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The NoMad
The NoMad’s whole chicken
Photo by Nick Solares

18 Flawless Roast Chickens to Try in NYC

From Chinese to classically French, these birds have resurrected a formerly ho-hum standard

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The NoMad’s whole chicken
| Photo by Nick Solares

Roast chicken is a deceptively traditional dish that has become a platform for many of the city’s most creative chefs, as well as a destination meal for locals and tourists. Here’s a list of New York City’s most exciting roast chickens at restaurants right now.

Note: This list is arranged geographically south through Manhattan and north through Brooklyn, Queens, and the Bronx.

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Chirping Chicken

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The modest Mediterranean quick-service restaurant with four locations across the city has become a haven for hungry, thrifty, smart eaters. Lusciously tender, charcoal-broiled chicken comes with pita, and can be paired with sauces and sides like Greek salad and hummus. Additional locations in Harlem, Hell’s Kitchen, and the Upper East Side.

Chirping Chicken Photo via Chirping Chicken

Riko Chelsea

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Peruvian mini-chain Riko has ridiculously affordable golden birds that come directly off their spits, available in quarters, halves, or whole. They should be accompanied by the tangy green sauce, fluffy white rice, and sumptuous, almost velvety beans. Add ceviche and fried green plantains for a no-holds-barred taste of Peruvian paradise. Additional locations in Queens.

Riko Photo by Robert Sietsema

The NoMad Restaurant

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The chicken for two at Daniel Humm’s hotel restaurant became one of the most talked-about dishes in town when it debuted in 2012, and rightfully so: It pulls off the impossible by making the breast the star of the show. Humm’s team stuffs the skin with foie gras, black truffles, and bread crumbs, making the meat moist and luxurious without being overkill. The dark meat, which takes longer to finish, is separated and sautéed with shallots, morel mushrooms, stock, and herbs. Enjoy the same liver-studded bird all over again in the more straightforward, but no less flavorful, chicken sandwich at brunch.

The NoMad Photo by Nick Solares

Dirty Bird to-go

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The Chelsea restaurant with an adjoining takeout counter specializes in chicken of all kinds, but the lemony, aggressively spiced rotisserie style is the highlight, available in white or dark quarters or half and full birds. The rice and beans and garlic kale are worthwhile sides to soak up all that chicken juice. There’s an additional Tribeca location.

Dirty Bird Photo via Dirty Bird

Le Coq Rico

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The whole birds at the acclaimed modern French bistro aren’t the cheapest, ranging from $72 for the stuffed Brune Landaise chicken to $110 for the Catskill Guinea Fowl, but the meticulous sourcing of the poultry and its flawless execution make them worth seeking out. The one to get is the slightly gamey $96 Plymouth Rock chicken, a heritage domestic breed, which comes out with beautifully crispy skin and moist, flavorful meat all over.

Barbuto

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For more than a decade, the pollo al forno has been the thing to get at this minimalist, airy, stylish West Village Italian eatery. It has a satisfyingly crisp crust and comes with a piquant salsa verde.

A plate of roast chicken topped with salsa verde beside a glass of wine. Photo by Daniel Krieger

Daily Provisions

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In addition to sterling pastries, Danny Meyer’s new all-day, quick-service restaurant, takeout counter, and bakery in one serves a whole rotisserie chicken available starting at 3 p.m. It’s the platonic ideal of the take-home bird — well-seasoned and crisp, yet moist all the way through, and a relative steal at $18.50. At lunch, it’s served in an indulgent take on the club sandwich, with bacon, avocado, green tomato, and dijonnaise.

Daily Provisions rotisserie chicken Photo by Jenny G. Zhang

Uncle Boons

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The gourmet Nolita Thai eatery doesn’t skimp on heat, spice, or funk. Its rotisserie half-chicken, inspired by the sort served in Muay Thai boxing venues, is one of the milder options, but its aromatics, brothy sauce, and green mango salad offer one dimension of flavor and texture after another.

Uncle Boons Photo by Nick Solares

Le Turtle

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Chef Greg Proechel ambitiously set out to make the best chicken in the city when he opened Le Turtle in the Lower East Side in 2015, which he has since left. But given that the whole roasted bird for two still sells out every night, he was clearly on to something. The kitchen prepares the Sasso breed, which eventually gets theatrically presented over smoking hay, with a laborious 42-hour salt and sugar brine before roasting at three different temperatures, resulting in juicy meat and skin that’s a marvel of texture.

Le Turtle Photo by Daniel Krieger

Locanda Verde

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Chef Andrew Carmellini’s Italian hotspot was making chicken to be proud of long before it was cool. The wood-fired bird for two is brined and cooked in a pungent garlic marinade, then served with grilled vegetables. It’s exceptional elevated comfort food.

