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Rate & Reviews
How would you rate Hard Knox Cafe?
The fried chicken is a little dry for my taste, but the burgers are not bad here. They have good cornbread.
Good food, just what I was looking for. Service wad a little spotty, it was lunch time aswell so that could have been part of it. Overall very nice place to stop for a bite eat!
Great place to grab lunch! Great service every time and the food is excellent. Fair prices as well.
best soul food in san francisco. loved their fried chicken, mac n cheese, and biscuits! can't wait to go back again.
The food use to be good years ago, now it's terrible. They need to change cooks. The food is bland and sometimes its burnt! Not good anymore!
Good for no frills southern food in SF. There usually is a wait at prime dining times.
Smothered Pork chops... Game over!
I cannot see to order anything else, although i've had the burger, Po'Boy, fried chicken and waffle. all bomb!
There's "that's a lot ô food." and then there's "daaaamnnnnn, that's a lot off food"! Huge portions of equally large flavor, awesome staff and clean! Will be back as soon as I can which won't be soon enough!
Tasty food for good prices and friendly service!
Comfort food you crave. Juicy fried chicken, collards that taste like home and mac n cheese you should probably stay away from, but won't! For a good reason...
Loved this soul food cafe! Super busy on Sat lunch we had to queue but we were a large group so understandable. They do ice tea which is sugar free (as in you can add after), super tasty corn bread and for me a very delish veggie burger. We had amazing service too. Btw... Go hungry or share if you are eating the meat dishes as the portions are huge - we all (bar me) took our food away!
Pretty long wait for food after ordering. Very picturesque. The pulled pork Egg Benedict was well done with a unique flavor. The Belgian waffle was a little salty.
The food here is amazing! Spicy Lucy burger has great bread. The spicy chicken on the right is amazing! The corn bread is good too
The awards don't lie. This is the best fried chicken I've had in SF!
No other place in the city has ever made me feel like I was back in NC like Hard Knox. I could die a happy man with their sweet tea in one hand and a corn muffin in the other.
We came here for a late lunch on a Saturday with a group of 11 people. We placed our name on the clipboard by the door with a note separate tables us ok. After a short wait we were seated. They have a no check splitting policy. They're famous for their fired chicken which half is us got. Their fried chicken is good and you can ask for dark or white meat preference. Service is stellers.
I love what I order, but some things I've had could use improvement (like the mashed potatoes and green beans). The fried chicken, greens, cabbage and black eyed peas and rice are all amazing.
What I ordered was horrible & bland. Catfish Po boy & side of red beans with rice. The sandwich was ruined by the hard as a rock, crumbling dry bread. The beans & rice had no flavor. And the wait after ordering was beyond excessive. The staff not friendly & rather immature. So many fabulous places in the dogpatch, this is not one of them.
Small diner tucked away in the industrial area of San Francisco. The food was excellent and the help was busy but always paid attention to me after I got my food. That to me is important
Real flavor. I had the pulled chicken and it was spot ON! I was expecting it to be sweeter than it was. The flavor was complex. Be sure to get bread to soak up the juice. I will have to go back for the grits and sweet potato bisque.
They could use more beverage options maybe, especially when it gets hot.
Hard Knox Cafe is great soul food restaurant. Very small place, most likely there's a wait. Made few mistakes during busy dinner hours hence -1 star. Great fried chicken and excellent sides. Also really good corn bread.
We got here early for a work team lunch on a Friday. Good thing we did because by the time we left the wait list of people was out the door. We had a table by the window and saw many other people take a look at the line and turn away. Our table was 8 deep so the food did take a bit. Everyone devoured the picturesque corn muffins when they arrived first. I ordered the Cajun Meatloaf with the yams and cabbage as my sides. The cabbage was the best part! It was cooked to a more tender than crispy texture with a slightly herbed, salty flavor. A-maze-ing! The yams were better suited as a dessert, but wonderful none the less. They were full of cinnamon, sugar and nutmeg. The meatloaf was oh so satisfying. It was a huge portion and full of spicy Cajun flavor! This was a co-worker's choice because she is obsessed with the chicken fried steak. A must-eat spot for sure.
I love this Hard Knox. It gets pretty busy here when I go on weekends. I think they also close at 5pm so theres somewhat of a limited time to come there to eat. I love the food and the service when I come here. I always get the BBQ pulled pork sandwich. Sooo good! Their Hard Knox tea and home brew is also one to try.
