If fried chicken isn't our national dish, what is? However, being essentially a southern food, it's rare to get it done well in New York. There is chicken beyond the cast-iron pan, though (as well as a few damn fine pans as well.)
A harlem institution, Miss Mamie's delivers exactly what you would hope it would: orthodox versions of fried chicken, macaroni and cheese, smothered pork chops, and of course the titular spoonbread. Unlike it's more famous rival Sylvia's, this is a restaurant for Harlemites, and you get a much better feel for the neighborhood here. Just a fun, happy place.
If you like cold sake and hot meats on sticks, this is the place for you. One of New York's best, and most authentic, izakayas, Yakitori Totto is a favorite of Japanese nationals and not a few of the city's top chefs. The place is especially devoted to chicken, every imaginable part of which is somewhere to be found on this menu. The only downside is that they use gas, rather than the hot-burning Japanese charcoal this food was meant to be cooked on.
The odd name dates back to its origin as a fairly unambitious kind of Korean Chipotle, but those days are long gone. David Chang's culinary atelier has become a creative force in New York, and while not everything it serves is sure to be great, you won't find anyplace else like it. Go for the fried chicken if it's available; the "bo ssam" pork shoulder is overpriced.
Here's what there is to say about Charles Country Pan Fried Chicken. It is far and away the best in New York, and always has been. The chef-owner stands, every day, behind an immense iron pan the size of roulette wheel, and cooks each piece until it's perfectly light gold, well-seasoned, and as light as a feather. It costs almost nothing. But there are two downsides: it's only truly great for a fifteen minute window, and the place is a long, long way from most of Manhattan. It's well worth the trip though.
The Korean approach to fried chicken is different than the American and, some would say, superior. Through a combination of rotisserie roasting and flash frying, the stuff is juicy and crispy at the same time, and frequently flavored with a spicy glaze that only adds to its deliciousness. Bonchon is one of the better exemplars of the genre. The room is not much, but don't take it out. Fried chicken, no matter what its origin, doesn't travel well.
Yes, it's pretty much what the name implies, but this Williamsburg lardcore mecca produces both on a level rarely seen in NYC. Bring several people so you can eat several pies.
Always in the sweepstakes for the best new southern restaurant in NYC, the Commodore definitely has the most fun vibe. The fried chicken, biscuits with honey butter, and black-eyed peas are all right from the Georgia playbook.
Conceived as a classic, old New York hangout, The Dutch delivered on its promise with a swinging crowd, a good, eclectic menu, and a first-rate cocktail program. Stop in for oysters or a steak, or, if it's available, chef Andrew Carmellini's fabulous fried chicken.
Pollo Campero is often described as the Kentucky Fried Chicken of latin America, but that doesn't begin to do justice to its popularity, either there or here. The chicken itself isn't that different from American fast-food chicken, give or take a dusting of spices and the presence of horchada instead of Hi-C, but there must be something special here. Anyway, it beats the hell out of Kennedy Fried Chicken,
Celebrity chef Marcus Samuelsson, who made his fame cooking high-end scandinavian food at Aquavit, opened this Harlem bistro to much fanfare, and for the most part the food has lived up to it. The menu is somewhat uneven, but everyone seems to agree that the fried chicken, biscuits and gravy, and red velvet cake are all outstanding.
By far the best of the new wave of southern restaurants to hit NYC, this is cooking as precise as it is porky, and with a menu that won't tire out your palate by the second spoonful of greens.
Great heritage chicken, masterfully brined and pressure-fried, is the reason for being of Bobwhite. The place has won the fried chicken sweepstakes of the last few years by multiple lengths, but the chicken isn't cheap ($10+ for two pieces) and you often have to wait 20 minutes or more for it. That said this is the real deal and one of the best in NYC.