1 Penn Plaza, New Brunswick
Hours: Thurs-Sat, 11 am-3 am; Sun-Wed, 11 am-11 pm
Style: Modern eatery that sports clean lines of red accents on a black-and-white palette, but the wall décor look sparse and unfinished three weeks after opening.
Don’t Miss: This ultra-popular Korean chain became international with just two flavors of chicken: soy-garlic sauce and hot sauce. But before diving into the signature chicken, it’s worth noting that Bonchon hasn’t watered down its spices for the American palate. The menu offers a complimentary side of pickled radish or rice to accompany the chicken and balance the heat of the spices. Shrimp shumai ($3.99) and pork potstickers ($3.99) make tasty starters. There’s also a modest selection of salads, including the house salad with zesty dressing ($6.99), offered with beef, tofu or chicken. For the main course, the soy-garlic chicken has a honeyed, tangy taste, and for spice-lovers, the hot sauce style makes the grade. A mixture of the two is also available. Prices range from $8.99 to $33.99 for 10 to 40 wings, drumsticks and strips. Other favorites include the super-fiery bull dak ($8.99), Korean for “fire chicken,” which is covered in intense, spicy red sauce and comes with a side of rice. There are also classic Korean dishes like bibimbob ($8.99)—a bowl of rice mixed with spicy pepper paste, various vegetables and your choice of beef, tofu or chicken—and tteokbokki ($8.99), rice cakes immersed in spicy pepper-paste soup. Another favorite is bulgogi rib eye ($9.99)—marinated beef full of savory and sweet flavor.
Heads Up: During lunch hours, the small joint can get overwhelmed, whipping the small staff into a frenzy. To avoid a long wait, choose delivery during peak lunch or midnight-snacking hours—especially during nearby Rutgers’s school year.
The Scoop: Bonchon’s side door connects to the frozen yogurt chain Cups, which recently opened next door. After chowing down at Bonchon, bring the receipt into Cups to receive a 20 percent discount on dessert.