City Fried Chicken Toronto Keeps us Going Back for that Steak on Fries
City Fried Chicken Toronto is a small, nondescript eatery located at the intersection of Danforth Avenue and Donlands Avenue. It is literally a two minute walk south from the Donlands subway station. In many ways, City Fried Chicken is a throwback to the early halal restaurants from the 80s and 90s, when ambience, décor and presentation was low on the importance scale. It was all about the fact that halal food was finally available – and at a reasonable price!
I decided to eat there one evening and when I walked in, I found the restaurant half full. The interior is like a typical North American greasy spoon, with around 10 tables to one side of the restaurant, and the food preparation area behind a glass counter on the other side. Both the counter (and the food behind it) as well as the food preparation area looked very clean. A tray with a large number of fried chicken pieces was sitting on one shelf under a heat lamp.
The dining area hadn’t been cleaned in a while, and clearly they don’t clean up after every diner. I picked a table and since there was only one staff member preparing the food, wiped the table myself with a napkin as best as I could before I sat down.
You order food right at the counter. . City Fried Chicken has a diverse menu with not only fried chicken, but chicken tenders, burgers (beef and chicken), Philly cheese steak sandwiches and others. When the name of the restaurant has “fried chicken” in it – let’s face it – you are not there for the salad. I ordered three pieces of fried chicken, philly Cheese Steak Sandwich and Steak on Fries.
The chicken pieces were picked from the tray under the heat lamp. The burger was a frozen patty, placed on the oven and grilled in front of me. The standard condiments included lettuce, onions, tomato and I was asked if I wanted hot sauce; I declined.
The size of the pieces was decent, with the breast piece quite big, comparable to Popeyes in its heyday. The coating was not very dense, and definitely not as thick or flaky as the aforementioned fried chicken joint. . The skin was thin and crispy. Once I got past that, and bit into the chicken, that’s when I realized this was one of the tastiest pieces of fried chicken I have had. It wasn’t salty, and definitely wasn’t so greasy that you felt you were drinking oil rather than meat, but every bite was flavourful. The meat looked properly cooked and didn’t have any funny taste that sometimes fried chicken have when you don’t cook the insides properly, you know what I’m talking about. I had asked for non-spicy, so there was no sauce on the chicken pieces. I was planning to eat only one piece and save the rest for later, but it was so good that I had to finish one more piece.
If I had to give a verdict, I would say though I prefer the coating to be a little bit denser and thick, but I am willing to forgo that if the chicken is this tasty.
The burger was not made in-house and was made from frozen.
Everyone who’s anyone knows that City Fried Chicken is the spot for a great Philly Cheese Steak sandwich, and their famous Steak on Fries. The Philly Cheese Steak is super messy (see picture) but totally worth it. I’ve tried plenty of Philly Cheese Steak sandwiches over the years, and I’d have to say this is easily my favourite one. The steak is cooked perfectly – not too chewy – and there’s quite a bit of meat packed in there – more meat than veggies, just how we like it! The bun is also slightly toasted and the mayo, barbecue sauce and hot sauce mixed in with the meat and veggies is just perfect.
The Steak on Fries is … I need a heart-eyed emoji here. Fries with mayo is awesome, but now add barbecue sauce, hot sauce, slices of seasoned steak, sautéed peppers, and top it all off with cheese and you’ve got the best thing since poutine. If you haven’t had it yet, you definitely should go just for this one dish – you won’t regret it.
If you dine in, the food will be served on a paper plate on a tray, and after sometime the oil from the chicken starts to seep through the thin paper plate. Have plenty of napkins handy.
Over all, this is a cheap eatery that does quick food really well. Most of the customers I saw eating with me seemed to be either students or men taking a short break from work looking for something quick, cheap and tasty. I would not bring someone here to celebrate a special occasion, but if I needed to pick up fried chicken for a party, steak o fries or just wanted a quick bite of food to eat, this is someplace I would definitely recommend.
Meat Source: All Chicken is direct from Sargent Farms (hand slaughtered halal and HMA Certified Supplier) and beef is sourced from Iqbal Foods (HMA Certified Retailer) ** NOTE: meat was checked (verbal assurance) at time of review and can change at anytime – please check meat sources before eating and let us know if there are any discrepancies **
Mezbauddin Mahtab is an IT professional, photographer, blogger, and a devoted husband and father based in Toronto, Ontario. Mezba also loves to eat and is an avid foodie. He is the author of Teaching Kids the Holy Qur’an – Chapter 18: The Cave, as well as Teaching Kids the Holy Qur’an – Chapter 71: Nuh, both of which tells stories from the Qur’an using LEGO© Bricks and toys. He maintains a personal blog on A Bengali in TO, and is currently planning his third book on Surah Qasas.
City Fried Chicken
990 Danforth Ave, Toronto