With crispy skin and juicy meat, few people can resist a good rotisserie chicken. Whether it’s half, whole, thighs or wings, the versatile chicken can go from casual lunch to fancy dinner with ease. From convenient grab-and-go spots to the city’s more upscale restaurants, these Philadelphia favorites are cooking the best roasted chicken.
227 S. 18th St.
Philadelphia, PA 19103
Rittenhouse Square’s Parc is as close to a Parisian experience as you’ll get in Philadelphia. Stephen Starr is behind the bistro-style restaurant, so it’s no surprise that the ambiance is just as impressive as the food. While the scallops, lamb shank and skate are all delicious, sometimes it’s the simple things that are the real treasures. A basket of house-made bread starts your meal off right, and then order the half roasted chicken. Served with a wonderfully rich jus de poulet alongside silky smooth mashed potatoes, this dish is so good that famous Chef Robert Irvine listed it on the Food Network as one of the best things he ever ate.
Sweet Lucy’s Smokehouse
7500 State Road
Philadelphia, PA 19136
Sweet Lucy’s cooks all of its meats low and slow for a distinct, hickory-smoked flavor. The chicken has a delightful crispy skin with juicy meat underneath, just the way you want rotisserie chicken to be prepared. The half-chicken platter includes three sides, cornbread or a roll for $10.95, or you can just get the chicken for $7.50. Order for two and get a whole chicken platter for $18.95 or order just the chicken for $11.95. And if you like some variety, you can also order a 1/2 chicken with a 1/3 rack of ribs for $16.95. Sides such as macaroni and cheese, baked beans, sweet potatoes and spicy collard greens are the perfect complement to your meal. Remember to bring your favorite bottle, as Sweet Lucy’s is a BYOB.
Related: Top Pulled Pork In Philadelphia
124 S. 18th St.
Philadelphia, PA 19103
Chef Joe Monnich and Stephen Starr bring a touch of Britain to Center City with The Dandelion. The two-level pub offers several menus, including a mid-day tea, lunch, dinner, bar snacks, Sunday and holiday roasts and dessert. In addition to British classics such as bangers and mash and beer-battered fish and chips, you can also find a roasted chicken on the dinner menu. Served with roasted fingerling potatoes and sweet cipollini onions, the chicken if offered as a half for $19 or whole for $36. To end your meal on a sweet note, try the sticky toffee pudding for dessert.
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102A S. 21st St.
Philadelphia, PA 19103
The owner of Rotisseur, Aaron Matzkin, opened his Rittenhouse Square quick-service spot in 2012 after seeing a real roast chicken void in the Philadelphia food scene. After returning from a stint in Los Angeles where he ate an abundance of rotisserie chicken, Matzkin was disappointed to find that the only casual-style rotisserie birds he could find in Philly were of the overcooked supermarket variety. In contrast, his rotisserie chicken doesn’t sacrifice flavor or quality ingredients just to provide fast, affordable food. Using top-quality organic, free-range chicken provided by D’Artagnan, Matzkin brines the chickens before they go into the oven. The result is chicken that is sweet, plump and delicious and can be ordered as a whole, half, leg and thigh or breast and wing, with seasonal sides such as beets, roasted potatoes and succotash to round out the meal. Other favorites include the chicken banh mi, a Vietnamese-style sandwich with pickled cabbage, cucumber, lime, jalapeno, cilantro and dressing.
Reading Terminal Market
12th and Arch St.
Philadelphia, PA 19102
Located inside the Reading Terminal Market, the family-run Dienner’s Bar-B-Q has been cooking and serving chicken since 1980. The chickens are from Lancaster and are available as whole or halves, wings or legs, and are all priced per pound. Seasoned perfectly and always moist and tender, Dienner’s does chicken right. The wings are always a favorite and can be ordered fried or barbecued, or you can go for the classic rotisserie. One of the most popular meals is the lunch combo, which includes a pound of wings (about eight wings), a drink and the sauce of your choice (hot, mild or blue cheese) for about $10.
Michelle Hein is a copy editor for a women’s fashion company in Bucks County by day and a self-proclaimed food and drink fanatic by night and weekend. She enjoys attending wine classes, trying new recipes in the kitchen and going to old favorites and new restaurants alike in the Bucks County and Philadelphia area. If the writing gig doesn’t pan out, she constantly dreams of owning her own bakery…perhaps connected to the restaurant/bar that her lawyer boyfriend would love to open.
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