San Diego, CA

Vons Chicken - San Diego Favorite Korean Fried Chicken Restaurant

Dinh Lee

Vons Chicken, not to be mistaken for the chicken that is sold at a Vons grocery store, is a new Korean fried chicken place located in National City in San Diego, California. They are quite an established chain and have opened several locations across California as well as the entire United States in the last few years. Vons Chicken is relatively new to San Diego, however, they opened a while back but due to Covid-19, they were forced to close as they did not have outdoor dining available and could not survive on takeout as they were very new at the time. But since then, Vons Chicken has changed owners and is now open again for indoor dining and takeout!

Vons Chicken is a chain that originated in Korea and aims to bring the flavor of Korean side dishes and fried chicken to America. They pride themselves on fresh and all-natural ingredients. They avoid harmful preservatives and use non-frozen ingredients. Now let's talk about their food in more detail. They have a very large selection of Korean side dishes including garden and chicken salads, a variety of different french fries (i.e. cheddar fries, honey butter fries, and sweet potato fries), onion rings, kimchi fried rice, japchae, and plain steamed rice. Their starters include a mini salad, rice cake, man doo (potstickers), and fried shrimp. They also have a wide variety of fried chicken flavors, one of the largest varieties I've seen in San Diego. Their chicken flavors include plain/dry, soy garlic (a classic), padadak, crispy garlic, crispy honey butter, crispy cheddar, and yangyum chicken.

First and foremost, I want to say that their chicken is hands down some of the juiciest and most tender Korean fried chicken I've ever had. They were super smooth and easy to bite into and loaded with just enough flavor. Their chicken is cooked to absolute perfection and all the pieces were extremely juicy, I did not have a single piece of dry chicken and I ate a lot of chicken that day. Their soy garlic is a must and this is a flavor that you can find at any Korean fried chicken place because it is such a classic and overall amazing flavor. Soy garlic chicken is pretty much good everywhere but the best soy garlic chicken I've had so far would be a tie between Vons Chicken and Bonchon, it is definitely close, and before trying Vons Chicken, no one even came close to Bonchon. The most outstanding and notable flavor for me was their crispy garlic chicken. I've never seen this flavor anywhere else and it is absolutely delightful. The garlic is a thick sauce that coats each and every chicken wing or drumstick and it is garlicky and rich in flavor but not spicy in the way that garlic can be spicy sometimes, but rather sweet and pleasant. This sweet garlic flavor profile is seriously so addicting and a serious contender for the best flavor for Korean fried chicken after soy garlic.

The rest of the flavors were really great too. I really liked the addition of lots of shredded green onion on the padadak flavor, which I honestly can't really describe to you what it is, but I love green onion so this was a win for me. Their yangyum flavor is also very nice, especially if you like a little kick of spice in your food. This is the perfect spice that is not only addicting and spicy, but it is also extremely flavorful which is ideal. This is also another flavor that is harder to find at other restaurants alike so I definitely recommend trying it. I can't emphasize enough how rare some of these flavors are, especially the crispy garlic flavor, so it is an absolute must-try when you visit! You can also choose to get each flavor with or without any spice, except for the yangyum one which only comes in mild or spicy, but the mild level of spice is very tolerable and quite nice.

We tried almost all of their side dishes and starters (believe it or not) and they were honestly all really great. The kimchi fried rice has great flavor and has a spicy kick to it and it was fried and seasoned to perfection. My personal favorite was their rice cake, also known as tteokbokki in Korean, this dish was, to me, the perfect starter because of the flavor profile which was quite tangy, a little bit of sweet and just a hint of spicy. I also just love the texture of the rice cake, you really can't go wrong with this dish. The man doo (potstickers) are also always a great option for starters. Their honey butter fries are really great and I love the flavor of it, you definitely can't find this flavor everywhere so I could recommend trying it when you're here!

On a side note, if you love K-Pop, you'll love it here because they're always playing K-Pop music and music videos on the screen so you can enjoy some K-Pop while eating delicious Korean food!

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Join me on my quest to eat at all the best restaurants in town and around the world! Follow me on Instagram @sanfoodiego for more food recs.

San Diego, CA

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