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Eats

The Coop Wicked Chicken in Hamilton serves comfort food with a side of nostalgia

It’s hard to miss as you make your way down the King Street strip in Hamilton’s lower city: a restaurant at the corner of King West and Hess Street with loud graffiti on the side brick wall and a façade that’s gritty yet playful, with floor to ceiling windows showcasing the laidback vibes inside.

That restaurant is The Coop Wicked Chicken: a spot that, true to its name, deals largely in chicken dishes with as many variations as possible that are, to quote the restaurant’s own slogan, “tasty as cluck.”

Chicken, after all, is an incredibly versatile protein. Slow-cooked, baked, seared, grilled, or deep-fried using delicate white meat or juicy & fatty thigh meat, the flavour and preparation of chicken is a pretty wide open canvas with a head-spinning amount of culinary possibilities.

The Coop certainly understands that, and makes the most of it without going too overboard on a menu that features chicken prominently across a high number of its many fun, yet no-nonsense dishes.

Originally opened in 2016, The Coop Wicked Chicken has since grown into three popular locations, with one in Hamilton, another in Burlington, and a third seasonal spot that recently opened out in the small Ontario town of Port Carling.

All three locations offer a very similar experience, with playful pub-style menus that put chicken at the forefront with many items made in-house daily using fresh, locally-sourced ingredients as often as possible; all served in a setting inspired by ‘80s and ‘90s throwback styles with some hip-hop and punk rock influence for good measure.

The restaurants have a unique, lively, and hip feel while also being totally approachable; the kind of place that’s conducive to kicking back with some buddies over beer and some bites at the end of a work week.

Among those bites is a considerable amount of variety with a range of options that are friendly for a wide range of dietary needs, from staunch carnivores to vegans.

The key centrepiece of The Coop’s menu is their range of chicken sandwiches, including a straightforward fried chicken alongside beloved flavours like Buffalo, Nashville Hot, or Korean-style.

Those who aren’t a fan of things fried won’t be left out here, though. The range of handhelds also includes some topped with a seared, blackened chicken instead, topped simply with fresh lettuce, tomato, onion, and pickles or some less straightforward toppings like pimento cheese or seared pineapple.

If patrons of The Coop aren’t particularly in the mood for chicken, they’re also covered (even if one has to wonder why they’d be at a chicken place to begin with).

The restaurant also serves burgers made with fresh chuck brisket and a range of classic toppings, and there’s even a plant-based version without a scrap or meat or dairy in sight to accommodate vegan visitors.

But that’s barely the tip of the iceberg. Hearty poutines; creative tacos; bountiful chicken salads; indulgent desserts; and shareable plates like nachos, fried cauliflower, mac n’ cheese bites, and deep-fried devilled eggs round off the large menu, designed to be playful and unpretentious with intent to serve up quality dishes made with local ingredients.

It’s no wonder locals continue to ‘flock’ to this fun and flavourful Hamilton chicken joint that offers plenty more than you can find at your typical Swiss Chalet or KFC. Count on The Coop continuing to be a local favourite for years to come.

Check out The Coop Wicked Chicken’s website, and follow them on social media here.

Images courtesy of The Coop Wicked Chicken

Comments 1

  • Brian

    15.04.2023 11:20 pm

    It’s way too expensive 10 chicken fingers, 2 portions of fries and a small gravey $50. It wasn’t anything special. Go to Popeyes there chicken tenders ar bigger and delicious

    Reply

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