The two times that I ordered takeout here the food was really bad. I remember in specific the second time I ordered takeout the turkey wings that I ordered were pink on the inside, uneatable. I did however eat in a couple times also and the food was decent. Corn bread delicious!!
Damn good southern food. I always get the chicken fried steak and mashed potatoes. The candied yams are phenomenal as well.
This place is awesome, it's a small hole in the wall kind of restaurant. With street parking availability ,if you are lucky to find a space . The food here is great tasting and is very fresh . Everything comes out nice and hot, especially their famous fried chicken . All the sides are delicious , none of those ready made stuff that you just heat up. Since it is a very small restaurant , big groups maybe hard to accommodate . So maybe call the restaurant first if you do have a large group . Other than that I can't wait to come back, and try other things this place has to offer .
This place is a hidden gem!! Its a tiny/shady looking bar when you first arrive... but then the food and drink was the best country food i ever had!!! Their cornbread muffins are DELICIOUS!! Lemonade was fresh squeezed on point!! I had ribs with fries and the mac n cheese was homemade!! FREAKING AMAZING!! A must try!
Good for date night would not recommend for groups larger than 4 tops. Expect to wait. The meats are good. I prefer a cheddar mac n cheese v valveta. Cornbread is delicious and served warm.
I do not like coming here but I do enjoy the ground chicken which comes preseason ed and does not require any notifications. The tacos are a good on the go snack. Service is not poor as in they are rude, they just prefer to get their work done and keep the chatter with customers to a low. I keep coming back for more so I would say they are doing something right. Only reason for the low score is the area.
I love the chicken and waffles here! The chicken is fried to a perfect golden crisp and the waffles are always light and fluffy. I ordered two. Then, had mimosas, they did not have any orange juice so we had to substituted for cranberry juice.
Their fried chicken is excellent, it was really well done. It was moist and wasn't greasy, which made me feel less guilty about eating it. The portions are large too.
This place is PHENOMENAL! Large portion sizes so you definitely get your money's worth. The food is DELICIOUS. Great customer service... I don't think there's anything to complain about!
All good with the fried catfish , tasty and good portion , cornbread was perfect. Only let down was the sides , not much flavor. Waitress was friendly and good service.
Best soul food you can find in the city. Fried chicken was crisp and hot. Corn muffins we're on point. And the price of food and drink we're the best you can find in the city. 4.50 for draft, 3.50 per bottle. Fried chicken $15 for three pieces plus two sides and corn muffins!
It's a small place so be prepared to wait a while, but the wait is worth it!
Amazing soul food. Best Mac n' Cheese I have ever had. The chicken was perfectly crisp and juicy! Give them a try.
This place is amazing. I took my 2-year-old daughter there yesterday and from the moment we walked through the door the vibe was super warm and welcoming. Great music, incredible staff, and almost as a bonus, the food is FANTASTIC. Been curious about this place since they opened and really glad we finally checked it out. Will definitely be back soon. The shrimp and grits is a must try. The cornbread is the best I've ever eaten. But I really can't say enough about the staff... I'd give more stars if I could.
The food is really delicious but the space is tiny so the wait can be considerable. The service is nothing to write home about but the food comes out quickly and fresh.
Longtime customer before it became Hard Knox, it was Inez's. Lots of Bayview and Dog Patch residents and workers in the area, over 30 years ago. It was the best soul food and the young folks who took it over years ago have maintained that cuisine and friendly diverse ambiance. Mama Inez, lived upstairs and passed away a few years ago. I saw her in her last days and she was happy with her re-imagined food legacy. Moreover, the current owners had total respect for her in keeping her basic soul food dna.
The food is warm comfort, good, plentiful and unpretentious, an excellent value. It's cozy, the staff is nice/efficient and yes, you'll have a wait but it'll be worth it!
Wonderfully cooked delicous Southern food in a rustic atmosphere. The blackened catfish was to die for, as are their corn muffins. The service is attentive and fairly friendly as well.
Fried chicken executed perfectly and with soul. Very crispy and shattery skin, well seasoned, served hot and fresh with moistness in every bite of the dark meat pieces I ordered.
Great food, kinda of small not enough seats but we'll worth the wait.
The service at this place is incredible. I am always greeted very politely. The pretty lady at the bar is extremely attentive and makes sure that I have everything I need. Definitely recommend this place to anyone who enjoys excellent fried chicken and waffles. The catfish is also one of my favorites from the menu. Five stars for me.
