Mrs. Knott’s Chicken Dinner Restaurant celebrates staying crispy at 90

Mrs. Knott's Chicken Dinner Restaurant in Buena Park.
A host of special events is set to mark the 90th anniversary of the beloved Mrs. Knott’s Chicken Dinner Restaurant in Buena Park.
(Courtesy of Knott’s Berry Farm)

A century ago, Walter Knott built the original roadside attraction in the form of a humble produce stand off of what would become known as Beach Boulevard in Buena Park.

Cordelia Knott, Walter’s wife, made boysenberry jams, jellies and pies to sweeten the stand’s offerings.

During the Great Depression, Cordelia helped supplement the family’s income by transforming a five-table tea room into a test kitchen for her now famous fried chicken.


Mrs. Knott’s Chicken Dinner Restaurant officially opened on June 13, 1934, with eight chicken dinners served on her own wedding china at 65 cents apiece.

The budding restaurant became so popular that by the end of the year, seating expanded to accommodate 20 guests. Two years later, the dining area grew to seat 70.

The hotel welcomes Thirty Acres Kitchen, a new full-service hotel restaurant, as part of its multimillion-dollar transformation.

April 17, 2024

Soon, weekend crowds and long lines prompted Walter Knott to build Ghost Town in 1940 to give guests something to do, which became the cornerstone of the Knott’s Berry Farm theme park.

Today, the restaurant serves an average of 1,000 chicken meals a day. Going back to those first meals long ago, Mrs. Knott’s Chicken Dinner Restaurant has since served over 90 million pounds of chicken.

That remarkable legacy is set to be honored this year as Mrs. Knott’s Chicken Dinner Restaurant, a beloved O.C. landmark, turns 90 next month.

The announced merger of Six Flags and Cedar Fair will bring two iconic Southern California theme parks, Magic Mountain and Knott’s Berry Farm, under the same ownership.

Nov. 2, 2023

Starting this weekend and running on select weekends through Sept. 2, the restaurant will be serving up the Berry Family Breakfast.

On June 13, state Sen. Janet Nguyen will be on hand to mark the restaurant’s big birthday with a Senate resolution. Those in attendance also get an early chance to grab anniversary merchandise.

From June 18 through July 9, seniors 65 and older can enjoy an “early bird” buffet dinner.

Other promotions later in the year include a midnight breakfast buffet during Knott’s Scary Farm and a Cordelia tea party in November.

For more information about all the fried chicken fun, visit