We’ll keep this one short and sweet, but if you’re a fan of fried chicken, these are two of the absolute best fried chicken sandwiches in SF that you need to try! Fried chicken sandwiches have been gaining popularity recently, and we love to see restaurants and popups opening that specialize in them. These all have a unique recipe and flavor, so you’ll need to devour each one to figure out which is your favorite. Check out our recommendations and let us know what you think!
Rocketbird is one of the only fried chicken sandwich joints we’ve seen in the Bay Area that’s really doing something different. Rather than basically choosing between spicy or mild, you get to choose between tangy pineapple relish and bacon-tomato jam. Or how about spicy reaper pepper aioli? They also have some awesome loaded fries, chicken strips, and other sides that we love – especially the Loaded Sidewinders! We need more places like Rocketbird that push boundaries and explore what food can be outside of what we’re already familiar with. Read all about them in our full blog post here!
2. The Bird
The Bird is located in SoMa and they’re definitely best known for their incredible fried chicken sandwiches. You only have two options – spicy or regular (not spicy) – so the one downside is there’s no middle ground, but both seasonings are super tasty. The spicy one, made with celery, house made apple slaw, mayo, and pickles, is our favorite and it’s a tangy kind of spicy that’s got a hint of sweetness to it. The Bird also has some other menu items worth ordering, and if you’re curious, you can read all about them in our full blog post here!
Hotbird is also situated just south of Market St. on 9th St. and literally just specializes in one thing: fried chicken sandwiches. They actually give you six different spiciness levels to choose from, so in that sense, it’s much more customizable than The Bird. The pieces of chicken they use are enormous, moist, and full of flavor, and are topped with apple vinegar slaw, comeback sauce, and dill pickles all on a buttered bun. The seasoning tastes a bit like buffalo sauce, but that doesn’t quite do it justice. You’ll have to try it for yourself!
4. Chick n’ Bros
Chick n’ Bros is an amazing food truck that sets up shop in various locations in San Jose. Their fried chicken sandwiches are the largest of all mentioned in this post, and what really sets them apart is their signature spicy adobo aioli sauce (bro sauce) mixed with a little honey. That subtle sweetness is the perfect addition to the spiciness of the sandwich. The one thing we wished was that the cheese was melted, but that’s a small detail, and overall it’s actually one of our favorite fried chicken sandwiches in the SF Bay Area!
Starbird is another awesome fried chicken sandwich spot with locations all over the Bay Area. Unlike the other places mentioned, Starbird gets a little more creative with their larger menu and offers sandwiches like their banh mi (their take on the Vietnamese sandwich using their signature fried chicken), and their Nashville Hot flavor, which is our personal fave (pictured below). They have a spot in SF that’s delivery/pickup only, although according to their website it’s currently not in operation. Luckily, they have other spots in Oakland, Foster City, Sunnyvale, San Jose, and Campbell, so they’re definitely worth a visit!
iniBurger is a really cool concept located in Fremont with an entirely halal menu of everything from burgers to loaded fries to a Nashville Hot Chicken Sandwich! They do a great job of balancing the chicken and other ingredients like the slaw, sauce and pickles. It feels very balanced, and the chicken is probably the crispiest of everything we’ve tried. So if you’re a big fan of that crunchiness, this one is definitely worth a trip!
For more awesome Bay Area recommendations, check out our San Francisco Bay Area Tab HERE