Nashville hot chicken [Toronto]

I’ve always wanted to try this but have been redirected many times to the many Korean hot chicken places around town. Is there a restaurant/takeout place that is close to the originals? I have never had this dish but the appearance of it in many TV shows has peaked my interest. Thanks in advance!

I haven’t tried it, but friends like Chica’s in the Junction.

I avoid Dave’s out of principle. My friend liked it

What’s the controversy with Dave’s? Is it the public health protocols when it first opened or something else?

They took over a beloved diner’s space in Parkdale, and some of Dave’s pampered client base litters a lot.

The next location took over the space that had been Stratenger’s Pub in Lesvlieville
. Same reaction.

The locations in Toronto are owned by the Bitoves.

There are some BlogTO articles about the neighbourhood residents’ reactions.

In Hamilton
https://instagram.com/eatmattyschicken

Is there any hot chicken in the GTA that is like Nashville? We have had good fried chicken with mild spice. We have not had anything that reminds us of Prince’s, although we have not sampled widely. We tried Dave’s and thought it was OK, but not a must-repeat.

I don’t know if Chica’s is authentic, but it is one of the best versions of Nashville hot chicken that I’ve ever had!!

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Chica’s is awesome! Can’t speak to the authenticity but their food is delish!

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Arrived back in Toronto on Sat night to find multiple road and subway closures, so strolled to my neighbourhood Swiss Chalet.

Discovered they have a “Nashville Hot Chicken” promotion - I can’t compare to the original Nashville version, but the Swiss Chalet sauce (we asked for a separate ‘dipping’ portion) was excellent, indeed it was hot but not numbingly so, with a balancing acidity (presumable vinegar). The chicken itself was ‘white meat bland’ and the coating was surprisingly crunchy. The basic version includes the sauce in the coating, but we found that only ‘warm’ rather than hot, so the supplementary (no charge) sauce was much more satisfying.

But the intriguing ‘option’ (which I didn’t try) is pictured below

image

This blend of spicy and sweet is blend of hot and cold, with chicken coated in a Nashville Hot glaze, served on a toasted bun, topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, and then drizzled with honey .

Probably not available for takeout!

Noticed a hot chicken place on Pape just north of Danforth, next to the A & W.

Please don’t laugh!!
Personally, I found A&W’s latest " Nashville Chicken Burger " a delight to eat! Huge in size with chicken protruding from both ends, ultra crispy coating with just the right amount of heat and fairly juicy and moist interior. Decent brioche bun. I requested extra pickles and sauce.

So I dropped by 3 of these stores within a week:

A&W: It was a hot day and I felt like a frozen mug root beer (sans float). Spied this on the menu and gave it a shot. This was more like a chicken sandwich with hot sauce on it. Thick chicken patty, slight vinegary hot sauce. Even though I haven’t had Nashville Hot Chicken before, I’m going to guess A&W’s version is not like it.

Chica’s: Looks like a grungy old diner inside but I wasn’t here for the decor. Ordered the OG Sando hot, which apparent equates to Hot AF on their scale (the highest). It looks like they dust it with a dry spice mix after frying. The spice mix was very tasty and addictive. It was really hot but not insufferably so. There was an amazing balance between the spice mix and the heat. The chicken itself was juicy and amazing with no big chunks of deep fried batter. The slaw and slightly toasted white bread was a good match with the chicken. I might go for the medium/hot spice level next time around.

Dave’s: Looks like a chain restaurant inside but unlike Chica’s, Dave’s has air conditioning (which is great for the weather we’ve been having lately). Anyway, onto the food. I had the hot tender and extra hot slider. Similar to Chica’s they seem to dust the chicken with their spice mix after cooking. But Dave’s also adds a sauce on top along with slaw and pickles. They use a bun instead of white bread on the slider, and they give you an untoasted white bread for the tender. In terms of spicing, Dave’s adds more emphasis on the heat with the spice mix in the background. The heat was also different in that you feel it on every surface of your mouth and lips. I didn’t get this sensation with Chica’s. To me, Chica’s Hot AF is around Dave’s Extra Hot or maybe slightly spicier. I didn’t try the Reaper. The crisp is similar to Chica’s but with some chunks of deep fried batter. The chicken was a different story altogether as Dave’s tasted like dried chain chicken compared to Chica’s. Perhaps Chica’s also brines their chicken. In terms of size though, A&W’s chicken was huge compared to the others. I didn’t think much of Dave’s sauce.

For me, Chica’s wins out but Dave’s is better than any chain chicken sandwich I’ve tasted. But if you’re challenging someone on heat, Dave’s might be the place to be as they will feel it all over their mouth. One tip with Chica’s is you might want to order ahead and time your arrival (it’s not a full service dining room anyway). The chicken takes about 15 mins and the regulars seem to have all ordered ahead.

One thing worth mentioning is Dave’s normal fries was great. I tried the cajun fries at Chica’s and while I enjoyed the spices, Dave’s fries’ texture was on a different level. Super super crisp on the outside and light and fluffy on the inside. I hope this wasn’t a fluke because I’d go back just for the fries.

So is Nashville Hot Chicken a fried chicken with a dry spice dusting after?

Now, please excuse me while I go unclog my arteries.

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Way to take one for the team!

The Nashville hot chicken we’ve tried is fried chicken, with a hot pepper-lard combo applied after, so itis essentially drenched in spicy and flavourful oil. We made the mistake of ordering “medium” at Prince’s and it took us over an hour to finish the meal, with rivers of sweat pouring down our faces. And we like spicy food, but for the future it will be “mild” all the way. Bolton’s was not quite as hot, so we were able to survive.

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I am a big fan of Chica’s!!!

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No hot pepper-lard on these chickens. So the search continues for me!

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Sunday market in Ubud, Indonesia
Credit: Roozbeh Rokni, Flickr