Get your garlic on at Okinawa’s Bueno Chicken

Photos by Shoji Kudaka
Photos by Shoji Kudaka

Get your garlic on at Okinawa’s Bueno Chicken

by Shoji Kudaka
Stripes Okinawa

If you head out on Route 330 near Camp Foster, the sight of chickens rotating in the orange glow of Bueno Chicken’s storefront may have already drawn you like a moth to a flame. If not, then you won’t want to pass up on the flavorful lunch or dinner you can grab to-go.

Arguably the most famous chicken shop on Okinawa, Bueno Chicken serves up a rotisserie chicken so juicy and garlicky that it has earned its fame through word-of-mouth and some media attention. Locals and mainland Japan visitors alike flock to this spot for a taste of this delectable poultry.

According to a report by Okinawa Times, Bueno Chicken was launched in 1975 by Tsuneshige Isa, who returned to Okinawa after spending two years as migrant worker in Argentina. Isa named his business after the Argentinian capital Buenos Aires.

Roast chicken is a popular takeout food item around the island, so with plenty of options available, I hadn’t given Bueno Chicken a try. Looking to change up my usual lunch, I recently headed to this spot for some takeout chicken.

I thought I knew what I should expect, but the taste went way beyond my expectations. Fair warning: This chicken is as garlicky as advertised. However, it was also more savory, moist and tender than I imagined. It wasn’t as greasy as fried chicken, so it felt like a healthy meal.

At Bueno Chicken, the menu is very simple— order a whole roast chicken or a half. I ordered one of each, which gave my family and I plenty of leftovers for a couple of days. Even the leftovers kept the delicious flavor and garlickiness.

Though it does have a strong garlic taste, normally I wouldn’t recommend Bueno Chicken if you’re going back to the office after lunch, but I’m working from home, so it wasn’t a problem. The large portions would also be great for families or a holiday gathering.

Telecommuting can be tiring, but your lunch doesn’t have to be. Takeout from Bueno Chicken can help refresh your day and wake you up with its delicious flavor and garlic aroma.

Bueno Chicken


GPS Coordinates: N 26.293179, E 127.778207
Hours: 11 a.m. – 8 p.m. (will close if chicken is sold out). Closed Wednesdays
Roast chicken: 1,600 yen (approx. $15.35) for a whole, 850 yen for a half
*No parking space available.
*Takeout only.

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