Restaurant: The Dirty Bird Chicken + Waffles
Location: 79 Kensington Avenue, Toronto, ON M5T 2K2
Price Range: $$
Ahh Dirty Bird. I’m not sure what took me so long to write this review… but I will be honest, I LOVE THEIR FRIED CHICKEN. I know there are a lot of variations for fried chicken out there in Toronto, but nothing can beat the ones at Dirty Bird at all. The prices are very reasonable and the menu is pretty extensive. I would prefer more if they have options for white meat though, but I love dark meat so it’s not a big deal.
This place can get super busy during peak hours. There is a good handful of bar seatings with hooks for purses underneath (why can’t all restaurants do this?!) so I don’t recommend coming here with a big group. I usually have to wait 15-20 mins after placing my order, but I ain’t complaining because it means those chickens are made fresh to order! Service is friendly and the space is always spotless!
I have tried most of the items at Dirty Bird and the ODB will always hit the spot for me. I don’t know how they do it. Even with takeout or delivery, the deep fried chicken at Dirty Bird have consistently been fried to perfection and NEVER GREASY (!!). The breading on the chicken was not too thick and the skin was super crispy with a juicy and tender meat, the seasoning was just on point! The only complain here would be the waffle which have always been too soft my liking. Though it was airy on the inside, I prefer waffles that have a bit more crisp and richness to stand up against the chicken. I didn’t really care much for the coleslaw as it was just average, but I appreciated how it wasn’t drenched in dressings.
Overall, what really tied the whole dish together for me is their signature “dirty sauce.” The combination of sweetness from maple syrup with the tangy and spicy-ness of the dirty sauce created the ultimate chicken and waffle sauce. Price-wise, you’re not looking at a KFC or Popeyes chain here. If you are looking for some good old greasy cheap fried chicken, go with the fast-food route. If you want the REAL deal and want to support local businesses, Dirty Bird is the way to go!