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Fried chicken to go from Hopscotch
Fried chicken to go from Hopscotch
Patricia Chang

19 Places To Get Superior Fried Chicken in the East Bay

On a waffle, in a sandwich, or slathered with gochujang: These takeout and delivery options will hit the spot.

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Fried chicken to go from Hopscotch
| Patricia Chang

There’s something special about fried chicken: Almost every cuisine has a version, bringing diners of all persuasions together in the common pursuit of the crispiest, juiciest bird. The East Bay has some of the Bay Area’s best choices, with styles ranging from XXL Taiwanese fried chicken cutlets to Nashville hot chicken, with plenty of versions perched atop waffles — or with waffle-adjacent sides.

And during a time when many diners are sticking to takeout and delivery, the good news is that fried chicken tends to travel well. Some might even argue it’s often just as enjoyable as a leftover, eaten cold straight out of the fridge the next day. Check out this list of 19 excellent options for fried chicken in the East Bay, all of which are available to go.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

Krispy Krunchy

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Sure, it’s a chain, but it’s a chain most often found hidden inside of small, mom-and-pop gas station convenience stores, and when it comes to that Southern fast-food style, the chicken gives your local Popeyes outlet a run for its money. Well-seasoned, unfailingly crunchy skin — hence the name — is the hallmark here. Most locations have always been takeout only; this one, in Richmond, has been open as usual for walk-up orders during the shelter in place, and delivery is available via several of the third-party apps.

Gangnam Tofu Korean Cuisine

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Gangnam Tofu is one of those great all-purpose Korean restaurants that does all of the classics well — tofu stews, seafood pancakes, you name it. It also might win the title for the very best, most consistently executed Korean-style fried chicken in the East Bay, served piping hot in spicy, sweet, and completely unsauced versions. The garlic-soy popcorn chicken, made with thigh meat and batter-fried to an impeccable crunch, is a particular hit. Call in for takeout, or order delivery via Uber Eats.

Tofu stew and popcorn chicken at Gangnam Tofu Luke Tsai

Stella Nonna

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The excellent fried chicken at Stella’s comes as part of a plate, with a choice of sides, or in sandwich form. Also surprisingly good for a decidedly non-Korean restaurant: the uber-crisp Korean-fried chicken wings. Both dishes are on the restaurant’s newly launched takeout menu, which is available Friday through Sunday. Call in or order online.

900 Grayson

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A perpetually popular weekend brunch destination, 900 Grayson provides West Berkeley with heaps of boneless fried chicken, served either with a waffle or tucked into a sandwich. It’s crispy, well-seasoned, and called, for some reason, “the Demon Lover” when paired with a waffle and gravy. The restaurant is open for takeout and delivery (via Caviar), and it recently reopened its patio for outdoor dining.

The demon lover at 900 Grayson
Jenya Chernoff Photography/900 Grayson

B-Dama at Berkeley Bowl West Cafe

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Currently operating out of the cafe space at Berkeley Bowl West, B-Dama is selling a variety of excellent, affordable bento boxes during the shelter in place, including one that features a great version of chicken nanban: Japanese fried chicken coated with a sweet and sour sauce and served with tartar sauce for dunking. Walk up, text orders to 510-421-6023 (see the menu here), or get delivery via DoorDash.

OB Town

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Formerly known as the “Oriental BBQ Chicken Town,” this unassuming restaurant on Telegraph yields a hidden trove of crispy double-fried Korean fried chicken, available in various permutations — say, a sticky-sweet soy-garlic flavor or another that’s slathered with a fiery gochujang-based sauce. Even during the shelter in place, OB is open late. Call in or order online for takeout or delivery.

Lois the Pie Queen

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An old-school diner like Lois the Pie Queen is hard to come by these days, and this one is an institution. The fried chicken is also a classic: traditional, crispy, and best followed up by a slice of pie. It’s available for breakfast or lunch daily and also during the restaurant’s newly added dinner menu, which is served Friday through Sunday, 4:30–8:30 p.m. Call in for takeout or order online for delivery.

Minnie Bell’s Soul Movement

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Fernay McPherson is serving her rosemary fried chicken, mac and cheese, greens, and more at her kiosk in the Emeryville Public Market. The hit of rosemary is what lingers in your memory — an extra pop of flavor you didn’t know every other fried chicken you’ve had was missing. Minnie Bell’s is taking online pre-orders for both takeout and in-house delivery Thursdays and Fridays 3–7 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays 11 a.m.–2 p.m. You can also walk in to order, and the Public Market is now open for outdoor dining.

