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The best restaurant dishes of the decade include Smoking Goat’s chilli fish sauce wings James Hansen/Eater London

London’s Best Chicken Wings

Thai fish sauce-coated, classic buffalo, the best Korean fried, and more exceptional wings in London

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When is a hot wing not a hot wing? When it comes with mayonnaise rather than blue cheese or ranch; when its skin is rendered soggy by too much sauce, too soon; when the wing is not separated into drum and flat; or when there is scant evidence of essential chilli heat. Exploring London’s world of wings may sound like fun but the duds far outweigh the doozies, particularly when it comes to buffalo.

Fortunately, there’s more than one way to dress a chicken and for every dodgy hot sauce or ill-conceived 10-option menu, there are Thai-style wings deboned and stuffed with fragrant meat and fish mousse, or battered, deep-fried and made sticky with a Vietnamese fish sauce caramel.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Korean wings at Chick and Beers

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282 Burlington Rd
New Malden KT3 4NL, UK
020 8942 1932

Chick and Beers is already known for producing some of the best fried chicken in the city, so it’s no surprise that its wings are up to scratch. More than that, they put other K(orean)FC joints to shame with plump meat and crackly batter tossed in a sweet-spicy sauce humming with gochujang. The bold strum of allium notes from frizzles of crispy onion is a stroke of crunch-on-crunch genius.

2. Buffalo wings at Passyunk Avenue

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80 Cleveland St, Fitzrovia
London W1T 6NE, UK

Stepping inside this Philly inspired bar really feels like crossing the Atlantic, where the cheesesteaks are soft and the wings as orange as the president’s face. Correctly jointed and spicily anointed with a classic hot sauce (Frank’s) and butter blend, they feel a cut above their peers. A great blue cheese dip plus unchallenging ice cold beers and American TV to zone out to make for a great evening. Eating wings is anti-social anyway.

Buffalo wings at Passyunk Avenue
Buffalo wings at Passyunk Avenue
Passyunk Avenue [Official Photo]

3. Peek gai yud sai at Supawan Thai Food

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38 Caledonian Rd, Islington
London N1 9DT, UK

Available at lunchtime only, these stuffed chicken wings are an impressive feat of precise technique. The lightest mousse bulges — Popeye-style — from each meticulously deboned wing. Fat with minced chicken, prawns, mushrooms, and glass noodles, the fragrant stuffing sings with lemongrass. Lightly coated and deep-fried until their batter is crackly and golden, the wings sit proudly in a puddle of deeply flavoured house-made ‘sweet chilli’ sauce.

4. Buffalo wings at Meatliquor

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6 St Chad's Pl
London WC1X 9HH, UK

Meatliquor fans have been gobbling piles (literally) of their consistently face-numbing wings since it opened the central London site in 2011. According to co-founder Scott Collins, the hot sauce ingredients are “a secret” and the cheese in the accompanying dip is “blue”. What’s certain is that these are high on the acidity scale, so fans of face-puckering snacks — and there are many — will be satisfied. Other venues can be found here.

5. Angry birds at Nanban

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426 Coldharbour Ln, Coldharbour
London SW9 8LF, UK

If this list were in rank order, these wings would be a candidate for the top spot. Crunchy and properly spicy with a scotch bonnet heat that’s mitigated by honey and ponzu butter sauce. A seaweed garnish brings its unmistakable iodine twang. Like some of the best foods, they make the eater feel slightly delinquent, and the name itself is a tiny thrill.

6. Fish Sauce wings at Smoking Goat

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64 Shoreditch High St, Shoreditch
London E1 6JJ, UK

The best Vietnamese dish at a Thai restaurant anywhere in London, these wings have reappeared on the menu after a distressing absence due to a broken fryer. Wings can be laborious to prep says head chef Ben Curtis, as the collagen and tendon take time to soften through slow cooking, pre-fry. These days he prefers to savour the chewiness by cooking them hot and fast before coating in nuoc mau, a caramel made with plenty of light fish sauce and palm sugar. Crisp garlic, dried chilli, fresh sliced shallot, and coriander complete a dish that’s very messy, tricky to eat, and a stone-cold classic.

The best restaurant dishes of the decade include Smoking Goat’s chilli fish sauce wings
Smoking Goat’s fish sauce wings
James Hansen/Eater London

7. Kung pao disco wings at Chick 'n' Sours

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390 Kingsland Rd, Haggerston
London E8 4AA, UK

Disco wings: where the crunch is loud and the flavours are jumping. Owner Carl Clarke has been tweaking this recipe for over a decade and it shows; they’re brined overnight, coated in a secret seasoning then cooked to a Korean method which means low heat pressure fry, high heat deep fry and a very crunchy end result. The kung pao sauce takes inspiration from the Sichuan dish kung pao chicken using soy, oyster sauce, ginger, garlic, and chilli. Whole fried chillies, pickled chillies, peanuts, and spring onion bring salty, acidic pops. Various locations.

