Neil’s Coffee Shop’s Chicken Salad Sandwich, One of Our 100 Favorite Dishes


Dish no. 36: Chicken salad sandwich from Neil’s Coffee Shop (961 Lexington Avenue, 212-628-7474)

Just a few blocks from Central Park, the area surrounding 70th and Lexington is home to a crowd that’s a mix of the Upper East Side elite and scattered students from nearby Hunter College. But while you won’t find them in many of the same places, both parties seem to agree on one thing: Neil’s Coffee Shop. A classic New York City diner, Neil’s serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner, seven days a week. The menu offers everything from omelets to seafood pasta to egg creams; the food is genuine and arrives fast. But the best thing on the menu is the classic chicken salad sandwich. Composed of dark and white meat from house roasted chickens, the salad contains finely chopped celery and just enough mayo to hold it all together. Served on toasted rye bread with lettuce, tomato, and onion, it has been served the same way since Neil’s opened in the 1950s. Enjoy it at the counter or in one of the many plush booths. It’s a real New York experience.

In advance of our 2014 Best of NYC issue, we’re traipsing through the boroughs and divulging our favorite dishes of the year. They’re presented here as a countdown, but we’re listing them in no particular order. Consider this a guide to what’s good to eat in this town right this very second.

See the map of our 100 favorite dishes.