Fried chicken and beer? You may think of the American South, but some of the best is to be found in Korea. The Korean two-step frying technique results in lighter, thinner crust with extra crunch on the outside and tender, juicier meat on the inside. In Beijing, the place to head for this timeless combination is the Mecca of all things Korean: Wangjing. But when the hottest spots are hidden in the back of empty malls, in a maze of a residential compound or up a staircase above Tous Les Jours, how do you find your way? Here's our guide to Wangjing's best chicken places and a good excuse to head past the third ring road this weekend.

KSTAR
For the directionally challenged. The second venture from the team behind Suutak’s Chicken, it’s a far simpler location to find than most, the space is larger and if you want a steak with your fried chicken, they’ve got you covered.
Varieties: Original, soy sauce, hot sauce, chili sauce, sweet “red sauce”
Other dishes: All of the original Suutak’s menu, plus a variety of Western fare including pasta, burgers and other mains.
How to get there: On the ground floor of Kirin Place next to Wangjing Soho, the restaurant is easy to spot from the street.
Daily 10am-2am. B106/7, 1/F, 11 Kirin Place, Fu’an Xilu, Chaoyang District (5738 9301) 朝阳区阜安西路11号 麒麟社新天地1层B106/7

SUUTAK’S CHICKEN AND WORLD BEER
For the seeker of hidden gems. Tucked into the residential compound of Wangjing Xiyuan San Qu, Suutak’s is an intimate joint serving firstrate fried bird. Go early or very late to avoid a long wait.
Varieties: Original, soy sauce, hot sauce, chili sauce, sweet “red sauce”
Other dishes: Barbecue chicken, “fusion chicken” (cheese chicken chuan’r, bacon-wrapped chicken salad, fried chicken salad, grilled teriyaki salad), seafood soups, kimchi okonomiyaki.
How to get there: Enter the west gate of Area 3, Wangjing Xiyuan, off Wangjing Jie. Go 50m until the sign for parking lot #326 and turn left. Building 320 will be ahead of you. Follow signs for Suutak’s. The shop is to the left of the covered parking lot entrance.
Daily 11am-1am. Bldg 320, Wangjing Xiyuan San Qu, Wangjing Jie, Chaoyang District (8472 6745) 朝阳区王京街望京西园3区320号

BARSAK CHICKEN AND WORLD BEER
For the beer drinker. Very good, though not exceptional chicken – come here for the extensive beer selection, including Guinness on draft, and pounding Korean Top 40 beats.
Varieties: Original, sweet, garlic, soy sauce, sweet cheese sauce
Other dishes: Tempura, chuan’r, seafood stews, bibimbap and instant noodles cooked in military bowls.
How to get there: The Korean Food City building is on the east side of Guangshun Bei Lu, just south of Wangjing station (line 15). Find the entrance to the second floor on the left of Tou Les Jours. Signs for Barsak (some of which read “Basak”) are displayed outside as well as the restaurant delivery bikes.
Daily 10am-2am. 2/F, Korean Food City, Bldg 423, Wangjing Xiyuan Si Qu, Guangshun Beilu, Chaoyang District (6475 5754) 朝阳区顺北 路望京西园4区423号韩国美食城2楼

FLYPIZZA & HOODADAK CHICKEN
For the hip. A bit out of the way but well worth the trip – outstanding fried chicken with inventive twists and excellent pizza.
Varieties: Original, sweet and spicy, sweet soy sauce, garlic, Sichuan spicy, curry, spring onion, carbonara
Other dishes: Pizza (choose from thin, sweet potato-stuffed, or cheddar crust) and pasta.
How to get there: Go to the north building of Liubaiben Mall (north of Lijin Jie and Guangshun Dajie intersection). The restaurant is inside the mall on the ground floor towards the back of the building tucked away from the other businesses.
Daily 11.30-midnight. A-29/32, 1/F, North Bldg, Liubaiben Mall, 17 Guangshun Beidajie, Chaoyang District (8472 2811/5341) 朝阳区广顺北大街17号 六佰本北区1层A-29/32

JIKAOBA
For the hole-in-the-wall enthusiast. Fried chicken served in an unassuming setting.
Varieties: Original, “tiaowei,” soy sauce, spring onion
Other dishes: Seafood stews, kimchi fried rice, rice cakes and other Korean standards
How to get there: Enter the north gate of Area 3, Wangjing Xiyuan. Pass the Bank of Communications and go 100m. The restaurant is on the left side (east) of the street across from a primary school. Signage is only in Chinese and Korean.
Daily 11am-2am. Bldg 306, Wangjing Xiyuan San Qu, Guangshun Beilu, Chaoyang District (8471 9252) 朝 阳区广顺北路望京西园三区306号

 

Photos: courtesy of hungrygamesdotcom, dramafever


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