NYC's Double Chicken Please Makes Cocktail Versions Of Classic Dishes

Most cities have a fleet of popular food trucks, but despite being run on wheels, they tend to serve up dishes only within a limited geographic area. Bartenders GN Chan and Faye Chen took the idea of mobile experience a step further by traveling across the country in a van — a decked out VW, to be specific — in which they served cocktails with never-before-seen flavors, often based around popular dishes like ramen or Waldorf salad, Thrillist explains.

The duo gained a reputation for their creative concoctions and partnered with local bars to further their footprint before eventually putting down roots in New York's Lower East Side. Double Chicken Please opened its doors in the fall of 2020, the bar notes on its website. Despite the challenge of launching during a pandemic, it has become one of the most talked about bars in a city full of them. Its recognition includes coming in as No. 6 in The World's 50 Best Bars list for 2022 — the highest "new" entry for the awards and the top-ranked bar in the United States.

"Our time on the road was essentially a preview/test run for our core concept of culinary-inspired cocktails," Chan told Tasting Table. "We wanted to see if guests could relate to the concept, and if the drinks and flavors would remind them of their own experiences with the dishes that inspired them."

A long and winding road

GN Chan and Faye Chen, two Taiwanese immigrants, began to dream up Double Chicken Please as bartenders in a town outside Taipei, Thrillist explains. Chen went on to help open Shanghai's award-winning bar Speak Low, while Chan moved to NYC to work at Angel's Share, a highly respected speakeasy. The pair remained close and decided to officially join forces in 2018 to launch Double Chicken Please's mobile predecessor.

Apart from his extensive bartending experience, Chan also worked as both an industrial designer and street musician — seemingly disparate backgrounds that influence his work as a mixologist (via Double Chicken Please).

"For me, mixing drinks is a combination of design and performance," he told Tasting Table. "I think of cocktails as drinkable designs which are presented on the bar as a stage. From R&D of the flavor/texture, drink concept, color, and glassware to how we communicate our menu to guests, there is a lot of thought and design consideration at every step."

French toast cocktails with a side of espresso

In addition to its unusual origin story, Double Chicken Please is famous for cocktails that travel beyond the flavors we expect in a drink. While the bar offers a set of "classics" like Sazeracs and Manhattans, along with the typical spirits you'd find at any upscale cocktail establishment, you come to Double Chicken Please for its liquid takes on your favorite dishes (via Double Chicken Please).

One cocktail invokes the flavors of mango sticky rice with the help of Bacardi Ocho, sticky rice tea, cold brew, mango, and coconut — among other ingredients. Another brings to mind cold pizza via Don Fulano Blanco tequila, honey, and egg white, as well as ingredients you'd expect in a pizza but not so much in a drink: tomato, basil, burnt toast, and parmesan.

Founder GN Chan says that his favorite drink on the current menu is the French Toast because it flips the components that are drinkable versus edible and demonstrates his design background.

"The French Toast cocktail comes with a Double Chicken Please branded 'oreo' — a handmade chocolate piece that was made possible with 3D printing and silicone mold casting," he told Tasting Table. "The oreo 'cookie' contains bitter dark chocolate with housemade cocoa crumbles folded [into] a white chocolate espresso ganache. When guests enjoy the drink, which was inspired by eating french toast with an espresso martini on the side, they are effectively drinking their french toast and eating their espresso martini."