim Croiset, the former celebrity chef of Yering Station, is known for his authentic French cuisine. Burgers are served on whole-wheat buns, and the main draw is free-range chicken. The chips are excellent in terms of texture, consistency, and structural integrity, although they might benefit from being seasoned with additional poultry salt.
- You can find Korean-style chicken and Melbourne's own craft beer at any of the ever-growing number of stores.
- Preston Chicken Shack's chicken makes for stuffing that's 11 times as tasty as stuffing made with chicken from Coles rotisserie chicken.
- A great spot to satisfy your sandwich, burger, chicken, or souvlaki cravings.
- Hatch'd, a Soho tradition, offers endless charcoal chicken, Spanish seared chicken, and Portuguese chargrilled chicken, proving that variety is the spice of life.
- Richmond locals will recognise Sachin from his time spent at the friendly, family-owned business Smokey Chooks.
- Chicken from Smokey Chook is both halal and gluten-free, making it a great option for individuals with food sensitivities.
- Super Tasty Rooster's quarter chicken is large and tasty, however some bits are dry.
- The chips retain their crunch and a hefty dusting of house-made "secret" chicken salt clings to every ridge, which may be why they were chosen the finest chips in Houston in the 2019 Nova100 poll.
- The restaurant's signature dish, Spanish chicken prepared in a Filipino way, never fails to satisfy.
- The Portuguese chicken at Rooster Bar is our go-to instead of the charcoal chicken because the flavour is deeper and the skin is more wonderfully caramelised and crisp.
- Hot Bird's chicken is juicy and tender, and the chips are crisp and gluten-free; they go great with melted cheese, fried chicken, Hot Bird's sauce, and snipped green onions.