BonChon, web site, 7215 Columbia Pike, Annandale, VA (you also can enter from 236 by the Giant), 703-914-1415 (Metro Trip Planner – opens in new window) [WaPo | Washingtonian | City Paper | NoVA Mag | Don Rockwell | Ylp]
Korean fried chicken, the classic place, there is also a branch in Arlington off Randolph Avenue and one in Fairfax off Old Lee Highway – at present they have seven locations in Virginia. Get it with the spicy coating, or get a mix of pieces and different sauces. If you cannot share and must choose, I like the wings best.
Korean fried chicken is the best fried chicken around these parts, and it is even (somewhat) healthier for you than regular fried chicken. Everyone should try one of these branches.
The menu here also has about a dozen other Korean dishes, including Bul-Gogi and seafood pancake but you can consider those irrelevant. Note this: cooking the chicken the right way takes about half an hour. Either call ahead or hope to get lucky on the timing and catch a fresh batch.
These places also serve lots of beer as the accompanying drink. If you are not already on the Korean fried chicken bandwagon, now is time to jump on. BonChon has been spreading, while maintaining high quality standards.
For some reason, the branch in Centreville has the biggest pieces of drum sticks compared to some of the other Northern Virginia locations (for the same or lower price). The difference in size is almost comically, absurdly large. I wonder why that is. The raw chickens must be not be supplied centrally. Also, the Centreville location charges the least amount money for extra pickled radish ($0.50 per extra bowl).
I’ve had good experiences at a few independent Korean fried chicken restaurants in Annandale: Chi Mc and Red Holic.
I’m not sure if Tyler updates his posts, but the Arlington location of Bon Chon is more than a mile away from Randolph Ave. It’s on Pershing just of Rte. 50. I fully endorse that location though, the decor is fairly upscale and I’ve never waited the 30 minutes he suggests, but I do think it could be a possibility at peak times. Other than his Arlington geography faux pas, Tyler’s review is dead on in my opinion. My only other advice would be to get the free radishes with the chicken. They are good on their own, but they also help cut the heat of the spicier wing sauce. I’d also say the pork belly buns which are offered at the Arlington location look tempting, though I’ve never tried.