Eating + Drinking

Winner Winner, Chicken Dinner: NYC’s Most Delicious Fried Chicken Sandwiches

Popeyes who? Chick-fil-wha? Ditch the chains and tuck into these cluckin’ delicious sammies instead.

Photo courtesy of Marlow and Daughters

Chicken sandwiches: the match that lights explosive Twitter wars and the one thing that will save America. Bird nerds lately have plenty of hot takes about the breaded, battered, fried handful. Sure, some may forget how to say complete sandwiches—er, sentences—after biting into Popeyes’s buttery brioche buns, and others say a little prayer for Chick-fil-A’s not-so-holy sandwich. Both, however, pale in comparison to what New York’s independent poultry purveyors are cooking up lately.

Heros and Villains’s Sandy Calrissian

Eating your way through the new(ish) Essex Market is a multiday process in itself, but you’ll want to make a pit stop at this globally inspired sandwich vendor. One of our personal faves is this Deep South–meets–Japan mashup stacked with all kinds of umami (a soy-based barbecue sauce and fermented chickpea-and-miso aioli) and soul (bread and butter pickles atop a twice-fried chicken tender) in between a classic Caputo’s bun. 88 Essex Street (at Delancey Street), Lower East Side

Photo courtesy of Heros & Villains NYC/Facebook
Farine Baking Company’s Spicy Buttermilk Chicken Sandwich

Upon first glance, the honey sriracha–drenched bird barely hiding underneath purple slaw is a messy, intimidating mammoth of a sandwich. Don’t be scared off, though; Queens’s leading food expert, Joe DiStefano, calls this bakery’s epic creation the borough’s best fried chicken sandwich—and we happily agree. 74-24 37th Avenue, Jackson Heights

Cheeky Sandwiches’s Chicken Biscuit

Once you find the unmarked entrance to this hole-in-the-wall shop, immediately squeeze your way to a counter seat, order yourself the gravy-slathered buttermilk biscuit sandwich, and watch the kitchen work its magic from three feet away. The end result is extra-messy, but it’s oh so glorious. 35 Orchard Street (between Canal and Hester Streets), Lower East Side

Photo courtesy of Cheeky Sandwiches
Marlow + Daughters’s Schnitzel + Slaw

The city’s still mourning the loss of one of the city’s best sandwich spots (Saltie), but at least chef Caroline Fidanza has brought her carbo-loaded visions to a new home nearby. Most of her sandwiches sell out way before your lunch hour ends, including this hefty handful that’s self-explanatory in name—the two main ingredients are, yes, a thin schnitzel made from pasture-raised chicken and a mayo-based coleslaw—and execution (both are squeezed in between fluffy focaccia from She Wolf Bakery). 95 Broadway, Williamsburg

Tortas Neza’s Tortas Aguilas

Judging by their colossal size alone, this food truck’s signature sandwiches are what legends are made of. First-timers tend to order the infamous puma torta, but we prefer stuffing our stomachs with a more “modest” choice: a pechuga de pollo torta stacked with shaved ham, stringy Oaxaca-style cheese, avocado slices, and refried beans. 96-15 Roosevelt Avenue, Corona

Photo by Jorge C./Yelp

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