Before fried chicken captured Sydney's attention, there was the charcoal chicken shop. They're still everywhere and remain reliable spots for a nicely charred bit of chook and a side of chicken-salt chips. Many cultures have a charcoal chicken tradition, but in Sydney, Lebanese and Portuguese are two of the most important.

In recent years a new breed of chicken shops has joined this old, beloved guard. In most cases they're shinier and trumpet a more ethical philosophy. At heart, though, every chook shop is about the same simple, nostalgic pleasure. We don't mind the setting, so long as the chicken's good.

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El Jannah Newtown

The Newtown takeaway-focused outpost of Western Sydney’s favourite chicken shop offers all of the favourites, plus Southern-style fried chicken

156 King Street, Newtown

Frango

Sydney’s favourite Portuguese chicken shop. Unless you prefer Silva’s, of course.

98 New Canterbury Road, Petersham

Silva's

Petersham’s other cult Portuguese chicken shop.

Shop 1 82 Canterbury Road, Petersham

El Jannah

More than just a chicken shop – it's a pillar of the local community.

4-8 South Street, Granville

Al Barakeh

Lebanese charcoal chicken best eaten with pickles and garlic sauce.

77 Scott Street, Liverpool

Awafi

The third of Sydney's big-name Lebanese charcoal chicken shops has been doing its thing since 1998.

2 Queens Street, Revesby

The Chicken Shop

A classic chicken shop from Merivale, just with more technique.

382 Oxford Street, Paddington

Chicken Shop

Yes, it's the same name, minus the "The". The selling point here is being able to choose your basting, from peri peri and smoky barbeque sauce, to honey soy and garlic, rosemary and lemon.

324 King Street, Newtown