Chicken shops – once the stuff of a shameful stumble home, now enjoying an inexplicably cool London moment. From celebrities to lifelong chicken fans, word in the food world is that the humble chicken has just been upgraded. Read where to get yours right here.
The newest chick on the block, LeCoq modestly describes itself as a neighbourhood rotisserie restaurant, situated on St Paul’s Road in Islington; Fay Maschler of the Evening Standard, however, describes it as ‘one of the best deals — if not the best deal — in London’ , and at £16 for 2 courses or £20 for 3, you can’t argue with her. The chicken is the star of the show and is the tastiest chicken London Living has ever tasted, it comes with a delicious salad of bitter leaves and bread; make sure you order the roast potatoes cooked in the dripping chicken fat too. First courses change weekly and are simple, great flavours done beautifully; puddings are always a choice of a seasonal tart and Sorbitium ice cream. Get there now before the masses find out about it!
There’s a reason that Chicken Shop has been dubbed Posh Nando’s, and there’s nothing wrong with that in this case! Part of the Soho House Group, this delicious chicken eatery is based in Kentish Town and is a neighbourhood favourite. Ordering is simple: chicken comes in a quarter, half or whole, sides are fries, coleslaw, corn on the cob or green salad, and the sauces are hot or smokey (LL recommends the hot to get your tongue tingling). The chicken is juicy and more-ish, the sides are perfectly executed and the Americana 50s style vibe makes this a great place to linger. Save room for the deserts; best brownies with ice cream we’ve had in a long time!
Cookhouse Joe is a lunchtime revelation. Managed by the same team as Soho favourite, Soho Joe, this time they are doing chicken. For £6, you won’t beat this half chicken with fries and a side (choose between corn on the cob, coleslaw and salad), and for that price you won’t hear any complaints from us. The chicken is cooked on a rotisserie and is described as having ‘Lebanese influence’ which is evidenced in the sides and starters available.
Tramshed is Mark Hix’s concession to how hot chicken is right now! It’s either chicken or steak at this classy Shoreditch establishment with starters to share and seasonal sides. Although the steak is mouth-watering, it’s the chicken that really steals the limelight.
Served straight-up with feet trussed up and pointing towards the ceiling, this is certainly the most unusual way we’ve seen chicken presented! The atmosphere at Tramshed is lively and fun; we suggest going in the evening and kicking off with some of their killer cocktails.
No ‘best London chicken’ list would be complete without a mention of jerk chicken and Cottons is where it’s at for that home-cooked, succulent jerk flavour. Located in Camden on Chalk Farm Road, they serve their jerk with pork, lamb and fish but, call us traditional!, the chicken is head and shoulders above the rest. With happy hour EVERY DAY from 5-7pm, we recommend getting here early and soaking up the atmosphere with a rum cocktail.