Fried Chicken – The ULTIMATE NZ Road Trip

Aug 10, 2020 | 10 min read
Hi I'm Dylan! Avid traveller, fried chicken connoisseur and self-proclaimed "lord of the memes" are just some of the hats I wear in life. Also love wearing my UCLA bucket hat whenever possible.

Love fried chicken? This ultimate fried chicken guide will take you to some of the best fried chicken places in Aotearoa.

Fried chicken joints are the lifeblood, soul force, and essential ingredient to all human happiness, and they need YOU to eat their delicious food! And to start off, we’ll zoom in on the epicentre of fried chicken that is Auckland CBD.

Auckland CBD

Sensational Chicken

Sensational Chicken Niesh Blog

Address: 11A Mount Street

As far as cult icons go, there aren’t many as prominent as the truly sensational, truly delicious Sensational Chicken. Well known to 1st year halls students and 7th year PhD students alike, it truly epitomises great taste combined with irresistible convenience. Situated directly in the golden zone with UoA and AUT, you’ll find the most popular $6.50 chicken and chips snack box sure to satisfy your taste buds. For those keen on something a little different, the kebab on chips dish also hits the spot real good!

Now there’s a few other locations that offer the same tasty chicken if you can’t make it to the student location. Hobson Street, Mount Roskill, and even Hamilton has its own joint now (possibly Auckland returning the favour after copying Bar 101 from Hamilton?).

Avachi Chicken

Address: 239A Queen Street

Many a drunk uni student has stumbled down Queen Street after a big night in town only to succumb to the majestic smell of fried chicken wafting across their alcohol-soaked face. The responsible culprit? Avachi Chicken. Some students say it tastes like fried chicken; some adults say it tastes like their youth. Don’t miss out and give it a try at least once while you’re studying – you won’t regret it. Prices for a snack box of one thigh and chips start from just $6.40, and an eating experience ends in pure satisfaction.

Kai Eatery

Kai Eatery fried chicken Niesh Blog

Address: 1 Rutland Street & Commercial Bay

Located in Commercial Bay and a colourful orange shipping container store next to the Central City Library, Kai Eatery provides the perfect mid-study snack OR full-blown fried chicken feast. The star of the show has to be the $12 XL Fried Chicken piece. Created in the classic Taiwanese style meaning it’s larger than the facial mask you secretly tried last night, this tasty piece of meaty morsel leaves you always wanting more. Juicy on the inside, crunchy on the outside, and a 10/10 poser for a good food snap. Get a side of the famed kumara fries and wash it all down with some of their bubble tea while you’re at it!

For those Shore boys and gals amongst us, good news is that you don’t have to leave your hood to get a taste of this stuff. There’s another Kai Eatery store located at Smales Farm so there’s no need to ever pop that Shore bubble of yours πŸ™‚

Auckland Suburbs

Some of y’all Aucklanders have never visited the other side of your city and it shows.

OK, now that the personal attacks are over, let’s think about why fried chicken can be the thing that brings us all together <3 Since lockdown is now over, we might as well make the most of our newfound freedoms right? If it’s too much effort to organise a road trip out of town, why not do one within your own city? Last year on National Fried Chicken Day, myself and a couple of mates drove around every single side of town eating fried chicken to our hearts’ content. It was amazing. I mean sure, travelling around Europe is great, but it can’t compare to the adventures of travelling around your own city in search of fried chicken!

South Auckland: Young’s Lunchbar

Address: 17 Fair Mall, Otara

If Auckland CBD is the epicentre then Otara Town Centre is the heartland of fried chicken. You really don’t need to walk far before encountering the sweet smell of it attacking your nose. Young’s Lunchbar is one such eatery providing steaming hot, tasty fried chicken along with a whole range of delicious bakery food. It is by no means the only such place here though. Any store on this particular crispy, golden strip of road will have fried chicken vendors itching to let you taste their family recipes. The only thing you’re in danger of is eating more than you should in a day!

East Auckland: Kiwi Chicken

Niesh Blog

Address: 8A/345 Chapel Road, Flat Bush

Not far from South Auckland’s golden stretch is East Auckland’s answer in the battle for the best fried chicken. Kiwi Chicken is a classic crowd-pleaser for the whole fam, offering interesting flavours such as spicy soy and spring onion chicken in addition to the classic style.

Kiwi Chicken also has a sister store located in Mount Eden which is famous for its Korean-style chicken, so do give it try too!

