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Best Chicken in Manhattan?

I'm on a mission: find the BEST chicken in Manhattan. Anyone can do pork well, but what about the often overlooked yardbird? Any form it comes is, be it sandwich, fried, roasted, dancing, as long as it's CHICKEN and it's AWESOME, I'm interested! What suggestions do you guys have?

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  1. I generally avoid ordering chicken in restaurants because it seems just too mundane (besides the fact that I make so many excellent chicken dishes at home). However, when we went to Apiary, we decided to do the $35 3-course menu, so for my main, I chose the Roasted Organic Chicken. I figured if anyone could make chicken shine, it would be Chef Scott Bryan. What also helped me decide to order it was the accompaniment: mascarpone polenta. I love polenta, and the idea of infusing it with mascarpone cheese.... Yum! And that's exactly how I would describe both the chicken and the polenta.


    4 Replies
    1. re: RGR

      Pio Pio has some delicious chicken.

      1. re: CMG920

        Really must second the Pio Pio, and it's a steal for the price.

      2. re: RGR

        I had the Apiary chicken last night. Outstanding. The polenta and organic baby carrots were perfect accompaniments, but the chicken was the star. Tender, well seasoned, and juicy. Yes, you CAN eat chicken out and not feel cheated!

        1. re: RGR

          We went to Apiary for my birthday last week, and I ordered the Roasted Organic Chicken as well. Like RGR, I'm not a big fan of ordering chicken in restaurants, but this was delicious, and I'd love to figure out how to replicate the mascarpone polenta at home.

        2. The chicken with preserved vegetables at Amazing 66 is fantastic. Had a good roast chicken at Belcourt a while ago. The parmesan crusted chicken at jean georges is delicious. I'm not an expert on authentic prep of this dish but I like the chicken karaage at Sakagura a lot. Will have to try the roast chicken/marscapone polenta at Apiary, that sounds delicious. There are good reports on here re: the boiled chicken dish at Big Wong, but haven't tried that yet(am looking forward to soon though).

          1 Reply
          1. re: brettnyc

            I recently enjoyed the olive oil poached chicken at anthos also, although the absolute star of that meal was the octopus, I'd be tempted to just have two orders of that, their cotton candy, and call it a day!

          2. First and not responsive (as this is in brooklyn), the chicken at Vinegar Hill House is supposedly amazing. I haven't been but it got rave reviews from critics as well as my friends who have had it.

            Now, to add my personal Manhattan suggestions:

            Chicken Oyster -- Yakitorri Toto
            Fried Chicken and Waffles -- Amy Ruths
            Roast Chicken -- Pio Pio (i've only been to the Queens location but there's one in the UES)
            Chicken Larb -- Pam's Real Thai

            4 Replies
            1. re: demigodh

              There's also a Pio Pio in Murray Hill and the UWS.

              In addition to Pio Pio, my vote would be for Bon Chon chicken (Korean fried chicken) and the halal chicken from the Trini-Pak cart on 43rd and 6th. I guess I like my chicken on the spicier side.

              1. re: Miss Needle

                There's also a Pio Pio on the Boardwalk at Coney Island! I like Pio Pio but lately we have been ordering from Chicken Festival on 1st Ave at 82 Street. It also is Peruvian chicken, very good, and same as with Pio Pio almost everything else sucks. They have the green sauce also!

                1. re: Miss Needle

                  BonChon Ktown apparently changed ownership, but supposedly bonChon on chambers is still BonChon. The Korean fried chicken is addictive.

                2. re: demigodh

                  The Peruvians do make wonderfully flavorful chicken! I've also liked what I've gotten at El Malecon, though it is not quite as spicy as Pio Pio.

                3. I really liked the smoked bbq wings at Dinosaur BBQ when I had them. If it wasn't such a hike for me, I'd go there much more often.

                  I also like the rotisserie chicken made by some of the Peruvian places.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: boccalupo

                    100% agree with Dinosaur BBQ. The wango tango wings are awesome, as is the BBQ chicken.

                  2. The fried chicken at Blue Ribbon/Blue Ribbon Bakery is excellent.
                    As is the BBQ chicken at Daisy Mae's.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Chuck Lawrence

                      Had the fried chicken at Blue Ribbon on Sunday for the first time and agree that it was excellent

                    2. i really love pio pio., i remember having a good piece at salt a while back too

                      1. Chicken Ajillo at El Charro on Charles Street @ Greenwich Ave. I also normally avoid ordering chicken in restaurants, but this dish is always wonderful. Give it a try!

                        1. The chicken for two at Marc Forgione on Reade Street is one of the few chicken dishes I can think of that has been mind blowing. Crispy skin, delicious, tender meat. It's called Chicken Under a Brick!

