Hot wings! London's love affair with this chicken dish has certainly flourished in recent years. For those keen to send their taste buds on a fanciful flight to a fiery destination, we have restaurant suggestions along with the latest permanent trucks and pop-ups. Here's our updated list for the best chicken wings in London for 2014.
Bodean's has to be one of your first stops and one of the best places in Central London to get them. Buffalo wings are named after their city of origin - Buffalo, New York - deep-fried, covered in a vinegar-based cayenne pepper sauce and are traditionally served along with celery and a blue cheese dressing. And if you go for Bodean's killer Diablo sauce, that celery with blue cheese dressing will be essential for mandatory cool downs once your endorphins have kicked in. Better still, throwing back a few crisp lagers while working your way through a heaping plate of Buffalo wings is truly one of the great pleasures in life. As for Bodean's, their four London locations are comfy and appropriate settings for devouring a plate o' wings. Classic rock drops a steady beat to create the right atmosphere for casual dining while a number of strategically placed large screen TVs display the big game du jour to the delight of sports fans from around the globe. Service is friendly and efficient too. Website and Twitter Getting there: Soho: 10 Poland Street, London, W1F 8PZ, Clapham: 169 Clapham High Street, London, SW4 7SS, Fulham: 4 Broadway Chambers Fulham Broadway, London, SW6 1EP, Tower Hill: 16 Byward Street, London, EC3R 5BA
If you like your grub served in a rockin' “crabshack” atmosphere,Big Easy is the place for you. And while guzzling down a frozen margarita or two at this country fried kitsch eatery, why not devour a basket of the Big E's “Voodoo” chicken wings? With its “biggest and the best” AYCE Americana approach to face stuffing (one of the dessert dishes is a basket of four Krispy Kreme doughnuts with hot chocolate fondue), Big Easy is certainly no place for dieters! To be sure, Big Easy leans heavily on the “more is more” philosophy when it comes to serving its patrons. The restaurant's spicy (but not too terribly hot – regardless of any warnings your kindly waitress might give you) “Voodoo” wings offer a bit of magic for the carnivorous. Website and Twitter Getting there: Chelsea: 332-334 Kings Road, Chelsea, London, SW3 5UR, Covent Garden: 12 Maiden Lane, London, WC2E 7NA
Company founders Nick White and Mike So are on a mission to bring the best American Street Food to the UK, and in the last two years they have made a flying start. They have just won the best buffalo wing and best wild wing at London's 1st wing festival competition. Nick said: “Our wings are free range and we believe we were the first to offer that, and our blue cheese is to die for with 12 ingredients, some people travel just for that. We started it as a dream, two lads from Hull, and now have a crazy following that's got us wanting to travel with our wings...so watch this space!” They operate out of a trailer permanently situated in the Old Truman brewery, outside in Ely's Yard, home to some of the best street food in London. Their sauce is also all made from scratch and they currently have four different sauces to choose from, with more in the making. They also use their own secret recipe for the Buffalo wings – I did ask them what was in it – but they wouldn’t reveal it. You will just have to go try it for yourself. Facebook and Twitter Opening times: Mon: 12pm-3pm & Tue- Sun: 12pm-8pmGetting there: The Old Truman Brewery, Ely's Yard, E1 6QL. Nearest tube: Shoreditch High Street
Another new chicken wing establishment taking on the big boys is The Joint, which opened in 2013 at Brixton Village Market. What makes their chicken wings unique is they are slow cooked prior to being fried , this keeps the meat lovely and tender as well as juicy. Their mobile food truck is a regular at the Urban Street Fest and you can expect to see the queues for their chicken wings snaking round the corner. They also have a new site in Marylebone, which plans to open in September, on the horizon which means there are more opportunities to try their fantastic wings. Website and TwitterOpening times: Brixton: Tue-Sun: 12pm-11pm. Shoreditch: Sat: 5pm-midnight-Getting there: Brixton: 87 Brixton Village Market, Coldharbour Lane, Brixton, London, SW9 8PS. Shoreditch: Euro Car Parks, 162-175 Shoreditch High Street, London E1 6H
And then, of course, there's Nando's. If you're actually reading this write up here in London, the odds are pretty good there's a Nando's within five minute's walk of wherever you may happen to be. If not, just give it a week or two. With more than 50 locations throughout greater London, this all-pervading fast-casual chicken joint has been hatching outlets at a ridiculous pace over the past few years. The Guardian's Miranda Sawyer reckons such ubiquity isn't such a bad thing. Indeed, this chain of Portuguese style flame-grilled chicken restaurants is immensely popular – even vegetarians can't cluck too much with its range of non-poultry options. Next time you're about, give Nando's peri-peri wings a go. Simply decide what level of heat you'd like them to be: lemon and herb (wimp), medium (yawns-ville), hot (water! water!), or extra-hot (yeow!), grab plenty of napkins and devour. Not sure how spicy you want your wings? Play it safe with your order and grab a bottle of a hotter sauce at one of Nando’s self-service kiosks. Website and Twitter