Fried chicken is arguably one of the greatest inventions ever, up there with the wheel, lightbulb, iPhone, and beer. Pan-fried, deep-fried, Southern-fried, Korean fried - however you eat your fried chicken, let's take this day to rejoice in the greatest food of all. We've scoured the greatest spots to bring you the greatest fried chicken that the Colonel himself is bummed he didn't come up with!
(919 Divisadero St. // Divisadero)
The newest iteration of Brenda's French Soulfood has come to NoPa and brought along the signature spicy fried chicken.
(65 29th St. // Bernal Heights)
This Bernal Heights outpost offers a down-home blend of Southern and Caribbean fare featuring a four-piece plate and ten-piece bucket of fried chicken goodness.
(Visitacion Valley // Embarcadero)
Out in Visitacion Valley and in Embarcadero, Queen's delivers the most delectable fried chicken po'boys this side of the Mississippi.
(1031 Irving St. // Sunset)
Don't be surprised if you find yourself waiting for over an hour for these sweet, savory, and double-fried wings. It's well worth the wait.
Fried chicken galore in the forms of sandwiches, salads, and fire wings. One of the hardest spots to stay away from in the Bay.
(Richmond // Dogpatch)
One of the Outer Richmond's hidden gems, Hard Knox Cafe is a must for any fried chicken lover.
(115 New Montgomery St. // SoMa)
Nothing beats a solid fried chicken sandwich for just $8. Shoot. Make it a Happier Meal and get curly fries and a beer for just $4 more.
(4618 3rd St. // Bayview)
Comfort food at it's finest. The perfect piece of fried chicken chillin' on top of the perfect waffle, and top it off with syrup... 'nuff said.
(5098 Telegraph Ave. // Oakland)
Famous for her sinfully delicious slaw (pictured above left), Betty's fried chicken sandwich will take your lunch hour to new heights. Beware, the lemonade and strawberry shortcake are just as delicious.
(2261 Shattuck Ave. // Berkeley)
A slice of the Bayou in Downtown Berkeley! Angeline's features classic Cajun cuisine, but what really shines here is the buttermilk fried chicken.
(1601 San Pablo Ave // Oakland)
If you know, you know. They don't call 'em World Famous for nothing! These fried chicken sandwiches are hotter than your average, and most definitely not to be missed. You're welcome.
(901 Washington St. // Oakland)
Caribbean soul food takes center stage at this Old Oakland spot. Rejoice in the wonders of her skillet-fried chicken (pictured above right) served with potato salad and field greens.
(2295 Broadway // Oakland)
Updated renditions of soul food classics have shined bright at BSK where they proudly serve their famous chicken and waffles daily until 3 PM.
(444 Embarcadero West // Oakland)
Chicken, waffles slathered in butter, and a healthy pour of syrup. Damn. Our mouths are watering after typing that sentence.
(362 17th St. // Oakland)
If you didn't know Japanese fired chicken was a thing, well, now you know. This punk rock specialized in the fried goodness and seasonal izakaya plates and everything is freshly made in-house.
(331 Hartz Ave. // Danville)
They only serve their buttermilk 1/2 Mary's fried chicken with mashed potatoes and biscuits and gravy on Monday nights and honestly, we can't think of a more delicious way to beat the Monday blues.
(44 E. Blithedale Ave. // Mill Valley)
Up in Mill Valley you'll find this contemporary, California cuisine restaurant. But don't let California fool you, their "Kickin' Fried Chicken" is no joke, and comes with a take-home bucket (pictured above right)!
(6476 Washington St. // Yountville)
The casual addition to Thomas Keller's Ad Hoc in Napa, this outpost serves take-out lunches, and currently offers curbside pick-up, with Keller's famous fried chicken taking the spotlight.
(817 4th St. // San Rafael)
Pop into this diner-style joint in San Rafael for their all-day homestyle breakfast for the best chicken and deep-fried french toast you'll ever have!
(57 Broadway // Fairfax)
Po' boys, chicken and waffles, red beans and rice, and New Orleans coffee. In Fairfax. I rest my case, your honor.
SOUTH BAY + PENINSULA
Breaking from the theme of Southern-fried, we've got some of the best Korean fried chicken and wings in the South Bay. Crispy, crunchy, mild or hot - let your taste buds be your guide!
(1696 Laurel St. // San Carlos)
This spirited, from-scratch San Carlos establishment likes to sit back and let their fried chicken sandwich do all the talking.
San Carlos' favorite Cajun joint serves up their fried chicken (pictured above right), jambalaya and beignets in a cozy, laid-back, unassuming atmosphere.
(2781 El Camino Real // Santa Clara)
Sweet, spicy, honey, soy. However you like 'em, you'll sure be leaving satisfied. Bonus points: they have gloves at every table so your hands don't get messy!
The Pantry (1855 S. Delaware St. // San Mateo)
Bull Valley Roadhouse (14 Canyon Lake Dr. // Port Costa)
Aunt Mary's Cafe (4640 Telegraph Ave. // Oakland)
Lola's Chicken Shack (1417 Park St. // Alameda)
Lena's Soulfood Cafe (6403 Foothill Blvd. // Oakland)
Wayfare Tavern (558 Sacramento St. // San Francisco)
Little Skillet (360 Ritch St. // San Francisco)
Bonchon (Multiple Locations)
Written by Louis Rogers
For more fire eats sans the meats, hit up our guide
We miss the mark on your fave fried chicken? Hit us up at [email protected]!
**Last Updated on 1/20/2021**