Best Ever Chicken and Waffles

The Stockyards, Toronto

The Magic:

There’s no arguing that the combination of flavours and textures on a platter of crispy, buttermilk fried chicken, waffles and sweet syrup is a match made in heaven. However, Toronto’s Stockyards Smokehouse and Larder found a way to take a great concept up another notch.

Their addition of Peri-Peri sauce to the sinfully sweet maple syrup was, quite simply, an inspired idea. While we don’t know for certain, it’s likely that this combination derived from Thomas Davis having grown up in a neighbourhood close to Toronto’s Little Portugal. The fiery and tangy flavour of the Peri-Peri complemented the sweetness of the syrup and elevated the already delicious crunch of the buttermilk fried chicken. To eat this dish was to experience unadulterated food joy – and we miss it to this day.

The Tragedy

Stockyards (as it was known to locals) was a small, dynamic BBQ-style restaurant on St. Clair W. in Toronto. It was renowned for its ribs, burgers, grilled cheese sandwiches and BLTs. But perhaps most of all – at least for us – it was famous for its legendary Southern-style fried chicken. Stockyards’ chicken was a hit long before Toronto became inundated with Southern- and Nashville style fried chicken.

Anyone “in the know” who lived in the west end – and beyond – knew that they could count on Stockyards for delicious comfort food served up with friendly smiles amidst a great, diner-like vibe. 

Sadly, the founder of Stockyards – Thomas Evan Davis – died in a tragic accident in Jamaica in 2021. While his wife Monique Nanton worked hard to keep the restaurant afloat the combination of Covid restrictions and the pain of her husband’s passing became too much and the difficult decision to close was made in October, 2022. 

Runner Up

Bouchon at The Venetian

We don’t have a photo of this amazing dish, but it’s seared into our memory and 10 years later we’re still talking about it. They stuck to the classic, but everything was literally perfect. The seasoned chicken skin with an addictive crunch, the crispy-yet-fluffy waffles, the superb quality maple syrup.  It’s what dreams are made of. 

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