(SPOT.ph) Pinoys love themselves some fried chicken. While we all grow up eating fried chicken as a viand, the recent emergence of fried-chicken sandwiches in the Manila food scene has had us trading in the usual rice for buns, slaw, pickles, and more sandwich fixins. What makes a good fried-chicken sandwich still constitutes the same thing we look for in a typical fried-chicken dish—crispy skin, juicy meat, and a sizeable serving… but now coupled with a bun we can sink our teeth into and condiments, add-ons, and extras that either contrast or complement the fried-chicken filling.
These fried-chicken sandwiches all make the cut and, as a bonus, are delivery or take-out friendly too. (Note that for this list, we focused on non-spicy contenders.) It’s good to know you’ve got your fried chicken cravings covered in the middle of the pandemic.
All SPOT.ph Top 10 lists are researched, paid for, tested, and selected by the writers and editors. They are discreetly conducted without any notice made to the establishments or their owners.
Looking for a great fried chicken sandwich? These are the best versions you can order in Manila:
10. Fried Chicken Burger from Brothers Burger
If you’re ravenous and craving fried chicken, make Brothers’ Burger’s Fried Chicken Burger (P220) your go-to meal. Fixins wise, you get heaping servings of fresh lettuce (they taste like they’re freshly picked from the farm) and tomatoes, plus a slathering of mayo that turns this simple sandwich into something a little more luxe. Cooked with a schnitzel-like breading, it’ll give you a comforting dose of crunch that complements the lightness of the veggies. Brothers Burger has been around for years and its Fried Chicken Burger tastes like home. This savory, salty, tasty treat is a no-brainer.
See a list of Brothers Burger branches.
9. Cuckoo Chix ‘Wich from Cuckoo Chicken
The Moment Group’s delivery-only concept Cuckoo Chicken is known for its wings and bundles, but its Chix ‘Wich (P220) rightfully deserves the spotlight. Sweet and ever so slightly spicy, it’s perfect for those who want a sandwich but are also looking for some Korean flavor. The generous smattering of sesame seeds on this sandwich’s bun adds to its K-appeal, but what really brightens up the crispiness of its chicken is the coolness and crunch of the coleslaw topping your chicken patty. If you’re looking for a bold-tasting treat, this is the sandwich for you. Take note that Cuckoo Chicken takes a minimum of P500 on their orders, so you’ll want to top up your sandwich with some other Cuckoo goodies.
Check out Cuckoo Chicken on Moment Food’s website.
8. Southern Chicken Burger from Hackensack
If you’ve been missing big crowds, fairgrounds, and backyard party vibes throughout the pandemic, you might want to take a bite of Hackensack’s Southern Chicken Burger (P235). The fried chicken you get in this sandwich tastes just like a meatier, heftier version of a corndog—the breading is mouth-watering and adds a more American edge to the usual Pinoy-style fried chicken we’re used to. You’re also not just getting a whole bunch of fried stuff in this sandwich as Hackensack piles on the greens and the pickles too. The contrast between the southern spice of the chicken and the sour, vinegary coolness of the pickles is right on target.
See a list of Hackensack branches.
7. Bad Bird Fried Chicken Sandwich from Bad Bird
If cheeseburgers are a fast-food staple, why can’t chicken sandwiches with cheese be a regular on every sandwich joint’s menu? Bad Bird’s Fried Chicken Sandwich (P290) features boneless fried chicken thigh bursting with umami. If you think it’s a shame when restaurants scrimp on full-on flavor, then this is definitely the sandwich for you. Accompanied by a slice of cheddar cheese and basil cream, this sandwich delivers an incredibly indulgent fried chicken-sandwich experience.
See a list of Bad Bird branches.
6. Fried Chicken on Bun from Exchange Alley Coffee House
A new offering from Molito’s popular coffee joint, Exchange Alley’s Fried Chicken on Bun (P340) is surprisingly refreshing for a hefty chunk of meat coupled with soft and tender buns that yield to the touch. The chicken itself possesses flavorful spice and is pleasantly tender. Paired, however, with a generous serving of pickles, the sandwich reaches unparalleled heights with its combination of crunch and succulence. If you’re looking for an interesting combination of sour and spice, lightness and substance, and binge-worthy flavor, then you won’t go wrong with Exchange Alley’s pitch. Bonus? It comes with fries too. Hard to say no to that.
