LDNGuide

Where To Eat When You Just Want Deep-Fried Food

Golden brown with an irresistible crunch, these are the restaurants with deep-fried things you want to munch.
Where To Eat When You Just Want Deep-Fried Food image

The best food is a mixture of flavours, textures, smells, and aesthetics. It should be a visceral experience. It should hit receptors you didn’t even know you had and unearthing memories long digested. It should transcend chewing and tasting into something altogether more celestial. Alternatively, it should just be stuck into 180°C boiling oil and fried to a majestic beige crisp. Because deep-fried foods are also the best and these are the restaurants that know it.


THE SPOTS

British

Kentish Town

$$$$Perfect For:BreakfastBrunchDate NightDining SoloOutdoor Seating

Ever since it opened in 2020, Norman’s has proven to be an invaluable addition to deep-fried culture in London. The Kentish Town cafe specialises in old-school favourites like chicken nuggets and chippy butties done properly. There are hash browns aplenty and it is, of course, an excellent spot for a fry-up. But it’s things like the escalope sarnie and the homemade potato waffles that really get us going. It’s a golden, beige paradise here screaming out for baked beans, red, and brown sauce.


With choices that range from hot chicken tenders, to dinky handmade samosas, to masala tater tots, Arcade Food Hall on New Oxford Street is something of a church of delicious deep-fried food. Any place with multiple vendors can raise suspicion but the quality of food here is truly top tier. We’d pay particular attention to the fried chicken from Manna and pretty much anything from Hero (an Indian fast food set-up). 


photo credit: Aleksandra Boruch

The empanadas from El Rancho De Lalo are sensational. The corn pastry is fried to a chomping crisp, while ensuring the beef and potato hibernating inside is steamed and soft. It’s a homely-tasting thing that has an aura of years of expertise about it. We imagine whoever made this empanada (and the electrifying chilli salsa it comes with) can make multiple with their eyes closed. But if they’re not your thing, you can always go for a plate of chicharrónes or plantain crisps from the Colombian spot in Brixton.


This spot is Permanently Closed.

Trap Kitchen’s wondrous array of deeply satisfying fried stuff arrives on a glistening tinfoil-covered tray. There are XL crispy bang bang prawns, crispy chicken wings, deep-fried crab (!) and, for the sake of a vague nod to vegetables, some buttered corn. The Balham spot is guaranteed (tasty and messy) fun. Will your heart thank you for this decadent intake? Yes. Because when the heart is crying out for golden, saucy, delights—this is what it pictures.


photo credit: Aleksandra Boruch

Broasting is a combination of boiling and roasting. It is not, by definition, frying. However our rules are loose and the results don’t lie: The Best Broasted’s whole chicken is a sensation. There’s something about it that gets us all metaphysical. “If broasting is like frying,” we’ve wondered while waiting at this Syrian spot in Willesden Green, “then why is the chicken not even remotely greasy?“. And, “how can it be so juicy, so crunchy, and so sweet?“.


As evidenced by its name, The Fryer’s Delight knows what we’re on about with this guide. The old-school, formica-filled, Italian-owned chippy is a classic and what comes out of its bubbling oil isn’t too shabby either. Crunching chubby chips, golden brown battered sausages, and paddle-sized pieces of fish are a given from this Bloomsbury spot. Just don’t forget the scraps.


The crunch factor on Tongdak’s fried chicken is, put simply, undeniable. It’s why this Korean fried chicken spot in New Malden is such a winner. There’s a bunch of different flavours like honey butter and garlic soya, but the fried original is where the extreme crunch is at. Salty, slightly spicy, and unbelievably crispy, this will soon become your new favourite fried chicken spot in London.


Innovation comes in many forms but none is more impressive than whoever decided to stick mac and cheese in the old fat fryer. They are a sort of coronary in culinary form but that’s also sort of Meatliquor’s remit: deep-fried pickles, hash browns, buffalo wings, and all the rest.


That Taiwanese fried chicken. The cuboid gooey deep-fried cheese bao covered in curry sauce. A Taiwanese take on chicken kiev. These are just three examples of the crisp and creative joys to be found on various menus from Bao around London. In fact, the latest location in Shoreditch is no different with its 16-spice-seasoned crispy tripe served with a side of spring onion dip and oozing Ogleshield and jalapeño rolls. A deep-fried destination.


Few plates of food are as unashamedly fried or as genuinely fear-inducing to the weak stomached as La Barra’s fried chicken. It comes in three sizes, the smallest of which could tide you over for a week. The batter created in the kitchen of this basement Colombian spot in Elephant & Castle is otherworldly-looking: swirled and jagged, with a golden brown crunch that looks like it’s come from another dimension, while the chicken inside remains perfectly moist. A side of chicharrónes and plantain is totally welcome.


Absolutely everything you order at Koya, be it in Soho or the City, can include the never-not-welcome addition of tanuki for 80p or so. Tanuki is tempura batter flakes—Japanese scraps, basically—and they’re a welcome mouthful of crunchy goodness to pretty much anything and everything. Of course there’s the actual tempura as well, or crispy prawn heads, or a slab of tonkatsu. 


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In the pantheon of deep-fried goodies, of gold, shimmering, and potentially nuclear hot orders, the tater tot has a special place. Partly because they’re something of a novelty over here and partly because they have such a silly name. The popcorn hash browns are something a little special when done well, especially when they’re drowning in homemade cheddar sauce like at Passyunk Avenue. Head to the Marylebone spot to get the full experience, sports playing and all.


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