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Discover the Best Fried Chicken in San Diego

With its comfortable climate, natural attractions and a thriving cultural scene, San Diego stands out as one of the country's finest and fastest-growing cities. Restaurants with the best fried chicken in San Diego play an integral part in the city's cutting-edge vibe, mixing California cooking styles with influences from the city's diverse population to create a flavor all its own. But where are the city's smartest, savviest diners going for the best fried chicken in San Diego? Welcome to the Tastemaker 20. Here, we've gathered information from the city's most in-the-know diners to put together a list of the best fried chicken in San Diego. From neighborhood joints to downtown fusion spots, restaurants with the best fried chicken in San Diego have something for everybody. Grab a table and enjoy a night out!

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The OpenTable Team
12 Restaurants
Updated 10 January 2020
Restaurants:Animae, Parc Bistro-Brasserie, Morada
Price Range:$$ - $$$$
Cuisines:Contemporary Asian, French, Californian
Neighborhoods:Downtown / Gaslamp, Banker's Hill, Rancho Santa Fe
A photo of Animae restaurant

Animae

$$$$
Contemporary Asian
Downtown / Gaslamp
4.7
1530 reviews
One of the most colorful restaurants in town, Animae is a stylish and captivating modern Asian hot spot. Grab a seat in the luxurious dining room to enjoy the restaurant's Whole Gonestraw Farms Korean fried chicken, made with pickles, chili sauce, and scallions. The Animae "Feast" menu is full of the house specialties. Try the roast duck, made with pineapple, gochujang, mint, and cabbage. Glazed black cod features Vietnamese caramel, sunflower dashi, and hon shimiji mushrooms. For a unique taste, try the "Kung Pao" sweetbreads with forbidden rice and sun-dried pineapple.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Parc Bistro-Brasserie restaurant

Parc Bistro-Brasserie

$$$$
French
Banker's Hill
4.7
2051 reviews
Head out to the blossoming San Diego neighborhood of Bankers Hill to find one of the best French restaurants in town at Parc Bistro-Brasserie. This traditional and upscale French restaurant is the location for some of the best fried chicken in San Diego at its acclaimed brunch. Go for the house-favorite fried chicken and waffle with house-made chicken gravy or the breakfast burrito with andouille sausage and gruyere. Parc Bistro-Brasserie also boasts an excellent daily happy hour, with plenty of small plates and drink specials. Try the parc sliders with Angus beef or the lobster mac and cheese with aged cheddar and Asiago.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Morada restaurant

Morada

$$$$
Californian
Rancho Santa Fe
4.3
723 reviews
Situated in one of the most famous homes in all of San Diego, Morada is a lush and engaging Rancho Santa Fe restaurant serving the best of California cuisine. Grab a seat in the upscale dining room to try the Morada's fried chicken, with mashed potato, Blue Lake beans, and drop biscuits. Another hearty favorite at Morada? The "Huntsman" meatloaf with bourbon barbecue sauce, mashed potato, and broccolini. For one of the classics, try the Inn burger. This meal includes grass-fed beef, house-made Thousand Island dressing, cheddar, and a brioche bun.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?


Takeout available
View Takeout Menu
A photo of Craft & Commerce restaurant

Craft & Commerce

$$$$
American
Little Italy
4.8
860 reviews
One of the coolest places in all San Diego, Craft & Commerce is an ultra-modern hot spot in the heart of San Diego by Waterfront Park. Craft & Commerce features some of the best decor in any city establishment. Walls feature taxidermy and old books, and an exquisite long bar is a great place for a beer or a craft cocktail. Craft & Commerce also features a creative, colorful menu. Try the chicken-fried quail with pepper jack macaroni and cheese and chipotle barbecue, or the vegetable Fettucine with oyster mushrooms and romanesco. Stick around for dessert to get cinnamon toast bread pudding or an S'Mores sundae.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Beeside Balcony restaurant

Beeside Balcony

$$$$
Mediterranean
Del Mar
4.6
967 reviews
For a restaurant with a lot of "buzz," head out to the Beeside Balcony in Del Mar. A laid-back, local-favorite restaurant with exceptional views of the Pacific in the background, the Beeside Balcony also offers some of the best fried chicken in San Diego. Try Mary's "fried" free-range chicken, with seasonal veggies, potato puree, and chicken jus. The unique balcony burger includes grass-fed lamb, fontina, shallot jam, and a brioche bun. Pick out one of the Beeside craft beers along with dinner. Try the Greek craft Salonikia pilsner or the Saint Archer IPA from San Diego.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Harley Gray Kitchen & Bar restaurant

Harley Gray Kitchen & Bar

$$$$
Contemporary American
Mission Hills
4.5
1001 reviews
A standout and intimate restaurant in the middle of Mission Hills, the Harley Gray Kitchen & Bar is a great choice for a quiet night out to watch a game or two. Stop in to try the restaurant's celebrated brunch and the chipotle chicken sandwich, with ciabatta roll, jack cheese, and avocado. The "Harley Gray favorites" menu includes avocado toast, huevos rancheros, and macadamia nut banana pancakes. During the daily happy hour, enjoy special prices on the HG lime margarita, sangria, or jalapeno hot and hornitos margarita.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?


