Straddling the worlds of both sweet and savory, chicken and waffles deliver that flavor combination like nothing else can. A crispy fried batter, moist chicken, fluffy waffles and a sweet syrup come together almost scientifically to create an out-of-this-world taste. Check out these restaurants from Harlem down to Brooklyn, serving their own versions of this Southern staple. By Sarah Shaker.
For the mecca of Harlem chicken and waffles, look no further than Amy Ruth’s, the only Southern spot in NYC with an entire menu devoted to this sweet and savory combo. Try the Rev. Al Sharpton: Traditional chicken and waffles fried or smothered in gravy. Or get adventurous with The Lloyd Williams: Waffles and boneless rib-eye steak, perfect for the red meat lover.
Clinton Street Baking Co.
We’ve all seen the 2-hour brunch line at Clinton Street Baking Co. for those famous blueberry pancakes, but their chicken and waffles keeps New Yorker’s coming back for more at dinnertime. The salty-sweetness of the buttermilk-fried chicken is served with a crispy Belgian vanilla waffle, with warm maple butter and a honey-Tabasco that gives this chicken and waffle combo an unforgettable kick.
Pies ‘N Thighs may be a Williamsburg hipster haven, but it seems those trendier-than-thou kids may be on to something. This BBQ chicken joint whips up buckwheat waffles smothered in cinnamon butter and fresh fruit, then topped with not-too-greasy fried chicken. Toss on an ironic t-shirt and step into skinny jeans before heading to Pies N’ Thighs with the cool kids.
The Stanton Social
For a gourmet small bites twist on this classic, go for the Chicken n’ Waffles at Stanton Social. This brick pressed chicken is served on an aged cheddar waffle with corn pudding and balsamic spiked maple syrup. A real connoisseur of chicken and waffles should sample the full spectrum of chicken and waffle goodness, which is why this modern take is worth checking out.
Buttermilk’s heavily-coated-with-crunch chicken sits on a soft cheddar waffle, topped with powdered sugar. Bittersweet maple-balsamic glaze is served on the side for your dipping pleasure. A homemade cabbage claw is a great creamy addition to this crispy savory and sweet meal.
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Sarah Shaker is the founder of the blog Bright Lights, My City.