[Seoul] Korean Fried Chicken has become a food phenomenal of sorts in South Korean, with many Chimaek shops flourishing.
Chimaek 치맥 means Chicken and Maekju, the Korean word for “beer”
This can be attributed to Korean drama My Love From The Star, where lead characters Do Min-jun and Chun Song-yi share their love over chicken and beer (maekju). After the drama series, many Chimaek shops literally ran out of chicken.
The series may have ended long ago, but the love towards Korean Fried Chicken continues. (This list only has 8, but there are many, many brands more to try.)
Kyochon Chicken 교촌치킨
371-3, Seogyo-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Tel: +82 2 338 1300
Opening Hours: 12pm – 2am (Mon – Sun)
Kyochon is known as one of the best Korean Fried Chicken in South Korea, also known as the ‘Lee Min Ho’ chicken.
The Chimaek chain is hugely well-liked, with branches in the United States, China, Thailand, Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia… actually, BUT Singapore (Tell me when.)
It seems like Kyochon is chosen as the Best Chicken Restaurant by South Koreans for 13 consecutive years.
Kyochon Chicken… growth hormones, no drugs, use less batter and grease than other fried chicken brands, hand-cut their chicken wings, prepared fresh upon ordering, used chicken free of antibiotics and growth hormones.
The Kyochon in Seoul contains five types of fried chicken series – honey, signature soy garlic, red, fried and salsal, which is salad with rice. Price is about 15,000 Won (SGD$17.80) to 18,000 Won (SGD$22.30).
My lesson learnt is just order the Honey series because that seems well-received by many fans.
Kkanbu Fried Chicken 깐부 치킨 깐부치킨 신사역점
514-5 Sinsa-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Tel: +82 2 518 7701
Opening Hours: 4:00pm – 2:00pm (Mon – Sun)
Set up in 2006, “Kkanbu” means “the same team”, representing a best-friend or comrades relationship customers should have with their brand.
The variety at Kkanbu is extensive, considering it mainly sells chicken – Garlic Soy Chicken, Hot Snow Chicken, Old School Chicken, Kkanbu Kara (soy sauce aged at low temperate as sauce), Boneless Chicken with Tteokbokki, Spicy Soy Chicken, Crispy Chicken, Garlic Roast Chicken, Green Onion Chicken and Tender Sweet Chicken.
Price range between 14,000 to 20,000 Won (SGD$16.90 – $24.15).
While fried chicken is generally still the more popular choice, they have managed to carved out a specialty in roast chicken – popular with younger customer base, and those who want supposedly lower calorie meal.
549-9 Gangnam-gu, Sinsa-dong, Seoul, South Korea (between Apgujeong Station and Sinsa Station)
서울 강남구 신사동 549-9
Tel: +82 2 541 0969
Opening Hours: 5:00pm – 3:00am Daily
Google Maps – Hanchu Chicken
I was also recommended to Hanchu Chicken 한추 by a few foodie friends as one of the best fried chimaek spots.
This food joint is not a franchise, so you can only get to try their delicious chicken at one place. It is located right between the Apgujeong Station and Sinsa Station at Garosu-gil.
The interior of Hanchu Chicken looked quite simple like a family-run business, with dozens of wooden tables and chairs.
The main item on the menu at Hanchu is Fried Chicken (17,000Won, SGD$20.60) and Seasoned Chicken (19,000Won, SGD$23.05). I ordered the Seasoned Chicken (19,000Won, SGD$23.05) of double fried pieces, which resulted in a crispy and juicy combination.
The restaurant also serves a section of items such as Deep Fried Chilli Pepper (15,000Won, SGD$18.20), Deep Fried Chicken Gizzard (15,000Won) Deep Fried Squid (15,000Won), Stir-Fried Rice Cake (15,000Won), Rolled Omelette (15,000Won) and an intriguing sounding Spicy Sea Snails Salad with Noodles (18,000Won, SGD$21.80).
21, Myeongdong 7-gil, Jung-gu, Seoul 04534, South Korea
Tel: +82 2 318 7295
Google Maps – Chir Chir Myeongdong
Chir Chir (pronounced Chi-Re Chi-Re) Fusion Chicken Factory is a popular Korean restaurant chain specialising in deep fried Korean style chicken and other freshly cooked chicken dishes such as Spicy BBQ Roasted Chicken, Garlic Roasted Chicken and Crispy Fried Tenders.
The most popular dish in Korea was the Nest Snow, that was bringing fried chicken to a whole new, and guiltier level. Why?
You get deep fried chicken tenders swimming in a pool of rich creamy white sauce, a scoop of sweet salad hidden below, and a swirl of fresh whipped cream to top it all.
Mix them all up before eating. Can you imagine? Fried chicken with cream? What would it do to your diet plans, but heck.
BHC Chicken Myeongdong
21 Myeongdong 7-gil, Euljiro 2(i)-ga, Jung-gu (Euljiro 1-ga Station, Line 2 Exit 5)
Tel: +82 2 319 7033
Opening Hours: 2:00pm – 12:00mn
Google Maps – BHC Chicken Myeongdong
The chicken franchise has engaged Jun Ji Hyun who played a Korean Chicken Lovin’ actress in the hit series, as exclusive model due to her huge influence.
