An outpost of the popular Korean fried chicken chain Bonchon has managed to quietly open in SF Metreon. It is now open in the food court and can be used indoors, along with Chipotle, Super Duper, Uji Time and the still closed Tsuta Ramen, with a full selection of chicken snacks to eat or take away.
When Bonchon opened its first Bay Area location in Berkeley in 2017, Eater readers loved it. The chain has a cult following, at least in the regions where it’s more productive than the East Coast, and this was arguably the cheapest place to go to San Francisco (there are three other locations in South San Francisco, San Mateo, and San Leandro).
Although the menu is primarily known for its double fried chicken, it includes other Korean dishes like japchae, bulgogi, and kimchi fried rice, as well as potstickers, shu mai, and takoyaki. It’s this crispy, crispy roast chicken that draws diners, with wings, drumsticks, strips, and boned nuggets, all of which serve as vessels for soy garlic or flavorful sauce.
The chain was founded in Busan, South Korea, in 2002 before rapidly expanding to over 350 locations worldwide. Expansion in the US has been in full swing since the 100th store opening was celebrated in Pleasanton, California in January 2020.
The Bay Area is often a testing ground for Asian chain concepts such as bonchon, the aforementioned Tsuta Ramen (a Michelin-starred ramen restaurant in Tokyo), the Japanese pancake café Gram, marugame udon and much more.