Locanda Verde Photo via Locanda Verde

Wah Fung Fast Food

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Heaps of freshly roasted chicken, duck, or pork served over rice for under $5 have made this takeout spot locally famous and very crowded. True omnivores can combine two meats or all three for a small upcharge. If the line is snaking out the door, however, Big Wong is the better option. Cash only.

Wah Fung Fast Food Photo by Robert Sietsema

Big Wong

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Peking ducks don’t steal all the attention in Chinatown. At the decades-old Big Wong, whole chickens with deep-brown, crackling skin hang in the window. Get half soy sauce chicken, just briny enough, and half roast duck, a double-fowl flavor explosion. The ambiance is beside the point with reliably great food at such mind-bogglingly low prices. Cash only.

Big Wong Photo via Jane L./Yelp

Pok Pok Ny

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The hip Northern Thailand-influenced eatery that started in Portland still brings flocks to its Brooklyn location, in part for the specialty whole-roasted BoBo chicken, stuffed with a blend of garlic, lemongrass, pepper, and fresh coriander. It comes with dipping sauces, and sticky rice is a must.

Pok Pok Photo via Pok Pok

Vinegar Hill House

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The Dumbo restaurant’s sophisticated variations on American food have made it a neighborhood gem. The brined chicken, artfully presented in a cast iron skillet with shallots and sprigs of thyme, is a standout.

Vinegar hill house Photo via Vinegar Hill House

El Gran Canario 🇩🇴

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The fragrant scent of rotisserie chickens twirling behind the glass at the casual Dominican storefront in Williamsburg hits pedestrians from a block away. Such is the visceral attraction of El Gran Canario, or the Grand Canary. Locals line up for the slow-cooked birds dripping with fat. Get one with a side of moro, a mixture of rice cooked with beans and vegetables.

El Gran Canario Photo via Jay M./Yelp

St. Anselm

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The hip modern steakhouse in Williamsburg has a cultish following for its sweet tea-brined BoBo chicken. Not for the squeamish, it comes with the head intact, making it perhaps the gutsiest thing on the menu. But bite in to discover serenely succulent and approachable meat.

The wood-paneled dining room at St. Anselm sits empty. Photo via St. Anselm

Pollos A La Brasa Mario

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Chickens spin on their spits in the front window of this Colombian diner in Jackson Heights, making it clear they’re the speciality. A distinctive red hue hints at the paprika infusion. Additional locations in Queens, New Jersey, and Hempstead, New York.

Pollos A La Brasa Mario Photo via Pollos A La Brasa Mario

El Nuevo BohĂ­o

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The Puerto Rican greasy spoon may specialize in pork, but its rotisserie chicken is no afterthought. Birds get a rub of garlic and cilantro and a heaping side of rice and beans makes a welcome partner. There’s an additional location in the Bronx.

El Nuevo BohĂ­o Photo via Mick L./Yelp

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Chirping Chicken

The modest Mediterranean quick-service restaurant with four locations across the city has become a haven for hungry, thrifty, smart eaters. Lusciously tender, charcoal-broiled chicken comes with pita, and can be paired with sauces and sides like Greek salad and hummus. Additional locations in Harlem, Hell’s Kitchen, and the Upper East Side.

Chirping Chicken Photo via Chirping Chicken

Riko Chelsea

Peruvian mini-chain Riko has ridiculously affordable golden birds that come directly off their spits, available in quarters, halves, or whole. They should be accompanied by the tangy green sauce, fluffy white rice, and sumptuous, almost velvety beans. Add ceviche and fried green plantains for a no-holds-barred taste of Peruvian paradise. Additional locations in Queens.

Riko Photo by Robert Sietsema

The NoMad Restaurant

The chicken for two at Daniel Humm’s hotel restaurant became one of the most talked-about dishes in town when it debuted in 2012, and rightfully so: It pulls off the impossible by making the breast the star of the show. Humm’s team stuffs the skin with foie gras, black truffles, and bread crumbs, making the meat moist and luxurious without being overkill. The dark meat, which takes longer to finish, is separated and sautéed with shallots, morel mushrooms, stock, and herbs. Enjoy the same liver-studded bird all over again in the more straightforward, but no less flavorful, chicken sandwich at brunch.

The NoMad Photo by Nick Solares

Dirty Bird to-go

The Chelsea restaurant with an adjoining takeout counter specializes in chicken of all kinds, but the lemony, aggressively spiced rotisserie style is the highlight, available in white or dark quarters or half and full birds. The rice and beans and garlic kale are worthwhile sides to soak up all that chicken juice. There’s an additional Tribeca location.

Dirty Bird Photo via Dirty Bird

Le Coq Rico

The whole birds at the acclaimed modern French bistro aren’t the cheapest, ranging from $72 for the stuffed Brune Landaise chicken to $110 for the Catskill Guinea Fowl, but the meticulous sourcing of the poultry and its flawless execution make them worth seeking out. The one to get is the slightly gamey $96 Plymouth Rock chicken, a heritage domestic breed, which comes out with beautifully crispy skin and moist, flavorful meat all over.

