There’s a lot to be said for a late night box of spicy wings, but the humble chicken deserves more respect than being consigned to feasting on the night bus home. Fried chicken in particular has become something of an art form, with many a London restaurant proving that posh poultry has firmly earned its place on the menu. Stay abreast of the scene with our list of London chicken dishes that are certainly worth crossing the road for.
1. Bó Drake Book Bó Drake
Bó Drake have well and truly proved that fried chicken doesn’t need to be eaten out of a cardboard box. Their Korean-fried chicken wings, or ‘KFC’ as they have bravely been titled, are a far cry from a certain Colonel’s recipe, but as they’re finished with soy, garlic and rosemary, there will no doubt be some finger licking.
2. Joe’s Southern Table & Bar
Bringing the cuisine of America’s southern states to Theatreland, Joe’s Southern Table & Bar have taken inspiration from the best when it comes to cooking chicken. Wings are slathered in sticky bbq sauce, birds are served by the half or the full bird and crispy thighs are joined by slaw in dreamy burger buns. Wednesday draws fried chicken fans in for unlimited wings with southern, tabasco honey, buffalo hot or sticky bbq sauce for just a tenner – almost good enough to overshadow their famous
mac ’n’ cheese.
3. Chick ‘n’ Sours
Covent Garden & Haggerston
One of the pioneers of London’s chicken renaissance, Chick ‘n’ Sours has elevated the humble fried chicken to bona fide restaurant dish status. Signature fried thighs and drumsticks pack a fiery punch, and are joined by great-in-their-own-right sides, and namesake sour cocktails.
4. Chicken Society Book Chicken Society
As the name suggests, Chicken Society is a poultry paradise. Marinated for 24 hours in paprika, lemon, oregano and garlic, and spit-roasted until mouthwateringly golden brown, tuck into a whole chicken, topped with your choice of sweet and smoky BBQ sauce or hot Korean-style BBQ sauce.
5. Maxwell’s Book Maxwell’s
Famous for their freakshakes and Instagram-friendly burgers, Maxwell’s is also a top spot for chicken in London. Their napkin-ruining wings come smothered in either sticky bbq sauce or buffalo hot sauce, and are served in all-you-can-eat portions each Wednesday.
Following the success of its first site at Pop Brixton, Kricket has found a permanent home in Soho. Adding Indian flavours to British ingredients, their small plate-focused menu has earned rave reviews. Served with curry leaf mayonnaise and pickled mouli, their Keralan fried chicken is a notable crowd pleaser.
7. Bobo Social Book Bobo Social
Cooked in a charcoal oven using lump-wood coal and single species wood, the free-range chicken at Bobo Social is certainly treated with care. Their pulled chicken burger comes loaded with guacamole, lemon, Parmesan and garlic mayonnaise, lettuce, tomato and red onion.
8. Whyte & Brown Book Whyte & Brown
Whyte & Brown’s ethos is all about making the humble chicken the hero. Their half roasted chicken is all about simplicity – great ingredients cooked to perfection. Served with grilled romaine, parsley, lemon and garlic, this is guilt-free chicken at its best.
9. Ma Plucker Book Ma Plucker
Not many chicken restaurants in London have taken their passion as far as the street name. Aptly found on Soho’s Beak Street, Ma Plucker is all about chicken, with diners choosing a base, a sauce and a cooking style. Served with a house bun, maple waffle or fresh salad, chicken comes 3 ways – rubbed and roasted chipotle chicken from the rotisserie, crispy coated buttermilk chicken, or hickory-spiced pulled chicken.
From MasterChef winner Tim Anderson, Nanban is a much-loved Japanese restaurant in Brixton. Adding a Japanese twist to fried chicken, their fiery chicken karaage is served with a honey miso dip.
When you can buy free-range poultry from a backstreet restaurant in Hackney, you know that fried chicken is good enough for the cool kids. Dish names are as good as the food itself here, with ‘Put a Wing on It,’ ‘Love me Tenders,’ and ‘No Woman no Thigh’ all on the menu, and all packed with flavour, offering spicy chilli wings, breast with sweet soy and garlic, and thighs coated in peppery buttermilk.