Experiences available
View Experiences
A photo of Gravity Heights restaurant

Gravity Heights

$$$$
American
Sorrento Mesa
4.7
869 reviews
Beer and fried chicken is one of the perfect combinations in the food world. San Diego's Gravity Heights features exceptional selections of both. Grab a beer from the Heights' remarkable selection and pair it with the Korean chicken sandwich. This hearty meal comes with kimchi slaw, pickled cucumber, and kewpie mayo. For a beer, try some of the house selections like the Hail Mary Helles, GH Sour, or Take Two pilsner. Hoppy beer lovers can enjoy the "Capital of Craft" IPA, a San Diego collaboration celebrating the city's standout beer scene.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of LAVO Italian Restaurant - San Diego restaurant

LAVO Italian Restaurant - San Diego

$$$$
Italian
Downtown / Gaslamp
4.5
64 reviews
For those traveling to the historic and hip Gaslamp district of San Diego, Searsucker is the place to go. With an interior based on the "seersucker" fabric, this restaurant is a cool, refined space for a meal or a drink. Head to the "Between the Buns" menu to try the fried chicken sandwich, made with mustard slaw and pickled jalapenos. The dinner menu offers a selection of San Diego-local favorites. Try the warm burrata with caramelized onions or the foraged mushroom toast with mushroom pate and a poached farm egg. Local stone-ground polenta comes with Cook family farm pork ragu and ricotta.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Sbicca - Del Mar restaurant

Sbicca - Del Mar

$$$$
Contemporary American
Del Mar
4.6
2125 reviews
The Del Mar suburb of San Diego is one of the city's standout locations, offering gorgeous views and some of the best cuisines in town. Del Mar's standout Sbicca restaurant also boasts some of the best fried chicken in San Diego. Grab a seat on the ocean-view sidewalk cafe to try the buttermilk fried Jidori chicken, with Yukon mashed potatoes, sauteed corn, Swiss chard, and sage jus.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Red Tracton's restaurant

Red Tracton's

$$$$
Steakhouse
Del Mar
4.6
1358 reviews
Head back to the '50s for a stylish meal and some of the best fried chicken in San Diego at Red Tracton's. There's plenty of specials found at this suave space. Stop in on Sunday for the 4 p.m. Southern fried chicken Sunday dinner special, or head in Wednesday-Saturday to enjoy the "world-famous" piano bar. Other dinner favorites at Red Tracton's include the house lobster bisque, sauteed walleye pike amandine, and baked potato skins with green onions.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?


Takeout available
View Takeout Menu
A photo of UNION Kitchen & Tap restaurant

UNION Kitchen & Tap

$$$$
Contemporary American
Encinitas
4.5
890 reviews
Right in the heart of North San Diego, UNION Kitchen & Tap is the spot for great beer and some of the best fried chicken in the city. This standout restaurant features a comfortable dining room and an excellent brunch menu. Try the chicken and waffle for brunch, with a bacon, cheddar, and scallion waffle alongside buttermilk fried chicken and a farm egg. During lunch, stop in for the Nashville hot chicken with baby kale slaw, house pickle, and garlic aioli.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Albert's Restaurant - San Diego Zoo restaurant

Albert's Restaurant - San Diego Zoo

$$$$
International
North Park
4.5
2036 reviews
For those headed to San Diego, a visit to the zoo absolutely must be on the itinerary. After a day spent gazing at the remarkable collection of animals in the Zoo, Albert's restaurant offers the perfect option for a bite to eat. Grab a seat near the tropical waterfall and enjoy one of the restaurant's Nashville crispy chicken sandwiches, with kale slaw and a buttermilk dressing. For a unique twist on a Mexican favorite, try the Brussels sprouts quesadilla with caramelized onions, Oaxaca cheese, and forest mushrooms. For dessert, grab the warm chocolate peanut butter brownie with peanut crumble and vanilla ice cream.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

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