                          1. I love La Isla on 14th at B. In the same flavor family as Pio Pio, but better and cheaper, although I must admit the sauces at Pio Pio are pretty awesome. This place is a neighborhood Dominican stop-in, and a whole rotisserie bird is $6 (at last check), or you can get a half chicken with rice and beans for the same price.

                            1. Another vote for Pio Pio, and for fried chicken I really like The Redhead.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: pellegrino31

                                Had I never been to La Isla, I'd probably say Pio Pio too. There's no atmosphere here (unless you consider heat lamps and faux wood diner booths atmosphere), so you probably won't want to bring a date or hang out with drinks after work. But if you're on your way home, or just need some wholesome goodness in your belly, their chicken edges Pio Pio's by a small but significant margin.

                              2. I actually really like the Pennsylvania Roast Chicken at Upstairs at Bouley - it's super juicy and just a really nice flavor.

                                1. The 14 dollar roast chicken to go from Bouley Market on West Broadway is amazing!

                                  1. No question...it's at Bread Bar (Tabla's downstairs area). Tandoor-cooked, and declared by at least two of my friends to be "the best chicken they've ever eaten, anywhere."

                                    1. My vote is for the chicken al diavolo with broccoli rabe, garlic and chilies at dell'Anima.

                                      1. a couple of my personal favorites include Freemans, Vinegar Hill House, Extra Virgin and the king of all of them, chicken for two at Commerce. Also, the brick chicken at Marlow & Sons deserves a mention as well.

                                        Crispy Buckwheat Chicken
                                        They say you can tell how good a restaurant is by how well they make a chicken dish. Apply a combo of everything on your plate into one forkful: lentils, spinach, pickled onions and crispy glazed chicken. Put it in your mouth like Akinyele. Savor that sh*t.

                                        VINEGAR HILL HOUSE:
                                        Cast Iron Chicken with roasted shallots, sherry pan sauce
                                        Freemans chicken entree is one of the best in town so it's not surprising that the Hill House follows suit (owners met on the job in Freemans kitchen). Served in its own piping hot personal pan, it's juicy in all the right places. Another winner right here and up there with my favorite chicken dishes in the city. Can I get a hell yeah please?

                                        EXTRA VIRGIN:
                                        Mushroom Crusted Virgin Chicken
                                        Served with sweet pea risotto, cipollini onions in a light truffle broth, this is one of the more perfectly prepared chicken dishes on the market. You get a piece of breast and thigh crusted with a breadcrumb/mushroom mix that adds the perfect texture and taste.

                                        Whole Roasted Chicken for Two with Foie Gras Bread Stuffing & Potato Mousselini
                                        Wow. Talk about the star of the meal. I can't stop talking about how unbelievable this chicken was. Possibly the best Ive ever had. Commerce is known for their meats to share and for good reason. I know, I know, chicken is for girls. Chicken is safe. Chicken is boring. Not this chicken. Foie Gras bread stuffing? Seriously? You need some of that in your life.


                                        1. my vote goes for the roast chicken at barbuto...$19...just about the moistest, lemon garlicy chicken ive ever had. and i never order chicken.

                                          1. I love Amy Ruth's fried chicken and waffles yummm.

                                            1. Artisinal is one of my favorite restaurants for many reasons: the stout and gouda fondue with air-dried beef, perfect martinis with stilton-stuffed olives, incredible pork chops with mustard spaetzle, steak tartare, to name a few. BUT, their chicken cooked under a brick is one of the most perfect chicken dishes i've ever had. The skin of the chicken is super crisp and warms the soul; the meat is perfectly cooked, moist, and seasoned well. It's served with buttery pureed potatoes, a garlic jus, and perfect haricot verts. Absolutely delicious!

                                              1. Belcourt on 2nd Avenue/4th Street does an outstanding roasted organic chicken.

                                                1. There is a spanish place that I believe is called Isla on 14th Street between A and B but closer to B that makes AMAZING roast chicken. The spices on it are so good and they are really meaty and moist. Its sooo good (and inexpensive) I may have to get it tonight. I definitely say worth trying with rice and beans, Delicious!

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: c11

                                                    That's La Isla, the place I mentioned earlier. Beats Pio Pio hands down. And six bucks for a whole chicken or half a chicken with rice and beans--you can barely cook it yourself for that price.

                                                  2. I am a big fan of the roasted chicken at the Tavern Room of Gramercy Tavern. I usually do not eat white meat but there it is so tender and flavorful, yum.

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: maxine

                                                      I was just about to post the same thing. I never order chicken when I'm out but Gramercy changed my mind about that. It was so juicy and delicious it was incredible.

                                                      I also had it for restaurant week lunch at eleven madison and it was amazing. But what doesn't eleven madison do that's not amazing.


                                                    2. I won't call it the best chicken in Manhattan, but the roast chicken at Supper is perfect of its type: crispy-skinned simple Tuscan-style roast chicken, with excellent mashed potatoes (I think roasted asparagus may come with it, too; I don't remember).