175 Mare Street, E8 3RH
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Tues (Dinner Only) 6-11pm Weds to Fri Lunch 12-3 Dinner 6-11 Sat Brunch 12-4 Dinner 6-11 Sun Brunch 12-4

Whenever I mention chicken and waffles, people get weird and I really don’t know why.  The magical union of sweet and salty foods has a grand tradition in familiar British snacks from favourites such as cheese and pickle, glazed meats and mixed popcorn, to more modern popular trends like salted caramel and Cadbury’s Ritz Crackers. Yet, somehow all of this counts for nothing when chicken and waffles comes up.  Do you enjoy chips and ketchup? I bet you do. In which case, please stop looking at me like an iPhone with a Samsung logo. C’mon people.
I first tasted this controversial dish a couple of years back in the States (surprise!), but recently, I had the unexpected pleasure of having it in Hackney (surprise again), at Rita’s to be specific. It was everything I remembered, with the added boon of the best fried chicken I’ve had in London for many years. For the intrepid gastronauts, Rita’s has a lot to offer. The brunch menu also boasts plates like kedgeree grits, or bacon and egg chow mein made with roasted belly pork, shiitake mushrooms, kale and ho-fun noodles. The kitchen provides mostly American inspired food, but they’ve managed to not fall into the trap of the ubiquitous and uninspired burgers, ribs and diner joints, by incorporating pan-asian ideas and as well as less well known US classics. Even if you can’t bare to part with you sweet/salty prejudices (you bigots), Rita’s will have something you’ll want to tell people about. /Dylan