Before there was the Colonel, or chicken and waffles, there was a Mrs. Knott’s Chicken Dinner Restaurant, in the middle of a berry farm in Buena Park, California.
The history of Mrs. Knott’s Chicken Dinner Restaurant started in June 1934 when Cordelia Knott served the first fried chicken dinner meal for 65 cents each on the land that is today known as Knott’s Berry Farm. To make ends meet during the Great Depression, Cordelia served these chicken dinners on her best wedding china. The success of the chicken dinners was immediate and by 1940, visitors were standing in line for hours to try Cordelia’s famous fried chicken.
Mrs. Knott’s signature fried chicken dinner meal continues to be served with its family-style dining that includes deliciously herb-seasoned fried chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, tossed green salad, cherry rhubarb, kernel corn, freshly-made buttermilk biscuits with butter and boysenberry preserve; and a slice of Mrs. Knott’s scrumptious boysenberry pie for dessert. Each meal is freshly prepared by the Knott’s culinary team with the freshest ingredients. Today the kitchen serves an average of 1,000 chicken meals per day and serves a grand total of 1.5 million guests per year.