Bakesale Betty

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Pandemic or not, there has always been a line out the door for lunch at this Temescal restaurant, which is currently offering a limited selection of baked goods in addition to its calling card: a fried chicken (or tofu) sandwich with a zippy jalapeño slaw. It’s a much-imitated Oakland classic. Bakesale Betty is currently open for walk-up customers on Saturdays and Sundays only, 11 a.m.–2 p.m.

Hawking Bird

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From James Syhabout, the chef behind two-Michelin-starred Commis, this counter-service Temescal spot is all about the bird. Fried chicken thighs are marinated in ginger and garlic, battered in rice flour, and double-fried for a super-crispy result. It’s offered as a sandwich, on a salad, or perched on a bed of rice with charred chili jam. Order online for pickup, or get delivery via Caviar.

Sandwiches and a beer at hawking bird Hawking Bird

Brown Sugar Kitchen

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Chef Tanya Holland is one of the doyennes of fried chicken in Oakland, and her destination-brunch restaurant has had lines out the door since its West Oakland days. The chicken remains one of the highlights at Holland’s swankier new location in Uptown Oakland, and it’s now available — by the piece or in sandwich or salad form — for takeout Wednesday through Saturday, noon–4:30 p.m. Order online for pickup, or get delivery via Caviar.

Shakewell

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At this cheerful Spanish restaurant, the fried chicken can be enjoyed two ways: with fenugreek yogurt, chili sauce, za’atar and fried Thai basil, or accompanied by churros with buttermilk syrup as an anytime-brunch item. Both versions are on the restaurant’s current to-go menu, which is available Wednesday through Sunday, 8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Call in or order takeout or delivery online via Caviar.

Hopscotch

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Buttermilk fried chicken — which comes in a bucket when ordered to go — is one of this upscale Asian-American diner’s best dishes. It’s marinated for days in a mixture of buttermilk, whole milk, Japanese mustard powder, soy sauce, and ginger; dredged in equal quantities of all-purpose flour and potato starch; and then fried. For the full experience, order some buckwheat biscuits and sesame-cilantro slaw on the side. Call in or order online for takeout and curbside pickup, or get delivery via Caviar.

World Famous HotBoys

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This popular and Instagram-savvy popup now has a full-fledged restaurant for its wildly delicious (and seriously spicy) Nashville-style hot chicken, which is available in sandwich form (topped with slaw and pickles); as a tender; and even as a whole, bone-in chicken, cut up into quarters. This is killer fried chicken that boasts an outrageous crunch, juicy flesh, and no-joke heat — only the most dedicated chiliheads should start off at a spice level higher than 3 (on a scale of 5) for their first visit. Order online only for takeout, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily.

Aburaya

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Self-described as punk rock-influenced fried chicken, Aburaya brings Japanese chicken karaage to life in Oakland. Chicken thighs are marinated in shio koji, then battered in potato starch with a choice of wet or dry seasonings like shichimi, housemade barbecue sauce, and umami salt. Don’t skip the grilled onigiri and the excellent seasonal vegetable side dishes. It’s all available for takeout: Call in or get delivery via any of the major third-party apps.

A post shared by ABURAYA (@aburayaoakland) on

Miss Ollie's

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Everything served within the bright pink walls of Miss Ollie’s is good, from the salt-fish and ackee to the split pea fritters, but it’s the mind-blowingly juicy, herb-infused skillet-fried chicken that changes hearts and minds. Call in for takeout Wednesday through Saturday — and if you’re craving brunch, the chicken is available with buttermilk waffles on Fridays and with pancakes Saturdays,

Lena's Soul Food Restaurant

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Named after family matriarch Lena Mae Andrews, Lena’s is run by her children and grandchildren, serving up steam tables full of fried chicken, mac and cheese, and greens. The chicken is fried in small batches all day long and is available either by the piece — off the restaurant’s bargain-priced 99-cent menu — or as part of a plate with sides and cornbread. Call in, or get delivery via apps like Doordash and Grubhub.

Shihlin Taiwan Street Snacks

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This Taiwanese import brings a different perspective to the local fried chicken game, specifically with its XXL chicken. The pounded breast (there are leg and thigh options, too) is battered and fried to a juicy crisp, then coated with a peppery spice mix. Eat it whole out of a paper sleeve like you’re a proper Taipei night market denizen or, if you’re a daintier eater, have it snipped into smaller pieces for sharing. The chain’s Berkeley location has yet to reopen, but Inner East Bay residents can order takeout online from the Pleasanton shop.

