Hangtown Fry

Placerville, CA…This recipe dates back to 1849 when it was created to satisfy the palates of prosperous gold miners who felt the need to spoil themselves with food and drink. Fresh oysters would have to be transported to the gold-rich country from the San Francisco Bay area, over 100 miles away. Eggs required delicate handling and bacon came from the East coast. Back then, ordering a Hangtown Fry would set you back about six bucks!

The way the story goes is that a gold miner who just hit the jackpot came into the hotel and announced that he wanted the most expensive thing on the menu. The cook said,”eggs, oysters and bacon” and thus the Hangtown Fry was hatched.

The name “Hangtown” was given to Placerville, CA after they hanged three bad guys in one day from a large oak tree across from the El Dorado Hotel.

This recipe is best created with small to medium-sized oysters. Although it’s not part of the original recipe, I like to lightly dust the oysters in flour before dunking in the egg and milk mixture. It makes the mixture stick to the oysters mo betta.

This recipe comes from the Blue Bell Cafe (no longer in business) which was on Placerville’s Main Street made this version of the Hangtown Fry for many years.


Hangtown Fry


  • 1 egg beaten
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • Breading mixture of cracker crumbs and bread crumbs
  • Vegetable Oil
  • 3 oysters
  • 2 slices bacon
  • 2 eggs


  • In a small bowl, beat egg with the milk.
  • Dip the oysters in egg/milk mixture and then breading. Pan-fry until three-fourths cooked. While doing this, fry the bacon in another skillet until just before it becomes crisp.
  • Beat the eggs lightly. Place the bacon like railroad tracks off-center in a frying pan, pour a bit of the egg over the bacon. Place the oysters on bacon and pour the remaining eggs over. Cook and then fold the omelets over.

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