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Bonchon Opens in Chicago With 30- to 60-Minute Waits for Korean Fried Chicken

The celebrated South Korean chain debuts in Chicago in Chinatown

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Bonchon Chinatown
Ashok Selvam is the editor of Eater Chicago and a native Chicagoan armed with more than two decades of award-winning journalism. Now covering the world of restaurants and food, his nut graphs are super nutty.

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.

Thank you for all the Bonchon fans. We are officially serving th best Korean Fried Chicken.

Posted by Bonchon Chicago on Monday, July 3, 2017

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.

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.

Bonchon Chinatown

2163 S. China Place, Chicago, IL 60616 Visit Website