Caesar's Chicken

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No trip to Hayward is complete without a stop at Caesar’s, an old-school fried chicken shack where everyone orders the same thing: a big bucket of well-seasoned, craggy-crusted chicken with an also-quite-big bucket of red-sauce spaghetti on the side. The restaurant is open for takeout daily — call in or walk up to order.

Takeout fried chicken and spaghetti from Caesar’s Thien Pham

Krispy Krunchy

Sure, it’s a chain, but it’s a chain most often found hidden inside of small, mom-and-pop gas station convenience stores, and when it comes to that Southern fast-food style, the chicken gives your local Popeyes outlet a run for its money. Well-seasoned, unfailingly crunchy skin — hence the name — is the hallmark here. Most locations have always been takeout only; this one, in Richmond, has been open as usual for walk-up orders during the shelter in place, and delivery is available via several of the third-party apps.

Gangnam Tofu Korean Cuisine

Tofu stew and popcorn chicken at Gangnam Tofu Luke Tsai

Gangnam Tofu is one of those great all-purpose Korean restaurants that does all of the classics well — tofu stews, seafood pancakes, you name it. It also might win the title for the very best, most consistently executed Korean-style fried chicken in the East Bay, served piping hot in spicy, sweet, and completely unsauced versions. The garlic-soy popcorn chicken, made with thigh meat and batter-fried to an impeccable crunch, is a particular hit. Call in for takeout, or order delivery via Uber Eats.

Tofu stew and popcorn chicken at Gangnam Tofu Luke Tsai

Stella Nonna

The excellent fried chicken at Stella’s comes as part of a plate, with a choice of sides, or in sandwich form. Also surprisingly good for a decidedly non-Korean restaurant: the uber-crisp Korean-fried chicken wings. Both dishes are on the restaurant’s newly launched takeout menu, which is available Friday through Sunday. Call in or order online.

900 Grayson

The demon lover at 900 Grayson
Jenya Chernoff Photography/900 Grayson

A perpetually popular weekend brunch destination, 900 Grayson provides West Berkeley with heaps of boneless fried chicken, served either with a waffle or tucked into a sandwich. It’s crispy, well-seasoned, and called, for some reason, “the Demon Lover” when paired with a waffle and gravy. The restaurant is open for takeout and delivery (via Caviar), and it recently reopened its patio for outdoor dining.

The demon lover at 900 Grayson
Jenya Chernoff Photography/900 Grayson

B-Dama at Berkeley Bowl West Cafe

Currently operating out of the cafe space at Berkeley Bowl West, B-Dama is selling a variety of excellent, affordable bento boxes during the shelter in place, including one that features a great version of chicken nanban: Japanese fried chicken coated with a sweet and sour sauce and served with tartar sauce for dunking. Walk up, text orders to 510-421-6023 (see the menu here), or get delivery via DoorDash.

OB Town

Formerly known as the “Oriental BBQ Chicken Town,” this unassuming restaurant on Telegraph yields a hidden trove of crispy double-fried Korean fried chicken, available in various permutations — say, a sticky-sweet soy-garlic flavor or another that’s slathered with a fiery gochujang-based sauce. Even during the shelter in place, OB is open late. Call in or order online for takeout or delivery.

Lois the Pie Queen

An old-school diner like Lois the Pie Queen is hard to come by these days, and this one is an institution. The fried chicken is also a classic: traditional, crispy, and best followed up by a slice of pie. It’s available for breakfast or lunch daily and also during the restaurant’s newly added dinner menu, which is served Friday through Sunday, 4:30–8:30 p.m. Call in for takeout or order online for delivery.

Minnie Bell’s Soul Movement

Fernay McPherson is serving her rosemary fried chicken, mac and cheese, greens, and more at her kiosk in the Emeryville Public Market. The hit of rosemary is what lingers in your memory — an extra pop of flavor you didn’t know every other fried chicken you’ve had was missing. Minnie Bell’s is taking online pre-orders for both takeout and in-house delivery Thursdays and Fridays 3–7 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays 11 a.m.–2 p.m. You can also walk in to order, and the Public Market is now open for outdoor dining.

