What’s the trick to making ordinary waffles taste better? Main Street’s Portland Craft would tell you to ‘put a bird on it’ – a crispy deep-fried bird that is. Referencing the satirical TV series Portlandia, this cleverly titled chicken and waffles dish has been a hit on Portland Craft’s menu since they first opened their doors two and a half years ago.
The dish looks like pretty standard fare when it arrives at the table, but one bite of their bird and you’ll quickly think otherwise. The chicken is moist and tender, but the key element is the crust; delicately seasoned with just the right amount of crunch, it has a buttery flavour with a hint of pepper that is alarmingly addictive. Forego the sauces and eat this dish au natural. The flavours are just that good.
3835 Main Street
Craft Beer Market
Known around town for their extensive beer menu, Craft Beer Market is also pleasing palettes with its brunch fare and the savoury chicken and waffles are an unsurprising favourite.
The chicken and waffles at Craft are all about customization. Two yummy waffles and two pieces of crispy, fried and boneless chicken come served with side sauces for your dressing pleasure. Maple syrup and house-made hot sauce come standard, but an order of their signature gravy is a necessary addition. Decadent and buttery (but not too heavy), the gravy takes the term comfort food to a whole new level. Add a dash of hot sauce for some heat and smoky flavour and you’ve got yourself a sumptuous and savoury breakfast meal.
85 West 1st Avenue
Chewies Steam and Oyster Bar
Chewies Steam and Oyster Bar is bringing authentic New Orleans soul food to the Vancouver restaurant scene with feel-good southern favourites like fried gator(!), green tomatoes and, of course, chicken.
Come brunch time, you’ll find Chewies' fried chicken atop a bed of buttermilk waffles. A drizzle of Cajun honey butter pays further homage to traditional Louisiana flavours. The bold Cajun spice is mellowed out by the butter and honey, which makes this sauce a dynamic alternative to maple syrup. It's finished off with a sprinkle of green onions for a punch of flavour. It's a breakfast dish worth coming back for.
Coal Harbour: 110-1055 West Hastings Street
Kitsilano: 2201 West 1st Avenue
Dark green leather banquettes, exposed brick and stuffed animals adorning the walls, Mamie Taylor’s looks like an elegant backcountry hunting lodge. So serving a bird on their breakfast menu just makes sense.
Presentation is on point at Mamie Taylor’s, from the decor down to the plating of their dishes. Looking almost too good to eat, two extra crispy pieces of chicken are delicately balanced on top of two triangular waffles, accompanied by a side of tangy green apple and cabbage slaw and finished off with a precise drizzle of maple syrup.
There are no sauces served alongside this dish because they're not needed. The flavours have all been expertly crafted to complement each other. Layer your fork with a juicy piece of chicken, a crispy waffle and a scoop of slaw for the perfectly balanced bite.
251 East Georgia Street
Feast is relatively new to the Dundarave neighbourhood in West Vancouver, but it is making its presence known with a dynamite chicken and waffles dish.
A generous pile of waffles comes topped with two pieces of fried chicken, garnished with candied pecans and served with a side of crème fraiche maple syrup. The chicken is moist and tender, but what really puts this dish into a category of its own is what they’ve done with their waffles.
Bacon bits and chopped pecans are cooked right in so that every bite is salty and savoury. Add to this the velvety crème fraiche maple syrup and you’ve got yourself the perfect pairings of salty with sweet and crunchy with creamy. Your taste buds will thank you.
2423 Marine Drive, West Vancouver
Yolks began as a humble food truck serving up something so delicious that they just had to expand. And while still operating their original kitchen on wheels, Yolks the restaurant has quickly become one of Vancouver’s must-eat brunch destinations.
Organic fried chicken comes sandwiched between two Belgian waffles and dusted in powered sugar. Chicken stock gravy and maple syrup are served on the side with the intention of being poured generously overtop of this sumptuous breakfast sandwich. And since eggs are what got this eatery started, their suggestion to add a poached one on top of this dish comes highly recommended.
1298 East Hastings Street
Tuc Craft Kitchen
Tuck into some classic chicken and waffles with a decadent twist at Tuc Craft Kitchen. This Gastown eatery is serving up hearty comfort dishes on both its morning and evening menus making, Tuc an in satisfying savoury fare.
In the true spirit of southern hospitality, portion sizes are ample. A stack of waffles is accompanied by heap of crispy fried chicken and three sides sauces for you to choose from. Tip: the Dijon mournaise is what really ups the ante on this dish. Similar to hollandaise, this butter-based sauce is rich and creamy, and the hint of Dijon adds a refreshing kick. Maple syrup and spicy tomato vinaigrette are also served on the side, but truth be told, savoury is the way to go with this dish, and the acidity of the tomato vinaigrette is a nice complement to the mournaise.
60 W. Cordova Street
Go beyond KFC and Eggo - this is where you'll find real, finger lickin' good chicken and waffles in Vancouver
Picture a stack of fluffy waffles topped with fresh-from-the-fryer chicken and sweetened with a touch of syrup. Sounds fantastic, right? This southern comfort breakfast classic is quickly becoming a brunch favourite in restaurants across Vancouver.
Increasing demand for this sweet and savoury dish has inspired a growing number of restaurants to add it to their morning menus, each with its own distinct flavours and personal touches to make it their own.
Check out these eight eateries for the best chicken and waffles the city has to offer.
Former intern turned contributing writer, Natalie Walters covers a range of topics for BC Living, with a special interest in travel, style and all things edible. She loves exploring food and far off places, preferably at the same time, and hopes to continue adventuring her way around the world as an international journalist.