Food trends come and go, but our love for chicken - be it fried, wings, burgers or nuggets - is constant.
Luckily for us, Newcastle is spoiled for places to pick up all kinds of tasty chicken dishes so we've come up a selection of places in the city centre to get your chicken fix.
Chickalicious, Grainger Street
Nestled under the County Hotel, Chickalicious is ideally placed for a late-night chicken fix. As you’d expect, it offers chicken in every form imaginable - from wings and strips to burgers and even whole cooked chickens for the particularly famished. There are plenty of sides, salads and sweet treats too, so you can really make a meal out of it.
Hen & Hops, High Bridge
It doesn’t take a genius to understand that chicken and beer is a great pairing, but the folks at Hen & Hops do it very well indeed. They’re all about the wings: more than twenty varieties of sauce or rub, sold in eights with a dressing, in pun-tastic flavours like Old Faithful (BBQ and bourbon), Putin’s Panic (a Kiev-flavour) and Raggie Rasta (Jerk seasoning-inspired). There's a lengthy range of tenders, burgers and sides too plus a great range of craft brews to wash it all down with. Hen & Hops is also home to the Death Wing Ring Reaper, a Carolina Reaper-dusted wing that seriously requires a letter of consent to buy it. You were warned.
Chilli Flames, Newgate Street
Specialising in Afro-Portuguese style eats, Chilli Flames is a casual joint that recently opened its doors on Newgate Street. With a massive array of options on their menu, there's something to suit every kind of chicken lover - from burgers, wraps and chicken salads to hearty platters and chicken-loaded fries. Put simply, Chilli Flames is a chicken hotspot.
KFC, Northumberland Street & Newgate Street
The grandaddy of all fried chicken, KFC were the first to start serving up this kind of fast food in the UK (70 years ago, in fact!) and dominate the market all over the country. Their buckets and boxes are familiar to everyone and although they’ve branched out into vegan options, wraps and rice boxes, for most people KFC still means fried chicken, wings, popcorn chicken and the like teamed with sides like gravy and slaw. Newcastle city centre boasts two branches - on Northumberland Street and Newgate Street - so you’re never too far from some golden-fried chicken goodness.
COOP Chicken House, Collingwood Street
Another outlet in the heart of town serving up chicken, sauces and beer is COOP Chicken House, offering whole birds from the spit plus wings, tenders, burgers and the rest. There’s lots of sides, falafels for the veggies and you can order its range of sauces by the shot! And if you’re out with friends, how about the all-you-can-eat offer, where £20 per head (for at least eight people) sees them keep bringing you a variety of chicken till you can eat no more?
Chicken Cottage, Gallowgate
Perhaps the most typical modern chicken shop in our selection, the Chicken Cottage chain has been flying the flag for great chicken for thirty years and keeps it simple: fried and grilled pieces and burgers, boxes and sharers. You can build your own burger too and pack it with all the chicken you can dream of!
FED’s Fried Chicken Shop, Grainger Market
Eating tasty chicken as the Grainger Market bustles around you is a fun way to enjoy lunch, especially when the chicken in question is this good. FED's put a lot of thought into their suppliers, their brine, their coatings and their sauces, and you can tell. Go for wings and tenders coated in a a choice of sauces or grab a chicken tender sandwich packed with all kinds of delicious additions. There's meal deals, boxes and sides and FED's flavoursome fare is available to enjoy at Louie's Liquor Store at the Bigg Market too.
Jollibee, Northumberland Street
When Filipino chicken chain Jollibee opened a branch in Northumberland Street back in 2021, the reaction was incredible: queues from the early hours, and not just from Filipino students craving what they offer. The menu is a colourful blast of types of ‘Chickenjoy’ – pieces, sandwiches, tenders and the rest – but also some chicken-loaded fries topped with a choice of sriracha or gravy.
Shark Club, Gallowgate
This bar just opposite St James Park is the first incarnation of the Canadian sports bar chain to hit the UK, back in 2011, and has become a firm favourite with sports fans and people just looking for somewhere to grab a drink. Its bar food menu is no slouch either, and if you’re jonesing for some chicken, they can help: the appealing and long list includes such treats as buttermilk chicken, Cajun chicken with prawns and Panang chicken curry - plus finger-licking good wings served with a range of sauces.
Nando’s, Westgate Road, Eldon Square & The Gate
Based in the UK, hailing from South Africa and drawing on the peri-peri sauce of Portuguese-Mozambique cuisine, Nando’s took fried chicken international and turned it into something midway between a fried chicken shop and a sit-down restaurant. The emphasis is obviously on its famous peri-peri chicken, served in a number of combinations (including chicken livers with a Portuguese roll) but there are also burgers, platters and wraps too. Plus, with three locations in the city centre - Westgate Road, Eldon Square and The Gate - it's easy to enjoy a 'cheeky Nando's' in Newcastle.
TGI Fridays, Eldon Square
A real family favourite – lots of kids’ first experience of a restaurant is surely in one of these fun, noisy hangouts? – TGI Fridays specialises in American diner food, and as such it’s big on fried chicken! There are chicken fingers, strips, burgers and wings plus a whole host of Tex-Mex chicken dishes too. There's even meatless plant-based "chicken" strips for veggies and the huge "Wall to Wall Chicken" platter packed with all kinds of treats that's bound to satiate even the hungriest of chicken fanatics.
Shearer’s Bar, St James’ Park
This famed bar in the heart of the Newcastle United stadium is obviously rammed on matchdays and a popular bar and restaurant the rest of the time too. And while it’s not primarily a chicken outlet, fried chicken – and other kinds – plays a central part in its tasty bar food menu. From a chicken strips meal to a chicken po’boy, proper Southern-style chicken and waffles and a nacho chicken burger, there’s plenty of chicken to keep anyone happy.
It's remarkable how many ways a relatively small bird can be cooked and served – from breasts to burgers, tenders to trays, salads to skewers – and Newcastle has its fair share of great options. Hopefully this selection will help you satisfy any chicken cravings you have!