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An overhead photograph of fried chicken with mac and cheese on a paper plate from Charles Pan-Fried Chicken in Harlem, Manhattan.
Charles Gabriel’s legendary fried chicken has returned to Harlem.
Gary He/Eater NY

22 Crispy, Juicy Fried Chicken Dishes in NYC

The most golden, flaky chicken around, from fast-casual joints and Filipino snack shops to soul-food spots and New American bistros

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Charles Gabriel’s legendary fried chicken has returned to Harlem.
| Gary He/Eater NY

One could argue that fried chicken is America’s greatest contribution to world gastronomy: golden brown and crunchy on the outside, flavorful and oozing juices on the inside. And here in New York City, it’s available in a dizzying array of permutations, now including an Indian-spiced version straight from the streets of Mumbai, a sandwich configured as a Vietnamese banh mi, and a skillet-fried riff that marks the return of a beloved Harlem chef. As the country’s foremost comfort food, fried chicken has never been needed more.

Here are some of our favorite places to score some oil-boiled yardbird across the city. Plan on visiting in person, because chicken tastes much better when served hot.

Health experts consider dining out to be a high-risk activity for the unvaccinated; it also poses a risk for the vaccinated, especially in areas with substantial COVID transmission.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

Paula's Soul Food Cafe

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The fried chicken at this great soul food cafe in the Wakefield section of the Bronx is buttermilk-marinated, and hence a little darker than most — and it’s damn good. And so are the whiting sandwiches, mac and cheese, banana pudding, and-do-it-yourself carryout seafood boils from owner Omar Bailey. There’s another location in Hackensack, New Jersey, too.

Two pieces of dark fried chicken
The fried chicken is crisp and dark brown at Paula’s.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

John’s Fried Chicken

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This renegade branch of a Dominican restaurant chain produces some very fine fried chicken at bargain prices. The skin is thick and crisp, and the bird is routinely served on a luxurious bed of rice and peas, but a steam table holds other potential sides in a Latin Caribbean vein. If it’s too late and this store has closed, tried the Inwood branch, open 24 hours.

Two pieces of chicken on a bed of dark rice with the occasional black bean visible.
John’s fried chicken over rice.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Charles Pan-Fried Chicken

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After a years-long hiatus, chicken impresario Charles Gabriel returned to Harlem (with a branch on the Upper West Side) recently, with a revamped and expanded menu that included barbecued ribs, smothered chicken, fried fish, and pulled pork. But the heart of the operation is still lightly dusted pieces of chicken, skin intact, fried in a series of skillets by the old-fashioned method that came here from the Carolinas long ago, requiring constant surveillance on the part of the cook.

A takeout container with three pieces of fried chicken sits on a checkered blue and white cloth.
Charles Pan Fried Chicken still fries its birds in skillets.
Melanie Landsman/Eater NY

Palace Fried Chicken

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With a touch of paprika and a shake of garlic powder, the chicken at Palace in Astoria has a slight red tint and draws on a number of Latin American influences. It’s also shockingly inexpensive and open till at least 10 p.m. every evening. The free biscuit is pretty good, too. All meat is halal, and local delivery is available by calling the restaurant — though there’s plenty of seating inside the utilitarian space.

Two pieces of fried chicken with a biscuit on a white paper plate on a blue tray
Don’t forget the biscuit at Palace Fried Chicken.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Jollibee

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The fast-food Filipino chain Jollibee — whose mascot is a radiantly happy bumblebee — has long been established in Woodside, but it took years for its Manhattan branch to open in 2018, and then two more appeared in Jersey City, one inside the PATH station at Journal Square. Good fried chicken sold by the (largish) piece is its raison d’être, but the sides are also worth ordering. These include a very sweet spaghetti with tomato sauce topped with cheese. The peach-mango fried hand pies are also estimable.

You’re not going to believe this, but it’s a fried chicken drumstick plus a giant pile of spaghetti with red sauce
Fried chicken and spaghetti is the signature combo at Jollibee.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Bonchon New York

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This classic Korean fried chicken chain located in Koreatown double fries birds to order, so your poultry will be super fresh, with a very crisp and slightly sweet crust, whether ordering the spicy version or one doused in soy garlic. Sides include kimchi coleslaw and pickled daikon radish, and the Parmesan-heaped french fries aren’t bad, either. There are multiple other locations, including in Brooklyn and New Jersey.

A box of sticky looking fried chicken, with french fry and cubed radish sides.
Two cardboard takeout containers, one with red-orange Korean fried chicken and one with french fries with a side container of pickeled radish.
Robert Sietsema/Eater

TKK Fried Chicken

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For some fine fast-food fried chicken that’s not Popeyes, turn to Taiwan’s TKK chain, founded in 1974. It teamed up with Kung Fu Tea near Baruch College, where you can wash down fairly conventional fried chicken with a vast range of hot and frozen beverages (plus beer). The chicken comes in three degrees of hotness. Don’t miss the fried chicken-skin rolls stuffed with sticky rice, called kwa kwa bao.

