10 Underrated Spots for Crispy, Juicy-AF Fried Chicken in Manila

These badass birds deserve more love.

underrated fried chicken
PHOTO BY Majoy Siason/Spot.ph archives, Patricia Baes ILLUSTRATION Warren Espejo

(SPOT.ph) With the way it brings together crispy, savory skin and tender, juicy meat, fried chicken is one of those eats that just hits the spot every time—really, we could just about have it for every meal. Chances are you’ve got your set of go-to fast-food chains and restaurants whose chicken you can always rely on, but in the name of going out of your comfort zone, why not get your fix from somewhere new for a change? Manila is home to a host of other fried-chicken spots that are also worth adding to your must-try list. You can also find stellar versions of the dish from more unexpected places, who might be known for other specialties but whose fried bird shouldn’t be missed.

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Also read: 10 Places to Call for Fried Chicken Delivery 

Don’t miss the underrated yet great-tasting fried chicken from these shops:

Gang Gang Chicken

gang gang chicken
PHOTO BY Gang Gang Chicken
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Gang Gang Chicken is all about exploring just how versatile fried chicken can be. They’ve got a wholly creative lineup of flavors on their menu—we’re talking everything from the sweet-umami Honey Miso Butter (starts at P249) to the smoky Chipotle BBQ (starts at P249) to the surprisingly harmonious Takoyaki (starts at P249) that’s flavored just like the Japanese street food of the same name! You can easily head to their website to place your order.

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For orders, check out Gang Gang Chicken’s website. You can also check out their Facebook page.

Andok’s

andok's
PHOTO BY Instagram/pusongandoks

We know, we know, everyone and their mother has tasted Andok’s lechon manok, which is one of our favorite takes on roast chicken in Manila. But they also make excellent fried chicken, amusingly dubbed the Dokito (starts at P83/one piece with rice). It’s the kind that’s breaded just enough for a subtle crispness without being too floury, with a juicy and well-seasoned interior. Aside from being great plain or with rice, this fried chicken can also be had as part of their must-try Dokito Burger (P77). Just search them up on GrabFood to get your fix. Note that their delivery capabilities depends on your location!

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For orders, find Andok’s on GrabFood. You can also check out their Facebook page.

Tipple & Slaw

tipple and slaw
PHOTO BY Instagram/tipplecafe

Tipple & Slaw churns out all sorts of comfort faves that take the flavors notches up, and their Katipunan Fried Chicken (starts at P288/solo) is no exception. Expect a satisfying crunch on the outside with a subtle herby note, and an interior with enough savoriness without overpowering the natural taste of the bird. It also shines even sans sauce, but also comes with gravy if you need it. Go ahead and send Tipple & Slaw a message to try it for yourself.

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For orders, send a message to 0917-772-0756. You can also check out Tipple & Slaw Katipunan’s Facebook page.

Aguirre Fried Chicken

aguirre fried chicken
PHOTO BY Patricia Baes

This BF Homes-based shop makes a one-of-a-kind fried chicken, available in half- or whole-chicken portions in The Aguirre Special (P420/half, P750/whole) or its spicy counterpart, The Aguirre Hot Box (P420/half, P750/whole). The fried chicken itself is loosely in the Filipino style of the dish, with a crisp, thin skin that has a slight cragginess to it yet is seemingly of the unbreaded sort. Inside, you get meat that’s truly juicy and flavorful enough that it hardly needs any accompaniments. Still, it’s well worth checking out the sides that come with it, which take inspiration from different parts of the world—we’re talking their house-blend banana ketchup (which has a more robust profile than commercialized versions), white pickles for tanginess and crunch, a buttery garlic spread, and pillowy dinner rolls! Aside from the said sets, it’s also well worth checking out the Chicken Nibblers (P375)—a box of fried chicken necks, backs, and butts that’s best savored with your hands. Just send them a message through mobile or social media to get your fix.

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For orders, contact 0995-152-1850 or send a message to Aguirre Fried Chicken on Facebook or Instagram.

