Multiple Locations (Ajax, Alliston, Barrie, Bradford, Brampton, Concord, East Gwillimbury, Georgina, Guelph, Milton, Mississauga, North York, Oshawa, Pickering, Scarborough, Whitby)
Category: Comfort Food
Mary Brown’s is a Canadian-bred franchise with roots in Newfoundland. It is named after Mary Brown, a real person with a great chicken recipe. According to Mary Brown’s website, the franchise began when Mr. Brown brought his wife’s legendary recipe to two men from Newfoundland who bought it from them and launched their business in 1969. The first Ontario locations popped up in 1972 in Oshawa and Mississauga before spreading to other GTA locations and into the rest of the country.
So what makes Mary Brown’s so special? Their promise of seriously fresh , made from scratch chicken. While many of the “other guys” promise the illusion of freshness, Mary Brown’s means business. Chicken is delivered fresh and cut each day – never frozen. The potatoes used to make their delicious taters are also delivered by the bag and hand cut.
Now you might be thinking: “that sounds great, but is this claim of fresh, made-from scratch food apparent in the actual product?” Let us answer that for you – yes! It absolutely is.
Mary Brown’s chicken has a perfectly seasoned batter and is fried to crispy perfection. Not too oily, but still feels indulgent and comforting. The meat itself is juicy and seems like “real” chicken – that is, it doesn’t consist of super enlarged pieces of meat that seem unnaturally big (we love our other fried chicken places too, but there’s no way a real chicken is THAT big). In sum, MB serves up truly authentic, fresh, and delicious chicken pieces that set them apart from their competitors.
If you’re not into classic fried chicken, not to worry – Mary Brown’s has something for everyone! You can also order a fried chicken sandwich or wrap, Chicken Tenders, Chicken Pop-Ins (think popcorn chicken), and chicken wings.
And now for those sides. Mary Brown’s offers creamy coleslaw, classic macaroni and cheese salad, onion rings, and taters. The latter was our favourite side – the taters come in wedge form and have a crispy, flavorful exterior with a fluffy interior. You can also upgrade those taters to a poutine, or order some gravy on the side (it’s also great on the chicken).
If you still have room for dessert (trick question – there is ALWAYS room for dessert), Mary Brown’s has many sweet options for you to choose from. They have their signature dessert, Sweet Mary’s, which are essentially cinnamon sugar covered donuts served with your choice of original or chocolate dip. You can also get two-bite brownies or one of their two flavours of dessert cup (Chocolate Cadbury or Cherry Cheesecake – or both!). Our favourite, though, was Mary Brown’s apple pie. The pastry was buttery and coated in cinnamon sugar, while the filling was a subtly sweet and warmly spiced apple mixture.
Mary Brown’s has various specials as well, so be sure to check in for the special du jour whenever you visit. Leading up to the holiday season, when we visited, there were two advertised specials: The Frosty Feast (great for sharing!) and the Be Mary Meal (great for treating yourself!). The Frosty Feast came with 10 pieces of fried chicken, a large salad, large taters, and 4 apple pies for $35.99. The Be Mary Meal (pictured below) includes 2 pieces of fried chicken, small taters, pop, and an apple pie for $8.49.
On the subject of drinks as well, Mary Brown also offers an exclusive flavor of Crush that can be found in Newfoundland and all of Mary Brown’s locations – pineapple! We absolutely recommend trying some when you visit.