Fried chicken remains an everyman’s food staple, and though some places can get a bit fancy, cheap fried chicken in NYC is where it’s at. Throughout the city, this breaded and well-seasoned wonder can be found with budget-minded prices and reasonable portions. Whether you want a classic dish at soul food restaurants or need to Instagram the latest and trendiest chicken-and-waffles dish, we’ve found the best offerings that won’t break the bank. Get your fingers ready and bite into this list.
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Best cheap fried chicken in NYC
At its Chelsea and Tribeca locations, lunchgoers can get a $9 special combo featuring two pieces of fried chicken, a side and a chocolate-chip cookie. There are also fried-chicken sandwiches with spicy mayo ($8.95), or fried chicken with kale salad ($9.95), but if you want buttermilk-dipped bird straight up, you can get a two-piece meal for $7 or good ol’ chicken fingers at $7 for three.
Located in Urbanspace’s Vanderbilt Market, this counter-service stand puts together chicken sandwiches that may tingle your taste buds (hello hot sauce!) but won’t scorch your bills. The Original Chicken Sandwich comes humbly with mayonnaise, hot sauce and pickles, while the Spicier Chicken Sandwich is just that, with pickled jalapeno, spicy mayo and Havarti.
Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Don S.
This casual Carroll Gardens spot dishes out buttermilk-dredged fried chicken as a thigh ($4), drumstick ($3), a breast and wine pairing ($7) or as a sandwich ($7) or taco ($8). Add on their well-noted tater tots ($4, with additional toppings ranging from $1 to $2 each) and make your inner child happy.
This East Village counter operation has solid price choices for combos and sandwiches, as well as some darn good sauces to accompany them. A fried-bird sandwich comes with shredded lettuce, tomato and pickled cucumbers on a toasted bun, or if you want poultry at its most unadulterated, opt for the Wing Man (two wings for $7.95) or the Drum Line (two drumsticks at $9.95).
This Southern comfort-food venue will leave patrons satisfied with its fried chicken and soul-food sides. During happy hour (3pm to 7pm), you can get chicken and beer for $5.35 or chicken and a biscuit ($3). If you want to pop in during lunchtime, their fried-chicken sandwich includes one side for $11.75, with optional zesty pimento cheese for a buck.
In Flushing, this trendy Korean chicken spot recently updated its menu but still gets touted for its traditional and fusion fare—don’t worry, fried chicken is still included. The crispy fowl includes a half chicken for $11 (whole is $20) and wing portions in 12-piece ($14) and 20-piece groupings ($25).
Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Jill R.
This Korean restaurant-club hybrid offers plenty of fried-chicken options, including standard wings, drumsticks and mixed combinations in soy-garlic, spicy and half-and-half varieties (portion sizes range from small at $9.95 to large at $22.95). There’s also a fried-chicken “burger,” with soy-garlic sauce, lettuce, tomato and red onions with a side of fries ($14.95).
Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/PhechPloy Patt P.
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The Brooklyn Tree
This casual American eatery in Bushwick churns out burgers, sandwiches and plates that will please both veg heads and carnivores alike. The grass-fed burger with white cheddar and smoked tomato aioli or confit tuna melt on parmesan-crusted bread (both $13) might hit the spot for meat lovers. Vegetarians can also swap in garbanzo bean loaf for the meatloaf ($13 for a sandwich, $15 for a plate) and tofu for the chicken schnitzel ($12 for a sandwich, $15 for a plate). Don’t forget the sides: You’ll want to taste the cheese puffs ($6), red pepper hummus ($6), quinoa-kale salad ($5) and mac and cheese with caramelized onions, shitake mushrooms and pretzel crust ($8). Come for brunch to try the avocado toast with sunny side up eggs and roasted peppers ($11), or just to take advantage of the two-for-one deal on Bloody Marys and mimosas.
Venue says: “The best Happy Hour in Williamsburg! Mon-Fri 3p-7p $2-$4 beers, $3 shots & $5 margaritas. Sat & Sun 11a-4p bloody's and mimosas buy 1, get 1”