Ever since we visited Jollibee in Woodside, NY, back in 2016, I’ve wanted to return to try more items from their menu.
I first came across Jollibee while watching an episode of Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown. For those of you not so familiar with the restaurant, it’s a fast food restaurant from the Philippines which is quite popular there. Think of it as the country’s version of McDonald’s.
Soon after writing my review of our visit, I was happy to see that Jollibee would be expanding by opening a location in Manhattan.
The location was supposed to open in the Fall 2016 but didn’t end up opening until around two years later. The Manhattan Jollibee opened in October 2018!
Lucas and I attended the New York Times Travel Show at the Jacob Javits Center. Before heading to the show, my plan was to try out a new pizzeria called Upside Pizza.
As we were making our way to Upside, I spotted Arby’s and was about to point it out to Lucas since he’s a fan. Here’s how the exchange went. “Look Lucas, Arb, Oh Sh*t, Jollibee!”
(As I had looked a bit closer, I spotted Jollibee right next door to Arby’s.)
I immediately told Lucas that we needed to make a detour before going to grab some pizza. (Upside was less than a block away.)We headed inside and I was happily surprised that there wasn’t a line to order.
I then had to make some tough decisions. What should we order! Unlike the Woodside location, the Manhattan location has a much more limited menu consisting of fried chicken, chicken strips, a chicken sandwich, spaghetti and some sides.
After looking over the menu, I knew that I had to try the chain’s famous Chickenjoy aka fried chicken. I also needed to have the delicious and bizarre spaghetti again.
We settled on a two piece Chickenjoy with Spaghetti.While waiting for our order, Lucas and I figured we’d check out the restaurant and snap a few photos.We loved this map showing the Jollibee world. There are over 1,000 stores around the world (please open in Brooklyn, NY) and over 1 million pieces of Chickenjoy are served everyday.There’s also a strange sign teaching the moves to dance along with Jollibee. We couldn’t wait to dig in when our order was ready.Here’s everything we got: two pieces of Chickenjoy, gravy and Jolly Spaghetti.Lucas needed his closeup with the meal!The Jolly Spaghetti was even better than I had remembered.
The dish had a lot more meat than the last time. There were lots of slices of hot dogs as well as chunks of meat in the tangy sauce. I totally loved this dish!
I thought Lucas might be hesitant to try hot dogs in spaghetti but he was actually excited to give it a try. Before finishing his first bite, Lucas was hooked. He said he needed more so I ripped the cover off of the container to make him his own portion.
If you go to Jollibee make sure to order Jolly Spaghetti. Yes, it sounds weird but its delicious!
Next, we gave the Chickenjoy and gravy a try.
Our two- pieces order looked like more than we needed but it ended up being the perfect amount.
I tried the first bite without the gravy to get a good idea of the flavor of the chicken. The crust was very crispy to the point that some chunks of it fell off. (These wouldn’t go to waste as we dipped them in the gravy later on, kinda like a chip.)
I noticed a mild spice in the crust which was quite enjoyable. The chicken, which was dark meat, was juicy on the inside and really tasty. I then tried the gravy with the chicken which is hard to describe (a little salty, creamy), however, I can say that I really liked it and so did Lucas!
We really loved eating at Jollibee in Manhattan. The food was awesome and we look forward to dining at one of the chain’s locations again.
Both Chickenjoy and the Jolly Spaghetti were delicious. If I had to pick a favorite, I’d go with the spaghetti. Lucas had a harder time choosing and said that he likes both!
Have you dined at Jollibee? If so, what is your favorite item on the menu?
Jollibee Times Square is located at 609 Eighth Ave. between W. 39th & W. 40th streets in NYC.