When my Aunt first recommended to us that we visit the Imperial Market for the best friend chicken, I was a little surprised. I’d never heard of this place before.. and where the heck is New Hamburg? Having rarely ventured out of my KW bubble for delicious eats, we were very excited to finally get the chance to visit this spot.
The Imperial Market is located in a beautiful corner building in New Hamburg. Clean and classic looking, I was already super excited to head in. Having researched a bit online, I saw that they had a patio, take-out, and were now available for limited dining-in. I’m still a bit skeptical on dining-in, so I had my fingers crossed that they had patio space available. Lucky for us, despite there being several reservations for the evening, we were able to sneak in a table with a 1.5 hour seating limit.
The patio is private and serene. Tucked away from the street, they’ve done a great job of creating a little back-alley patio space. We were there quite early, but when the other tables began to fill up, there was plenty of space and privacy between each table.
The menu is small, but has something for everyone. They also have daily specials that looked equally delicious. However, we were there for the fried chicken so we decided to get the Fried Chicken Sandwich ($16) and the Southern Fried Chicken 1 Piece ($16). I also decided to try the Iced Tea ($3) and my husband ordered (happily!) a non-alcoholic Coors Edge. The server was very sweet in forewarning me that the Iced Tea was not going to be as sweet as I was perhaps used to, and she was right. While it was refreshing, I have quite the sweet tooth so I might try their lemonade next time.
The food was AMAZING!! The fried chicken was absolutely heavenly. I am not a huge fried chicken person as I usually find it very heavy and greasy. This chicken was the complete opposite. Breaded in what almost seems like panko-crumbs (? I’m not sure 100% on this but it had a very similar texture/taste) and the batter was delightfully seasoned. The chicken was moist and flavourful, and not in the least bit greasy.
The fried chicken sandwich is a chicken thigh, toped with lettuce, sweet mustard, creamy dill aioli sandwiched between a delicious fresh bun. It comes with kettle chips, with the option to upgrade to fries which we happily did.
The southern fried chicken meal is chicken thighs, accompanied with a roasted chicken gravy, house sweet pickles, mashed potatoes, and colonels’ slaw. Despite it being a hot July evening, the meal felt light. The chicken gravy was rich, but not suffocatingly so. Both my husband and I were partial to the friend chicken sandwich, and could have eaten another five.
We passed on dessert this time, but my ears always perk up at the mention of butter tarts so perhaps on our next visit I will investigate further… for science..
All in all an incredible dinner and worth the drive out of the city bubble to come visit. We finished off the evening with a walk along the Nith River, which is right across the street. I’m seriously tempted to grab fried chicken sandwiches take-out style and have a picnic along the river. They also do brunch! So needless to say we will be back for more.
All in all, a must-visit place to visit if you’re in the mood for a delicious classic. Food was great, service was wonderful, and I can’t wait till our next visit!
Imperial Market & Eatery
2-60 Huron Street
New Hamburg, ON N3A 1J3
REGULAR HOURS Monday | closed
Tuesday – Thursday | 11:30am – 8pm
Friday & Saturday | 11:30am – 9pm
Sunday | 10am – 7pm (brunch menu 10am – 3pm | dinner menu 3-7pm)