Cuckoo

cuckoo
PHOTO BY Cuckoo

Hailing from The Moment Group—a.k.a. the folks behind 8 Cuts, Manam, and Ooma—Cuckoo serves up spunky fried chicken that’s wonderfully crispy and flavorful through and through. The classic Cuckoo Chicken (starts at P169/one piece with rice) has the legs or thighs, either in the savory-buttery Original or spicy Hot Buffalo; there’s also the Cuckoo Strippers (starts at P210/five pieces with rice) or boneless chicken tenders, and the Cuckoo Wings (starts at P199/four pieces with rice), both of which come in flavors like sinigang-esque House Asim Special and savory-sweet Honey Soy Garlic. What you really don’t want to miss, though, are the Butt Bombs (P99/nine pieces)—yes, that’s deep-fried chicken butts, which give you the most addictive combo of a crisp, BBQ-dusted exterior and an uber-decadent, fatty interior. Go ahead and visit The Moment Group’s delivery website Moment Food to order.

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For orders, visit Cuckoo on Moment Food. You can also check out their Facebook page.

Also read: Top 10 Southern-Style Fried Chicken in Manila

Mutsarap

mutsarap
PHOTO BY Instagram/mutsarap

Mutsarap has been around since the '80s, during which time they went by the moniker Pop-Eye Chicken House. The specialty of the house is their Chinese-style Fried Chicken (starts at P175/quarter chicken with rice)—we’re talking the kind that’s unbreaded yet deep-fried to a satisfying crispness, with a distinct umami note and a sweet sauce on the side for balance. You can hit them up on Viber to place an order.

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For orders, contact 0917-681-0144 through Viber. You can also check out Mutsarap’s Facebook page.

Bamba Buns

bamba buns
PHOTO BY Instagram/bambabuns

Fried chicken is great on its own but is also fantastic in between buns, forming what’s known as a well, fried chicken sandwich. And one relative newcomer that makes a sensational version of the dish is Bamba Buns! Dubbed the Bamba (P300), their take goes for a chicken thigh fillet that’s fried to a crisp, and that stays crisp even under the weight of the other parts—namely homemade pickles, a rainbow slaw, and their “umami aioli.” Sandwiches between Bamba Buns’ homemade buns, you get a flavor bomb of a sandwich that delivers plenty of taste and textural variety from the first to the last bite. You can message them on social media to try it yourself.

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For orders, send a message to Bamba Buns on Facebook or Instagram.

Mimi & Bros

mimi and bros
PHOTO BY Majoy Siason/Spot.ph archives

Mimi & Bros shows us how to do the basics right with their stellar Original Fried Chicken (starts at P450/half). Golden-brown on the outside, this chicken delivers an audible crunch as you bite in, and fills the palate with a savory-herby-spicy flavor blend that makes it hard to resist going back for more helpings. If you’re one for a savory-sweet bite, you’ll also want to try their uber-aromatic Truffle Honey Butter Fried Chicken (starts at P360/quarter). Just send them a message on Facebook to place an order.

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For orders, send a message to Mimi & Bros’ Facebook page.

Sambar

sambar
PHOTO BY Instagram/sambarph

Malaysia and Indonesia have their own style of fried chicken that’s distinct for its feisty blend of spices. If there’s anyone who nails these cuisines well, it’s the tandem of chefs Nicco Santos and Quenee Vilar—and at their online venture Sambar, they fry up amazing chicken that you can try as part of the Nasi Lemak Fried Chicken (P545). Think crispy, spiced fried chicken that’s tender enough within that it falls off the bone; plus stellar accompaniments of basmati rice cooked in coconut milk, crisp Japanese cucumbers, slow-roasted peanuts, fried ikan bilis, a fried egg, and their own sambal terasi for added punch. Go ahead and message them on Instagram to try it for yourself.

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For orders, send a message to Sambar’s Instagram page.

Chicken Boys

chicken boys
PHOTO BY Instagram/chickenboysph

There’s no need to pick through bones with Chicken Boys’ boneless fried chicken. They fry bite-sized pieces of the poultry to a proper crispness and amp up their personality with your choice of glaze—some of the flavors on their roster are the Black Vinegar, Sweet & Sour, and Teriyaki! You can have the chicken as part of a solo meal (P149), which comes with egg fried rice; or the sharing portion (P349), which is good for two to three. Just search for their shop on GrabFood or Foodpanda.

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For orders, find Chicken Boys on GrabFood or Foodpanda. You can also check out Chicken Boys’ Instagram page.

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