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Mar 13, 2006 10:05 PM

Best fried chicken in the Bay Area?

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Where is it?

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  1. My vote is for Jodie's (Masonic @ Solano) in Albany. Only on the weekends and only "until it runs out." Yum.

    11 Replies
    1. re: DRR

      I actually haven't had that great of an experience with Jodie's chicken. I thought it was a bit dry and overly salty when I had it about a month ago. I love the down-home cozy atmosphere at Jodie's, though - there's nothing more charming on an easy Sunday morning. I look forward to going back and trying some other menu items.

      But by comparison, I've had much better chicken at Nellie's (Oakland). It was fantastic two out of the three times I've been there - the last time I went, it was only good (the service was off and the chicken was served lukewarm and a little soggy).

      This description from Jonathan Kauffman's review in the East Bay Express sums up Nellie's chicken perfectly and never fails to make my mouth water:

      "[W]e both agreed Miss Nellie's chicken was good, darn good -- the skin scrunched and flaky, the insides well salted and glistening. The crust tastes more like meat than batter, suggesting that the chicken is cooked in frying pans instead of a deep fryer so that all the meat juices leach back into the oil, flavoring the meat from the outside in."

      Nellie's Soul Food
      1155 3rd St. (at Adeline St.), Oakland.
      510-271-0122 or 510-625-1350
      11 a.m.-9 p.m. Tue.-Sun., 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Sat. and Sun.


      1. re: Chestnut

        Yeah, I like Jodies, but it is equal parts atmosphere and food. If you get the fried chicken, don't go at peak hours ... or ask for it to be fried to order. He gets busy and Jodie makes it ahead of time and keeps it warm in the oven covered by towels. Not optimal.

        I would say I like Nellie's the best too. Only place I've tried so far that is worth the fried chicken calories.

      2. re: DRR

        Please delete the duplicate posts - sorry, and thanks!

        1. re: Chestnut

          Glad to do it. But do us a favor next time, and shoot an email with the URL of what needs removing instead of creating another post for us to clean up.

          1. re: The Chowhound Team

            Merrit Bakery Fried Chicken is horrible.

            And a terrible value.

            1. re: Mission

              Horrible how? I've always liked the good-sized pieces, juicy and tasty, with the thin crispy crust I prefer. It's one of the only two chicken places I'd go out of my way for. Has it changed since October?

              1. re: Shep

                I've gotten chicken there once since last October and it was not good. Not terrible, but not good.

                I've ALWAYS been a big fan of Merrit Bakery chicken - take-out only. All the other stuff is rubbish. Now I'm worried that the whole place has gone downhill - even the chicken. Will have to try it one more time. Chicken was always very crispy and moist. Big pieces and reasonable price.

                1. re: oakjoan

                  I thought Merritt had burned down. Are they back in business?

                  1. re: Sarah
                    Chris Willging

                    They had a fire a little while ago, but they were back in business just a few days later.

                2. re: Shep

                  What is the other/second one?

                  1. re: sydthekyd

                    Porky's Pizza, on Manor in San Leandro. Big family-style old-fashioned pizza house like the late lamented place on Hesperian that had the pipe organ. Good juicy crispy thin-crust chicken, fried pretty much to order, so call ahead. 15 beers & ales on tap. They don't open till 3 PM (AW!)

                    1221 Manor Blvd xxFarnsworth
                    San Leandro

                    Never tried the pizza...

        2. My friends keeps raving about Merrit Bakery fried chicken. I had it about 2-3 years ago and can't recall whether it was good or not. I just remember the pieces were small in size.

          1 Reply
          1. re: theSauce

            Merritt Bakery is my favorite place for chicken & waffles. The chicken pieces could be bigger, though.

          2. These are Asian recs.

            For a Japanese style fried chicken, the hearty boneless portion offered at Maruichi ramen noodle house on Castro street in Mountain View is very nice.

            For Chinese style dried fried chicken wings (sweet spicy and lots of garlic) in SF, San Tung on Irving.
            In the South Bay, my vote goes to A&J's Cupertino for a killer Taiwanese style.

            1. Looking forward to trying Jodie's in the near future. Haven't tried the Southern Kitchen in Walnut Creek (?) yet either.

              Can't really say where the best fried chicken is so I'll give you my list of the better places I've had...

              Southern Cafe (Oakland)
              Nellie's (Oakland)
              Louisiana Fried Chicken (El Cerrito/Oakland)
              Casa Orinda (Orinda)
              Ricky's Corner (Rodeo)

              As you can see I have an East Bay bias. And I know LFC is a chain, but the chicken's darn good.

              btw, House of Chicken N' Waffles (Alameda) must be tried at least once. The strange sounding combination mysteriously works.

              1 Reply
              1. re: J T

                I second Casa Orinda (in Orinda. In general it's not really a destination restaurant, more for the local lafayette, orinda, moraga folks, but it is a nice place and worth a visit for the great fried chicken.

              2. Not sure if it's what you're looking for, but the buttermilk fried chicken sandwich at Bakesale Betty's can't be beat. 51st and Telegraph in Oakland.