The Vancouver Foodster is inviting Vancouverites to warm up this fall with some some fried chicken. His annual competition is back for another year, and three competitors have their eyes on the title of “best fried chicken” in the city. And this year, I have the honour of being one of the judges. Meaning, I got to visit each participating restaurant, to try their chicken; and judge each based on taste, originality, and presentation.

So my guest and I endeavoured on a chicken marathon, with the goal to try all three in one day. We wanted to be able to compare and contrast, each creation. But only learned how different each restaurant and their seasoned chicken was. This one is definitely subjective. Your chicken of choice is absolutely based on preference. Each a recipe and flavour all its own, chicken that your would gravitate towards for different reasons and occasions.

First stop was Steveston’s “Win Win Chicken”. They were serving up their classic fried chicken as a two piece combo with your choice of two sides. We had one leg and one thigh, with their Filipino sweet style macaroni and homemade gravy. The judging doesn’t include the sides, but they offered a great balance and way to round out your chicken meal.

We caught them at a good time, and our order of chicken came fresh out of the fryer. From the first bite you can tell that they are using quality chicken here. Served hot throughout with a crunchy skin, and juicy dark meat under it. It had a great consistent season to it, the meat just as flavourful as the chicken skin and batter. And we were impressed by how little grease there was to this, the drippings at the bottom of each box was jus, not soon-to-congeal fat. They were cooking with high heat and good oil, and you tasted it.

12160 First Avenue, Richmond BC

Next we hit up the 24 hour fast food chicken joint, “Hi Five”. This was my first time visiting the chain. They currently have two locations, one in Burnaby, and their Marine Drive one; which we were visiting today. They too were serving two pieces of fried chicken with two sides. One giant drum and thigh with a side of potato wedges and coleslaw. Everything is made in house.

The chicken was very crunchy, with a thick breading. You got an audible sound when you sunk your teeth in. Their spicy version didn’t look spicy, you only knew that it was when the creeping heat built up. Overall, the meat was incredibly juicy, and we found ourselves comparing it to and liking it more than “Churches”.

203 SE Marine Drive, Vancouver BC

And we ended our night at “J&G” on Robson Street, for some Taiwanese style fried chicken. Their combo came with three pieces of chicken: 2 drums and 1 thigh, served with sweetened hand cut yam fries and deep fried mini buns with condense milk as dip.

This was fresh chicken marinated in five spice, sesame oil, garlic, and soy sauce. Then dipped in their special formulated wet batter to give the chicken a thin and crispy coating. Each piece is guaranteed made to order so that it is served up piping hot and juicy. For added flavour you can get it spicy in varying degrees with their chilli power. This had a very unique flavour to it, one I haven’t had until here and now. Deep with a layered umami flavour.

J&G Fried Chicken
1706 Robson St, Vancouver BC

I won’t be actually ranking our scoring the fried chicken competitors here, as the judging and the event continues until November 30th. And for those who want to try their hand at judging, you too can try each offering, and then vote for the people’s choice favourite. But be warned, it won’t be easy choosing just one to come out on top.

For more details on this fun way to try new and different fried chicken spots, visit Vancouver Foodster’s website with the link below.

Vancouver Fried Chicken Challenge