Strike Rotisserie Chicken Gold at Tio Pio West

In the pantheon of great foods, rotisserie chicken has got to be towards the top, somewhere just below fried chicken and above every other kind of chicken imaginable. You may say the secret ingredient is the chicken fat waterfall, created by rotating chickens stacked one on top of another. Now that’s some Chinese water torture I can get into.

Golden brown skin is the key to what makes rotisserie chicken so great, but once you add super cheap prices, Latin style side dishes, and Peruvian aji (green sauce), you’ve got a real winner. Sound good? Well then head to Tio Pio West (the original is in Brooklyn) on 36th btw. 5+6th, where $7.50 will buy you half a chicken, rice, beans, and plantains. Oh, and not to mention a fairly big cup of aji.

What I got and a +/1 after the jump…


So you’re probably saying to yourself, “Zach, what gives? That doesn’t look like half a chicken to me!” And my only reply is to say, I screwed up. That’s right. I ordered the 1/4 chicken combo, with rice beans and plantains (at the equally cheap price of $5.50) thinking to myself, I could write just as informed a post of Tio Pio having eaten a 1/4 of a chicken, as eating 1/2 a chicken- so why not go for less chicken and supplement my lunch with some Treats Truck action on the way back to work.

Halfway through my lunch I realized what a huge error I had made. I ordered the white meat, because rotisserie wings are like a gift from god- but the breast meat is always going to be drier than dark meat. It was still pretty delicious, but after polishing off my wing, I couldn’t help but think I could have kept going (if for no other reason than to have something to dip into my aji, which despite being more watery than I’m used to, still managed to hit the spot with its spicy green goodness.) 

The rice, beans and plantains were fine, but if you’re not into the Latin sides, they have got a steam table full of others to choose from, including pasta, veggies, french fries, and a decent looking mixed salad. The steam table also had fried shrimp, fried chicken, fish, and meat stews- which I may go back and try, but it will be hard to walk into Tio Pio and not order the chicken.  Combos will run you $5.50 to $9 depending on what you order (and how much of it), but the chicken is by far the best deal (and the most delicious).

THE + (What somebody who likes this place will say)

  • Um… it’s rotisserie chicken.  And it’s cheap.
  • A lot of good side dish options
  • I love to eat alot, and you can’t get more food for cheaper anywhere in Midtown.  ($7.50 for half a chicken, and side dishes.  Come on!)

THE – (What somebody who doesn’t like this place will say)

  • The white meat can be a little dry
  • You can get better latin food in Midtown at places like Margon & Sophie’s Cuban
  • The Peruvian green sauce is way too watery (and not spicy enough)

Tio Pio West, 46 W. 36th St. (btw. 5+6th), 212-239-6633


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    So a work friend and I have been trying all of Zack’s picks over the past few weeks. Have to say there have been quite a few disappointments – and this is no exception. The chicken here simply does not compare to Pio Pio. I’m not sure the chicken is any better than the random buffet lunch market across the street from my building. Also, best Roast Pork pick was really subpar – don’t even remember the name of it. On the plus side – the Biryani (sp?) cart and Margon were AWESOME!! Already knew about Manchego Tei – and agree with all the positive reviews.

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