Whether you’re trying to shake up your weeknight routine or you’re planning a night out on the town, dinner in San Diego can be quite the mouthwatering experience. If you’re looking for a hip spot with flavorful food, a playful cocktail menu, and atmosphere that’s as cool as San Diego, grab a table at The Crack Shack in Little Italy and Encinitas.

Renowned chef, restaurateur, television personality, and cookbook author, Richard Blais, brings his culinary expertise to the kitchen with his own spin on comfort food. As their second venture together, Blais and owner Michael Rosen opened The Crack Shack in 2015 with a made-from-scratch philosophy and artisanal approach to dining that pays homage to all things chicken.

Partnering with executive chef Jon Sloan in the kitchen, Blais has created a playful dinner menu that “elevates” both the chicken and the egg. The fine-casual spot’s all-day breakfast, lunch, and dinner menu puts poultry at its center; chicken and eggs—fried, grilled, and even deviled—are a part of just about every dish.

Fine-Casual Dining at Its Finest

One thing The Crack Shack does extremely well is making mouthwatering cuisine more fun and accessible. The restaurant uses only the finest, freshest local ingredients to create its delicious dishes. Recipes include locally raised, free-living, antibiotic-free Jidori chickens. Beyond the chicken and eggs, the restaurant uses top-quality produce sourced from boutique farms. Blais and Sloan transform these ingredients into comfort food creations that easily taste like they were served in a five-star restaurant.

The Crack Shack takes the traditional spices of Southern California and puts its own innovative spin on fried chicken. Before settling on the perfect fried chicken recipe, the culinary team experimented with different brines, salt levels, flour mixtures, and spices for months before the restaurant opened.

While the fried chicken is delectable enough on its own, The Crack Shack also offers a rainbow of house-made sauces. A sauce station that lets you fill up will as much and as many as you want. Try the Kimchi BBQ, Sriracha 1000 Island, Sweet Heat, Baja Hot Sauce, Buttermilk Ranch, and “Cracksup”—which is a specialty ketchup that is seasoned with the same unique spice blend that’s in the chicken breading.

For the days you’re not feeling fried chicken, The Crack Shack still has a variety of options to satisfy your taste buds. Try the Anti-Salad Power Bowl (with a soft-boiled egg, sliced avocados, pickled onions, and heritage grains in a tomatillo salsa), the Chicken of the Sea sandwich (made with wood-fired albacore tuna), the border slaw (a tropical fruit salad), or an order of deviled eggs. Their Mexican Poutine fries (topped with pollo asado and jalapeño cheese whiz) can serve as their own meal as well.

Of course, their miso-maple biscuits and schmaltz fries, which are fried in rendered chicken fat, are a must-add to everything you order.

Cocktails & Dessert to Seal the Deal

With playful options like the Play Date and a innovative Bloody Mary that’s spiked with green chile vodka, you can easily find something to sip no matter your preference. The bar also serves craft beer and a selection of wine.

You’ll most likely be feeling full after your feast, but if you’re smart enough to save room for dessert, you’ll be rewarded. With rotating soft serve options like chocolate mole, dirty chai, Mexican hot chocolate, smoked vanilla, and strawberry shortcake, The Crack Shack’s dessert selection is as fun as its dinner menu. Other tempting sweets include a rotating cookie du jour.

The next time you’re planning dinner in San Diego, give The Crack Shack a try. Check out our mouthwatering menu by visiting us online or stopping our San Diego location.