Long a staple of picnics and potlucks, fried chicken has moved onto the menu at many New York City restaurants. In some cases, the ultimate comfort food has gone upscale; other places practically demand that you lick your fingers right at the table. Each restaurant on our list, though, serves a really good fried bird. By Jessica Allen.
Momofuku Noodle Bar
Momofuku Noodle Bar offers a veritable fried chicken bonanza. It must be ordered in advance, serves four to eight people, and costs $150. But it comes with two whole fried chickens, one done Korean style (triple fried, with a spicy glaze) and one done Southern style (dipped in both buttermilk and a batter made from Old Bay seasoning). Reservations required (no walk-ins for fried chicken allowed).
Recently featured on Guy Fieri’s Diners, Drive Ins, and Dives, this Brooklyn restaurant hasn’t let fame go to its, well, thighs. Instead, Pies-n-Thighs still serves the Southern-inflected slow food for which it’s known, including fried chicken (sometimes with waffles). What began as six seats in a dive bar has grown into a full-service restaurant in a former carriage house. But don’t let the fancy location fool you: the chicken, fixin’s like biscuits and gravy, and, of course, pies in such flavors as bourbon pecan will still make you smack your lips with glee.
Hill Country Chicken
An offshoot of the popular bastion of barbecue Hill Country down the street, Hill Country Chicken calls itself “a fresh fried chicken joint.” Inspired by the owner’s memories of his Texas childhood, this Flatiron restaurant features several types of fried chicken: drum, breast, thigh, or wing, prepared with the classic recipe (skin-on, double-coated, seasoned with the signature shake) or the family recipe (skinless with a cracker crust).
Dirty Bird To-Go
Choices for chicken at Dirty Bird include slow-roasted rotisserie, chicken tenders with housemade honey dijon or BBQ sauce, and buttermilk-dipped fried chicken. Each and every one started out on a farm in Pennsylvania Amish Country, free of antibiotics and gorging on veggies. To drink, try the signature “dirty palmer,” half lemonade, half peach iced tea; for dessert, try their chocolate chip cookies. As you might expect from the name, this is a takeout counter, but there are plenty of parks near the Chelsea and Tribeca locations where you can chow down.