The fried chicken was solid - we ordered both the spicy and non-spicy version but couldn't tell much of a difference between the two. We sat at the bar, which was comfortable. The sides were great, especially recommend the Mac & Cheese. The collards and green beans were also really good. I would try the black eyed peas over the corn next time. Overall some of the best soul food in San Francisco.
The food was excellent! Tiny place, but they were very accommodating with two in our group having walkers and one special needs child with a stroller. Definitely best to make reservations for a group of six or more, because it is easily wall to wall people with all of the people that walk in and are willing to wait regardless. We will definitely be back for more even if it is just for take out!
Delicious collard greens, corn bread muffins and mac n cheese. Service was kind and quick. Wish I had room to try more things!
Fun and spacious place with good drinks and really good food. Great space for a big group that likes to eat and drink. Easy parking and overall a fun time...
The chicken here is amazing! The waffles and corn bread were good too, just not as outstanding as the chicken. We've been here a couple of times now and it's always good. There's always a wait too. At the time of this review, the chicken and waffles are $15/plate. There are two Hard Knox Cafes in the city, and they are both great. If you're in the area check them out.
Great food. Great staff. Very busy so a bit of a wait but well worth it. Even bought a t-shirt shirt! :)
Fantastic place, the server are amazing and it really is a great place to get some soul home cooked food. Definitely recommend the fried chicken, but everything is worth trying once. The side are also amazing, reasonably priced beer too!
Due to location; parking was a problem. Small but cozy atmosphere. Service was good and friendly. Lots to choose from on menu which was southern style. Food was served in timely manner. I was very impressed with food preparation and the amount of food served. My sisters and I agreed that their black eye peas and rice were screaming. My only complaint was over cooked SHRIMP on my sandwich. Every time I tried to bite into sandwich; the SHRIMP fell out. Even so ; the bread used and shrimp we're very tasty. Going back again soon.
This is a cute little spot with really great service. I didn't happen to like my food but my friend loved his. I would definitely give it a second try though. The decor is cute but the booths could use an update.
Great place to get Soul food, I recommend the Ox tail. I almost exclusively order them everytime I go. But all the other dishes are great. Worthwhile to go, it is a small place so if you go during peak hours expect a wait
First time at this place. The regular fried chicken was good, the spicy one not so much; it was very dry. The corn muffins are to die for. I will definitely come back for the muffins. Service was great
They're from Texas, and you can take it from a Southern boy they do southern cookin' right. I always get the chicken fried steak but their ribs are smoked just right. You can judge a Southerner by his greens; you won't be disappointed.
Came here looking for authentic comfort food and left very satisfied. The Macaroni and cheese is on hit. The staff totally rocks!You can't go wrong here. 😍
I am native to the south. This restaurant comes the closest to any of “southern cuisine “ places I have been to in San Francisco to date. The cornbread muffins are good, the stewed cabbage melts in your mouth, and the fried catfish taste wonderful! I highly recommended Hard Knox Cafe to everyone. You will be happy you went!
Their fried chicken is crispy crunchy and extra delicious! Amazing sides. The portions are huge so it’s for the price 100%. Came around noon on a Saturday and only waited about 5 mins! Staff is friendly and attentive. Their corn muffins are unreal!
Hard Knox has some good food, but you expect better for the money that you pay. Once again, they have good food, but I do believe there are places that serve better "comfort food". The portions are good sized.
Great menu. Covers all the basis of soul food. Not meant to hold large parties. 4 people in group would be good. Nice service. Nice prices .Approx. $30 . Yams,greens,mac/cheese,cabbage excellent. Meats very tender. Gravy just ok. Needed more homemade doctoring.
Great selection on brew on tap or bottle.
Love this place. My favorites is the ribs and mac and cheese. Their corn muffins are the best! I always order an extra side of them when I get food from here. Love it.
Bring your appetite... and still prepare to walk away with a doggie bag!
A fun place to go with friends for good food and great times.
Personally, I like going there for an early lunch. I say early, because it gets busy.
A vibrant little nook in the Dogpatch area of SF. Small little establishment with a really loyal following.
The best fried chicken in SF.
This place has amazing value for a product with amazing flavor. You can’t get this type of quality and quantity fried chicken for this price
3pcs, 2 sides, mountains of cornbread muffins - $16 tax and tip.
I’ve previously had the a sandwich there, also really good.
Staff are super friendly.
Well worth the excursion to this up and coming part of town.
