Home of Chicken & Waffles Restaurant
444 Embarcadero West
Oakland, CA 94607
(no website found)
How to get there:
Train: Amtrak California to Oakland Jack London Square Station
Bus: AC Transit #72 San Pablo, 72M San Pablo/MacDonald, 72R San Pablo RAPID, 58L MacArthur Limited (weekdays only)
This is a great spot for Southern-style comfort food, including potato salad, macaroni and cheese, collard greens, and the all-famous chicken and waffles combination. Who knew that the combination of crispy fried chicken and waffles with syrup would be such a winning combination? This place claims to be the home of the combination, even though practically every diner or restaurant serves both chicken and waffles, albeit separately and during different times of the day. The fried chicken is as crispy as it gets, and the waffles are a typical large Belgian Waffle with your choice of syrups; I always choose good ol’ fashioned pancake syrup…with a little extra butter. The sides are not the largest portions, but they are filling and are made to order. The restaurant doesn’t have a fancy marquee or a huge billboard advertising the place, but most hole-in-the-wall places don’t always need the fanciest signs or most expensive publicity if the food is tasty enough to sell itself. Right across from Jack London Square, the locals can’t help but notice the place as they walk across the Embarcadero to the waterfront.
One of the greatest thing about this place? Train tracks close by. Very close by. Not a block away, or even a half block away. Right in front of the restaurant, in the center of Embarcadero Way. Yes, the tracks are in the middle of the street. The entire length of the street. Complete with railroad crossing gates at each intersection. Quite a few trains per day use this stretch of double track. Amtrak’s San Joaquin, Capital Corridor and Coast Starlight trains use these tracks to get from Sacramento and points north to Oakland and points south such as San Jose and Los Angeles. Along with Amtrak trains, freight trains from Union Pacific use these tracks to transfer good up and down the state and even across the Rockies and the Plains. These aren’t small freight trains taking empty cars from one yard to another; these are long trains, with 3-7 locomotives and 100+ cars carrying goods. They take up the entire street and then some. Not to worry, there is an overpass from the city to the waterfront…the ONLY one, which goes from a local parking garage to the marina. When there are no trains, it’s a safe street, with one lane of traffic in each direction on either side of the train tracks. At night, when there are less trains, the Embarcadero’s many restaurants, including Home of Chicken & Waffles, light up the area.
AC Transit’s San Pablo Avenue routes run right by the place and terminate nearby at the Oakland-Jack London Square Amtrak Station. These lines originate from Contra Costa and Berkeley and travel through the heart of Downtown Oakland on Broadway between 8th and 19th Streets. The MacArthur Limited bus runs out to Eastmont and San Leandro, also through Downtown Oakland. With Jack London Square accessible to many parts of Oakland and beyond, this restaurant is right smack in the middle of the East Bay region. A great place to eat and a great place to watch trains, as much a winning combination as chicken and waffles.