42/44 Kingsland Road, E2
If you want decent wings, go to the specialists. Dalston favourite Bird, which now has a second spot on Holloway Road, serves free-range, gluten-free wings, fried to order, with a choice of eight homemade sauces. Flappin’ hell.
2. Absurd Bird
54 Commercial Street, E1
First things first; we’ve been there, they’re not served on hay. This Southern American themed diner has a great bar/event space to hire in the basement, but most importantly, great wings that you can also order to take away via a dedicated Wingshack, where you can do your weekly wing shop with 24 wings for £24.
3. The Orange Buffalo
Old Truman Brewery, E1
Two brothers from Hull are behind these New York-style buffalo wings, served out of a van – weather-permitting – in the car park of the Old Truman Brewery. It’s largely a takeaway place, with a few tables dotted around outside, but the passion behind this lo-fi pop up has made it a favourite with Brick Lane locals and City types alike.
4. The Blues Kitchen
40 Acre Lane, SW2
One of three Blues Kitchens in London (the others are in Camden and Shoreditch) this cavernous Brixton haunt is all comfy booth seating, dangling neon signage and tiled brick walls. Deep south, Cajun and Texan BBQ cuisine can be enjoyed with hard shakes and smooth blues, and while the generous portions of cheesy buffalo wings are reason enough to visit, the rest of the menu includes hickory-rubbed meats, barbecued pork ribs and beef brisket chilli – all of it so drenched in spice that you’ll want to avoid touching any of your mucous membranes for days after.
5. Randy’s Wing Bar
Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, E20
This pop-up has its roots in street food markets and has enjoyed residencies in pubs all across London. It currently resides in the farthest flung wilds of the Olympic Park, but it’s worth making the journey for the vast selection of chicken bits on offer. From the basic buffalo (appearing here with truffle blue cheese) and the fiery and Korean-inspired Gangnam, to avant-garde concept wings like the Hanoi, which pushed boundaries with its beer batter and fish sauce accompaniment. They sell hard shakes here too, and often host live music events.
Brixton Market, SW9
From the makers of Meatliqour comes, you guessed it, fantastically dirty chicken. The wings come in four varieties, Korean, Buffalo, Chicken Shop and Thai with cuisine-specific sides like daikon.