Chicken Fast Food South Africa: A Culinary Adventure Worth Taking

Fried chicken is a beloved fast food in South Africa, with many local chains serving up crispy, juicy chicken paired with flavorful side dishes. South Africans have put their spin on fried chicken, developing signature recipes and styles that have become staples nationwide.

In this blog post, we’ll explore the history of fried chicken in South Africa and highlight some of the most popular local chains where you can get your finger-lickin’ fix.

Chicken Fast Food South Africa
Chicken Fast Food South Africa

What is the most popular Chicken Fast Food South Africa?

With the vast array of ethnic backgrounds, different communities can thrive in South Africa. The diversity makes it possible for a certain community to have their restaurants and offer various dishes that will bring them closer to home.

Different dishes may include authentic Fish and Chips made from codfish, the most common in South Africa. The country is also famous for its spices, which add flavour to the meat, vegetables, or other ingredients offered at that restaurant. South African chicken fast food has some different varieties.

This includes the Mongolian style, fried chicken in sauce, accompanied by either rice or noodles. There are also dishes served in half portions to allow for more variety.

Top 15 Best Chicken fast food in South African:

1. Nando’s:


The Portuguese community is well known for its spices and flavours, particularly with chicken. For this reason, Nandos has been thriving in the fast-food industry since its first establishment. The sauces used by Nandos are homemade, using various ingredients such as lemon, herbs and spices.

2. Kentucky Fried Chicken:

This fast-food restaurant is famous for its fried chicken, cooked in the freshest ingredients. With over 175 stores across South Africa, it is one of the largest and most successful international chains operating in the country. They use fresh chickens and add various herbs and spices such as oregano, basil and thyme.

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3. Chicken Licken:

This South African fast-food restaurant was established in 1982 and had over 200 stores across the country. Their slogan is “chickens that are hot off the grill”, making it one of the most popular restaurants for locals and tourists to dine at. They offer a variety of chicken dishes with prices ranging from R32.00 to R94.00

4. Fried Chicken and More:

This restaurant is a popular South African themed franchise in the country that also operates abroad. It offers an extensive menu for customers at affordable prices, catering to all walks of life. The fast-food chain has over 120 restaurants across South Africa, not including their other locations in Namibia and Zambia.

5. Meat the Action:

This international fast-food chain has been known for its unique cooking style as well as its prices. They offer various dishes from burgers, pasta to chicken wings and all other sorts of meat-based appetizers. Customers can dine in or takeout with prices ranging from R33.00 to R100.00

6. Barcelos:


This chicken restaurant is famously known for its Portuguese cooking and spices, although it has been criticized for its small servings at a relatively high price. Barcelos has over 20 stores across South Africa, with the most popular being in Johannesburg’s Maboneng Precinct.

7. Butter Chicken:

This Indian themed restaurant is one of the most well known in South Africa for its delicious flavours and spices, using a variety of chicken dishes and bread, seafood and vegetables. They are also popular for their affordable prices, making them a local favourite with people from all walks of life. They have over 50 restaurants across South Africa.

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8. KFC:

Kentucky Fried Chicken is one of the largest fast-food chains globally, yet it has been criticized for its higher prices and small servings. Although they offer a wide variety of dishes, including chicken burgers and wings, they have been known to target tourists rather than locals due to their high prices.

9. The Chicken Inn:

This fast-food restaurant is famous for its affordable prices and a wide variety of meals – with all dishes are made from chicken. It’s also popular as a takeaway option, known for its more casual atmosphere with simple tables and chairs to accommodate customers. They have over 100 restaurants across South Africa which are mostly located in Gauteng.

10. Fresh Chicken:

This locally owned fast food restaurant is famous for its affordable prices and unique recipes, using their combinations of spices to produce the best flavours. The dishes are mostly chicken with some. other types of meat such as beef, lamb or fish, are used for their appetizers. They have over 100 stores across the country, along with an international expansion in Zambia.

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11. Kheth’ Izakaya:

This Japanese themed restaurant is located in the trendy Rosebank area of Johannesburg, making it a local favourite. The restaurant’s name means “dig in” and offers various dishes from chicken to seafood and beef. They also have an extensive wine list, making it a casual dining spot for couples and small groups.

12. St Elmo’s:

This family-owned restaurant is well known in South Africa for its extraordinary service and unique decor, inspired by an old Irish style.

The dishes they offer are made mostly from seafood such as crabs or prawns and beef, lamb or chicken, but they also have their secret family recipes to offer. According to local reviews, they are well known for their desserts, including a wide variety of pastries made from chocolate or cheese.

13. Hobhouse:

This restaurant offers an extensive list of seafood dishes with over 150 items on the menu, making it one of the most popular in South Africa.

Although some have criticized its price and portions, it is still a popular dining spot for small groups or couples. It has over 40 restaurants across the country.

14. Romantic Garden:

Locals mostly know this restaurant due to its iconic historic building with picturesque views of Johannesburg’s skyline. The food selections are primarily seafood, but they also offer some chicken dishes. They are well known for their variety of seafood and unique spices to produce the best flavours.

15. Bubba Chicken:

This family-owned fast food restaurant is famous for its affordable prices, generous portions and casual dining atmosphere. They have a wide variety of meals such as wings, burgers, and sandwiches made from chicken. They also offer a variety of salads to satisfy those wanting something light and healthy.

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Are there healthy chicken fast food alternatives available in South Africa?

Many chicken fast food chains in South Africa offer healthier alternatives, including grilled chicken options and salads. Customers can often choose sides like coleslaw and corn on the cob for a more balanced meal.

What is the average cost of a chicken fast food meal in South Africa?

The cost of a chicken fast food meal in South Africa can vary depending on the restaurant and the specific items ordered. On average, an essential meal can range from ZAR 30 to ZAR 60, with prices increasing for more extensive or more premium options.

Are there any traditional South African chicken dishes available in fast food outlets?

Some fast food outlets in South Africa serve traditional dishes like “sosaties,” which are marinated and skewered chicken kebabs, and “boerewors rolls,” featuring chicken sausages on a bun with various toppings.

What makes South African chicken fast food unique compared to other countries?

South African chicken fast food often incorporates a unique blend of flavors and spices, such as peri-peri seasoning, which adds a distinctive and spicy taste. Grilled and flame-grilled options are also prevalent, offering a healthier alternative to fried chicken.

hat are the most popular chicken fast-food chains in South Africa?

Some of the most popular chicken fast food chains in South Africa include Nando’s, KFC (Kentucky Fried Chicken), Chicken Licken, Barcelos, and Steers.

My name is Shayon Mondal, and I am the proud owner of Foodsvision, a vibrant and delicious food blog. At Foodsvision, we believe in the power of food to bring people together and create memorable experiences. Join us on this culinary journey as we explore diverse flavors, share mouthwatering recipes, and celebrate the joy of cooking. Get ready to tantalize your taste buds and embark on a delightful adventure with Foodsvision! And more info page

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