Buena Park, California: World's Largest Chicken Restaurant

Known as such because of the restaurant's size. Cordelia Knott started it in 1934; it expanded to become the sprawling Knott's Berry Farm theme park, but the restaurant continues.

8039 Beach Blvd, Buena Park, CA
Mrs. Knott's Chicken Dinner Restaurant, by the main entrance of Knott's Berry Farm.
M-Th, Su 7 am - 8:30 pm, F 7 am - 9:30 pm Sa 7 am - 10 pm (Call to verify) Local health policies may affect hours and access.
Pay for meal.
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Mrs. Knott's Chicken.

World's Largest Chicken Dinner Restaurant - Mrs. Knott's Chicken Dinner

In 1927, to supplement their income, Walter and Cordelia Knott opened the doors to what would become a California institution, the Chicken Dinner Restaurant. It began with a building that included a nursery, a berry market and a 20 seat Tea Room. Originally the Tea Room was a seasonal eatery, only open during the harvest, but by 1937 the operation had grown into a full-fledged, year-round chicken restaurant serving 400.

Wait times for a seat were hours long, so Walter Knott came up with various ways to entertain hungry, line-locked guests. What started as a fluorescent rock garden went on to become a full-fledged ghost town and a landmark amusement park.

The original Tea Room is still there (albeit with extensive additions), along with the Knotts home, the kitchen of which opened up into the restaurant. Mrs. Knotts bedroom window faces into the kitchen so she could supervise operations at all times. In fact, Cordelia would sit on a high stool during restaurant hours and approve every plate of fried chicken before it was taken into the restaurant and served.

[Eric B. Ramey, 04/07/2012]

Nearby Offbeat Places

Independence Hall ReplicaIndependence Hall Replica, Buena Park, CA - < 1 mi.
Tree Stump BuildingTree Stump Building, Anaheim, CA - 2 mi.
Half-Scale White HouseHalf-Scale White House, Anaheim, CA - 2 mi.
In the region:
Taco Bell Numero Uno, Irvine, CA - 19 mi.

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