Burgers have been getting a LOT of love in our fair city recently; beef has been the order of the day and we can enjoy it in many different ways with various accompaniments (bone marrow and blue cheese burger at Asado anyone?!) but what about the cow’s humble farm friend, the chicken? 

 Never to be underestimated, there is nothing quite like a damn good chicken burger. We thought it was only fair to show these creations just as much love as their beefy counterparts. This is the chickens’ time to shine, and we’ve handpicked some of the best on offer.

First and foremost, we have Burger Theory. Now this list is in no particular order, however the ‘Prairie Girl’ burger from these guys has gathered quite the following on social media. It consists of a southern fried chicken breast with franks hot sauce and cool blue cheese dressing; it’s crispy, juicy and honestly just down right delicious. The team here only works with local farmers and producers, so all of the poultry is organic and of the best quality – it shows in the chunk of chicken between the bap. If you don’t fancy it fried, then you might just fall in love with the KFC. Now, don’t get it twisted with the colonel; this is Burger Theory’s Korean Fried Chicken. A chicken fillet doused with sticky chilli glaze, spring onions and salted peanuts. Where else can you get a beauty like that?

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The great thing about Burger Joint is that you get to choose. You are the master of your own chicken universe. What burger joint also offers (that the other burger joints don’t), is the option of Piri-Piri chicken fillet. The gang here suggest you could have it with chorizo, Monterey jack cheese, a fried egg, chilli sauce and garlic mayonnaise, but really, it’s entirely up to you. You can also get grilled chicken and pimp it up however you like. You might even just want it plain and simple, so this is a great option with lots of choice.

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The Ox Clifton has recently added a more casual element to their menu by introducing burgers. We’re going to focus on the chicken for this piece (duh?!) and let us tell you it was an absolute blinder when we went to try it. A huge chicken fillet that spills out of the bun (if it's not dirty, it’s not worthy) which might be the crispiest we’ve tasted. When it comes to toppings, you can choose from grilled field mushrooms, confit onion, bacon or blue cheese or you might just want to keep it simple. Either way, you won't be disappointed with this one.

Read more about The Ox, Clifton

You will find Wild & Rustic popping up at various Bristol markets, and when they do you might want to navigate yourself to their stall. Because they have a chicken burger on the menu that is quite frankly, a dream come true. The burger consists of sous vide lemon and thyme marinated chicken thighs served in a rustic sourdough bun, topped with wild rocket, confit garlic mayonnaise, aged parmesan and sweet potato crisps. Not only is it a beautiful sight to behold, it tastes epic. Fresh, with a lovely hint of garlic from the mayonnaise and the potato crisps to cut through, this chicken burger definitely stands out.

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There is no way we could forget our good friends, Asado. The Pollo Libre is a welcome change to the chicken burgers in Bristol; a bun filled with a hefty buttermilk fried chicken thigh, chunky guacamole, chipotle mayonnaise and salad. This is a messy affair, so thank goodness the restaurant has a never ending supply of napkins on the tables. The guacamole is a lovely supporting sauce for the chicken and oozes over the sides of the bap, whilst the chipotle mayonnaise adds a wonderful smoky aftertaste. Hey, we warned you that eating chicken was going to be messy.

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Recently opened on Whiteladies Road and new to the Bristol burger ranks is Hubbox. Slotting nicely into the scene, they offer four different chicken burger options. The one we think stands out nicely though, is the Kim Yum Chick burger. A fried buttermilk chicken breast topped with Korean BBQ sauce, shredded lettuce and Gochujang mayonnaise; the result is a fantastically crispy bite with some lovely lingering flavours and a nice crunch from the lettuce.

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As the name might suggest, Wing's Diner is all about lip-smackingly excellent fried chicken - served up with an Asian twist. Their plump and juicy mix of breast and thighs are complimented with Korean style sticky sauces. You can drench that breast in sweet, spicy, peanut or Sirachanaise and enjoy the sweet and sour flavours the pickles bring to the party. As they're enjoying a permanent pop-up at Small Bar on King Street, we highly recommend ordering one of everything an sinking a few decent beers with them.

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Happy Bird have eschewed the "Dirty Burger" trope and are focusing on only serving the best chicken, raised in with the highest welfare in mind and in a cleaner, less fatty way. The chicken can be either fried or grilled, the sauces are plentiful in choice and the menu options have been crafted to satisfy everyone from greedy cluckers to people wanting to watch their calorie and fat intake without wanting to miss out on a treat or two. The shop itself is modern and fun, they have taken inspiration from the chicken shops that line every street in a major town or city and created a fun, bright place to eat in or takeaway. With Chef Des now on board from Carols Crab Kitchen fame, their will be a new wave of specials coming in, think Coq Au Vin burgers with shallots, mushrooms and red wine ketchup, Chicken Madras burgers with onion bahjies and Southern inspired behemoths consisting of fried chicken, BBQ sauce and gumbo.

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This is a bit of a cheat one as these chicken burgers from Squeezed are only on the menu when Alex has access to a bigger kitchen BUT they're SO GOOD we couldn't not mention them. A poussin is brined in spicy pickle juice and vodka and then served with chicken fat aioli, a crispy skin, shaved kohlrabi and guacamole. This attention to detail when it comes to prepping the chicken with brining before it's even seen a fryer results in a juicy, flavourful chicken burger with a cripsy fried outside and plenty of punchy flavour to compete. Keep an eye on the Squeezed twitter account for the next showing of this gorgeous burger. Pic credit to Natalie Brereton.

Read more about Squeezed @ Cargo 2

We like burgers that tell you exactly what you're gonna get in the name and Smoke and Glaze have nailed this marketing ploy! Introducing The Big Bird, a crispy buttermilk fried chicken thigh swamped in prosciutto, a roast portobello mushroom, parmesan, truffle mayo & Cajun ketchup. It's big, it's crunchy, it's moist and has been describe in the office as "the greatest thing I have ever eaten" by one hungry Wriggle employee.

Read more about Smoke & Glaze @ The Pipe & Slippers

Oowee are renowned for feeding the people of Bristol pure joyous filth, but did you know they also offer a banging chicken option? The Hot Chic to be precise. Crispy fried chicken dipped in hot sauce with a smattering of blue cheese and gherkins. This is similar to the burger offered by Burger Theory, but we’d say just a little bit down and dirtier. If you want to go all out for chicken, the Clukin’ fries here are also phenomenal; fries topped with FRIED CHICKEN AND GRAVY DO WE NEED TO WRITE ANYMORE? WE THINK NOT.

Read more about Oowee Diner (North Street)

Published -19th August 2019