There are few foods that can really unite food lovers everywhere and make even the pickiest eater consistently happy; if pizza rightfully occupy the top spot, then chicken finishes closely at second place. Humble and reliable, yet highly versatile, chicken is everyone's favourite; and when we are talking fried chicken, things get even more decadent and lush. We tried out some of the best places to have fried chicken in London – and this is the definitive top five.
A new and playful fried chicken hotspot in London, brought to you by "your friendly local chicken anarchists" that came up with this crazy idea to make fried chicken healthy – or, rather, healthier. They boast about their secret recipe to a super crispy coating and their bespoke handmade potato buns and serve everything from breakfast – try the Hot Cakes, made with chicken tenders, bacon and maple syrup – to thick shakes that include the Salted Caramel Popcorn and the Cereal Shake. Yet their flagship sandwich is the CHIK'N Classic – a timeless combination of succulent crispy fried chicken, cheese and bacon, lettuce, mayo and pickles.
2. Billy and the Chicks
Billy and the Chicks is situated right at the middle of Soho and brings together the glorious tradition of British free-range chicken with that old school American approach – sides include Macaroni and Cheese and Corn on the Cob with Crispy Shallots, Chilly and Coriander. Whatever you do, do not leave without trying Billy's signature Stinger Burger with Cheese: a whole free-range spicy chicken breast, dutifully placed in a bread ahead demi brioche seeded bun, paired with lettuce and cheese and Billy's aptly named "miracle whip". Nothing quite like it.
3. The Fat Walrus
With a name and a sign that prepares you for what is to come, the Fat Walrus does justice to its name: it really does know food and focuses on infusing a deliciously smoky flavour in its meals using a Robata grill. Start off with the little bits, like Popcorn Chicken – it is precisely what the name says, small chunks of buttermilk coated chicken that you eat like popcorn – and BBQ Cheesy Beany Fries, before you move on to the star of the menu: the succulent and luxurious Buttermilk Fried Chicken & Waffles, complete with syrup and slaw. And for finishing, try the Naughty Bits: the Banoffee Waffles, for instance, or the Chocolate Mess Oreos – a wonderful mess of Maltesers and brownie chunks topped with whipped cream and served with a scoop of peanut butter ice cream.
4. Sticky Wings
Sticky Wings on Brick Lane are proud of their small and honest menu, with few but extremely well prepared choices. These guys know both their stuff and their audience, which is why they offer their signature dish, The Wings, in two sizes: UK for the newly initiated and US for the already hardcore fans. Their wings come in four different types: American Buffalo, Sticky Wings BBQ, Jerk Twist, and Hot Chilli – don't be shy, go for the US portion size, and you will not regret it. Make sure to save some room for dessert; their famous Funky Cheesecake deserves a mention of its own.
5. Whyte and Brown
Soho seems the place to be when it comes to fried chicken – take a stroll around Carnaby and you will come across Whyte and Brown, a trendy warehouse turned free-range chicken heaven. They've had the brilliant idea to turn crispy chicken skins into a starter – kudos for that! – and pair sweet potato fries with feta cheese and coriander, but it is really the Crispy Chicken Burger that you come here for: an insanely crispy roast chicken burger, served with gravy mayo, crispy chicken skin, sage & onion relish. All the right words in one sentence.
Lusting after some finger licking fried chicken? Head to Deliveroo to order now.