Robyn Lane

Robyn Lane

I love chicken & waffles with hot sauce and real maple syrup. I first had it in Georgia on my drive down to Florida about 10 years ago.

For some reason, I was convinced they were invented in the South. Other sources claim they were invented in Harlem, New York in the 1930’s.

According to Harlembespoke.com: Where did that new American classic Chicken and Waffles come from? Harlem legend would have it that Joe Well’s, proprietor of Well’s Supper Club came up with the idea in the wee hours sometimes in the 1930’s. Apparently, after all the jazz clubs had shut down, it was too late for dinner and too early for breakfast. So when performers such as Duke Ellington and Billie Holiday would arrive for a post performance meal, Mr. Wells came up with the now famous dish of fried chicken with a side of waffles.

The Chicken & Waffles Wikipedia page claims, that the combined recipe of chicken and waffles goes back to the 1600’s in the land of the Pennsylvania Dutch. The traditional Pennsylvania Dutch version consisted of a plain waffle topped with stewed chicken covered in gravy. Not quite the chicken and waffles I had in mind.

In my opinion, one thing is certain, chicken & waffles are a delicious combination when prepared correctly.
I’m talking boneless fried chicken thighs and homemade waffles hot out of the waffle iron, accompanied by hot sauce and either honey or real maple syrup.

Many places have their own version of this comforting dish. I once had them with a side of white Southern sausage gravy for the chicken, and a bottle of maple syrup for the waffles, and I liked it a lot.

In recent years, chicken & waffles have become a very trendy, dish especially in the Northeastern part of the United States.

People who live to follow trends act as if their favorite New York or New Jersey restaurant invented chicken & waffles. Let’s just call it a reinvention of old school comfort food.

I decided to do a deep dive to find places in New Jersey that make a mean plate of chicken and waffles.
I’m going to start in South Jersey and work my way North.

  • Sabrina's Cafe - 714 Haddon Ave, Collingswood, NJ 08108

    I can’t tell you how many people love Sabrina’s! The Twice-dipped buttermilk fried chicken breast topped with herb butter and warm vanilla bean syrup served over a waffle gets tons of applause.

  • Hash House a Go Go - Moorestown Mall - 400 NJ-38 Space 1375, Moorestown, NJ 08057

    Killer brunch joint also found in the Tropicana in Atlantic City with other locations in Nevada, Connecticut, and Florida. If you’re really hungry, you’ll be happy to know that the portion size is over the top. You get two sage fried chicken breasts piled high on top of their hickory smoked bacon waffle tower, hot syrup reduction and fried leeks.

  • Harley Dawn Diner - 1402 Black Horse Pike, Hammonton, NJ 08037

    The food and service are things to write home about. The chicken and waffles will be the highlight of your letters home. Hand breaded chicken tenders, homemade waffles, warm bacon bits, and Cajun maple syrup.

     

  • Chubby Chicks Cafe - 1401 Little Gloucester Rd, Blackwood, NJ 08012

    If you’re looking for next level creative dishes, this place should be on your radar. Their innovative coffees and mocktails would go well with your next plate of their golden fried chicken & fluffy waffles.  Someone on the South Jersey Food Scene page mentioned they swapped out the fried chicken for fried lobster, and it was delicious.

  • The Union House - 19 E Union St, Burlington, NJ 08016

    The Union House comes close to what I’m looking for.  A beer battered chicken thigh on a bacon, cheddar chive waffle, with a Calabrian chili infused maple syrup.  I would dig right in the minute the server put it in front of me.

  • The Chicken or the Egg - 207 N Bay Ave, Beach Haven, NJ & 121 NJ-70, Marlton, NJ 08053

    Under “Platters” on their menu, they describe the dish as, Belgian waffle, fried tenders, with country sausage gravy and a side of fries. Yes, sausage gravy works for me. Throw in real maple syrup and I’m good.

  • Grits & Grace - 507 Atlantic City Blvd, Bayville, NJ 08721

    Hey Mother Truckers, you gotta try Grits & Grace’s – Mother Clucker – Chicken and Waffles baby! Crispy chicken tenderloins piled on a waffle and drizzled with syrup!

     

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  • Brownstone Pancake Factory - Locations in Brick, NJ, Freehold, NJ, Edgewater, NJ, & Englewood Cliffs NJ

    Everything here is over the top, and we love it. Check out their homemade Belgian waffles topped with your choice of country fried bone-in chicken, or boneless chicken fritters, drizzled with honey, and dusted with powdered sugar. I just spotted another insane dish on their Instagram page. Cheddar jalapeno pancakes topped with fried chicken and powdered sugar glaze.

  • Over Easy Kitchen - 460 County Route 520, Marlboro, NJ 07746 & Locations in Fairhaven & Holmdel

    According to the website: We provide a unique blend of classic breakfast, brunch, and lunch dishes along with new and revolving weekend specials that you haven’t seen before. So stop by one of our locations to see what’s new!

    Check out this creation:  Maple Bacon Cheddar Cheese Waffle topped with Buttermilk Fried Chicken, Arugula, Sunnyside Up Egg, Roasted Brown Sugar Apples, Hot Honey Drizzle. WOW!!

     

  • Hatch44 Cafe - 401 Main St, Bradley Beach, NJ 07720 & New Street - Metuchen

  • Cardinal Provisions - 513 Bangs Ave, Asbury Park, NJ 07712

    Hands down the most talked about item on their menu, and probably the highest rated item as well.  The Chicken & Waffles at Cardinal Provisions is, fried organic chicken, pearl sugar waffle, maple-poblano relish, herbed yogurt, Cholula hot sauce. It should be on a postcard to represent Asbury as a place of great culinary adventures.

  • Marcus B&P - 56 Halsey St, Newark, NJ 07102

    If you watch Food Network, you’ve seen chef Marcus Samuelsson on a few different shows. Marcus has a fabulous restaurant in Harlem, N.Y called “Red Rooster” that serves some of the best chicken and waffles in the city. Now that I know chef Samuelsson has a restaurant in Newark, I can jump on the train and hit the place up. On the Newark menu, you’ll find a beautiful cornbread waffle topped with crunchy fried chicken, chili butter, hot honey, and pickles

     

  • Tops Diner - 500 Passaic Ave, East Newark, NJ 07029

    Of course one of the best diners in all of New Jersey would have a killer plate of chicken & waffles.

  • South+Pine American Eatery - 90 South St, Morristown, NJ 07960

    Next time I visit our sister station in Morristown, I’m suggesting we hit up this place for a plate of chicken & waffles. Crispy Fried Chicken coated in a corn flake crust and a sour cream & chive waffle, with local bacon maple syrup.

  • Summer and Autumn - 17 Summer St, Lodi, NJ 07644

    There are a few brunch options involving fried chicken. They have a dish called, “Brunch Board” that has Pancakes, Waffles, Bacon, sausage, and Fried Chicken. Then there’s “Chicken & Waffles Sliders” – Fresh Breaded Chicken & Waffle Sliders served with their special Cajun Syrup. Finally, there’s the “Buffalo Chicken & Waffle Sliders” served with a side of bleu cheese.

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