Best Spots for Fried Chicken in Sonoma County

Wild Bird

We’ve been craving comfort food for the last few months, and fried chicken is at the top of our list. It’s a timeless classic, whether you cut your teeth on KFC or mom’s family recipe. Whether you prefer it brined or buttermilk, with biscuits or gravy, there’s nothing quite like it. Read below for some of our favorite summer fried chicken spots — many with takeout or dine-in available. Spread a blanket and hit the park for a perfect afternoon.

sweet t's fried chicken
Heather Irwin

THE BLUE-RIBBON BEST – Sweet T’s, Windsor

There’s a running debate about who has the best fried chicken in Sonoma County. I give a blue ribbon to this crispy, juicy, just-right Southern fried chicken with grits and a biscuit. 9098 Brooks Road South, Windsor

rosso fried chicken
Heather Irwin


I’ve loved this fried chicken for years. Made with arborio rice flour and topped with a caramelized pancetta glaze, it’s crispy and sweet and just about perfect with creamy mashed potatoes. 53 Montgomery Drive, Santa Rosa

lou's friend chicken
John Burgess

OLDIE BUT GOODIE – Lou’s Luncheonette, Sonoma

It’s back to their roots for this oft-changing Sonoma spot, which has recently been renamed Lou’s Luncheonette but was better known as Boxcar Fried Chicken. Their spicy fried chicken is as good as ever, and it’s available for pickup or outside dining at the picnic tables. 2698 Fremont Drive, Sonoma

sonoma crust fried chicken
Heather Irwin

BEST SANDWICH – Sonoma Crust, Santa Rosa

The best fried chicken sando, because the juicy chicken breast is sandwiched between two waffles. 1040 N Dutton Ave. Suite A, Santa Rosa

april pantry chicken sandwich

BEST HAWAIIAN-STYLE – April Pantry, Petaluma

This brand new player in Petaluma serves up a solid fried chicken sando, along with a ridiculously good Aloha Plate featuring coconut rice, fried chicken and mac salad. 1000 Clegg Ct., Petaluma

japanese fried chicken
Heather Irwin

Karaage (Japanese Fried Chicken), Various locations

We’d be remiss not to mention Japanese-style fried chicken. Small bites of breaded chicken breast often served with Kewpie mayo. Ramen Gaijin, 6948 Sebastopol Ave., Sebastopol; Shige Sushi, 19161 Sonoma Hwy, Sonoma; Sushi Kosho, 6750 McKinley Ave., Sebastopol

wild bird chicken sandwich

Chicken Sandwich, Wild Bird, Santa Rosa

Chicken sandwiches are a focus for this Flamingo Hotel pop-up. Pan-Asian sauces make them super flavorful. Pool-side dining at the tiki bar or a family pack to go. 2777 Fourth St., Santa Rosa

Weekend Pickup Fried Chicken, Street Social, Petaluma

This trending little bistro has reopened for dine-in reservations, but their weekend golden fried chicken (gluten-free) has been a hot seller. 29 F Petaluma Blvd. N, Petaluma,

Krispy Krunchy Fried Chicken, Larkfield and Rohnert Park

Gas-station fast food chicken that’s pretty darn good. Fuel & Food Market Valero, 4856 Old Redwood Hwy, Santa Rosa; 1417 Southwest Blvd., Rohnert Park

A few more faves: Chicken Fried Chicken at Sax’s Joint in Petaluma; Nashville-Style Fried Chicken at Bird and Bottle in Santa Rosa; Fried Chicken and Waffles at Beer Baron in Santa Rosa; Buffalo Fried Rocky Chicken at Fork Roadhouse in Sebastopol; Buttermilk Fried Chicken at Chalkboard in Healdsburg; Fried Chicken Dinner at K&L Bistro in Sebastopol.

By Heather Irwin

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