The Stockyards Smokehouse and Larder

For years, I’ve heard raving reviews about The Stockyards’ fried chicken from both friends and The Internet. With a location in St. Clair W, only 18 seats and notoriously long lines, I took my time to plan a visit. The Fiance and I stopped by with a fried on a Saturday, around 7pm while on-route to a show downtown. Ahead of us inline was a group for 5 and two sets of couples. We were on a tight schedule and could only afford a 20 minute wait. Luckily, 20 minutes was all we needed.

Atmosphere: The wooden counter seats were tight. Half of them faced the wall, while the other offered a great view to the open kitchen. It’s hard not to be hungry in line when the smell of fried chicken permeated the air. The Stockyards was definitely a sit, eat some delicious food and get out type of restaurant, I wouldn’t recommend dining in with groups larger than 3. Reservations are not accepted but take-out is available.

Service: While disorderly, service was very friendly. With two people managing the seating queue, there was a mix-ups about who was being seated next but it was rectified. Also, The Stockyards did allow people to wait elsewhere and come back to check on their status. At first, we were seated facing the wall, but 3 stools at the counter cleared up and our server moved us to the more spacious seats. Food arrived hot from the fryer after less than a 5 minute wait.

Food: For the three of us, we split two orders of the Stockyards Fried Chicken Dinner. Each basket came with 4 pieces of buttermilk marinated fried chicken, coleslaw, fries and hot sauce. Let’s start with the chicken. Each pieces had a crispy, salty, fatty, delicious fried skin while being moist and juicy on the inside. Really great seasoning of the batter. I would’ve been happy with just how perfect the chicken was but the fries were also amazing. As in, I hogged the whole plate of them amazing. The fries were thin, and crispy but soft, just how I like them. I also had a good time with the hot sauce that was almost like tabasco but sweeter and thicker.

It’s easy to see why The Stockyards wins the title of “Best Fried Chicken in Toronto” on every published list (BlogTo, Toronto Life). Each piece of chicken undergoes 48 hours of prep and the effort pays of producing tender, juicy chicken, packaged in a crispy skin. Next visit, I really need to resist their siren call and try the Butter Burger or some BBQ specialties.

The Stockyards Smokehouse and LarderThe Stockyards Smokehouse and Larder
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