Downtown Lunch: Backyard Chicken

Midtown workers shouldn’t have all the fun, so to even the score, I’ve brought on Daniel Krieger as an official Downtown Lunch Correspondent to write up some of the tasty stuff you can get in the lower half of Manhattan. He’s a great photographer (ensuring good food porn), but more importantly he is a lover of cheap, unique and delicious eats (or as I like to call it- Midtown Lunch’ish food.)

Downtown Lunch: Backyard Chicken

The corner of Pearl and John Streets now offer two solid Downtown Lunch options for the hungry and cheap. The banh mi cart from two weeks ago was a nice find, but Backyard Chicken sits about 50 feet away, and could be the greatest hot spot for cheap lunch in NYC (ok, not really.)

Downtown Lunch: Backyard Chicken

At BC you’ll spend $6.50 for 1/4 chicken with two sides and a drink…and for an extra 50 cents you can get a third side. Basically for under 7 bucks you won’t be hungry until tomorrow, as the portions are quite generous.

Downtown Lunch: Backyard Chicken

The chicken itself was decent but not deelish, which is surprising as that’s basically the only thing they do there (they make salmon too but who gets that?). And you can see the dirty birds spinning in the grease laden ovens that haven’t been cleaned since the Carter Administration.

Downtown Lunch: Backyard Chicken

The chicken I got was a little dry, I gotta say. Good but a bit dry. The sides though were awesome. The mashed potatoes and spinach both had a really nice flavor, and the mac-n-cheese wasn’t too greasy which is a problem I find with a lot of places.

Downtown Lunch: Backyard Chicken

I think overall if I had to choose a lunch between the two I’d go with Backyard Chicken though since I can still taste the mac-n-cheese a week later (Oh wait I just realized I had some left in my beard, that’s why).

They should call it Backyard Sides I guess.

Backyard Chicken, 241 Pearl Street (between John and Fulton), 212-406-6600

Photos and post by Daniel Krieger



  • Nothing a few extra packets of hot sauce can’t cure.

  • I want me some backyard chicken===now!!!!

  • Nice one Daniel, used to frequent this place when I worked downtown, glad to see it is still around. As Dub mentions, the secret is to come brandishing your own bottle of high-quality hot sauce – I’m loving Lottie’s Yellow with Chicken these days

  • True enough, put a little vinegary hot sauce on that and it will fix it up good.
    I could just eat a huge place of mashed potatoes with gravy and mac&cheese.
    Do they have biscuits??

  • Place is pretty good and it’s still kind of “undiscovered”.

  • Mmmmmmm….. backyard chicken.

  • haha awsome, i was just wondering about this place, but coworkers won’t go near it as the rottiseried chickens were basicaly done by 8:30 in the am and probably spin in their pits of hell until downtown lunchers consume some or all of em. Would explain the dryness.

  • Just tried this place today. Chicken was dried out, tiny portions and overall pretty terrible. Sides were way greasy.

  • I miss this place. Used to go all the time when worked downtown. hit the spot, although not perfect, but inexpensive. Always a small line during prime lunch time, but the place is so tiny, 2 people creates a line.

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