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The Best Fried Chicken in Syracuse is Korean

The Best Fried Chicken in Syracuse is Korean

Top 4 Chicken Restaurants in Syracuse

By Zharia Jeffries

Updating your list of favorite fried chicken eateries just got a lot easier. A few reporters from the Livable CNY newsroom tried 4 of Syracuse’s popular fried chicken places and evaluated them for their Crispiness, Flavor, Authenticity, and Grease Factor. Gangnam Style Kitchen, Wings Over Syracuse, Spoon and Chopsticks, and Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen are the four restaurants up for debate.

We figured we would merge the best of each of our past experiences with this delectable American staple to create a rubric strong enough to accurately score fried chicken in Syracuse. We also spoke with Carol Masiclat and Weng Cheong about the authenticity of Korean fried chicken so that we could get a thorough judgement of the flavor and spice profile of each restaurant. Here are the results.

Crispiness

Located on 753 James Street, Spoon and Chopsticks prides itself on serving traditional Korean cuisine. However, judging by the lack of wings left on the plate, it’s safe to say they can add fried chicken to this list of wonderful dishes. The crispiness of the skin  left us in awe of the chefs frying technique. Not too hard and not too soft, the crisp on the chicken is just right. It leaves room for the actual chicken meat to shine through and doesn’t overpower the wing.

Photographed by Thomas C. 2018

Flavor

Though Spoon and Chopsticks had the best crisp, Gangnam Style Korean Kitchen located on 115 Harvard Place, right off Westcott Street has the best flavored chicken wings. They are coated in an Asian flavored sauce sprinkled with crushed red pepper flakes that makes the sweetness of the sauce stand out. The wing itself is cooked well but the crust on the chicken is way too thick. All in all it is a decent wing with a bangin flavor but in need of a lot less dredging in the batter.

Kwi L. 2018

Authenticity

With the rave reviews of Spoon & Chopsticks, they’ve certainly got the authenticity of Korean fried chicken down. There isn’t one specific recipe that encompasses the term Korean fried chicken. Rather, certain qualities like spices and the way the wings are fried gives each batch its own unique quality, according to a New York Times article. Perhaps that’s the beauty of Korean fried chicken–there isn’t one type, but many. If you’re looking for this sort of authenticity in your chicken in Syracuse, give this place a try.

The Grease Factor

And now, for the grease factor. No one wants dry chicken wings, right? That being said, you also don’t want wings so greasy that the flavor of the meat and its coating are drowned out from, well, grease. The least greasy chicken on the table was Spoon and Chopsticks. The most greasy as I assume you can guess would be Popeyes, located on Erie Blvd.  and taking second in the greasy category is Gangnam Style Kitchen. Though packed with flavor the large amount of batter leaves room for lots of grease that is soaked up by tortilla chips underneath the bed of wings. Wings Over Syracuse, a popular wing chain with a few locations in Syracuse,  boneless buffalo wings was among the least greasiest chicken because well, not a lot of grease goes into making a buffalo sauce.

The amount of grease in the Spoon and Chopsticks wings is just right. The to-go box they come in for takeout isn’t swimming in sauce and excess moisture—the first good sign that your wings aren’t swimming in grease. Not overly greasy (so that streams of grease are flowing down your hand) and not too dry, the crispy skin on the wings holds just enough moisture to give you a pop of flavor the second you take your first bite. Whether it’s from the grease in the skin of the wings, or just the overall spice selection, the wing meat has a juicy, savory quality without being too salty or overly seasoned.

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner

Out of the four chicken entrees that Livable CNY journalists, Carol Masiclat, and Weng Cheong tasted, Spoon and Chopsticks won our hearts. Spoon and Chopsticks placed 1st in 3 out of 4 flavor categories making them the best fried chicken in Syracuse. In 2nd place is Gangnam Style Korean Kitchen. Their flavor won 1st place in the votes however the over abundance of dredging cost them a win in the crispiness category. In 3rd place is Popeyes. The chicken was cooked well as Popeyes Kitchen is known for. It just didn’t excite the judges as much as the other options. In last place is Wings Over Syracuse. Unfortunately these wings lacked in every category. The judges felt it needed more of everything, more flavor and more crisp.

To explore more best restaurants and cuisines in Syracuse, check out this article about the best Indian restaurants in Syracuse.

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This site celebrates the people places, and culture that make Central New York one of the most vibrant and livable regions in the country. From Auburn to Utica, from Syracuse, to Ithaca, this is LivableCNY.

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