Kung pao disco wings at Chick ‘n’ Sours
Kung pao disco wings at Chick ‘n’ Sours
Chick ‘n’ Sours [Official Photo]

8. Vincent wings at The Orange Buffalo

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6 Dray Walk, Spitalfields
London E1 6NJ, UK

Nick and Mike opened the Orange Buffalo truck on Brick Lane in 2012 and have since gained two restaurants — in Hoxton and Tooting. Wings are available in five sauces of varying heat levels and the second-to-hottest (Vincent) is the best. All are properly jointed, fizzing from the fryer and served with a rub-your-thighs-funky blue cheese sauce. It’s the mango that makes the Vincent wings so good — scotch bonnet and tropical fruit is a tried and tested combination, bringing welcome Club Tropicana vibes to a dusty corner of East London.

Vincent wings at The Orange Buffalo
Vincent wings at The Orange Buffalo
The Orange Buffalo [Official Photo]

9. Buffalo wings at Sticky Wings

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40 Brick Ln, Shadwell
London E1 6RF, UK
020 7375 0100

The reassuringly short menu at this Brick Lane institution features just four sauces, with American Buffalo its signature. The sauce is classic (refreshing in these experimental times), made with Frank’s Original Red Hot and butter. Wings are plump, crisp, and gone in approximately two minutes. A portion of six (‘U.K. size’) or 11 (‘U.S. size’) come with a textbook blue cheese dip (essential) and fries (not essential but nice) as standard. This husband and wife team aren’t pushing any boundaries and that’s the secret to their success.

Buffalo wings at Sticky Wings
Buffalo wings at Sticky Wings
Chris Pople

10. Arbol chilli and butter wings at La Chingada

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206 Lower Rd
London SE8 5DJ, UK

One would expect one of London’s only ‘truly Mexican’ restaurants to serve truly memorable wings and that, happily, is the case. Chef-owner Walter Opitz nods to the traditional hot wing formula by cutting chilli sauce with butter, but eschewing scotch bonnet and the ubiquitous Frank’s Red Hot for chile de arbol, also known as the rat’s tail or bird’s beak chilli. This small, potent pepper has a clean, fresh, searing heat that works well against the richness of dairy fat, and both slide effortlessly over deep fried poultry.

Arbol chilli and butter wings at La Chingada
Arbol chilli and butter wings at La Chingada
Adam Coghlan/Eater London

1. Korean wings at Chick and Beers

282 Burlington Rd, New Malden KT3 4NL, UK

Chick and Beers is already known for producing some of the best fried chicken in the city, so it’s no surprise that its wings are up to scratch. More than that, they put other K(orean)FC joints to shame with plump meat and crackly batter tossed in a sweet-spicy sauce humming with gochujang. The bold strum of allium notes from frizzles of crispy onion is a stroke of crunch-on-crunch genius.

282 Burlington Rd
New Malden KT3 4NL, UK

2. Buffalo wings at Passyunk Avenue

80 Cleveland St, Fitzrovia, London W1T 6NE, UK
Buffalo wings at Passyunk Avenue
Buffalo wings at Passyunk Avenue
Passyunk Avenue [Official Photo]

Stepping inside this Philly inspired bar really feels like crossing the Atlantic, where the cheesesteaks are soft and the wings as orange as the president’s face. Correctly jointed and spicily anointed with a classic hot sauce (Frank’s) and butter blend, they feel a cut above their peers. A great blue cheese dip plus unchallenging ice cold beers and American TV to zone out to make for a great evening. Eating wings is anti-social anyway.

80 Cleveland St, Fitzrovia
London W1T 6NE, UK

3. Peek gai yud sai at Supawan Thai Food

38 Caledonian Rd, Islington, London N1 9DT, UK

Available at lunchtime only, these stuffed chicken wings are an impressive feat of precise technique. The lightest mousse bulges — Popeye-style — from each meticulously deboned wing. Fat with minced chicken, prawns, mushrooms, and glass noodles, the fragrant stuffing sings with lemongrass. Lightly coated and deep-fried until their batter is crackly and golden, the wings sit proudly in a puddle of deeply flavoured house-made ‘sweet chilli’ sauce.

38 Caledonian Rd, Islington
London N1 9DT, UK

4. Buffalo wings at Meatliquor

6 St Chad's Pl, London WC1X 9HH, UK

Meatliquor fans have been gobbling piles (literally) of their consistently face-numbing wings since it opened the central London site in 2011. According to co-founder Scott Collins, the hot sauce ingredients are “a secret” and the cheese in the accompanying dip is “blue”. What’s certain is that these are high on the acidity scale, so fans of face-puckering snacks — and there are many — will be satisfied. Other venues can be found here.

