The Best Fried Chicken Sandwiches In NYC guide image

NYCGuide

The Best Fried Chicken Sandwiches In NYC

You can find fried chicken sandwiches pretty much anywhere, but for the best in NYC, head to these spots.

Just about any fried chicken sandwich is some degree of delicious. Deep fried pieces of poultry coated in spices on buttery buns just hardly ever go wrong. But while the floor is high, only certain fried chicken sandwiches are worth crossing bridges for. You'll find those sandwiches right here in this guide.

THE SPOTS

photo credit: Emily Schindler

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133 Chrystie St, New York
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Technically, there isn't a sandwich on Potluck Club’s dinner menu, but you can easily fix that oversight in a few seconds. The unquestionable best thing at this Chinatown restaurant is the crispy salt and pepper chicken with flaky scallion biscuits and chili crisp jam. Slice those biscuits in half, spread some jam, throw in a piece of chicken, and pat yourself on the back for consuming this dish in the exact way it should be eaten.

This counter-service spot in Chinatown has one of the best smashburgers in the city, and the chicken sandwich is just as good. It comes with a sprawling tender piece of dark meat that’s bigger than the soft and squishy bun, and you can add a ton of free toppings (lettuce, tomatoes, and thick-cut pickles, for example) as well as things like bacon and a fried egg if you pay a little extra. The sandwich is humongous, and at $9, it’s the best deal on this list.

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With eight different kinds of fried chicken sandwiches, you shouldn’t have trouble finding something you’re in the mood for at this tiny place in the East Village. Every version is tall, a little messy, and stuffed with panko-crusted dark meat. Our favorite is the G-Men, made with thick-cut bacon, cheese, and a fried egg. It’s exactly what you want first thing in the morning after your date with three martinis the night prior.

The piece of fried chicken that comes in The Notorious T.F.C. (which stands for Taiwanese fried chicken) is more like a steak than a patty. A whole chicken leg is deboned and pounded to form a juicy, tender cutlet that spills out of a sesame bun on all sides. To complete this masterpiece, a copious amount of daikon slaw is tossed in along with a creamy, spicy sauce for some kick. You might think you can't finish this sandwich—but it's so good that you'll prove yourself wrong.

Indian fried chicken sandwiches might seem new to the East Village and NYC at large, but according to the owners of Rowdy Rooster—who also happen to run Dhamaka and Masalawala & Sons—pakora-style chicken is a common street snack in Northern India. Their "Big Rowdy" sandwich is crunchy and covered in yogurt and pickled onions, and it comes on a soft, buttery pao bun. There are three heat levels to choose from, and the spiciest one is genuinely sweat-inducing.

A sandwich is only as good as its architecture. At Chick Chick, a juicy twice-fried piece of thigh is topped with a ton of cayenne and paprika. On the bottom, there’s cold butter lettuce and thick, slightly sweet pickles, all with a cooling white sauce—made with mustard, mayo, buttermilk, and black pepper—seeping down the side. The result is a perfect union of Nashville flavor and Korean fried chicken texture.

There are two fried chicken sandwiches at Double Chicken Please, and we feel like the one with salted duck egg gets all the attention. But the version with hot honey is the reason why we put this place on this list. With sweetness and spice from the honey, salt from the seasoned batter, sourness from some pickles, and an herbaceous Thai basil sauce, this sandwich is anything but one-note.

Even as extreme chicken lovers, we reached a point in our research for this guide when we couldn’t bear to consume another fried breast on a soft bun. Then we checked back in on Blue Ribbon Fried Chicken. Their hot, sweet sandwich made us forget that we'd tried 20 sandwiches in one week. It was like falling in love with chicken again—this time with the help of some syrupy chipotle honey mixed with spicy mayo and a supple potato bun. If you want to stick to the classic, their regular fried chicken sandwich is also great.

You should get things like mochi donuts and pinenut cookies at this Taiwanese-American bakery in Williamsburg, but be sure to save room for their chicken sandwich, which is a study in harmony. Sweet and salty pickles and ginger-pepper sauce provide some kick to every bite. The scallions and pickled veggies add brightness and crunch, and the fried chicken leg acts as a call for all white meat sandwiches to perform their swan songs.

Pretty much everything on the menu at this Williamsburg spot goes well with beer—none more so than their hot chicken sandwich on a sesame seed bun. Just as the thin layer of fried batter—which acts like a sponge soaking up the spicy sauce, cayenne, and hot honey—seems like it might completely mask the flavor of the juicy meat, the sweet and tangy kewpie mayo and pickles arrive to keep the heat in check.

We’re confident that the fried chicken sandwich at Peaches Hothouse went to the Cristiano Ronaldo school of self-promotion. On the menu, it’s called “The Best Chicken Sandwich Anywhere,” and the bun is lathered in comeback sauce—a combination of mayo, ketchup, honey, and Cajun seasoning. Juices from the Nashville-style hot chicken run down your hand as soon as you pick this sandwich up, while the cayenne on the hot and extra hot versions hits your nose like smelling salts. And like Ronaldo, this sandwich lives up to the hype every time.

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