There are over 8,000 chicken shops in London. Well, that’s according to a website called Big Think anyway. While we’re not above doing a poultry pilgrimage from Barnet to Sutton to double check the numbers, we can probably all just agree that there are a lot of chicken shops in the capital. But there’s only one Chick King, where the herby, here-for-the-crunch chicken will serve you well whether you’re grabbing lunch, dinner, or an essential 4pm Chicken x Carbohydrates hit.
A rain or shine Tottenham takeaway that is as legendary as the Spurs football stadium it sits in the shadow of, this is a chicken shop with a difference. A sign on the plain white wall reads ‘people change, places change, friends change, careers change, things change but Chick King never changes’—and you should take that as fact. It’s been open since the early ‘80s and those four decades of practice has resulted in the kind of chicken that’s succulent but never greasy, seasoned to perfection but never too salty, and supremely crunchy but never a risk to those of us with fillings.
You shouldn’t expect jazz hands or air kisses upon arrival, just a queue of school kids still in their blazers eyeing up the chips and a trio of workmen sharing banter while they wait for their hot wings. Behind the metallic counter, the anointed king of Chick King, the owner, will be quickfire processing orders of crispy mayo-loaded burgers and sauce-slathered ribs with the confidence of a Mensa finalist who’s just aced the memory challenge. Locals’ orders will be recited without prompting but in case this is your first time, just repeat after us: three chicken pieces and chips, pretty please.
Chick King’s portions lean towards XXL and prices tend to land a little higher than your average chicken shop but with good reason. Quality is never replaced by speed and that signature herby seasoning is never replaced by a sad rub of salt. No disrespect to the Colonel but this is truly fried chicken done right. Whether it’s loaded into a budget sesame bun, coated in hot sauce, or propped up on a bed of thick fluffy chips, a grab-and-go meal here is one of the most reliable ways to spend a tenner in London.
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For the wild things. And by wild things, we mean anyone who likes their chicken with a side of heat. These aren’t going to set your mouth on fire but there’s enough spice factor to warrant a sidekick milkshake.
During the process of writing this review, we have eaten nine chicken pieces from Chick King. We’d love to claim ‘professionalism’ but really, there is no way to think about this chicken without deciding that you need to eat it. The seasoned herby skin, the moist centre, that very persuadable £3.40 for three pieces price tag, and 100% the reason that Chick King has a near-perfect Google review score.
Chicken Fille Burger
See above and just add bread. The bun is nothing to write home about but the slathering of mayo and lettuce adds a pleasant finesse to the process of eating a hefty fried portion of chicken. Pinkies up darlings.
The ultimate Chick King B-side dish. Spend more than five minutes here and you’ll notice that a lot of ribs are being ordered alongside the chicken and are usually nibbled clean straight out of the box. Smoky, sticky, and just a touch sweet.
The perfect chip lands somewhere between fry and wedge. Behold, the Chick King chips. The go-to order by the local school children and let’s just say that these kids are on to a good thing. Be aware that the large portion is probably one to share.