West Auckland: TNC Fried Chicken

Address: 382/396 Don Buck Road, Massey

Now I’m not gonna lie, West Auckland is somewhere I’ve only frequented a small handful of times despite being a born and bred Aucklander. But damn, I wish I went more now that I’ve discovered TNC Chicken. Despite the additions of the big flagship Texas Chicken and Taco Bell fast food restaurants out west, this little-known local takeaway is a hidden gem. Once again, the $6.20 snack box can’t go wrong here and is sure to fill your belly without destroying your wallet.

TNC Fried Chicken also has two other branches located in Manurewa and Clendon Park in South Auckland which are equally as good!

North Shore: The Coop

Coop Fried Chicken Niesh Blog

Address: 90 Hurstmere Road, Takapuna

We’ve all gone through the experience of being cooped up for weeks on end in our homes. Now that we’re out, the perfect place to let loose and enjoy life is at The Coop, especially since your life will be instantly improved when you bite into their amazing chicken. The scrumptious jerk fried chicken range comes in bite-sized pieces that can be shared – or not. I’d definitely recommend sitting down to enjoy the awesome atmosphere and to grab a drink while you’re at it!

Central Suburbs: Electric Chicken

Electric Fried Chicken Niesh Blog

Address: 14 McDonald Street, Morningside

I spent a long time internally debating whether Central Auckland deserved another entry given the CBD joints already in this list. But Electric Chicken is just too good not to be included here. It is honesty just too good but in a drool accent this time. The chicken is juicy, tender, and cooked to just the right sizzling temperature to burn your tongue but still be worth getting hurt for. Electric Sauce is a great choice for dipping, but there’s a bunch of other good options too. The vibes here are perfect on a warm sunny day and the nearby cider bar is a wonderful complement to your fried chicken!

City dwellers can rejoice that Electric Chicken has another location on K Road for your convenience πŸ™‚

New Zealand

So…domestic travel is legal now. You know what that means πŸ˜‰ It’s time to drive the length of New Zealand to sample the best fried chicken across every region of the country! Ok that’s very crazy but if you are a truly mad fried chicken fanatic, I’ll just leave this here so you can decide if you will take the ULTIMATE journey in the name of fried chicken.

Hamilton: Wongs Kitchen

Fried Chicken Wong's Kitchen Niesh Blog

Address: 63 Massey Street, Frankton and 560 Te Rapa Road, Te Rapa

Many a roadtrip that didn’t need to pass through Hamilton has passed through Hamilton, solely to get a fix of the legendary takeaway shop that is Wongs Kitchen. Its renowned fried chicken wings are likely to be more famous than most NZ politicians and celebrities, to be perfectly honest. It has also served as a classic watering hole for uni students looking for a late-night rendezvous with fried chicken after a few rowdy ones at The Outback. The rest of its non-chicken menu is pretty darn good too, including some super affordable noodle & rice meals!

Wellington: Soul Shack

Address: 38 Dixon Street, Te Aro

Wellington is known to have dangerous levels of wind, but Soul Shack’s Level 4 spicy chicken is the only thing that can possibly threaten your life more. As with Covid-19 alert levels, it’s better to be in the lowest levels possible – especially if it’s your first time eating here. Don’t worry, the mild version of their fried chicken is just as tasty! And it’s even more beautiful once wrapped in the familiar arms of a pair of bread buns and some burgery insides. Everyone with a working set of taste buds must try this place out. However, as you move up the spice levels your taste buds may lose their function temporarily (or even permanently!).

Christchurch: Monster Chicken

Fried chicken platter at Monster Chicken Niesh Blog

Address: 1 Riccarton Road and 394 Riccarton Road, Riccarton

Like the name suggests, there is something really monstrous about this place. That, my friends, is the list of fried chicken flavours available at this fine establishment. From parmesan cheese to sweet chilli chicken, the different flavours to try here are endless. The platter combos are a great way to sample the varieties of chicken, and are a surefire way to make your flatmates love you (even if you never do the dishes).

Dunedin: Miga Hako

Address: 366 George Street and 1 Albion Place

It’s a cold place in the south but it’s not as bad when you warm your insides up with some succulent Korean fried chicken from Miga Hako. Well-known for their awesome fried chicken and all-round cheap meal deals, it’s a must-visit place for any hungry student on a budget! Who knew the tastes of South Korea would bring so much joy in this little corner of the South Island?

So there ya have it, the ultimate list of fried chicken destinations to tick off your bucket list as you explore more of Aotearoa. Pack your bags, grab some mates, and prepare your stomach for a tasting adventure you won’t forget – IF you choose to take up the challenge. For other challenges, check out our blog on living on $2.85 a day!

Consider yourself somewhat of a fried chicken connoisseur? Feel free to share your favourite fried chicken places in the comments below and help your fellow fried chicken lovers out!