Cafe Cello May Have the Best Fried Chicken in Midtown
It’s been over a year a half since I originally visited Cafe Cello (46th btw. 5+6th), and wrote about their roast pork. (I loved it so much, the photo of my lunch became the official Midtown Lunch photo.) From the outside, you’d never guess that this generic looking deli would serve the best roast pork in Midtown, but it’s the truth (you may say the secret ingredient is crispy pork fat). I returned last week to check out the scene, and I’m pleased to report that pretty much nothing has changed. They still serve up a delicious plate of pork, and they still top it with the all important hunk of crispy pork skin. If you are a lover of pork fat, it really can’t be beat.
But as good as the pork is, it may not be Cafe Cello’s best dish. That title may have to be reserved for their surprisingly delicious fried chicken…
My two co-workers both ordered the pork, allowing me to branch out, and check out the fried chicken, which always looks amazing. Served with rice, beans and plantains, $7.60 gets you 2 really well seasoned pieces of white or dark meat, and the crispy crust inexplicably stands up really well to sitting in the steam table all throughout lunch.
They have tables in the back, but with the weather being so nice- it’s much better to go around the corner and sit in the park nestled between 5+6th Ave. & 45+46th St. Admittedly, there isn’t much competition for Midtown’s Best Fried Chicken crown (the out of bounds Piece of Chicken is good, and I still love me some Popeye’s) but Cafe Cello is making a damn good case…
THE + (What somebody who likes this place would say)
- Crispy, well seasoned fried chicken that stands up fairly well to sitting in a steam table
- If you like rice, beans and plantains more than biscuits and french fries, this is your fried chicken dream come true
- It’s all from a steam table, so it’s very quick, and for $7.60 it’s a ton of food
THE – (What somebody who doesn’t like this place would say)
- They used to give you 3 pieces for the same price
- They don’t cook it fresh to order, so depending on when you go, I could see it not being fresh (although both times I’ve gotten it, it was great)
- The breast can be dry (not surprisingly)
- It’s not spicy… for that Popeye’s is still #1.
- If you go too late, sometimes they run out of fried plantains
- They don’t have biscuits. I need biscuits!
Cafe Cello, 48 W. 46th St. (btw. 5th & 6th Ave.), 212-764-8600