Bakesale Betty

Pandemic or not, there has always been a line out the door for lunch at this Temescal restaurant, which is currently offering a limited selection of baked goods in addition to its calling card: a fried chicken (or tofu) sandwich with a zippy jalapeño slaw. It’s a much-imitated Oakland classic. Bakesale Betty is currently open for walk-up customers on Saturdays and Sundays only, 11 a.m.–2 p.m.

Hawking Bird

Sandwiches and a beer at hawking bird Hawking Bird

From James Syhabout, the chef behind two-Michelin-starred Commis, this counter-service Temescal spot is all about the bird. Fried chicken thighs are marinated in ginger and garlic, battered in rice flour, and double-fried for a super-crispy result. It’s offered as a sandwich, on a salad, or perched on a bed of rice with charred chili jam. Order online for pickup, or get delivery via Caviar.

Sandwiches and a beer at hawking bird Hawking Bird

Brown Sugar Kitchen

Chef Tanya Holland is one of the doyennes of fried chicken in Oakland, and her destination-brunch restaurant has had lines out the door since its West Oakland days. The chicken remains one of the highlights at Holland’s swankier new location in Uptown Oakland, and it’s now available — by the piece or in sandwich or salad form — for takeout Wednesday through Saturday, noon–4:30 p.m. Order online for pickup, or get delivery via Caviar.

Shakewell

At this cheerful Spanish restaurant, the fried chicken can be enjoyed two ways: with fenugreek yogurt, chili sauce, za’atar and fried Thai basil, or accompanied by churros with buttermilk syrup as an anytime-brunch item. Both versions are on the restaurant’s current to-go menu, which is available Wednesday through Sunday, 8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Call in or order takeout or delivery online via Caviar.

Hopscotch

Buttermilk fried chicken — which comes in a bucket when ordered to go — is one of this upscale Asian-American diner’s best dishes. It’s marinated for days in a mixture of buttermilk, whole milk, Japanese mustard powder, soy sauce, and ginger; dredged in equal quantities of all-purpose flour and potato starch; and then fried. For the full experience, order some buckwheat biscuits and sesame-cilantro slaw on the side. Call in or order online for takeout and curbside pickup, or get delivery via Caviar.

World Famous HotBoys

This popular and Instagram-savvy popup now has a full-fledged restaurant for its wildly delicious (and seriously spicy) Nashville-style hot chicken, which is available in sandwich form (topped with slaw and pickles); as a tender; and even as a whole, bone-in chicken, cut up into quarters. This is killer fried chicken that boasts an outrageous crunch, juicy flesh, and no-joke heat — only the most dedicated chiliheads should start off at a spice level higher than 3 (on a scale of 5) for their first visit. Order online only for takeout, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily.

Aburaya

Self-described as punk rock-influenced fried chicken, Aburaya brings Japanese chicken karaage to life in Oakland. Chicken thighs are marinated in shio koji, then battered in potato starch with a choice of wet or dry seasonings like shichimi, housemade barbecue sauce, and umami salt. Don’t skip the grilled onigiri and the excellent seasonal vegetable side dishes. It’s all available for takeout: Call in or get delivery via any of the major third-party apps.

A post shared by ABURAYA (@aburayaoakland) on

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Miss Ollie's

Everything served within the bright pink walls of Miss Ollie’s is good, from the salt-fish and ackee to the split pea fritters, but it’s the mind-blowingly juicy, herb-infused skillet-fried chicken that changes hearts and minds. Call in for takeout Wednesday through Saturday — and if you’re craving brunch, the chicken is available with buttermilk waffles on Fridays and with pancakes Saturdays,

Lena's Soul Food Restaurant

Named after family matriarch Lena Mae Andrews, Lena’s is run by her children and grandchildren, serving up steam tables full of fried chicken, mac and cheese, and greens. The chicken is fried in small batches all day long and is available either by the piece — off the restaurant’s bargain-priced 99-cent menu — or as part of a plate with sides and cornbread. Call in, or get delivery via apps like Doordash and Grubhub.

Shihlin Taiwan Street Snacks

This Taiwanese import brings a different perspective to the local fried chicken game, specifically with its XXL chicken. The pounded breast (there are leg and thigh options, too) is battered and fried to a juicy crisp, then coated with a peppery spice mix. Eat it whole out of a paper sleeve like you’re a proper Taipei night market denizen or, if you’re a daintier eater, have it snipped into smaller pieces for sharing. The chain’s Berkeley location has yet to reopen, but Inner East Bay residents can order takeout online from the Pleasanton shop.

Caesar's Chicken