Popularity doesn’t tell you much in the world of books or film or music, but in the world of pollo a la brasa? It’s everything. The longer the line, the better the place, because high volume means the product never sits drying out in a warming oven. Sardi’s, the reigning daddy of the scene, has more turnover than a start-up, ensuring that the chicken—marinated 24 hours in a mixture of lemon juice, oregano, and Coca-Cola, then rubbed down with cumin and salt and roasted slowly on a spit over an open flame—is always hot and juicy.
Where you can find it: Multiple Maryland and Virginia locations; sardischicken.com
Also good: Pollo parrillero, a spatchcocked, grilled chicken; ceviche mixto.