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Tuesday, December 1, 2015

BonChon: Korean fast food in Annandale

By the editors of the Northern Virginia Restaurant Blog

The first time we tried BonChon chicken wings was at Northern Virginia Magazine’s Chicken Wings NoVa Wars. They were so flavorful, so perfectly baked, and the spicy wings were way out of this world terrific, that we just had to follow our taste buds to their Annandale location.

A medium combo plate with 10 boneless chicken strips (five soy ginger and five spicy) is $12.95. [NoVa Restaurant Blog]
BonChon is a modern Korean fast food joint with several large TVs and a full bar in the heart of Korea Town in Annandale. Its staff is all young Koreans, though our waiter seemed to be so brand spanking new, our service was quite underwhelming. The bright spot in the service area was a server named Israel, who not only served most of our food, but also refilled our water and asked if everything was OK. Kudos to Israel!

One of the nice things that BonChon offers is a calorie count of all its dishes, including wings. The wings are not cheap; they are about $1.30 per wing, regardless whether you get a mix of wings and drumsticks, drumsticks only, or boneless strips. We got the ones we remembered as being fantastic soy garlic and spicy. Definitely worth the visit!

Looking around, most everyone in the restaurant was feasting on piles and piles of wings. Needless to say, come here for the wings. The other stuff wasn’t nearly as good as the wings. 

The Bull Dak ($12.95) entree consists of spicy chicken stir-fried with rice cakes in a fiery sauce topped with thinly sliced scallions and melted cheese, served with steamed white rice on the side. [NoVa Restaurant Blog]

The banchan [kimchi and other assorted sides] served along with our food at BonChon consisted of sweet coleslaw and mild, crunchy pickled radish cubes. Eaten alone, they were bland. But when snacked on in between the fiery or garlicky wings, they gained a lot more appreciation!

The two entrees we ordered – bull dak and chicken katsu – were good. Korean food doesn’t skimp on flavors, so almost anything you get will be good.

But BonChon Chicken is all about the WINGS, and this is definitely a reason to return!

Oh, by the way, an added bonus was that you do not walk out of the restaurant smelling like the kitchen.  This is not a Korean BBQ place where you leave wearing the smell of all the food on the menu. It is a bright and airy restaurant with great exhaust, large windows, and modern furniture.  There is just really no reason not to check it out.

Special occasion cakes at Tous Les Jours. [NoVa Restaurant Blog]
We would be remiss if we didn't tell you about. Tous Les Jours, the amazing Korean bakery where we stopped after lunch at BonChon.

Just a few steps from BonChon, Tous Les Jours Korean Bakery wows you as soon as you walk in. It’s impossible to resist being enveloped by the variety of deliciousness emanating from shelves and shelves of powdered goodness as far as the eye can see.

Modern, clean, simple decor is utterly inviting. Be warned: You will not walk out empty-handed, even if you claim not to have a sweet tooth.

BonChon, 7215 Columbia Pike, Annandale, 703-914-1415. Open 11:30 a.m.-11 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 11:30 a.m.-12 a.m. Friday and Saturday, and noon-11 p.m. Sunday.

Tous Les Jours, 7219 Columbia Pike, Annandale, 703-914-0000.  Open 7 a.m.-11 p.m. Monday-Thursday and Sunday, 7 a.m.-12 a.m. Friday and Saturday.


  1. Chi Mc (in the old BonChon spot) is soooo much better now.

    1. I second this, Chi Mc blows Bon Chon out of the water.

    2. Third-ing this. I don't even bother with BonChon anymore.

  2. I will have to try both BonChon Annandale and Chi Mc and decide which I like better. While the food is definitely higher in calories than my recommended diet, it sounds too good not to give it a try and to make it a sometime treat.

  3. Tous les Jours is a wonderful bakery. And they have French macarons. Just wonder why the French names like the late Matin de Paris or France Optical.

  4. I wish either BonChon or Chi MC had an actual spicy flavor without the added dose of sugar.