Food, Glorious Food!
What could be better, after a busy afternoon of prospecting for gold, suffering a holdup by train robbers, being put on spin cycle, dropped from 245 feet and perhaps enduring the collapse of a silver mine, to chow down on Cordelia Knott’s fried chicken recipe? The dinner consists of a nice artichoke heart salad with sun-dried tomatoes, lemon-broiled chicken with capers and rice pilaf with chopped red peppers. NOT!!
Mrs. Knott’s Chicken Dinner Resaurant
This dinner is serious business folks, starting with the wonderful biscuits, butter and Knott’s jam. Don’t expect the green beans to be al dente; I think they start cooking them the week before (well-done, like my Dad from Hannibal Mo used to like them—not unlike the way they serve ‘em at Cracker Barrel restaurants only better). So set aside the diet and health food focus to enjoy some real down-home cookin’ at Mrs. Knott’s Chicken Dinner Restaurant. We’re talkin’ mashed potatoes and gravy.
After all, the chicken dinner restaurant is where it all started nearly 75 years ago alongside the berry farm. You do need to keep an eye on the time; the line starts to grow for dinner by around 4:30 in the afternoon and they don’t take reservations. So try and go at an off hour and relax, the line moves pretty quickly as this is a large dining establishment that dishes out a lot of grub without messin’ around.
By the way, dessert is included and it’s either apple or boysenberry pie. The apple pie is OK, but I suggest the berry pie; you wouldn’t go to Atlanta and not have peach cobbler would you? New Orleans without beignets and pralines? Oh?… well, have the berry pie anyway. If you’re too full, take the pie back to the hotel room and eat it watching TV.
Dine In Restaurants Near Knott’s Berry Farm
Now, once you’ve had the chicken dinner, you may want to try something else. There are quite a few options for meals and snacks inside the park, which you can check out from the official web site. They offer a TGI Fridays (714/761-6000) just outside the park entrance gates, across the street from the Marketplace shops.
We have heard that some folks think food prices in the park are pretty high. No surprise there, right? Remember, you’re paying for the overhead as well as the food and labor. Also, you’re paying for the convenience of having food served to you right near the rides that will tempt you to lose what you just ate (go on Xcelerator BEFORE you eat).
There are literally dozens of restaurants within a very short drive of Knott’s. Some are within walking distance or are easily reached by way of the Beach Boulevard bus line. For dinner there is the Claim Jumper (714/523-3227) and IHOP (714/522-7448) within an easy walk.
A bit further north is an Outback (714/523-5788) and a Burger King (don’t bother to call). Up near the freeway are several other restaurants — too far to make worthwhile for lunch unless you’re leaving the park anyway.
Fast Food Close to Knott’s Berry Farm
If you are on a budget, one way to save what could be a good chunk of change is to take a break and walk down to the nearby McDonald’s, Subway, Quizno’s or other restaurants just north of the park entrance on Beach Boulevard.
If you don’t mind walking a bit further, the Buena Park Mall is a couple of blocks east on La Palma Avenue. If you have a fast walker in your group, they could take orders for the rest of the family and walk up to get take-out. Bring it back to the park; there are picnic tables at a couple of spots, including just past (south of) the Marketplace shops.
Dinner Shows — Medieval Times & Pirates Dinner Adventure
The Medieval Times dinner show and the Pirates Dinner Adventure are two fun themed restaurants; theaters really, and both within walking distance of the park up Beach Boulevard. These will spend a good chunk of an evening — and some cash — but can be a nice interlude to add some adventure to the trip.
Final Thoughts On Food & Knott’s Berry Farm
You can bring snacks into the park if you repackage them in Ziploc-type baggies. Water bottles and Gatorade are OK we’re told, but soft drinks are not (as they no-doubt want you to buy soft drinks from them).
So you might consider having a big breakfast and letting snacks hold you over until an early dinner.