The best fried chicken in London

In the mood for a finger-lickin’ feed? Here’s a guide to the best fried chicken in London

Alice Saville
Advertising

In London, fried chicken joints are like pigeons, post boxes and discarded copies of the Evening Standard – they're bloody everywhere. But quantity doesn’t always ensure quality, and seeking out the best crispy chooks in the capital requires a little research.

Whether it’s southern-fried thighs, crunchy Korean-style strips, or a mountainous fillet burger you’ve got your sights set on, we’ve put in the legwork and found the best fried chicken in London for you. Hungry? Go on, get acquainted with some of the best birds in town.

RECOMMENDED: Have something sweet for afters at London's best ice cream shops

London's best fried chicken

  • Taiwanese
  • Fitzrovia

Ok, it sounds like sacrilege, but we actually think some of the best bits at this glass-sided airy branch of Bao are not the legendary fluffy buns at all. In particular, we’re thinking of supporting acts such as the not-so-small Taiwanese chicken chop – a spiced, crumb-coated deep-fried beauty served alongside a glistening whole egg yolk floating in a soy dressing that adds some extra oomph.

  • American
  • London Fields
Butchies strips at Butchies, £7
Butchies strips at Butchies, £7

They may be the unofficial ‘chicken burger’ champions of London, but Butchies’ delectable buttermilk-fried ‘sandwiches’ are regularly outdone by their moreish ‘strips’. Although these come with the house ‘OG’ sauce as standard, we strongly suggest ordering some extra dips at £1 a pop (don’t be put off by the weirdly watery blue cheese version). A great shout for fast fried chicken in Shoreditch.

Advertising
  • Chicken
  • Dalston

Fried chicken heaven for hardcore fans, Chick ’n’ Sours in Covent Garden serves its chooks in various forms (including ‘tenders’), but nothing beats the K-pop sandwich/burger. Looking a bit like a Jackson Pollock sandwiched into a brioche bun, it comes with squirts of fiery gochujang mayo, Asian slaw splurging out and crisply bubbled batter coating the buttermilk-bathed thigh meat. This is mercilessly messy stuff, so don’t go dressed in your date-night finery.

  • Indian
  • Soho
  • price 2 of 4

Yes, it’s a deep-fried breaded dish with the initials KFC, but the Keralan Fried Chicken served at this teeny Soho Indian is no laughing matter – especially as the meat is marinated in tandoori spices, then rolled in a mix of masala, flour and buttermilk. Served with pickled mooli and a dinky pot of curry-leaf mayo, it’s just about perfect: crunchy and grease-free on the outside, mouth-wateringly soft and juicy in the middle.

Advertising
  • Burgers
  • Islington
Tower Block burger at MeatLiquor, £11.75
Tower Block burger at MeatLiquor, £11.75

Dude-food burger slingers MeatLiquor have established themselves as brand leaders with a cult following to match, and they’re also up there with the best when it comes to fried chicken. We could point you towards their ‘monkey fingers’, but nothing beats the Tower Block burger – a mighty pile-up of fried chicken fillet, cheese, hash brown, jalapeños, slaw and Russian dressing, all crammed into one of their firm, bouncy buns.

  • Street food
  • Camden Market
Tea-brined buttermilk strips at Mother Clucker, £8.45
Tea-brined buttermilk strips at Mother Clucker, £8.45

A stalwart of the street-food scene, Mother Clucker started out serving its delicious tea-brined, twice-battered buttermilk chicken from a converted US Army ambulance just in front of the Old Truman Brewery, before roosting in a permanent home on Islington's Upper Street. Five strips of tender white (halal) meat are encased in a crunchy southern-style crumb and splashed with zesty lime juice, chilli sauce or cool homemade mayo.

Advertising
  • Japanese
  • Brixton
Chicken karaage at Nanban, £7.50
Chicken karaage at Nanban, £7.50

Brixton’s Nanban celebrates the ‘barbaric’ side of Japanese cuisine with the emphasis on boundary-bending ‘soul food’, which means panko-crusted tea-pickled eggs, Padrón peppers with ponzu, deep-fried jackfruit and a stonking version of karaage-style chicken thighs – crispy marinated meat served with lashings of miso and honey mayo for dipping. 

  • Street food
  • Canary Wharf
  • price 1 of 4
Meltdown bun at Thunderbird, £8.95
Meltdown bun at Thunderbird, £8.95

‘Fried chicken and wings, but not as you know it’ – that’s the pitch from main man (and ex-racer) Matt Harris at Thunderbird. His gambit has paid off, because Thunderbird now has branches in Charing Cross, Clapham, Earl's Court, Wimbledon, The O2, and Westfield Stratford. The wings are done three ways, while the fried chicken comes in boxes, buckets and buns – we like the Meltdown, which comes drenched in miso-jalapeno cheese sauce and red pepper aioli. 

Advertising
  • Japanese
  • Waterloo
  • price 1 of 4

As the first London outpost of a global ramen chain, Yamagoya in Waterloo is all about those thick, creamy, unctuous bowls of noodles, but we’re also big fans of its juicy chicken karaage – nuggets of crisply coated thigh meat served with yuzu mayo for dunking.  They count as ‘small bites’, so you might need a double helping if you’re a fried chook addict.

Recommended
    London for less
      You may also like
      You may also like
      Advertising