Check Out Chicken & Waffles in Newport Beach
Fried chicken and waffles is a glorious combo that likely has roots in Harlem, where Wells Supper Club served the dish late night to jazz titans. Roscoe’s Chicken & Waffles is SoCal’s most popular practitioner, which Harlem native Herb Hudson launched in 1975. Now Newport Beach has several places that serve tantalizing takes on chicken and waffles. Check out these spots for some of the most interesting versions on the classic dish.
Andrew Gabriel and Mario Marovic, run this nautical themed fine fast restaurant near Newport Pier. Sure, décor includes a patio with wrought iron anchor and seaweed railing, but this is a classy place to enjoy executive chef Gio Bolivar’s comfort food just steps from the sand. In the morning, grab a blue grey seat at a wood table, surrounded by brick and reclaimed wood, and order chicken and waffles. A Belgian waffle supports juicy boneless buttermilk fried chicken and fragrant rosemary maple bacon butter.
This raucous gastropub resides right across the marina from Lido Peninsula, meaning pleasant water views are always in play. On Saturdays and Sundays, American Junkie serves fried chicken and waffles at brunch. Pile into either blue striped banquettes or orange lounge chairs and load up on house-made waffles, breaded fried chicken, honey jalapeno butter, and maple syrup. Your choice of sides could either consist of French fries, tater tots or Cajun fries. Brunch also brings bottomless mimosas, Bloody Marys or Champagne for $15.
The Dock is a family-run restaurant from Christine and Dennis Overstreet that provides white clothed tables, a deep wine cellar, and views of passing boats, but they still manage to make their food approachable. For example, free-range chicken and waffles are available as part of a $30 Sunday Brunch on the Bay. Expect alternating layers of skewered waffle and panko-crusted fried chicken cutlet. Berries serve as bookends, while maple syrup and hazelnut whipped cream contribute welcome sweetness.
The Chicken Coop, a restaurant up the hill from PCH on Old Newport Boulevard, proudly specializes in crispy, thin-sheathed broasted chicken that’s short on grease, but long on flavor. This Newport Beach institution features a red awning, ivy colored walls, and a wealth of chicken memorabilia. At breakfast or weekend brunch, The Chicken Coop serves waffles. Chicken and waffles isn’t on the menu, but bing bang boom, ask and you shall receive this off-menu combo. They’ll even provide butter and syrup if you ask politely.
Truett Cathy’s Georgia-born chicken empire has grown into a clucktastic national power. Chick-fil-A at Fashion Island features breast meat in sandwiches, nuggets, and Chick-n-Strips. Sandwiches include a spicy version seasoned with a pepper blend and stacked with dill pickles, lettuce, tomato, and pepper Jack cheese on a buttery toasted bun. Pair with soft, skin-on waffle potato fries if you know what’s what.
At the beginning of Balboa Peninsula, Rudy’s Pub & Grill is a palace for hordes of sports fans. The gastropub debuted in 1999 and still draws crowds with over 30 TVs, a retractable roof that’s frequently peeled back, and Chef David Baumann’s comfort food. His fried chicken and waffle preparation includes a seasoned, crispy bone-in chicken breast, a Belgian waffle, maple syrup, and whipped butter.
The W in W Café doesn’t stand for waffle, but at this Westcliff restaurant and tea lounge, you’ll frequently find fried chicken and waffles as a weekend special. Call ahead, since the appearance of this supercharged combo, served with chicken gravy, is at the discretion of the chef. Each order of chicken and waffles comes with fruit and salad, since people can’t just live on fried bird and rendered fat.
Grenanimal Restaurant Group and chef Karl Pfleider, brought their sandwich kitchen to Newport Beach’s Balboa Fun Zone in 2015. The interior combines corrugated metal and reclaimed wood to good effect. The Trough is skilled at creating crave-worthy comfort foods, including fried chicken & waffles. Chef Pfleider batters chicken breast with buttermilk and plates with a fresh-pressed waffle and white gravy that combines flour, cream, and pork fat. Chicken or beef fat have also been known to find their way into the gravy.