Bonchon, the celebrated Korean fried chicken chain, used the Fourth of July holiday to quietly open its first Chicago location. The chain, which originated in South Korea, opened on Friday at 2163 S. China Place. Once the news spread, fans waited 30 minutes to an hour for fried chicken in Chinatown.
Korean fried chicken isn’t new to Chicago, with restaurants like Crisp in Lakeview and Great Sea Restaurant in Albany Park helping make the chicken — wings in particular — popular in the Windy City. Bonchon officials still won’t divulge the exact address of a second Chicago location, believed to be on Division Street just west of Ashland Avenue in Wicker Park.
WINNER WINNER CHICKEN DINNER! @bonchonchicken is finally open in Chinatown! They have their soft opening tomorrow from 3-8PM so make sure to check it out. I can safely say it's worth the hype. I got the ddukbokki and a medium order of drumsticks with soy glaze but I can't wait to come back and try more! #EATONCHICAGO
The chain started in 2002 in South Korea before opening its first American location four years later in New Jersey. There are currently about 60 Bonchons the U.S. and more than 225 worldwide. The light and crispy chicken can be spun in a spicy savory and sticky sauce. The recipe is based upon techniques from Kyochon, a South Korean chain that opened in 1991. Kyochon’s chicken has earned a spot on Eater LA’s best fried chicken map.
Chicago and the suburbs could see as many as 20 Bonchons opening in the area. Will they be worth of Eater Chicago’s best chicken wings in the city? Eaters can find out now as its first local restaurant is now open.
Bonchon, 2163 S. China Place, Suite 1F, (312) 877-5832, hours not posted yet.