TKK Fried Chicken plate with tea and shishito peppers.
Order fried chicken and shishito peppers at TKK Fried Chicken.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Cemitas El Tigre

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A cemita is a Mexican sandwich hailing from the state of Puebla, made with a distinct round roll heaped high with cheese, avocado, black beans, tomatoes, mayo, and papalo leaves, which have a wonderful tarry taste. Woodside’s Cemitas El Tigre offers an unusual cemita that features fried chicken as its principal component. Great fried chicken tacos and fried chicken burritos also available.

A Mexican cemita sandwich loaded with fried chicken seen in cross section.
A fried chicken cemita from Cemitas El Tigre.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Pelicana Chicken

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This Korean chain, which styles itself as the King of Chicken, offers the usual assortment of bone-in and boneless chicken pieces, and batters that can vary in levels of crispiness and spiciness. In addition, it also provides dipping sauces in flavors like camembert, honey garlic, and scallion that enliven the poultry considerably. Other locations in Manhattan, Queens, and Brooklyn.

Two trays of fried chicken with all sorts of toppings and dipping sauces on the side.
Trays of fried chicken from Pelicana.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Pecking House

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The wait list to order the fried chicken from this Eleven Madison Park alum is long but worth it. Chef Eric Huang offers three pieces of fried chicken — spiked with Tianjin chile and Szechuan peppercorns — with three rotating side dishes such as smashed cucumbers or a seasonal salad. During much of the pandemic it was exclusively carryout and delivery, but a brick-and-mortar location is forthcoming.

Pieces of chili flakes coated fried chicken from the delivery only restaurant Pecking House
Pecking House’s crisp fried chicken.
Tanay Warerkar/Eater NY

Rowdy Rooster

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This new fast casual restaurant from Chintan Pandya and Roni Mazumdar delivers a fried bird with an Indian spin. This means the sandwich, in two sizes, is put on a Portuguese pao roll, Mumbai style, and a number of hotness levels are offered, along with chutney and yogurt raita. Regular bone-in pieces of chicken are also available, served in a box, as are vegetarian choices, too, the best of which features fried cauliflower.

A hand holds a big thick sandwich up in front of a colorful backdrop.
The larger of the two Mumbai-style chicken sandwiches.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Bobwhite Counter

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This microsized spot in Alphabet City specializes in frying two types of proteins: chicken and catfish. The chicken is simple and crisp-skinned, with little fuss made other than very careful cooking. The sides are also great, especially the lighter-than-air biscuits and hearty mac and cheese. Kale and Caesar salads are also available, and there’s a Jersey City location, too.

Fried chicken with collard greens and a biscuit on a pink flowered plate
The crisp fried chicken from Bobwhite Counter.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Saigon Social

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The spicy fried chicken sandwich (banh mi ga chien sa ot) has tons of fans at this Lower East Side house of Vietnamese comfort food with a recently revamped premises and menu. It’s made from a big, big thigh that’s marinated, deep-fried, and then loaded with pickled jalapenos, lime-leaf aioli, the usual pickled veggies, and cilantro. The shoestring fries served on the side seal the deal.

A fried chicken sandwich with a gigantic hunk of chicken held by a hand and with tater tots in a box underneath.
Spicy fried chicken from Saigon Social.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

D&M Bakery

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This tiny Chinese bakery covers a lot of culinary bases, from sponge cakes to baked bao to little custard pies, both Hong Kong and Macao (Portuguese) style. One sidelight are sandwiches, including a fried chicken sandwich on a sweet torpedo roll made in-house and garnished with mayo, iceberg lettuce, and the kind of jarred dill pickles that send a chicken sandwich into orbit. At $2.75, it may be the best sandwich bargain in town.

An ocarina shaped roll split and filled with fried chicken.
Fried chicken sandwich at D&M.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Pies 'n' Thighs

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This is where the Brooklyn hipster fried chicken movement began under the Williamsburg Bridge in 2006, when Pies ’n’ Thighs debuted at the Rockstar Bar. Its current location still turns out excellent plump fried chicken pieces. The bird’s heavily brined, and the pies aren’t bad, either.

Two pieces of fried chicken along with blackeyed peas and a biscuit on a yellow plate
A plate of fried chicken from Pies ‘n’ Thighs.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Gage & Tollner

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Gage & Tollner opened on the ground floor of a commercial building in 1879, and its landmarked interior has been preserved, despite a rocky history that has seen it closed for years before recently reopening. It was once home of the legendary Black chef Edna Lewis, whose spirit still hovers over the kitchen. Fried chicken is one of the menu’s offerings, buttermilk marinated and served with hush puppies and kimchi slaw, the latter a touch of modernity in a historic plate of food.

