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Breaking Down the Bay Area’s Best Fried Chicken

fried chicken and waffles

Fried chicken has long been a popular comfort food that people in the San Francisco Bay Area appreciate for its taste and simplicity. Therefore, this post provides a list of some of the best places to pick up a bucket of fried chicken or to sit down and enjoy it in a more formal setting.

Fast Food Francais

The owners of Fast Food Francais in Sausalito did not start putting fried chicken in a bucket until March 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The offering was so popular that the company’s sales tripled. Cooks separate pieces of a whole chicken and marinate it in sauces for 24 hours. The bucket of fried chicken also comes with a heaping side of mashed potatoes and optional buttermilk sauce.

Explosive Crispy Chicken

Served exclusively at Z & Y Restaurant in San Francisco’s Chinatown, Explosive Crispy Chicken is a different fried chicken experience for most Americans. The authentic Chinese restaurant serves this dish Sichuan style, which means it comes with plenty of chili peppers.

The chili peppers top several pieces of sliced chicken and sesame seeds for a memorable, mouth-numbing taste loved by thousands. As a result, both food critics and celebrities such as Action Bronson, a chef, writer, rapper, and television producer, have endorsed Z & Y’s Explosive Crispy Chicken.

San Tung

People wait in line for over an hour at this restaurant located at 1031 Irving Street in the Sunset neighborhood. Cooks fry the chicken wings twice and then coat them with sweet and savory sauce.


This restaurant chain has multiple locations throughout the Bay Area. Customers can order fried chicken in many forms, including sandwiches, fire wings, and salads. Locals claim it is hard to stay away from Starbird with so many locations scattered throughout San Francisco and beyond.

Revel & Roost

Despite opening its doors for the first time after the pandemic, this chicken-themed restaurant has thrived. The signature item of Revel & Roost is its Buttermilk Fried Chicken prepared with buttermilk marinade and Cajun spice blend. Customers love the chicken sandwich as much as the pizza made with the same ingredients.

The owner-operator of Revel & Roost commented that the restaurant’s buttermilk marinade and Cajun spice blend is the perfect complement to its maple syrup infused with cayenne and braised cabbage made with apple bacon.

Auntie Annie’s Chicken ‘n Waffles

Auntie Annie, located at 4613 3rd Street in the Bayview neighborhood, understands the appeal of combining two traditional comfort foods. A piece of cut fried chicken placed on top of a waffle is the restaurant’s signature item. Finally, topping off the dish with plenty of maple syrup is a must for people who want to experience a true chicken and waffle experience.

April Pantry

This new restaurant to the San Francisco Bay Area recently received an award from Sonoma Magazine. The magazine presented April Pantry with its Best Hawaiian Style Fried Chicken award for the entrée Aloha Fried Chicken Plate.

A piece of chicken coated in panko crusting sits on top of red quinoa or macaroni salad. Servers also present a side of Korean barbeque sauce for dipping. The rest of the dish consists of coconut lime rice and Jalapeno coleslaw to make it authentically Hawaiian.

Locals and visitors to San Francisco should appreciate the fact that this favorite comfort food is available at all hours throughout the Bay Area.