CLOSED: The Stockyards (Toronto)

Location: Toronto, Canada
Address: 699 St. Clair Avenue West
Type of Meal: Dinner

After visiting New Orleans and having delicious fried chicken at Willie Mae’s Scotch House, I was intrigued to sample what Toronto has to offer. The Stockyards was rated #1 in the city by Blogto, so naturally it seemed fitting to start with the best.

My friend warned me the restaurant is small with limited seating (about twenty bar stools facing the kitchen and wall). Since they don’t take reservations, we decided to head over earlier but found a line an hour long by 6:30. Luckily, the girl at the cash agreed to take down our number to call us when a table was ready. There are plenty of bars in the area to wait at. Since Stockyards isn’t licensed, also provided us the opportunity to have a drink before dinner.

Between the four of us we split two fried chicken dinners ($15). Each arrived in a cast iron skillet with four pieces of chicken, a large serving of fries, a decent sized coleslaw, ketchup and hot sauce.

The buttermilk marinated chicken was juicy and tender - even the denser breast pieces. The breading was crispy, thin and had some spice mixed into it. Personally, I would like a flakier crust to give more crunch and spices mixed into the buttermilk to brine the meat better. All in all, it was good fried chicken. Although I liked Stockyard’s chicken, I personally found the fried chicken at Patois more suited to my taste.

The sides were amazing! The fries were thin, crispy and full of potato flavour. Despite being stuffed I couldn’t help but continue to consume them. Additionally, the coleslaw was balanced between acidity and creaminess; I particularly liked the celery seeds mixed throughout.

Wanting to try some of the Stockyard’s famous BBQ (unfortunately, their ribs and chicken wasn’t available), we split a pulled pork sandwich ($8.50). The soft egg bun was piled high with big chunks of smoky meat. Although the pork was well flavoured, there could be more BBQ sauce – I like it saucy! Some coleslaw also topped the sandwich to add freshness. Note, when ordering sandwiches it will arrive by itself, for an extra $2.50 you can add a side of fries.

In an attempt to balance out the meaty starchy meal, we ordered a side of brussel sprouts ($6). They were delicious – cooked well (soft but still had bite to it) and flavourful from the addition of smoked ham and sriracha sauce. Consider ordering this as they arrive quickly and may help stave off hunger while waiting for the chicken to be made.

If the wait doesn’t appeal to you, Stockyards does offer take-out. In fact, it seemed to be a popular option. You should live in the area or be willing to eat without a table nearby as letting this delicious chicken sit in a paper container and get soggy would be a shame.

Overall mark - 7 out of 10

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Gastro World's Grading System

  • Anything under 5 - I really disliked and will never go back
  • - decent restaurant but I likely won't return
  • 7 - decent restaurant and I will likely return
  • 8 - great restaurant that I'd be happy to recommend
  • 9 - fantastic restaurant that I would love to visit regularly and highly recommend
  • 10 - absolute perfection!