A few pieces of chicken sticking up in a basket with round fritters and dark green slaw.
G&T’s fried chicken and hush puppies.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Grandchamps

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Expect fried chicken with a Haitian influence at Grandchamps in Bed-Stuy. That means it’s served with the spicy slaw called pikliz, along with white rice and twice-fried plantain. The bird is spare, crusty, and utterly delicious. Other Haitian standards like griot are available, and a selection of Haitian groceries is displayed on the counter.

Two pieces of fried chicken with green plantains, rice, and slaw.
Fried chicken with rice at Grandchamps.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Yafa Deli

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The Yemeni owners of this Clinton Hill bodega claim they learned chicken frying from African American cooks in the neighborhood. And there it is, gleaming like godhead in the glass cabinet: chicken parts fried in small batches, and utterly fantastic. Open 24 hours, take out only. No preorder necessary, unless you want a large order.

Two pieces of golden brown fried chicken
Yafa Deli’s fried chicken.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Peaches Hot House

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Bed-Stuy mainstay Peaches Hot House’s business actually thrived throughout the pandemic, and one main reason is its fried chicken, served as a Nashville-style hot chicken plate or as a fried chicken sandwich. This neighborhood spot offers decent-sized portions that are reasonably priced, but most of all, the Southern-inspired recipes are no fuss and exactly what is expected of stellar fried chicken: crispy, flakey, juicy, and perfectly fried.

Three pieces of flakey, fried chicken rest in a red-and-white checkered napkin in a takeout basket.
Flakey, crisp fried chicken from Peaches Hot House
Clay Williams/Eater NY

5ive Spice Tacos & Banh Mi

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Park Slope’s 5ive Spice did what several other Vietnamese restaurants in town have done recently — incorporated freshly fried chicken cutlets into the country’s sandwich formula, on a good baguette with pickled and shredded carrots and daikon, thick mayo, cucumber spears, and fronds of fragrant cilantro. On top of that, the sandwich is overstuffed with not one but two cutlets.

A banh mi Vietnamese sandwich on a crusty loaf of bread with shredded and pickled carrots and daikon.
Fried chicken banh mi at 5ive Spice.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Mitchell's Soul Food

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Unbrined and coated with a miraculously thin, crisp crust that’s mainly skin, Mitchell’s bird is supremely flavorful, and it's served with all the traditional soul food sides, plus some less-usual ones like tomatoes and okra, and beans flavored with ham. Other classic mains are also recommended, especially anything involving pork chops, at this courageous, decades-old Prospect Heights stalwart.

A white plate with fried chicken, mac and cheese, and green beans
A leg of fried chicken with sides from Mitchell’s Soul Food.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Miss Dong Burger

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This Sunset Park Taiwanese snack shop favored by locals specializes in reworked burgers, burritos, and other comfort food classics, including hot dogs. One of its most interesting offerings is the so-called Mexican style chicken wrap — really a burrito — shown here in its unrolled form so you can see the filling. There’s plenty of fried chicken and shredded lettuce in there, in addition to a drizzle of mayo — it’s a fun way to eat fried chicken. The so-called chicken burger is really a fried chicken sandwich, while the chicken wings are another pleasurable fried chicken manifestation.

An unwrapped fried chicken burrito.
Fried chicken burrito from Miss Dong Burger.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

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Paula's Soul Food Cafe

Two pieces of dark fried chicken
The fried chicken is crisp and dark brown at Paula’s.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

The fried chicken at this great soul food cafe in the Wakefield section of the Bronx is buttermilk-marinated, and hence a little darker than most — and it’s damn good. And so are the whiting sandwiches, mac and cheese, banana pudding, and-do-it-yourself carryout seafood boils from owner Omar Bailey. There’s another location in Hackensack, New Jersey, too.

Two pieces of dark fried chicken
The fried chicken is crisp and dark brown at Paula’s.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

John’s Fried Chicken

Two pieces of chicken on a bed of dark rice with the occasional black bean visible.
John’s fried chicken over rice.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

This renegade branch of a Dominican restaurant chain produces some very fine fried chicken at bargain prices. The skin is thick and crisp, and the bird is routinely served on a luxurious bed of rice and peas, but a steam table holds other potential sides in a Latin Caribbean vein. If it’s too late and this store has closed, tried the Inwood branch, open 24 hours.

Two pieces of chicken on a bed of dark rice with the occasional black bean visible.
John’s fried chicken over rice.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Charles Pan-Fried Chicken

A takeout container with three pieces of fried chicken sits on a checkered blue and white cloth.
Charles Pan Fried Chicken still fries its birds in skillets.
Melanie Landsman/Eater NY

After a years-long hiatus, chicken impresario Charles Gabriel returned to Harlem (with a branch on the Upper West Side) recently, with a revamped and expanded menu that included barbecued ribs, smothered chicken, fried fish, and pulled pork. But the heart of the operation is still lightly dusted pieces of chicken, skin intact, fried in a series of skillets by the old-fashioned method that came here from the Carolinas long ago, requiring constant surveillance on the part of the cook.

