With many restaurants offering similar products, consumers are constantly seeking something new and unique; this is particularly the case with fried chicken since the surge of fried chicken in New Zealand, particularly the Korean ones.
Here, I have put together ten places where you can try delicious fried chicken in Central Auckland. If you love fried chicken, I highly recommend trying them all.
Note: the list is not in a particular order.
Jalapeno Chicken and Corn Krunch (pictured above)
Pocha is possibly the busiest and most well-known Korean bar in New Zealand, with massive lines of people waiting outside on busy nights. Famous for their Almond Krunch and many other Korean fried chickens, they recently launched Corn Krunch, where their boneless chickens are coated with corn chip batter.
In addition, their Jalapeno Chicken is also one of my favourites - I highly recommend it!
XL Fried Chicken
Famous for offering Taiwanese fried chicken, Kai Eatery's XL Fried Chicken has always been considered one of Aucklander's favourite fried chickens.
The XL Fried Chicken is made with 100% marinated chicken breast and deep-fried with their house-recipe batter - each bite is super crunchy and juicy. Flavour-wise, I personally like to go with either the Peri Peri or Original (salt + pepper).
Craving Nashville-style hot chicken? Peach's Hot Chicken always seems to make it to the majority of the "Top 10 Fried Chicken" lists and rightfully so.
When it comes to Western-style fried chicken, I personally love wings but at Peach's, I prefer chicken sandwiches, especially with some spice added to them as the buns soak up all the flavours!
My recommendation of The OG burger is very simple yet amazing - fried chicken (get Medium or Hot), pickles and aioli between brioche buns.
During the lockdowns in 2020, I remember ordering Lowbrow wings frequently through UberEats - even via delivery, their thinly-coated fried chicken wings were very crispy... So imagine trying these wings at their place - even better.
They offer five different flavours: Original, Mild & Smoky, Hot Spice, Numb & Spicy and Firecracker. My personal favourite is Mild & Smoky.
Gang Jeong Burger
Whenever I get burgers, most of the time I get it with beef unless I am at Tiger Burger. This Korean-inspired burger place blends Korean flavours into their burgers and the combination is quite brilliant.
Their famous Gang Jeong Burger comes with chilli-soy glazed double-fried chicken thigh fillet, pickled radish, shredded lettuce and gochujang mayo. Unlike most fried chickens, this one is super crunchy while maintaining the juiciness.
When discussing fried chicken waffles, Melba Manukau is actually one of the OGs to offer it on the menu and for years, their Chicken Waffle has been one of the biggest sellers.
House-made parmesan waffle, buttermilk fried chicken, red pepper and maple aioli, crunchy slaw and caramelised onions, served with golden fries.
This savoury chicken waffle is worth driving to Manukau.
Chicken Wings with Hot Buffalo
As one of my favourite places to drink beer in Auckland, The Bavarian also offers affordable yet delicious food.
It seems like almost every time I visited here, there were Chicken Wings with Hot Buffalo sauce on the table. A very fun place to eat and drink with mates.
Hot Chicken Donut
Even before I came across Sneaky Snacky, the concept of the doughnut burger was not new to me as I have worked with clients (i.e. restaurants) previously where I helped launch similar products.
For the Hot Chicken Donut, pick between glazed or plain doughnuts - with Nashville hot chicken thigh, dill mayo, cucumber and American cheese. If you enjoy the traditional sweet and savoury combo of chicken waffles, you will definitely like Sneaky Snacky.
Leg Quarters (Drum & Thigh) with "Thunderbird" flavour
Another popular Korean fried chicken spot, unlike most Korean fried chicken places, My Fried Chicken also offers full drum and thigh pieces.
My personal favourite is their Thunderbird flavour - the chickens are coated in spicy (with a hint of sweetness) sauce.
Since the opening in mid/late 2020, I think I have visited Benedict's at least once a month; I always recommend Benedict's whenever people ask me for cafe recommendations in Auckland.
Whenever I am feeling like eating something small here, I usually get the Karaage Chicken. The boneless, crunchy fried chicken is served with house-made aioli.
Founder & Editor | Say Seowon Song
I am the Founder of Fork & Truffle Magazine and also run Caramel, a creative + strategy agency specialising in hospitality and luxury industries. If you want to check out my photography and see daily updates, visit my Instagram.