HOME > Chowhound > San Francisco Bay Area >


Fried Chicken Special

  • g

Chronicle Article spurs me to ask for chow-reviews of these and other places before I try any of the recs in the paper.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
    1. The two Oakland places Nellies and Southern Cafe are just average, and excellent fried chicken does not exist, despite Chronicle list. Went to Southern Cafe twice, first time was fabulous, but second time was so bad and so disappointing. The wait at Southern is horrible, both times took over 30 - 40 minutes to get food. I did find a great and fantastic place in Hot Springs, South Dakota (yes!) last September on vacation and it used rice oil!!!! mentioned in the Chronicle. That fried chicken was a meal to remember. I cannot find a supplier of rice oil on internet, anyone know of source, tried Draeger, Whole Foods, Andronico without luck. No one has heard of rice oil!!!! Let me know if a source exists.

      Diner 101

      1. If you google rice oil, there is a ton of info. The following is one that sells it in bulk.


        1. I did a comparison taste testing of Maverick's to Front Porch, and i have to say that i like the version at Maverick's much more. However, the SO prefered the front porch version hands down. I argued with him that you couldn't really taste the chicken at front porch and it was all deep fried breading, and he said "exactly!"
          Well, according to the chron article, the differences in prefered cooking method shed light on the grand differences in taste.
          Maverick's chicken was saltier, juicier, and had a lighter crust. Front Porch's chicken seemed to heavy and to dry for me.

          After having said all that, i still think that the best fried chicken in the city is at Popeye's. (heathen that i am)

          1. I wonder if the Louisiana Fried Chicken places mentioned in the article is related to the Louisiana Fried Chicken places in SoCal... I recall a horrid late night experience in SoCal from a few years ago at the LFC in Long Beach. Chicken was stale and nasty, "dirty rice" tasted a week old... took one bite of each and threw the rest of it away.

            2 Replies
            1. re: S U

              I tried the Louisiana Fried Chicken place in SF on 6th Street. If you can ignore the street people staring at your dinner, it's ok fast-food fried chicken. Sides were nasty, chicken had good crunch and was nicely moist and tender. Batter, if I remember, had a bit more spice than KFC.

              1. re: waldrons

                I have eaten their a few times since they opened, and i have noticed that it is IMPERATIVE to eat that chicken with the hot sauce they supply. otherwise, the batter flavor is just wrong. there is something about the flavor and tang of the hot sauce that brings out the flavor of the batter. without it, the batter just tastes overly bready. Almost like maybe what is the deal with the chicken at Front Porch, which also benefitted greatly from a dousing of hot sauce.....now that i think back on it.

            2. Recently had the FC at Front Porch. I was really underwhelmed. The coating was nice and crispy, but it was like it had corn meal in it, which produced a not so pleasant crunch. The chicken itself lacked in flavor and was in need of salt.

              1. Best fried chicken I've ever had is at Pizzaiolo in Oakland. It easily beats out Nellie's, Front Porch, Farmer Brown and Bakesale Betty (I still need to try Maverick). Perfectly cooked breast meat - tender, juicy, flavorful, with a light, crispy crust. Sadly, it's not on the menu ever day. But watch for it, and order it whenever you get the chance.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Morton the Mousse

                  Chez Panisse Cafe does it well, too, but it's only on the menu once in a while.

                2. Hey-has anyone tried Hard Knox Cafe in Dogpatch on Third Street for fried chicken? We had lunch there the other day and loved the fried chicken. You choose your 2 sides and the sweet potatoes were very good. The Jambalaya special had great flavor although the rice was a little mushy. I really felt like I was deep in the heart of Texas for a little while. Heaps of food for less than $10.00 a plate.

                  1 Reply
                  1. Farmer Brown's fried chicken is as good as any I've had. My favorite recipe at home was Bradley Ogden's from his first (?) cookbook. Beyond that, Powell's is the standard and Farmer Brown's is better than that. However, the Crispy Fried Quail at Rubicon makes me wonder if we are not all barking up the wrong tree.

                    1. i cannot believe that Pizzaiolo's fried chicken didn't make it on the list. The best fried chicken I have ever had.

                      I think maybe it's because it's only on one or two days a week...?????

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: Doodleboomer

                        It might be even less frequently than that -- I'm also a fan of Pizzaiolo's fried chicken, but the article was specifically about restaurants that feature it, and it's only on the menu every so often there, so I think it doesn't qualify.

                        That said, if you're there and it's on the menu, order it!

                        1. re: Doodleboomer

                          Just got back from a plate of Pizzaiolo's amazing fried chicken, with a chickpea ragu and a dose of chili oil. Waiter told me that they usually serve it on Fridays. Not every Friday, but most Fridays, and rarely on days other than Friday. So go on Friday. You have a good shot at the chicken, and if it's not on the menu, you'll still have a delicious meal.

                          The new pastry chef is awesome. The dessert is finally as fantastic as the rest of the menu.


                        2. Anyone tried Jodie's in the Berkeley/Albany area (just off Solano)? I haven't been there yet, but have heard a great deal of buzz about how good his fried chicken is. I would love to know what you all think.

                          1. I haven't tried the chicken at Jodies yet, but be aware that he only makes it on weekends and that it usually sells out fast.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: SLRossi

                              I tried Jodies. It was good, but not life changing ... that being said, ask to have it made to order and go at a time when it isn't packed (early or late). He fries it up ahead of time and keeps it warm on towels in the oven during the rush ... that's when I tried it and it impacted the overall quality in a negative way. Hoping to go there some day and having it fried to order.

                            2. I can't believe Rick's Corner up in Rodeo was left off the list.

                              1. Despite the nay-sayers' sentiments, I found myself at Nellie's earlier this week, ostensibly for the ox tails which I enjoy from time to time. However, as I spied the fried chicken at the neighboring table, I felt like giving it a try. I was more than pleased with my choice as the bird was piping hot, the crust was perfectly crisp and the meat was incredibly moist. Now, I've had most of the versions mentioned in this post and, honestly, Nellie's is right up there with the best. Now, I'll "have to" go back to check consistency (such is the burden of being a good Chowhound ;), but for my first sampling of their fried chicken, Nellie's made a great impression.

                                a sante,