Toronto Restaurants
 
Loading Location
Reserve online at your favourite restaurants in Toronto and across the GTA. Our real-time reservation system allows you to book available tables instantly from the restaurant's electronic reservation book.
 
 
About
Whether it's a simple meal, a gathering with friends and family, or a celebration feast, the appreciation of good food is universal. Nando's understands this and always serves food of uncompromising flavour and quality so their chicken is not only tastier than rotisserie and fried chicken, it's healthier too! You can also choose your heat before you eat at Nando's, which is famous in over 30 countries for its signature PERi-PERi marinades and basting sauces. Whatever your taste preferences, there's something for everyone at Nando's!...
Whether it's a simple meal, a gathering with friends and family, or a celebration feast, the appreciation of good food is universal. Nando's understands this and always serves food of uncompromising flavour and quality so their chicken is not only tastier than rotisserie and fried chicken, it's healthier too! You can also choose your heat before you eat at Nando's, which is famous in over 30 countries for its signature PERi-PERi marinades and basting sauces. Whatever your taste preferences, there's something for everyone at Nando's!
Notes
Type
Features
Extras
Area
Price
Atmosphere
Attire
Take a Tour
Nandos Flame Grilled Chicken The Menu
The Menu

Review: Angry birds

 
By Alan A. Vernon, reviewed on August 25, 2016

It's not often that I would descend my jewel-encrusted throne and deign to write about a chain restaurant, but with chicken eateries on the rise, and so popular with the people, it was time to weigh in on one of them. And that very lucky establishment is Nando's.

It's not often that I would descend my jewel-encrusted throne and deign to write about a chain restaurant, but with chicken eateries on the rise, and so popular with the people, it was time to weigh in on one of them. And that very lucky establishment is Nando's.


While places like Swiss Chalet et al. continue to lose market share to increased competition by far superior quality fast food establishments like Flock, not to mention the incredible rotisserie birds at Café Boulud, poultry options are thankfully getting better and better. But no review about chicken would be complete without mentioning the Portuguese take on the bird at Nando's. These hot flame-grilled butterfly-cut chicken with peri-peri (made with bird's eye chilies) is perfectly moist and juicy, no matter what time of day you choose to eat. Unlike the foil-bagged versions at your local supermarket that sit all day in excessive moisture. Yea to no more pasty white meat and watered down sauces.


But back to Nando's, a chain that has quietly been here since the '90s. Founded in South Africa in 1987, the Mozambican/Portuguese chicken chain now operates 1,000 outlets in 30 countries. Call it the next generation of Swiss Chalet, which sadly seems to have become a destination for aging suburbanites with diminishing standards. In addition to a long-standing location at Laird and Eglinton, the new-ish location at Bay and College is always mobbed. I expect the same will be for their newest location on Queen West. (Another location at Pape and Danforth is expected to open this fall.)


Like most Queen West locales, Nando's is about as hip as any, maybe even more so. A large sun-filled patio is perfect for people watching, that is, if you ever lift your eyes from your phone. If that's too hot for you, there's always a well-appointed dining room that somehow manages a mix of African flare with glimpses of mid century modern. (According to their website, Nando's globally has the world's largest contemporary South African art collection.)


But their flawless chicken, with a beautiful roasted char that penetrates the meat, is what keeps me coming back. Unlike others, Nando's grills to order, and usually right in front of you in their open kitchen. What makes it so succulent is fresh, never frozen chicken marinated for 24 hours in their famous sauce. While you have to get up from the table to place your order and refill your drinks from the best soda machine ever conceived, with so many flavour options your head will explode, and added touches like earthenware plates make it a finer dining experience even if it is anything but.


Not surprisingly, the menu is made up of mostly chicken with a few veggie sides. No beef, pork or fish here. A half chicken ($10.85) with two sides ($5) garlic mash and fries with peri-peri salt and perinnaise ($1) is a great place to start. When asked about heat, be advised that medium hot is very hot and hot means the fiery depths of hell. For those less into heat, there is lemon and herb–yawn–and no sauce at all for poultry purists–head plop.


Adding to the flavourful feast is smashed garlic mash, lumps and all, that thankfully have not been whipped into a pablum-like consistency. The fries with peri salt and perinnaise ($1) are serviceable, as are the regular slaw ($3.75) and nicely firm macho peas ($3.75). The three-wing starter ($4.95) smothered in hot sauce is a healthier option than the typically deep-fried version, and here you get the added bonus of built-in smokiness. And whether or not you are off carbs you will inhale the garlic bread ($4) on sliced Portuguese buns. Remember Lawry's spread? Gourmet it ain't (are those flecks of dried parsley, I see?), but retro real it is.


And who would think that at a place that specializes in grilled chicken you'd come across of the city's top salads? The large quinoa salad ($11.50) is a staggering size filled with a signature seed mix, romaine, spinach, chickpeas, roasted sweet potato, cucumber, grape tomatoes, avocado and enough feta cheese for four Greek salads. Also outstanding are grilled chicken livers ($7.95). Served with a roll, which is really unnecessary, they are perhaps the best in town and should be eaten completely on their own. And while not made in house, Portuguese custard tarts ($2.50) are a great way to conclude.


While Nando's might not be the coolest hangout on a Friday night, they're probably serving up the city's best bird at a price everyone can afford. And you can't beat that.

Reviews are meant to describe a dining out experience at a given period in time and are the personal opinion of the writer.
All meals are paid for, including all taxes and gratuities. All reservations are made under assumed names. Menu items, prices and individuals mentioned in this review may not be up to date. Dine.TO encourages its users to share their feedback.

1 Comment for Nando's Flame Grilled Chicken

New User's Image
Would you recommend?

H Gahar does not recommend Nando's Flame Grilled Chicken

i went there for a meetup with my friends. customer service was rude.slow.and seriously the food (the chicken) was all burnt from the burnt and i could fully tatste it. they had even served me garlic bread which was so clearly burnt but when i asked them to return and give me a new one i think it was the manager or supervisor old thin middle eastern guy gave me a look and brought it back after half an hour when we ended up finishing our dinner. DISAPPOINTING !
Posted on
 Please select only one reason why you would recommend this business.