This place is the Bomb! The Waffles are Excellent; and so are the Corn Muffins!!!👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾✊🏾✊🏾. The Service is also Great! The Lemonade is served in a Mason Jar and tastes most delightful😊. The salads are good too. They play music from the Greats like: James Brown, Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin, Miles Davis, B.B. King, Ray Charles, Sly and the Family Stone etc etc!
Had to find a spot near pier 80 that we could park a semi tractor nearby. Found this gem. Had the bbq spare ribs with string beans and black eye peas. The corn bread was top notch. The dinner was definitely finger licking good. Would highly recommend this place to anyone. Good food, great service. Kudos gentlemen.
Hard Knox is great for a casual Sunday brunch. If you get there shortly after they open there is no wait at all (compare that to all the other brunch joints around) and the food is great.
Their cornbread is a staple and any of the Omeletts or waffles hits the spot. If you are looking for salads or healthy food, this is not your spot.
I’d love it if they’d offer some mixed plates - like half and omelette and half a waffle or so. To me the portions are large - so great to share!
This visit was my first time here. The faces were smiling and gave great, friendly service. Mac n cheese was delicious as were the collard greens! My fav was the cornbread muffins and real butter! Cajun meatloaf lacked flavor. The juicy Lucy burger sounded great. I will try that if I make it back that way. The music was great!
People are great!!!
Food is fantastic!!
I love this place and omg so much food!! Best Fried Chicken and cornbread!! I loved everything about this soul food restaurant ... Three different hot sauces on the table ... homemade lemonade
The sweet potatoes were some of the best I have ever had outside of my mother's kitchen. Cornbread and chicken were both fantastic. Some of the best soul food I have eaten in a restaurant!!!
Those chicken and waffles were a dream. So good it made me want to replace my boyfriend who had the meat lover's scramble which was also really good.
The cornbread was great.
Small place though so call ahead for wait time
Have one table that can accommodate maybe 6 - 8 people (a stretch there) and seating at the bar.
Also serve beer, wine, mimosas, good sweet tea
They also have snapple, but that's not all that important.
Great food. Reasonable prices considering the portion sizes. Food taste like ot was cooked from the soul. Good customer service. Don't be afraid to try the collard greens and macaroni and cheese, you won't be disappointed!
Awesome sit down restaurant: booths on the left, long bar on the right. The portions are all huge and very filling. Excellent barbecue and fried foods. Skip the mains and go for the sandwiches, equally as good but much cheaper.
Hard Knox has a great selection of soul food, from fried chicken to fried catfish, with generous helpings of mac n cheese, collard greens, or a variety of other sides. Whatever you choose, you can't really go wrong. The ambiance is lively, with sports games regularly broadcast on the two tvs behind the bar.
Decent quality southern food. Tasty chicken and waffles. Nothing blew me away, but decent food for a decent price.
Interesting stuff all along the walls, good food. This is the original Hard Knox, and the food is what I imagine authentic southern cooking tastes like. Try the collard greens and fried chicken
Exellent friend chicken, ox tail, corn muffin and other comfort foods. The wait can be long as the space is quite small and they dry each batch of chicken by order so no soggy chicken. Fried food is not greasy and no way you will walk away hungry. I like.
Sports bar. Good burgers, fries soul and comfort food. I like that the customers aren't just mixed race but each table is mixed :-)
Hard Knox has an excellent assortment of food. Their friend chicken and BBQ pulled pork have fantastic flavors. The real winner is their cornbread muffins. Don't forget to sign in when you get there, the place fills quick.
I had the meatloaf when I first went there 9 months ago. It was just OK. But I had the catfish there today, and it was excellent!!! Service is slow and the place is small but lunch was delicious!
One of the few places I get lunch during the work week. Friendly staff and good food. Service is not the fastest. Sometimes takes up to 25 min for food to arrive after ordering, but not a deal breaker. Recommended.
Hard Knox offers up inexpensive food in a run down diner like setting. It's a neighborhood place and not worth making special trip for. The chicken is indeed good. The balance of price:quality:quantity usually means a line-up (outside) to get in at busy times (not sure it's worth a big wait though). It's not bad, it's just not that good. You can eat at the bar as well.
Excellent Food & Charlie (our server) was awesome!!
I drive from Sacramento with 4 Ladies (65+) and they loved the food and the service. Everything was fresh and seasoned to perfection. I will definitely be back soon.
