There’s no sandwich-versus-biscuit dilemma at this sandwich shop straddling the Lower East Side and Chinatown, because the lauded fried chicken biscuit is both. The sky-high creation stacks crunchy chicken, country gravy and pickled cabbage between a fluffy biscuit that may exceed one hand’s grasp. It’s messy, so dress accordingy.
With locations in the Lower East Side and Williamsburg, Sweet Chick slings one of the largest fried chicken sandwiches in the city, tucked into a shiny-domed bun. The crunchy, juicy chicken gets hit with sweet and savory notes from coleslaw, pickled onions and contrasting sauces. At brunch, a fried chicken and waffle sandwich leans a little sweeter. Ultra-crisp shoestring fries are practically angel thin.
This Williamsburg sandwich shop takes Nashville Hot upscale with piping hot, legit spicy, bumpy, crunchy, juicy chicken joined by pickled celery in a flaky brioche roll. Alternate sandwich options not only command great respect but also open the door for a side of the hot chicken in wings form.
One of the highest regarded practitioners of fried chicken, this East Village restaurant has several options. The dinner menu sticks to an admirably constructed fried chicken biscuit that’s topped with Tabasco jam and served with pickles. The chicken gets praise but the flaky, faintly glazed and supremely buttery biscuit gets top billing. Brunch adds a fried chicken and waffle sandwich with whiskey maple syrup; pickled green tomatoes and cheddar make it a more savory experience than you’d expect. A toppings-driven spicy fried chicken sandwich crams bacon, lettuce, tomato and hot sauce along for the ride.
This intimate East Village eatery specializes in chicken in all its forms, but extra raves go to the salty pressure-fried chicken sandwich with house-made pickles in a buttered and toasted potato bun. Pimento cheese is an extra sandwich option for your likely second visit, but the creamy mac and cheese with breadcrumbs is a must. Coming soon: a second outpost in the West Village.
Head to Little Italy for the buttermilk fried chicken in a simple-but-effective sandwich that shares much of the limelight with a compelling apple cilantro slaw and special sauce. For something a little more far out, make a dessert out of the chocolate sandwich—on real bread, not your daddy’s ice cream sandwich.
Daniel Delaney, the wunderkind who upped the city’s brisket game at Delaney Barbecue three years ago, has turned to fried chicken—and midtown Manhattan—with a second venture at the UrbanSpace Vanderbilt food hall. Rather than messing around with an all-things-for-all-people menu, the retro counter confines lunch to a single item: a fried chicken sandwich with Duke’s mayo, Crystal hot sauce and pickles on a potato bun. A ten-sandwich pack with five servings each of potato salad and coleslaw keeps the takeout quick and simple. After 4:00 PM, the selections double with the addition of fried wings.
This hard-to-find southern kitchen in Williamsburg has been doing fried chicken for more than a decade, and you can get it as two different sandwiches. The flaky chicken biscuit keeps things relatively simple by adorning a fried chicken cutlet with the yin-yang of Tabasco and liquid honey butter. A busier fried chicken sandwich on a toasted bun adds bacon, jack cheese, ranch, avocado, lettuce, tomato, onion and mayo. There’s a newer second location in the Lower East Side.
Nashville Hot chicken is the mainstay at this Bed-Stuy Southern by the owners of Smoke Joint, and one of its configurations is a sandwich. Organic, free range thigh meat is housed in a crunchy, well-seasoned batter offset by the pillowy brioche bun. Heatseekers insist the hot chicken dinner is spicier, but concede that this juicy sandwich is still a winner. And this is another place where the mac and cheese is mandatory.
Yet another Williamsburg joint and yet another memorable mac and cheese here. It accompanies a fried chicken sandwich made from a large, crunchy, juicy serving of chicken breast that protrudes like a diving board from opposing sides of a sesame seed bun. You get a choice of three heat levels. For the hottest, rely on the creamy, finely chopped coleslaw for a restorative coolant. Pickle slices bring acidity to cut the heaviness.