6. Chirping Chicken Amsterdam Location (1982)

Chirping Chicken located on Columbus Avenue between West 105th Street and West 106th Street

Although Chirping Chicken now has six locations across New York City, it originates from its Amsterdam Avenue location between 76th and 77th Streets. Founded in 1982, the local chain specializes in “charcoal-broiled birds.” Chirping Chicken is currently owned by a man known by his first name “Stelios,” who credits his Greek heritage for the popular charcoal-broiled chicken. Aside from its tender, complexly seasoned chicken and other comfort foods, the Chirping Chicken name is also famous for a different reason.

In November 1996, Niki Barkoutis, the daughter of original co-owner Louis Barkoutsis, frequently worked behind the counter at her father’s restaurant on the Upper West Side. Barkoutsis was working at the family’s Amsterdam Avenue location when she decided to purchase a lottery ticket. Her lottery ticket was the winning ticket and she won part of a $45 million dollar lottery prize at only 23 years old. Niki Barkoutsis was set on using her fortune to help Chirping Chicken expand nationally. This dream, though, was not realized. The chain remains exclusive to New York City. The restaurants’ six locations continually garner positive reviews, with a menu including classically Greek dishes and also non-Greek dishes like Arroz Con Pollo.