Bonchon (San Diego)

Bonchon, an international restaurant chain famous for their Korean-style fried chicken, recently opened in San Diego.
After years of hoping for good Korean fried chicken in San Diego, I think Bonchon has finally answered my prayers.


The menu presented to us when we sat down was a thick and hefty booklet. Bonchon offers a huge variety of Korean dishes, but they are most known for their fried chicken.

Combo Half Spicy & Half Soy Garlic

Even if you’ve narrowed your choice down to fried chicken, there are several varieties offered including drumsticks, wings, boneless, etc. Since it was our first time here, we decided to get the combo, which comes with both wings and drumsticks.

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Bonchon also offers two flavors: spicy or soy garlic. The half & half allowed us to try both.

What makes Korean-style fried chicken unique is that they use a double fry technique. The chicken is coated in a wet slurry and fried twice. The wet slurry creates a wonderfully thick, crunchy and crackly crust around the chicken, while keeping the chicken meat very moist. And by frying the chicken twice, the chicken is cooked long enough for the fat to be rendered off the skin, leaving the skin incredibly crisp. When done right, the skin and batter become almost one. The chicken should not have any fatty soft skin.

Most of the Korean fried chicken I’ve had in San Diego usually has the crunchy batter, but when you bite in, there is still a lot of fatty chicken skin.

This was not the case at Bonchon. Both the skin and crust were incredibly crispy. And the chicken was very moist.

Normally I prefer small party wings over large drumsticks for Korean fried chicken, because there is more skin to meat ratio. However, to my surprise, I really enjoyed the drumsticks. I found the meat of the drumsticks had more flavor than the wings.

Of the two flavors, I preferred the soy garlic, while Mr. K preferred the spicy.

Bull Dak

We also chose this dish based on the recommendation of our server. Spicy chicken, rice cakes, hot sauce, scallions, and topped with mozzarella cheese. It tasted fine and was quite spicy.

Overall, I really enjoyed the Korean fried chicken at Bonchon and am really happy they are now in San Diego. I think this is the best place for Korean fried chicken in San Diego right now. Bonchon is currently in soft opening phase. As a result, they are not yet doing take-out orders and there is quite a long wait because the restaurant is not operating at full capacity. When we visited, they only filled about half the restaurant because that was all that the kitchen could handle.

Bonchon
4690 Convoy St, San Diego, CA 92111
https://bonchon.com/

2 comments on “Bonchon (San Diego)”

  1. I really enjoy your writing and recs. I still have my bright red silicon oven mitts.

    Wen to lunch at Bonchon yesterday and had good food, but it is A MASSIVE RIP OFF. It’s just NOT worth it.

    I just had lunch there by myself – no alcohol, no soda and no rice. I got 2 drumsticks, 4 wing pieces (2 double bones & 2 single bones, in most places that is 2 wings), onion rings, Kimchi (small) and coleslaw (tiny). I received ketchup with my onion rings and when I asked if there were other dipping sauces, they said spicy mayo, but that was either $.50 or $.75 more… no thanks. With tip my lunch was $27.

    $27 for a lunch at casual places is is food for 2 people. If I spend $27 at lunch and I am alone, I am always bringing home leftovers for the family.

    I felt sick & stupid spending that much on myself on wings, onion rings, water, coleslaw and Kimchee. Spending that much on lunch is borderline obscene. Spending that much money on THAT menu makes me officially an idiot.

    • Hi John- I still remember you asking about those silicon oven mitts! I’m sorry you felt Bonchon was a rip-off. While the wings are not cheap, the prices for Bonchon are pretty on par (and even a little cheaper) with other Korean-style fried chicken restaurants I’ve been to. And the wings do take quite a lot more effort than your typical fried wings since they are fried twice. I really enjoyed the food even though it was on the pricey side and still think these are the best korean fried chicken wings in San Diego right now. Btw, my visit we spent about $40 for 2 and we did have leftovers for one person to have another lunch.

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