Food is AMAZING!!! Check it out. Service is great. Food is cooked to order not "par cooked" so it may take moment but It'll be worth it.
I love Hard Knox Cafe! Ambiance, service, food, and affordability are all on par. I tend to go for the blackened fish, collard greens, and red beans and rice but I've also tried the mac n cheese and mashed potatoes sides which are nice as well. I like that you can choose to have a healthier wholesome meal or a more indulgent one depending on your mood. They also give you warm corn muffins along with your meal which I sometimes look forward to more than the actual meal itself
Finally!!!! Exactly what I've been looking for. Soul food I could feel or should I say FIND... I drove 40 minutes meaning we need a location on the peninsula please!! I'll run it for u... The candied yams.. 😍😍😍😍. No pic... Chicken and waffles, ribs with Mac and yams and fish with greens and cabbage all demolished instantly and 3 thumbs up from the East Coast!!!! Be back this weekend!!!
After ordering our dishes, we were started with some warm cornbread muffins, which while decent, I found a bit on the sweet/greasy side. And then arrived our entrees, which all came in generous portions! The three-piece fried chicken (wing, breast, and thigh) was super crispy, and the chicken-fried steak was fall-apart tender (the country gravy paired with the crispy chicken-fried crust was not to be missed). My favorite protein was probably the blackened catfish, which was so nicely spiced and cooked to perfection! With each of the entrees came sides--we tried the super cheesy mac n cheese, the red beans and rice, corn, the smokey braised cabbage, and my favorite, the collard greens! Simply amazing!
Good food and good people. A little smaller and more intimate than some of the neighboring bars. We first visited during NBA playoffs and we were able to get a seat and enjoy the games. Now we stop by after work for a nice dinner.
Taste was good but my fried chicken smothered in grave was lacking Chicago. One piece of chicken with a 1/3 piece of chicken. Should've been two whole pieces. Mac&Cheese was pretty basic. Corn bread were delicious.
Absolutely the most delicious home cooked southern food! I have tried everything on the menu from the po' boys, fried chicken, smothered pork chops and spareribs to sides including collards, yams, potato salad, and mac and cheese and have never been disappointed! Place is not fancy but there is usually a line: always worth the wait!! Bring your appetite as none of the plates are small - no one is leaving hungry!!
Among the very best collard greens, black-eyed peas, barbecued space ribs, and fried chicken in San Francisco. Reasonable prices and huge portions, more than I can eat even when really hungry. Not everything is great--I've had better pulled pork. But almost everything I've had there is terrific, as good as anywhere in the City. It is much like the great places I've tried in Memphis and in Georgia. A great place for lunch or dinner!
Burgers and fried chicken!
Came here for lunch and the food came out relatively quick. Got the spicy Cajun and friend got fried chicken with Mac’n’cheese. Definitely try the corn bread they bring out first, tastes amazing.
They also have a wide beer selection, not like a brewery but ‘nice to haves’ for a joint like this. Would definitely come again, staff was super friendly and food tasted great!
Came here on a Friday night and had to wait in line ~20 mins. The fried chicken here was worth the wait. I tired the fried chicken plate and spicy chicken sandwich. Both entrees were delicious. Good price and generous portion. I would definitely come back but would maybe not pick mashed potatoes as one of my sides.
This appears to be more of a bar than a restaurant but their offerings will surprise you. The hard to find beef short ribs are just what my doctor ordered. They are tender and with the brown gravy, they are superb. The food came out fast and steaming hot, with a smile. It's not a huge place so they probably fill quickly. It was near empty when I went in but by the time I was ready to leave several people had come in. Nice place.
Excellent Southern comfort food. Fried chicken, pork chops, short ribs, bbq ribs, meat loaf, etc. Great cornbread. A variety of sides to choose from to go with entree such as red beans & rice, mac n cheese, greens so on & so forth.
Very tasty soul food. I rarely venture beyond Country Fried Steak or Fried Chicken. Excellent sides. I love the collard greens and mashed potatoes and gravy.
Always a good choice....food is always great, great staff. Try the fried chicken or the smothered chicken! And the cornbread....OMG, the cornbread. Definitely worth the wait! You won't be disappointed.
Drive all the way from Livermore for their food! Absolutely amazing and worth the trip! Thank you for a great birthday dinner!
My wife and I came here after an afternoon in DogPatch. The Southern soul food of Hard Knox hit the spot. They have a simple system of writing your name...read this and 1987 more