I remember the first time I visited Viva Chicken. It was probably only about two years ago, which was a few years after they had opened their first location in the Elizabeth neighborhood in Charlotte. I ordered the rotisserie chicken, yuca, and plantains, figuring that the chicken would be a safe bet for a first-timer. It only took that one visit to become completely hooked on Viva Chicken.
The flavors of the food were brighter and more complex than any other food I had experienced in the Queen City. On my second trip, I tried their famous quinoa-stuffed avocado (with chicken) and fell in love all over again. This is now my go-to order when I visit Viva Chicken, no matter the location. And of course, I still pair it with yuca fries and plantains. Yum.
I had the pleasure of being asked to come into the Viva Chicken Waverly location this week to try other menu items and chat with their Social Media and Marketing Coordinator, Brenda. Brenda told me more about the history of the restaurant. It was founded by Bruno and Randy, who met when they both worked as cooks at now-closed restaurant Villa Antonio. They both had a passion for Peruvian cuisine and opened Viva Chicken in 2013 to bring this type of food to Charlotte. Viva Chicken now has nine locations (soon to be ten), with six of those in Charlotte.
The menu at Viva Chicken is authentic, but still approachable for folks who have never tried Peruvian food. Of course, you’ll find rotisserie chicken (Pollo A La Brasa) made with homemade Peruvian spices, but you’ll also find unique dishes like the Tacu Bowl (a bowl made with cilantro rice, canary beans, salsa, criolla, avocado, green onions, and chicken or steak) or Arroz Chaufa (Peruvian fried rice). You can also expect wraps and sandwiches like the popular Inca Wrap or the Wow Lomito (made with sirloin steak, tomato, onions, and rocoto mayo). Other delicious sides to note (besides my favorite yuca and plantains) are the cilantro-infused rice, solterito (a cold salad made with fava beans, corn, onions, peppers, and feta cheese), and sweet potato fries.
The menu also consists of several gluten-free and vegetarian options for those with dietary restrictions. Additionally, Viva Chicken offers catering and meal options that are perfect for sharing with the family or large groups. Just order a half or whole chicken(s) with a few sides and you’ve got a party!
Even though Viva Chicken locations always seem to be busy due to their popularity, the lines are never too long and their staff is always incredibly friendly. Food comes out fast and their team members are always willing to help. And with the rollout of their new Viva Chicken app, you can even order online!
Want to win a gift card to visit Viva Chicken? Head to our Instagram account to enter for a chance to win one of four $25 gift cards. Contest ends Friday at 6pm so be sure to enter as soon as possible!