I always know I am in for a treat at Bird when I see the wet wipes on the table in with the ketchup, mustard and other sauces. The perfect sign that the food here is going to be messy…

On all my visits I have only ever had the signature dish of, wait for it – are you ready? – fried chicken, bacon, cheese, maple syrup, mayonnaise and – still with me? – house barbecue sauce, all sandwiched between two mega fresh cakey waffles. If you have room for a side, go for the fries drenched in chicken gravy. Divine. Food heaven. And however else an exceptional food experience is described in words.

On my most recent trip to Bird and other occasions as well at this Islington branch, it has never been as stacked with diners as the signature dish, which I find ideal if you plan to visit as a solo eater and want to avoid the usual eateries with couples all tabled up. Since it’s on the main road from Highbury & Islington tube station to Arsenal’s stadium, expect a different and busier experience on a home matchday, although it would certainly take an entertaining game to avoid falling into a food-induced slumber.

To wash it all down, on tap is Bird’s own tasty lager, brewed in collaboration with Big Hug Brewery.

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