The popular Korean fried chicken chain Bonchon on the east coast has opened its first outpost in San Francisco.
The hotel is located at SoMa, 135 Fourth St., in the Metreon shopping complex and opened on Monday. While the chain already has locations in South San Francisco, Berkeley and the South Bay, this is the first location for the fried chicken spot in San Francisco.
All of the bonchon favorites are available here, including the boneless chicken wings topped with soy garlic or spicy sauce – or a combination of both. Other menu items include the Korean tacos with chicken or bulgogi, the Korean glass noodle stir-fry Japchae and Tteokbokki, the spicy rice cake dish. The Metreon location is open for local meals in the food court, takeaway and delivery.
Bonchon’s expansion in the Bay Area has to do with the increasing popularity of fast-casual chains during the pandemic and the fact that fried chicken dishes have been a favorite food item over the past year as diners increasingly turned to comfort food. Bonchon opened in Busan, South Korea in 2002 and made its US debut in Fort Lee, New Jersey in 2006. The chain currently has more than 100 locations in the US and 350 locations worldwide.
Although Bonchon is not as popular or well known on the West Coast as it is in the East, Bonchon is often viewed as one of the top fried chicken suppliers among large chains like TGI Fridays and Wingstop. There are also a limited number of restaurants in town that serve Korean fried chicken, and Bonchon is now trying to expand that market.
Bonchon is one of the fastest growing chains in the US and plans to open 500 locations in the US by 2026.
135 Fourth St., San Francisco, 11:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. daily.
Tanay Warerkar is a contributor to the San Francisco Chronicle. Email: [email protected]