The History of Chicken and Waffles

Chicken and waffles

There is a wide variety of breakfast foods that many Americans enjoy, but one that stands out as especially unique in Black culture is the combination of chicken and waffles. There are now multiple mainstream restaurant chains famous for serving this dish, and you can find people of all sorts who will drive far out of their way to reach their favorite haunt.

The origins of the dish date back to the late 1930s and originated with Black chefs and restaurant owners. When asked to share what information he might have on the subject, John T. Edge, director of the Southern Foodways Alliance, responded, "It's a dish most popular among expatriate, African-American Southerners."

In an article by East Bay Express discussing the same subject, John Edge was quoted for believing "the origins of the dish go farther back, brought to New York in the great migration of African Americans from the South."

As time went on, the dish migrated in the 1970s from Harlem, New York to Los Angeles, California by Herb Hudson, the African American founder of the infamous Roscoe's Chicken and Waffles chain. Later, celebrities began to jump on the bandwagon. For example, in 1997, the original Gladys Knight's Chicken & Waffles restaurant opened in Atlanta, Georgia.

Now, restaurants that serve chicken and waffles can be found all over the country, and in major cities all over the world - such as Hong Kong, Tokyo, Dubai, Johannesburg, London, Paris, and more.