You might call it blasphemy, but it’s time to trade in the blue cheese, celery sticks, biscuits and gravy for pickled radish and soju. Korean fried chicken has been a huge trend in New York and LA, and DC is starting to catch on to the trend with two new restaurants planned for the DC area.

What’s the big deal? American-style fried chicken relies on a thick, buttermilk gnarled brown crust with skin that keeps that chicken fat texture underneath.   Southern style chicken is tasty, but Korean-style fried chicken takes crispy fried chicken to a new level. The double fried cooking process renders out the fat in the skin creating a thin crackling transparent crust served lightly painted with sauce, adding flavor without getting soggy.

The local Bon Chon, a Korean restaurant and bar chain from Seoul, serves mostly wings when and if you can get them. It’s a crapshoot between rarely published hours, and an understaffed restaurant to get the garlic-soy glaze or a hotter red-pepper glazed crispy double fried chicken.

It’s worth it, if you know what to do.

Know The Number: (703) 750-1424. The chicken is freshly cooked to order, and you will definitely have to wait for it. The cooking process takes well over twenty minutes, and it is expected that your order is called in at least a half hour ahead of time for pick up. You will be lucky if your wait is only half an hour. If the demand is too high that day, customers are denied entirely, or that they can pick up their chicken in two to three hours. Walk-ins are frowned upon so be prepped to kick back with a bottle of soju until you finally get service.

Know the Goods: If the chicken has a two hour wait, don’t get anything else, especially not the subpar bulgolgi. If you haven’t had Korean fried chicken before order the “mixed-mixed.” You’ll get a combination of garlic-soy and red pepper glazed wings and drumsticks. A large order will run you about twenty dollars, but feeds three people.

Know the Haps: Bon Chon is the best local Korean fried chicken with one location currently in Annandale, Virginia in a small strip mall. Two new locations are currently in the works for Centreville and Fairfax as well, but don't expect the process to be any less demanding with the new locations.


Bon Chon Chicken

6653 Little River Turnpike

Annandale, VA 22003

(703) 750-1424

Mon 4 pm - 12 am

Tue-Wed 12 pm - 12 am

Thu-Sat 12 pm - 2 am

Sun 12 pm - 10 pm


Jana Erwin is the primary chef and writer of, a non-profit venture combining the love of fine desserts and feeding the impoverished in Washington DC.