A takeout container with three pieces of fried chicken sits on a checkered blue and white cloth.
Charles Pan Fried Chicken still fries its birds in skillets.
Melanie Landsman/Eater NY

Palace Fried Chicken

Two pieces of fried chicken with a biscuit on a white paper plate on a blue tray
Don’t forget the biscuit at Palace Fried Chicken.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

With a touch of paprika and a shake of garlic powder, the chicken at Palace in Astoria has a slight red tint and draws on a number of Latin American influences. It’s also shockingly inexpensive and open till at least 10 p.m. every evening. The free biscuit is pretty good, too. All meat is halal, and local delivery is available by calling the restaurant — though there’s plenty of seating inside the utilitarian space.

Two pieces of fried chicken with a biscuit on a white paper plate on a blue tray
Don’t forget the biscuit at Palace Fried Chicken.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Jollibee

You’re not going to believe this, but it’s a fried chicken drumstick plus a giant pile of spaghetti with red sauce
Fried chicken and spaghetti is the signature combo at Jollibee.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

The fast-food Filipino chain Jollibee — whose mascot is a radiantly happy bumblebee — has long been established in Woodside, but it took years for its Manhattan branch to open in 2018, and then two more appeared in Jersey City, one inside the PATH station at Journal Square. Good fried chicken sold by the (largish) piece is its raison d’être, but the sides are also worth ordering. These include a very sweet spaghetti with tomato sauce topped with cheese. The peach-mango fried hand pies are also estimable.

You’re not going to believe this, but it’s a fried chicken drumstick plus a giant pile of spaghetti with red sauce
Fried chicken and spaghetti is the signature combo at Jollibee.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Bonchon New York

A box of sticky looking fried chicken, with french fry and cubed radish sides.
Two cardboard takeout containers, one with red-orange Korean fried chicken and one with french fries with a side container of pickeled radish.
Robert Sietsema/Eater

This classic Korean fried chicken chain located in Koreatown double fries birds to order, so your poultry will be super fresh, with a very crisp and slightly sweet crust, whether ordering the spicy version or one doused in soy garlic. Sides include kimchi coleslaw and pickled daikon radish, and the Parmesan-heaped french fries aren’t bad, either. There are multiple other locations, including in Brooklyn and New Jersey.

A box of sticky looking fried chicken, with french fry and cubed radish sides.
Two cardboard takeout containers, one with red-orange Korean fried chicken and one with french fries with a side container of pickeled radish.
Robert Sietsema/Eater

TKK Fried Chicken

TKK Fried Chicken plate with tea and shishito peppers.
Order fried chicken and shishito peppers at TKK Fried Chicken.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

For some fine fast-food fried chicken that’s not Popeyes, turn to Taiwan’s TKK chain, founded in 1974. It teamed up with Kung Fu Tea near Baruch College, where you can wash down fairly conventional fried chicken with a vast range of hot and frozen beverages (plus beer). The chicken comes in three degrees of hotness. Don’t miss the fried chicken-skin rolls stuffed with sticky rice, called kwa kwa bao.

TKK Fried Chicken plate with tea and shishito peppers.
Order fried chicken and shishito peppers at TKK Fried Chicken.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Cemitas El Tigre

A Mexican cemita sandwich loaded with fried chicken seen in cross section.
A fried chicken cemita from Cemitas El Tigre.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

A cemita is a Mexican sandwich hailing from the state of Puebla, made with a distinct round roll heaped high with cheese, avocado, black beans, tomatoes, mayo, and papalo leaves, which have a wonderful tarry taste. Woodside’s Cemitas El Tigre offers an unusual cemita that features fried chicken as its principal component. Great fried chicken tacos and fried chicken burritos also available.

A Mexican cemita sandwich loaded with fried chicken seen in cross section.
A fried chicken cemita from Cemitas El Tigre.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Pelicana Chicken

Two trays of fried chicken with all sorts of toppings and dipping sauces on the side.
Trays of fried chicken from Pelicana.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

This Korean chain, which styles itself as the King of Chicken, offers the usual assortment of bone-in and boneless chicken pieces, and batters that can vary in levels of crispiness and spiciness. In addition, it also provides dipping sauces in flavors like camembert, honey garlic, and scallion that enliven the poultry considerably. Other locations in Manhattan, Queens, and Brooklyn.

Two trays of fried chicken with all sorts of toppings and dipping sauces on the side.
Trays of fried chicken from Pelicana.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Pecking House