6 St Chad's Pl
London WC1X 9HH, UK

5. Angry birds at Nanban

426 Coldharbour Ln, Coldharbour, London SW9 8LF, UK

If this list were in rank order, these wings would be a candidate for the top spot. Crunchy and properly spicy with a scotch bonnet heat that’s mitigated by honey and ponzu butter sauce. A seaweed garnish brings its unmistakable iodine twang. Like some of the best foods, they make the eater feel slightly delinquent, and the name itself is a tiny thrill.

426 Coldharbour Ln, Coldharbour
London SW9 8LF, UK

6. Fish Sauce wings at Smoking Goat

64 Shoreditch High St, Shoreditch, London E1 6JJ, UK
The best restaurant dishes of the decade include Smoking Goat’s chilli fish sauce wings
Smoking Goat’s fish sauce wings
James Hansen/Eater London

The best Vietnamese dish at a Thai restaurant anywhere in London, these wings have reappeared on the menu after a distressing absence due to a broken fryer. Wings can be laborious to prep says head chef Ben Curtis, as the collagen and tendon take time to soften through slow cooking, pre-fry. These days he prefers to savour the chewiness by cooking them hot and fast before coating in nuoc mau, a caramel made with plenty of light fish sauce and palm sugar. Crisp garlic, dried chilli, fresh sliced shallot, and coriander complete a dish that’s very messy, tricky to eat, and a stone-cold classic.

64 Shoreditch High St, Shoreditch
London E1 6JJ, UK

7. Kung pao disco wings at Chick 'n' Sours

390 Kingsland Rd, Haggerston, London E8 4AA, UK
Kung pao disco wings at Chick ‘n’ Sours
Kung pao disco wings at Chick ‘n’ Sours
Chick ‘n’ Sours [Official Photo]

Disco wings: where the crunch is loud and the flavours are jumping. Owner Carl Clarke has been tweaking this recipe for over a decade and it shows; they’re brined overnight, coated in a secret seasoning then cooked to a Korean method which means low heat pressure fry, high heat deep fry and a very crunchy end result. The kung pao sauce takes inspiration from the Sichuan dish kung pao chicken using soy, oyster sauce, ginger, garlic, and chilli. Whole fried chillies, pickled chillies, peanuts, and spring onion bring salty, acidic pops. Various locations.

390 Kingsland Rd, Haggerston
London E8 4AA, UK

8. Vincent wings at The Orange Buffalo

6 Dray Walk, Spitalfields, London E1 6NJ, UK
Vincent wings at The Orange Buffalo
Vincent wings at The Orange Buffalo
The Orange Buffalo [Official Photo]

Nick and Mike opened the Orange Buffalo truck on Brick Lane in 2012 and have since gained two restaurants — in Hoxton and Tooting. Wings are available in five sauces of varying heat levels and the second-to-hottest (Vincent) is the best. All are properly jointed, fizzing from the fryer and served with a rub-your-thighs-funky blue cheese sauce. It’s the mango that makes the Vincent wings so good — scotch bonnet and tropical fruit is a tried and tested combination, bringing welcome Club Tropicana vibes to a dusty corner of East London.

6 Dray Walk, Spitalfields
London E1 6NJ, UK

9. Buffalo wings at Sticky Wings

40 Brick Ln, Shadwell, London E1 6RF, UK
Buffalo wings at Sticky Wings
Buffalo wings at Sticky Wings
Chris Pople

The reassuringly short menu at this Brick Lane institution features just four sauces, with American Buffalo its signature. The sauce is classic (refreshing in these experimental times), made with Frank’s Original Red Hot and butter. Wings are plump, crisp, and gone in approximately two minutes. A portion of six (‘U.K. size’) or 11 (‘U.S. size’) come with a textbook blue cheese dip (essential) and fries (not essential but nice) as standard. This husband and wife team aren’t pushing any boundaries and that’s the secret to their success.

40 Brick Ln, Shadwell
London E1 6RF, UK

10. Arbol chilli and butter wings at La Chingada

206 Lower Rd, London SE8 5DJ, UK
Arbol chilli and butter wings at La Chingada
Arbol chilli and butter wings at La Chingada
Adam Coghlan/Eater London

One would expect one of London’s only ‘truly Mexican’ restaurants to serve truly memorable wings and that, happily, is the case. Chef-owner Walter Opitz nods to the traditional hot wing formula by cutting chilli sauce with butter, but eschewing scotch bonnet and the ubiquitous Frank’s Red Hot for chile de arbol, also known as the rat’s tail or bird’s beak chilli. This small, potent pepper has a clean, fresh, searing heat that works well against the richness of dairy fat, and both slide effortlessly over deep fried poultry.

206 Lower Rd
London SE8 5DJ, UK

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