How do you feel about fried chicken?
Let’s try this again: would you drive 8 hours roundtrip for fried chicken?
Fried chicken: serious business
I’m from the South. Born and raised in North Carolina. In the South, good fried chicken is bigger than food: it’s a cultural, soul-cleansing experience. Your grandmother’s secret recipe may be out of this world, but I’m here to tell you, grandma ain’t the only one throwin’ down in the kitchen when it comes to fried chicken. Even the fast food chains take their bird very seriously (where my Bojangles fans at?!).
Now, this isn’t a competition. Just know this: regardless of where you’re from, if you appreciate some next-level fried chicken, add Virginia City, Nevada to that destination list of yours.
I really, really never thought I would hear myself say that.
When you do finally make that trip, head on over to Cafe Del Rio and indulge in the food phenomenon that is their Gospel Fried Chicken. We had it 3 times, in 8 weeks. And we live over 4 hours away.
We’re not ashamed. At Cafe Del Rio, the Gospel Fried Chicken is Where. It’s. At.
We should also mention: hope you love mysterious, mountainous ghost towns!
Virginia City: a little background
Virginia City is a quiet, northern Nevada mining town of less than 1000 people. But 150 years ago–thanks to the Nevada silver mines–it was the richest place on earth.
These days, Virginia City is considered to be one of the Old West’s most authentic ghost towns, and it’s a major tourist destination. From history buffs to ostrich racers, the city receives 2 million tourists annually.
We recently had the opportunity to write an article about a legendary, cursed gambling table at the Delta Saloon, which brought us out here twice in 2 months.
What we didn’t get to cover in that article, was Cafe Del Rio: a discovery that made the 4-hour drive all the more worthwhile. We’d do it again in heartbeat. It was that good.
So OK–we didn’t only come for the chicken. BUT, we did strategically plan our return trip for a Sunday, in consideration of the chicken. More on that later.
Good food. Good people.
Cafe Del Rio simply delivers the goodness. They hooked us on Saturday night, brought us drooling back the next day, and then again a 3rd time, 8 weeks later.
During all 3 visits, we had a great experience. This started from the moment we walked in the door. If this doesn’t immediately warm your heart…
The friendly staff and laid-back atmosphere definitely enhance the overall Cafe Del Rio experience.
But let’s be honest: it’s that mouthwatering, home-cooked food that’s bringing you out here. So let’s talk about it.
Our food line-up:
- Homemade chips and salsa
- Mahi-mahi tacos
- THE Gospel Fried Chicken
not pictured below: cheese & seafood enchiladas. They…ummm…they were camera shy.
Homemade chips & salsa
THE Gospel Fried Chicken
Come on a Sunday for the real-deal Gospel Fried Chicken experience. The full meal (shown below) is served during Sunday Brunch (10am-2pm) and Sunday dinner.
7 days a week: they chop it up and throw it on a salad. We also had this. It was awesome.
As of this writing, and based on our last visit in July 2018, Cafe Del Rio only accepts cash.
Accommodation in Virginia City, Nevada
Many folks visit Virginia City as a day trip from Tahoe or Reno, but if you’d like to make a weekend out of it, there are a handful of places to stay. The Sugarloaf Mountain Motel was comfortable, and 2 minutes from Cafe Del Rio.
It gets busy in the summer, so book your room sooner than later.
Guys, Cafe Del Rio knows what’s up. Take this Southern gal’s word for it, saddle up, and ride on out.
And when you do, hook a sister up with an order to-go 😉
Or at least, let us know how it turned out, in the comments below!