Exchange Alley Coffee House is at Unit 3 Molito Lifestyle Extension, Madrigal Avenue, Alabang, Muntinlupa.
5. Chicken French Quarter Burger from Popeyes
Fried chicken is a fast-food staple, but not every drive-thru or delivery joint gets its fried-chicken sandwiches right. Popeyes, which is known for its Southern fried chicken, has a Chicken French Quarter Burger (P126) that will be worth a round (or two, or three) at the drive-thru. The sandwich is fully loaded with bacon, tomato, lettuce, a huge chunk of chicken, and a secret sauce that ties everything together in a neat fast-food-but-better package. Popeyes chicken has a certain homemade zing to it—the mix of spices tastes wholesome, elevated, and feels like you’re taking part in a recipe that’s been passed on from generation to generation. You get more bang for your buck than you’ll ever bargain for with this fried chicken sandwich.
See a list of Popeyes branches.
4. Chicken Caesar Burger from Burger Beast by Chef Carlo Miguel
Chef Carlo Miguel gets points for putting a unique take on his fried-chicken sandwich called the Chicken Caesar Burger (P199). This chunky sandwich tastes like a salad in a bun—it’s surprisingly light, even with some bacon and egg thrown in on top of obligatory salad greens (honestly, they’re so minimal that even the veggie averse could chomp through this without difficulty). What’s interesting about this sandwich is that the crunchiness of the chicken mimics the crunch you’d get from a smattering of croutons in your salad. This salad is zesty and bright—perfect for the summer.
Check out Burger Beast’s Instagram page.
3. Chick’n Shack from Shake Shack
Forego your usual burger order the next time you go for some Shake Shack—this one won’t disappoint. The Chick’n Shack (P250) is bold-flavored, extremely crispy, and is slow-cooked sous vide to peppery, spice-filled perfection in a creamy buttermilk marinade. The cayenne pepper and guajillo blend is unmistakable—intrepid yet inoffensive. Topped with a generous serving of coleslaw, you’ll also get a dose of acidity and crunch thanks to the generous serving of pickles stuffed inside. Overall, you get a harmonious symphony of flavor and texture with this sandwich. It may be expensive for “fast food,” but it is certainly worth your money.
See a list of Shake Shack branches.
2. Fried Chicken Bun Regular from Po Manila
If you’re ready to veer away from Po Manila’s usual steamed buns, go for their Fried Chicken Bun (P260). This homemade creation (literally—it’s a pickup order from a residential address) will deliver the sharpest Southern-style fried chicken you’ll ever taste this side of the globe. The sandwich is huge and one that you ought to take seriously. If you think you can chomp through this while finishing some work, think again—you’ll want to drop everything you’re doing to experience this full-on. The chicken errs on the salty side, but we think it complements the secret spices that go into the recipe. The buns are soft and sweet, providing some contrast to the fried chicken. The veggies only add to this sandwich’s appeal, but the star of the show here is its exemplary fried chicken.
Check out Po Manila’s Instagram page.
1. OG Fried Chicken Sandwich by Fowlbread
Pinoys love chicken skin, so absolutely any chicken dish topped off with it will be a likely winner. Fowlbread’s OG Fried Chicken Sandwich (P290) is top of the pack because it features a thin, crispy, fried-to-perfection slice of skin—which they call a Chicken Skin Cracker—that you add into your sandwich before you take a bite. Not only is this creation a sight to behold, it also delivers fully when it comes to serving size and taste. The chicken breast is huge and tender and the thin slices of pickles complement the flavors. While we don’t know what’s in Fowlbread’s secret sauce, it doesn’t really matter because once you have a taste of this zingy sandwich, you won’t want anything else. Any dish that places this much love, care, and attention to chicken skin easily takes the cake.
Fowlbread is at B3, Bonifacio High Street, 9th Avenue, Bonifacio Global City.
Photos by Toto Labrador
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