Iloilo’s ‘Home of the Best Fried Chicken’ closes treasured shop

Erwin Delilan

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Iloilo’s ‘Home of the Best Fried Chicken’ closes treasured shop

Uncle Tom's Facebook

Uncle Tom's announces the closure of its 17-year-old BS Aquino Drive branch in Iloilo City, but will retain its Jaro branch

BACOLOD, Philippines – With “great sadness,” the management of Uncle Tom’s, Iloilo’s “Home of the Best Fried Chicken,” announced the permanent closure of one of its two restaurants in Iloilo City starting Sunday, April 7.

In a Facebook post, Uncle Tom’s said it will be shutting down its “treasured shop” along BS Aquino Drive  in Iloilo City, but will retain its Jaro branch.

“It is with a blend of bittersweet nostalgia and sadness that we inform our beloved patrons the news of the forthcoming permanent closure of our treasured diversion road branch,” it said.

“For 17 wonderful and well-cherished years, this branch has been a place where memories were made, and friendships forged over shared hearty meals,” it added.

“The decision to bid farewell to this branch with such rich history has not been made lightly. Your unwavering support throughout these years has been the cornerstone of our success, and for that, we are eternally grateful,” Uncle Tom’s added.

An Iloilo icon

For Ilonggos, Uncle Tom’s is one of the best iconic restaurants in Iloilo City that serves the “best fried chicken in town.”


Florence “Insiang” Hibionada, a public relations practioner in Iloilo City, is a regular at Uncle Tom’s Diversion Road branch, her venue choice for meetups with friends as well as visitors from abroad or other parts of the country.

She told Rappler that Uncle Tom’s is one dependable family restaurant “where I had consistently good dining experience.”

“Good food, good location (Diversion Road branch), they did not need any fanfare or sales gimmicks…trained staff…and the mist!” she said.

Hibionada said the particular Uncle Tom’s branch even has a mist machine to bring down temperature on hot afternoons.

“Good thing, there’s this remaining Jaro branch for Uncle Tom’s,” she said

Netizen Al Destacamento noted that “Uncle Tom’s is part of our lives from childhood.”

“If you’re a pure Ilonggo, you knew that Uncle Tom’s has the best fried chicken, baby back ribs and potato salad in whole Iloilo City for decades already,” he said.

‘Better experience’

Uncle Tom’s Diversion Road branch closure surprised many Ilonggos, especially as Iloilo City has been named a UNESCO City of Gastronomy in the latest UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN) in 2023.

How sad. They have good food and ambiance,” commented Hazel Villa, a journalist-turned-university professor in Iloilo City.

Aside from its tasty fried chicken, Uncle Tom is also known for its calamares, Uncle Tom’s unique mixed chicken pulutan, plain hot wings, Korean hot wings, and sizzling sisig.

Rappler tried to seek Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treñas’ comment on the matter, but received no response as of posting. Rappler will update this story once he does.

Nevertheless, Uncle Tom’s has committed to continue providing “exceptional” services in its remaining branch.

“As we turn the page to a new chapter, we reaffirm our commitment to providing exceptional dining experiences at our remaining location: E. Lopez, Jaro Branch,” it promised its customers.

“Brace yourselves as we are simmering and cooking a better Uncle Tom’s experience  in the near future,” it added. –

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