Round these parts, my friend, KFC does not stand for the Colonel—it's all about the Korean Fried Chicken, famed for a double-fried crispy exterior. Good "chicken," as the dish is simply called in Korea, is everywhere: Walk into an average chicken shop in Seoul and you'll probably think it's delicious.
But eat at these select chicken checkpoints and you'll be wowed. Here, it's hot and crispy on the ouside, soft and juicy on the inside—just the way fried chicken is supposed to be. These joints are so popular that chicken is constantly moving through the kitchen, freshly delivered and freshly fried. This is the best fried chicken in the world and it'll have you lickin yer fingers and beggin for more.
Branded as a “kind restaurant,” this chicken eatery got famous after a TV program showed how meticulously clean they are in the kitchen. Similarly, their delicious, spicy marinated fried chicken called Red Hot Chili Pepper is about as light as marinated fried chicken can get. While the portions are quite large, the dim lights and warm colors of this restaurant make it a great place to go with a significant other.
Sinsa locals are all familiar with Hanchu—and before a TV program named it one of Seoul’s “Top 4 Fried Chicken Spots,” it was a cozy, beloved neighborhood hof. But luckily for everyone, though tables may be a bit harder to come by, the popularity hasn’t tainted its two decades of excellent service and satisfying eats. Their sweet and spicy made-to-order ddeokbokki and their kimchi fried rice with egg on top remain as delicious today as they were years ago.
Order the fried and garlic pepper chicken and prepare for an Instagram moment as the chicken comes to you hot—it’s literally flaming! Although the portions are quite small for the price and the wedge fries aren’t necessarily our favorite; the well-cooked, crispy bird is quite delicious (and not burnt at all). Plus, we have to admit that blowing out the chicken is half the fun.
With Korean fried chicken making the rounds on blogs and tables around the world, you've got to wonder: How did it all start? While the trend dates back to the 1960s, one of the forebears of Korean fried chicken and the creator of Korean style BBQ chicken is Banpo Chicken, first opened in 1976. They're most famous for their roasted garlic chicken. The bird is roasted first, then fried whole and doused in Banpo Chicken's signature garlic sauce.
Every so often, one outpost of a national chain will somehow gain a cult following, and it’s not always clear why. Is it the air? A secret ingredient? We’re not entirely sure, but Ddobagi Chicken’s Sangsu location is its best known, and is always full of Hongdae art students, giggling couples, and elderly drinking buddies.