BHC Chicken or “Better & Happier Choice” is one of most popular Korean Fried Chicken chains, having opened over 1,000 stores since 2004.
The popular BHC flavours include Sweet Garlic Soy Sauce Chicken (19,000 Won), and Boneless Sprinkle Chicken (19,000 Won) sprinkled with flavour seasoning, cheese, onion, and garlic.
Other choices include Crispy Chicken (17,000 Won), Soy Sauce Chicken Leg (19,000 Won), Sauce Chicken (18,000 Won), and Spicy Sauce Chicken (18,000 Won).
Prices are between SGD$21.10 to SGD$23.60 for the chicken dishes. As they are typically served as whole chicken rather a fast-food style 2 piece meal, it is better to dine as a group.
South Korea, Seoul, Jung-gu, Euljiro 2(i)-ga, Myeongdong 7-gil, 21 (Line 4 Myeongdong Station Exit 8)
서울 중구 명동2가 32-17
Tel: +82 2 3789 5892
Opening Hours: 12:30pm – 1:00am Daily
Google Maps – Oppadak
The name “Oppa Dak” is actually the short variation for “Oven eh Bbajeen” Chicken 오븐에 빠진 닭”- chicken that fell in the oven. (Oven & Fried Chicken in Singapore actually serves up this brand as well.)
The popular dinner and supper spot at offers chicken that is BAKED instead of deep-fried, all in a high-temperature oven so as to maximize moisture, crispiness and flavour.
The baked versions are offered with or without skin, and are supposedly a healthier alternative.
A basket of Crispy Baked Chicken meant for two can cost around 15,900 Won, while beers are about 5000 won per bottle.
I would suggest getting a Half&Half (18,000 Won) which allows you to try different flavours tossed in a selection of sauces, including sweet chili, peanut, teriyaki and garlic.
So I had the Sweet Chilli Chicken, which had a dry and brittle type of skin coating the meat which was moderately juicy.
It tasted healthier, saved by the interestingly-tasty sweet sauce.
Two Two Chicken 둘둘치킨
6-4 Namsandong 2(i)-ga, Jung-gu, Seoul (Myeongdong Station, Seoul Subway Line 4)
Tel: +86 2 2275 2297
Opening Hours: 10:00am – 1:30am Daily
Google Maps – Two Two Chicken
Two Two Chicken is one of the most popular Korean Fried Chicken shop in Seoul with possibly over a hundred branches.
Also known as 22 Chicken ((Dul Dul Chicken), the brand which has been around for over 30 years
is known for its special frying pressure machines, batter, and secret sauce.
The Fried Chicken items include Fried Chicken (17,000 Won, SGD$21), Marinated Soy Bean Chicken (17,000 Won, SGD$21), Teriyaki Chicken (18,000 Won, SGD$22.30), Garlic Chicken (17,000 Won, SGD$21), Green Onion Chicken (19,000 Won, SGD$23.50).
While the focus is on Korean Fried Chicken, the menu is extensive with other offerings of Hot Stone Pot Bibimbap, Bulgogi, Shin Ramyun, Noodles with Black Soybean Sauce, Cold Buckwheat Noodles, Fish Cake Soup, Seafood and Green Onion Pancake, and even Udon.
I think this is to cater to the tourist crowd who are more inclined to order a variety of Korean staples. The menu also includes English, Chinese and Japanese descriptions. So no worry if you are a tourist.
BBQ Olive Chicken Café 비비큐 프리미엄 카페
Cheonggyecheon 81) 11-5 Gwancheol-dong, Jongno District, Seoul, Korea (Near Jonggak Train Station)
서울특별시 종로구 관철동 11-5（청계천로 81）
Tel: +82 2 725 9282
Opening Hours: 10:00am – 12:00am (Mon – Fri), 11:00am – 11:00pm (Sat – Sun) >
Google Maps – BBQ Olive Chicken Café
BBQ Premium Café 비비큐 프리미엄 카페 has a flagship store at the Jongno District. It is also known as the “Goblin Korean Fried Chicken” store when this BBQ Olive Chicken outlet was showcased in Gong Yoo’s 2016 tvN drama Goblin: The Lonely and Great God.
All of BBQ’s dishes are prepared with 100% Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
The popular choices among large groups include Golden Olive Chicken Platter (Medium 19,900 Won, SGD$23.87/Large 27,000 Won, SGD$32.39), Paris Chicken Platter (Medium 20,900 Won, SGD$25.07 / Large 28,000 Won, SGD$ 33.59), Urban Churrasco Triple (33,000 Won, SGD$39.59) and the Chicken Party Wawa (53,500 Won, SGD$ 64.18).
You can also try the Jamaican Grilled Whole Leg Set (7,900 Won, SGD$ 9.48) or the Korean Charbroiled Set (8,900 Won, SGD$10.68).
The use of the olive oil created this unique fresh flavour, and clean after taste. The skin was crisp, enough after all long while, and didn’t have that greasy after-taste.