London’s Best Birds: Chicken Restaurants
London’s birds are the best in the country and everyone knows it. But while the capital may have gained fame for an abundance of corner fried chicken shops ideal for post-pub grub in the wee hours, London is much more than just 2-piece combos for £3.99. There are some seriously good quality chicken joints in London paving the way for new wave poultry connoisseurs. Here’s just a few of them…
Chicken Shop Kentish Town
Location: 79 Highgate Road, NW5 1TL.
Nearest Tube: Tufnell Park
Probably the one that changed the landscape, the succinctly named Chicken Shop found its niche among Londoners who wanted their chicken fix without having to wonder if they’d wake up the next morning. People want the same succulent fried chicken, they just wanted plates and cutlery. Chicken Shop now has 9 locations dotted across the city – Kentish Town being our favourite – serving rotisserie chickens that are marinated overnight, steamed and then spit-roasted over charcoal. You can get them Quartered, Halved or as a Whole, and there’s some classic sides on offer too.
Joe’s Southern Table
Location: 34 King Street, WC2E 8JD.
Nearest Tube: Covent Garden
For some authentic Southern-style nosh, Joe’s Southern Table & Bar is always a winner. At Joe’s, you can expect large plates of hearty fair, with an abundance of chicken. All of the poultry is fried and it’s all to die for – in more ways than one! Make sure you head downstairs after for a cocktails or a bourbon at their bar Cocktail Baby. Joe’s is also perfect for any big American events like the Super Bowl or Thanksgiving.
Location: The Curtain, 45 Curtain Road, EC2A 3PT.
Nearest Station: Shoreditch High Street
Ethiopian-Swedish chef Marcus Samuelsson gained quite a reputation in New York before bringing his Harlem hangout to Shoreditch. Serving a plethora of American comfort food classics with a hint of berbere spices thanks to Samuelsson’s Ethiopian roots, Red Rooster is indulgence without the guilt. We’d highly recommend a US classic in the fried chicken and waffles, which is served with pickles and hot bourbon maple syrup. But if you’re feeling adventurous, the whole fried ‘yard bird’ is worth it for the sight alone.
Chick ‘n’ Sours Haggerston
Location: 390 Kingsland Road, E8 4AA.
Nearest Station: Haggerston
London pop-up king, Carl Clarke offers his take on KFC – Korean Fried Chicken, not the other one – with sides of disco and sour cocktails. The chick bit is marinated in buttermilk and cooked in rapeseed oil for some extra crunch. Our tip would be the K-Pop Sandwich, which comes with Korean Fried Thigh, Gochujang Mayo, Chilli Vinegar and some zingy Asian ‘Slaw. Though the Haggerston restaurant is our favourite, the Seven Dials one is just as inviting.
Location: Unit 12, Brixton Market, Market Row, SW9 8JX.
Nearest Tube: Brixton
Formerly CHICKENliquor, Brixton’s best meat fix gaff is now a fully-fledged MEATliquor. But don’t worry – the chicken here is still bang on. Located in Market Row, a two minute walk from Brixton station, we’re always going to recommend the Chicken Parma Burger – a fried chicken fillet with serrano ham, melted mozzarella, and marinara sauce, and dusted with Italian cheese – as well as the Monkey Fingers, battered fillets of chicken breast slathered in house-made buffalo sauce and served with blue cheese dip.
Location: Old Truman Brewery, 6 Dray Walk, E1 6NJ.
Nearest Tube: Liverpool Street
Now it might not be a restaurant as such, but given the sheer amount of street food pop-ups in the capital, we couldn’t ignore the best of them – Mother Clucker. Serving tea brined, buttermilk soaked, twice battered fried chicken from their converted US Army ambulance, you’ll find Mother Clucker at its parked spot outside the Truman Brewery in Shoreditch, as well as at Camden Market, Hawker House and roaming around with KERB.
Location: 4 Ravenscroft Street, E2 7QG.
Nearest Station: Hoxton
But probably our favourite chicken joint in the capital is Clutch Chicken. Another east London offering, Hoxton hipsters head to this backstreet eatery thanks to guilt-free, free-range fowl, quality drink, and what they call ‘life’s ever important R’n’B beats’. Their Buttermilk Fried Chicken Taco’s are superb and the aptly named ‘No Woman, No Thigh’ (buttermilk fried leg and thigh with an optional soy glaze) is just as special.
Also check out the Best BBQ Joints in London!