14 Spots For Great Fried Chicken In London
From six hot wings for three quid to crispy bags of Taiwanese crunch, this is the best fried chicken in London.
A tempting golden-labradoodle-like exterior, crispy coating, and juicy meat inside. Few things have the same kind of presence that fried chicken does in London. From six hot wings for three quid to crispy bags of Taiwanese crunch, these are the spots to head to when you’re craving fried chicken.
photo credit: Mike Tsang - Fresh Mike Studio
You could get a pile of fried wings or a pot of popcorn chicken at Sichuan Fry, but its fried chicken comes into its own when sandwiched—and covered in tingly spices. Our go-to order at the Hackney fried chicken joint (from the people behind Dumpling Shack) is the hot Sichuan sandwich. Everything works in exquisite harmony: the soft potato bun; the crunchy, juicy, hot chicken thigh; sweet and spicy mala-spiked honey sauce; and tangy pickles and slaw. The surprise hit side to accompany the sando? Not the bag of crinkle fries, but a tub of garlicky, blistered green beans.
photo credit: Aleksandra Boruch
Kaieteur Kitchen’s often elusive fried chicken is worth seeking out. The Guyanese spot in Elephant and Castle has an ever-changing, ever-delicious menu that doesn’t guarantee the inclusion of its spiced golden chicken. The crunchy fried pieces are served on and off the bone, with a batter that takes no prisoners and a subtle hint of peppery seasoning. Ask for some scotch bonnet and mango chilli sauce on the side—and take some home with you while you’re at it.
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Covered in a thin, lightly spiced, crispy batter, the crunch on the chicken wings at this low-key Malaysian spot inside Queensway Market is going to erase any tolerance you may have once had for mediocre fried chicken. Below that crispy exterior, you’ll find enough tender, juicy meat to actually satisfy you. And the best part is, if you prefer your chicken with no bones, there are some equally delicious boneless chicken bites on the menu.
As Londoners, we’re inherently suspicious of huge food halls. Especially one with such close proximity to Oxford Street. And yet, Arcade Food Hall (from the group behind Brigadiers and Hoppers) has mastered it. As well as table service and a well-stocked bar, you’ll find Manna and its excellent Nashville hot chicken. The move here is the bun with an imperfectly formed piece of fried chicken breast, deep red and glistening from the cayenne-heavy hot oil, a slice of cheese, some much-appreciated pickles, and an orangey-pink creamy house sauce. Get a side of waffle fries as well, because…waffle fries.
People typically reserve looking in the distance and saying “when you know, you know” for justifying going back to their ex for the fifth time, but nothing could be truer when seeing a piece of perfectly crunchy fried chicken. You just know. You know by looking at the perfectly crisp golden batter. You know from the first crunchy bite. You know from the tower of chicken pieces of all shapes and sizes. And you’ll know from the taste of this excellent Korean fried chicken in New Malden. With seven different flavours, you can choose from honey butter, garlic soya, or yangnyeom. Although it’s on the pricey side, the portions are very generous, so it’s ideal for a sharing situation.
Inconsistency is a perennial problem when it comes to fried chicken, but not when it comes to Bao’s Taiwanese fried chicken. The batter is light but significant, more rain jacket than parka, and the ratio of white meat to crunch is pretty, pretty good. Hot sauce-wise, we’re talking a sharp vinegary number drizzled on top. Ask for some extra on the side and ask for another portion of chicken after your first. Four or five pieces won’t touch the sides.
The Best Broasted
The chicken broasted at this excellent Syrian spot in Willesden Green is the kind of thing you’d happily travel across London to get your hands on. There’s just so much about it that’s great. From the crunchy, sweet breading that clings to every succulent piece of meat, to the selection of pickles, the pot of creamy toum, and the chipped potatoes that come with it, it’s moving and memorable stuff. You might be tempted to get a single-person half-chicken order. Don’t. The spices in this chicken make it taste even better the next day, so you have to make sure you have plenty leftover.
A restaurant that doesn’t market itself as a fried chicken expert (and yet somehow manages to serve some of our favourite in London), Imone is a small Korean spot on New Malden High Street that serves some addictive kan pung gi. Apart from the fun-sized fried chicken bites, the incredibly addictive smokey, spicy sauce is the reason why we love this dish. Yes, you’ll try to pace yourself. You’ll try to politely pretend you’re OK with your friend taking another piece. But ultimately, this chicken is so good that you might fight your own grandma for the last piece.
The south London fried chicken shop chain is an undisputed heavyweight when it comes to consistent (and consistently absurd value) hot wings and pieces, fried and coated in a peppery spice mix. A single spicy wing will cost you 80p or so and it’s pretty much always a good way to spend a few quid.
An order of Dominican fried chicken at La Barra is a glorious celebration of the fact that you will be doing absolutely eff all for the foreseeable. The Elephant and Castle restaurant underplays its humbly named five-piece plate of chicken considering it comes with plantain, a pile of chicharrónes, and looks like it could feed you through an apocalypse. And that’s an absolute snip considering the chicken, coated in a thick vortex of indefinable crunch, is superb. Just don’t forget to drizzle it with lemon, get some homemade chilli sauce on the side, and cancel all plans.
OK, let’s get down to the facts about Kricket’s Keralan fried chicken. Keralan cuisine is known for its use of chillies, curry leaves, and turmeric. Another fact: chicken thighs taste fantastic when marinated in all of the above. This go-to dish at the Shepherd’s Bush restaurant packs a serious punch of spice, and the skin has a crunchy, almost dusty, texture—in the best way possible. We’re also entirely obsessed with the highly dippable curry leaf mayonnaise that comes on the side.
Smoking Goat’s chilli fish sauce wings are serious business. They’re sweet, they’re sour, they’ve got a crunch that can do serious damage to the top of your mouth. And the sauce—golden in colour and in feeling—is something we’d happily pour all over ourselves. Get to the Thai restaurant in Shoreditch, stat.
This Taiwanese chicken spot in Chinatown lives to serve London’s crispy chicken needs. We like Good Friend’s popcorn best, or you can get a big old flattened, crispy breast if you’re really hungry. After that, the only decision to make is which of the 11 seasonings you should shake over your chicken. Plum and chilli is our move.
Even if your go-to chicken shop order is pieces, a burger, or strips, there’s no way you want to miss out on the hot wings at Eden’s Cottage. In fact, if you’re around Finsbury Park and getting your hot wings somewhere else, you’re missing out. They’re consistently excellent at this low-key takeaway. The bread coating is never greasy, there’s always the perfect amount of crunch, and the chicken itself packs the kind of subtle heat you only get with an expert marinade.