What is it about fried foods that make them so irresistible? We’re helpless in the face of warm, golden french fries, freshly fried beignets or chicken. Lately, we’ve noticed that chefs have gotten rather imaginative with what they’ll dunk in the fryer. How about fried pizza, bacon, or macaroni and cheese? While some of them may sound like a bad idea, the adage holds true: anything tastes better fried.
383 5th Avenue (at 6th Street)
Brooklyn, NY 11215
129 Atlantic Avenue (at Clinton and Henry Streets)
Brooklyn, NY 11215
If you want a fully fried meal, this is the place to do it. Chip Shop is like a British temple devoted to all things fried, including dessert. First things first, you can’t eat at a British chip shop and not try their fish and chips. They batter everything from scallops to cod to shrimp and haddock, mingled with fries. There’s a deep fried burger, pizza, and egg. Yep. And the selection of fried sweets is even more extensive–from twice fried cherry pie to fried bananas and candy bars. Take your pick of fried Snickers, Twix, Mars Bar, and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.
Pearl Oyster Bar
18 Cornelia Street (between 4th Street and Bleecker Street)
New York, NY 10014
Pearl Oyster bar is arguably one of the best seafood shacks in town. Chef Rebecca Charles makes a standout lobster roll and New England clam chowder, but the best thing on the menu takes a dip in the fryer. Unusually plump and fresh, the oysters here are some of the plumpest in the city. Sure, you can order them raw but why when you can get a beautifully fried oyster on the half shell with homemade tartar sauce, or a take on a fried oyster roll on a hot, buttered bun. Not an oyster lover? Try the pan-fried fish sandwich. Throw in some shoe string fries and call it a day.
Dirty Bird to Go
204 West 14th Street (between 7th and 8th avenues)
New York, NY 10011
In the right hands, roast and fried chicken can be a marvelous thing. Where fried chicken is concerned, Dirty Bird masters their domain — juicy and tender on the inside, crispy outside, and flavorful all around. We love the buttermilk dipped fried chicken on its own, or even better, in a wrap with tomatillos, tomato, hearts of palm and lettuce. Both options come with your choice of buttermilk, bbq or honey mustard dipping sauce. Best of all, the chicken at Dirty Bird to Go is organic and farm-raised.
The Red Cat
227 10th Avenue (between 23rd Street and 24th Street)
New York, NY 10011
Bacon has the potential to make any dish better, and chefs and pastry chefs alike have been taking full advantage of it. We recently spotted bacon-studded cupcakes. But that’s not The Red Cat’s style. Chef Bill McDaniel came up with something much simpler and a lot tastier. He added tempura bacon to the menu. This crispy, fatty snack is served with a chipotle lime aioli and a grilled corn salad (when in season), adding a little something extra to an already innovative dish.
51 Bank Street (between 4th Street and Waverly Place)
New York, NY
This cozy, new spot opened in the West Village just a few months ago, but locals have already become regulars, returning from the creative comfort food cooking. Comfort often involves the fryer, which is the case with Tremont’s salt cod croquettes with an addictive lemon herb aioli.
131 Sullivan Street (between Prince and Houston Street)
New York, NY 10012
Andrew Carmellini serves up an impressive collection of comfort food at his American-style restaurant in Soho (in the former Cub Room space). America is famous for lots of things, including barbecue and all things fried. The menu features fried green tomatoes with shrimp, fried oysters on the half shell, and southern fried chicken. Our favorite is the fried oysters sliders served on a pillowy potato bun with slaw and a house sauce.
328 East 14th Street (between 2nd and 1st Avenues)
New York, NY 10003
Led Zeppole’s (pun intended) conveniently offers carnival foods year round. Their extensive menu items include namesake zeppoles, a thick, chewy Sicilian doughnut, as well as fried Oreos, funnel cake, cream puffs, deep fried peanut butter and jelly, and Twinkies all topped with powdered sugar. Rumor has it they’ll fry anything you want for $2.00!
20 West 29th Street (at Broadway)
New York, NY 10001
The British don’t do anything in moderation, so expect delightful excess and gluttony at April Bloomfield’s newest venture to date. They even take peanut butter and jelly to a whole, new level. The Breslin’s version is a fried peanut butter and banana sandwich, served with bourbon and vanilla. Now for another star of their menu–the scotch egg. If you’ve never had a scotch egg, dig right in. Or sample a traditional scotch egg. It’s a complicated bar snack, which starts with a soft boiled egg wrapped in sausage, encased in dough, and deep fried. The best part is when the egg yolk breaks, mixing with the tender sausage and the crisp, flaky dough.
123 2nd Avenue (nr. 7th street)
New York, NY 10003
We can’t wax rhapsodic about fried foods without paying homage to the
sacred fry. Pommes Frites serves their Belgian take on a classic fried
not once, but twice for a soft inside, crispy outside. What really sets
them apart is the incredible selection of dipping sauces from old
school ketchup to mango mayonnaise, cheddar sauce, wasabi mayo, and
black truffle mayo. (And that’s just for starters.) If you’ve never
tried Canadian poutine, here’s a perfect opportunity. Canada
traditionally drenches their fries in gravy, and tops it all off with
fresh cheese curds. Delicious and utterly unhealthy.
Pizza By Cer Te
132 East 56th Street (between Park and Lexington)
New York, NY 10022
There are nearly as many Italian restaurants as there are corner bodegas in Manhattan, but how many serve fried spaghetti balls? Exactly. While Pizza by Cer Te offers familiar Italian dishes as well, you can get those anywhere. Instead, try the fried spaghetti balls. We hate food that’s gimmicky for the sake of attention, but these happen to be incredibly crispy wonders. Each bite yields perfectly cooked spaghetti, melted cheese, marinara sauce, and a crispy fried crust. At just $2.50 each, they’re a great change of pace and a tasty snack to accompany a salad or a slice.
1460 2nd Avenue (between 76th and 77th streets)
New York, NY 10075
It could be argued that southern BBQ and fried food are a match made in heaven. What better pairing with BBQ spare ribs than fried pickle chips and fried green tomatoes. Southern Hospitality’s serving up both deep fried, extra crunch bites with just enough batter on the outside to add that rich fried flavor that we all love so much. Both can be ordered as an appetizer or as a side to your meal–and forget the calories. They’re that good.
437 3rd Avenue (between 30th and 31st)
New York, NY 10016
This sushi sleeper has been a favorite for some time. It may not look like much, but the sushi is terrifically fresh and affordable, which is all that matters. And that’s not the only thing to get here. There’s a great seafood soup, yakitori and and grilled whole squid. The best dishes are actually fried: Consider starting with the fried calamari salad and finish the meal with the tempura green tea ice cream with a curiously warm, crunchy shell and a chilly, earthy-tasting interior.