Barbuto

For more than a decade, the pollo al forno has been the thing to get at this minimalist, airy, stylish West Village Italian eatery. It has a satisfyingly crisp crust and comes with a piquant salsa verde.

A plate of roast chicken topped with salsa verde beside a glass of wine. Photo by Daniel Krieger

Daily Provisions

In addition to sterling pastries, Danny Meyer’s new all-day, quick-service restaurant, takeout counter, and bakery in one serves a whole rotisserie chicken available starting at 3 p.m. It’s the platonic ideal of the take-home bird — well-seasoned and crisp, yet moist all the way through, and a relative steal at $18.50. At lunch, it’s served in an indulgent take on the club sandwich, with bacon, avocado, green tomato, and dijonnaise.

Daily Provisions rotisserie chicken Photo by Jenny G. Zhang

Uncle Boons

The gourmet Nolita Thai eatery doesn’t skimp on heat, spice, or funk. Its rotisserie half-chicken, inspired by the sort served in Muay Thai boxing venues, is one of the milder options, but its aromatics, brothy sauce, and green mango salad offer one dimension of flavor and texture after another.

Uncle Boons Photo by Nick Solares

Le Turtle

Chef Greg Proechel ambitiously set out to make the best chicken in the city when he opened Le Turtle in the Lower East Side in 2015, which he has since left. But given that the whole roasted bird for two still sells out every night, he was clearly on to something. The kitchen prepares the Sasso breed, which eventually gets theatrically presented over smoking hay, with a laborious 42-hour salt and sugar brine before roasting at three different temperatures, resulting in juicy meat and skin that’s a marvel of texture.

Le Turtle Photo by Daniel Krieger

Locanda Verde

Chef Andrew Carmellini’s Italian hotspot was making chicken to be proud of long before it was cool. The wood-fired bird for two is brined and cooked in a pungent garlic marinade, then served with grilled vegetables. It’s exceptional elevated comfort food.

Locanda Verde Photo via Locanda Verde

Wah Fung Fast Food

Heaps of freshly roasted chicken, duck, or pork served over rice for under $5 have made this takeout spot locally famous and very crowded. True omnivores can combine two meats or all three for a small upcharge. If the line is snaking out the door, however, Big Wong is the better option. Cash only.

Wah Fung Fast Food Photo by Robert Sietsema

Big Wong

Peking ducks don’t steal all the attention in Chinatown. At the decades-old Big Wong, whole chickens with deep-brown, crackling skin hang in the window. Get half soy sauce chicken, just briny enough, and half roast duck, a double-fowl flavor explosion. The ambiance is beside the point with reliably great food at such mind-bogglingly low prices. Cash only.

Big Wong Photo via Jane L./Yelp

Pok Pok Ny

The hip Northern Thailand-influenced eatery that started in Portland still brings flocks to its Brooklyn location, in part for the specialty whole-roasted BoBo chicken, stuffed with a blend of garlic, lemongrass, pepper, and fresh coriander. It comes with dipping sauces, and sticky rice is a must.

Pok Pok Photo via Pok Pok

Vinegar Hill House

The Dumbo restaurant’s sophisticated variations on American food have made it a neighborhood gem. The brined chicken, artfully presented in a cast iron skillet with shallots and sprigs of thyme, is a standout.

Vinegar hill house Photo via Vinegar Hill House

El Gran Canario 🇩🇴

The fragrant scent of rotisserie chickens twirling behind the glass at the casual Dominican storefront in Williamsburg hits pedestrians from a block away. Such is the visceral attraction of El Gran Canario, or the Grand Canary. Locals line up for the slow-cooked birds dripping with fat. Get one with a side of moro, a mixture of rice cooked with beans and vegetables.

El Gran Canario Photo via Jay M./Yelp

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St. Anselm

The hip modern steakhouse in Williamsburg has a cultish following for its sweet tea-brined BoBo chicken. Not for the squeamish, it comes with the head intact, making it perhaps the gutsiest thing on the menu. But bite in to discover serenely succulent and approachable meat.

The wood-paneled dining room at St. Anselm sits empty. Photo via St. Anselm

Pollos A La Brasa Mario

Chickens spin on their spits in the front window of this Colombian diner in Jackson Heights, making it clear they’re the speciality. A distinctive red hue hints at the paprika infusion. Additional locations in Queens, New Jersey, and Hempstead, New York.

Pollos A La Brasa Mario Photo via Pollos A La Brasa Mario

El Nuevo BohĂ­o

The Puerto Rican greasy spoon may specialize in pork, but its rotisserie chicken is no afterthought. Birds get a rub of garlic and cilantro and a heaping side of rice and beans makes a welcome partner. There’s an additional location in the Bronx.

El Nuevo BohĂ­o Photo via Mick L./Yelp

Related Maps