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Pieces of fried chicken from Pecking House.
Photograph: Daniel Brennan Pecking House's fried chicken

NYC's 10 best fried chicken destinations

New York’s best fried chicken includes greasy-spoon, gourmet, and dynamically delicious varieties.

By Time Out contributors and Amber Sutherland-Namako
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Photogenic foods have gotten more and more slickly produced over the years, with unicorn dye here and glitter there, but fried chicken, one of the originals of the form, is as lovely as ever, unadorned. Whether it's perched atop a waffle at brunch, served among sides at a soul food favorite or only available off-site, that crispy golden skin practically crackles from its pixels. It’s even better when you lower the phone and take that first juicy bite, and these are our favorite fried chicken destinations in NYC to sink your teeth into right now. 

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best restaurants in NYC

Fried chicken we love so much that we welcomed them into Time Out Market

jacob's pickles
Photograph: Courtesy Jacob's Pickles

Jacob's Pickles

Bars Gastropubs Upper West Side

When Jacob’s Pickles opened on the Upper West Side in 2011, it was one of the first truly cool restaurants in a neighborhood better known for its sleepy dining scene than hip eateries and bars. The back-to-basics menu was one we could get behind (goodbye, stale chicken wings and greasy fries). The Southern-focused spot specializes in comfort foods: Nashville hot chicken, biscuits, mac and cheese and, of course, pickles.

Best fried chicken in NYC

Pecking House
Pecking House
Photograph: Daniel Brennan

1. Pecking House

Restaurants Queens

This “underground” fried poultry purveyor had folks in a feathered frenzy for buttermilk-brined chicken nicely spiced with Tianjin chili and Szechuan peppercorn shortly after it first got clucking last year. It’s still primarily available via wait-list for pick-up or delivery, but it’s also been known to pop up at the Market Line

 

Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz

2. Bobwhite Lunch and Supper Counter

Restaurants Soul and southern American East Village

This small, no-fuss East Village chicken nook focuses on beautifully fried-to-order fowl, presently served outdoors. Each order's gentle seasoning can please a wide variety of palates, and the exterior has a satisfying crunch. The overnight–sweet-tea–brined birds' turn in the pressure fryer lend them a juicy finish. 

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PIES N THIGHS fried chicken
PIES N THIGHS fried chicken
Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz

3. Pies ’n’ Thighs

Restaurants Soul and southern American Williamsburg

Sweet and savory get equal billing here, but fan-favorite fried chicken is the undisputed star. Seasoned with paprika, black pepper and cayenne, and crisped to a golden mosaic, you'll remember the resulting tender white and dark meat legs, breasts and thighs long after you've reduced them to bones. Grab a box of three pieces with a biscuit and a side like collards or burnt end baked beans.

Peaches Hothouse
Peaches Hothouse
Photograph: Evan Sung

4. Peaches

Restaurants Soul and southern American Bedford-Stuyvesant

One of New York’s top purveyors of Nashville-style hot chicken, the bird at this Bed-Stuy soul-food favorite is seasoned with sizzling cayenne and scorching ghost peppers. Its final form is pleasantly greasy, and even after many spicy bites (or extra spicy, for thrill-seekers), you can’t help but go back for more.

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Sylvia’s
Sylvia’s
Photograph: Courtesy Sylvia’s

5. Sylvia’s

Restaurants Soul and southern American Harlem

Founded by “Queen of Soul Food” Sylvia Woods, and now operated by her family, this Harlem restaurant has been a neighborhood staple since 1962. Decades later, it's still doling out down-South specialties like terrific chicken and waffles for outdoor dining, take-out and delivery.

Photograph: Lizz Kuehl

6. The Commodore

Bars Gastropubs Williamsburg

This Willaimsburg winner's edge is its crust. Orders of regally-coated thighs arrive heartily seasoned and three to a plate, with biscuits, honey butter and hot sauce. Each piece's detailed topography delivers a cartoonishly audible crunch and decadent grease—a great way to soak up all the booze on offer at this hipster-happy gastrodive.

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The Dutch
The Dutch
Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz

7. The Dutch

Restaurants Contemporary American Soho

This Soho spot in a typically heavily-touristed area is not a dedicated fried chicken destination, but it does save room for one on its brunch, lunch and dinner menus. And the hot fried chicken with honey butter biscuits and slaw is one of The Dutch's most popular menu items.

ROOT AND BONE fried chicken
ROOT AND BONE fried chicken
Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz

8. Root & Bone

Restaurants Soul and southern American East Village

Order fried chicken three ways at Root and Bone: by the half or whole bird just for you (or maybe two), or family style with the agreement of your whole party. The large format option adds deviled eggs, buttermilk biscuits and your choice of two sides to the lightly lemony bird served with hot honey sauce.

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Photograph: Evan Sung

9. Charles Country Pan-Fried Chicken

Restaurants Soul and southern American Harlem

Charles Country is presently on pause, but poised to open two new locations (one at 146 West 72 Street and one at 340 West 145th Street) any day. Expect the same shatteringly crisp exterior and tender flesh that's drawn devoted fans for 25 years in Manhattan. 

SWEET CHICK fried chicken
SWEET CHICK fried chicken
Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz

10. Sweet Chick

Restaurants Soul and southern American Williamsburg

Now with four locations in NYC, Sweet Chick is something of a mini-chain. Its chicken is bathed in sweet tea before being dredged and fried, giving the meat a gentle sweetness. It's available by the bucket, in a few types of sandwiches, and atop waffle varieties. 

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