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.
Looking for more cheap eats?
Empire Steak House – East
For the classic New York steakhouse experience, look no further than Empire Steak House. Start with an hors d'oeuvre like jumbo shrimp cocktail ($21.95), a Maryland crab cake ($18.95) and French onion soup ($8.95). Carnivores might have a hard time deciding on a main course, though—choices include a Kobe burger ($28.95), dry-aged emperor’s steak for two ($129.95) or a twelve-ounce Wagyu ribeye ($275). Chilean sea bass ($35.95) and spaghetti with lobster ($36.95) might tempt seafood lovers, too. There are plenty of steakhouse sides to go with your meat, like truffled mac and cheese ($15.95), creamed spinach ($10.95) and a jumbo baked potato ($6.95). If you somehow still have room for sweets, the dessert menu is also quite extensive, with treats like apple strudel a la mode ($13.95), chocolate lava cake ($10.95) and creme brulee ($9.95).
Venue says: “Host our private event in our upstairs mezzanine with a full bar or downstairs in our private wine room.”