Buffalo wings are such an ingrained part of American culture that, if you didn't already know, you'd assume that their origin dates back further than to 1964, when Teressa Bellissimo prepared the first batch for a voracious group of her son’s friends in the kitchen of Anchor Bar in Buffalo, N.Y.
It's hard to imagine life without such a culinary creation that's so versatile that it can be created in hundreds of styles, served boneless or bone-in, taste great with dozens of dips, and served as either an appetizer or a meal. Wings are now on the menu at virtually every bar that serves food, at pizza chains, and even at upscale restaurants. Just 47 years after being introduced to the world, most Americans have several wing options just a phone call away.
When the NFL and its players association were negotiating a new collective bargaining agreement, many feared that a lockout would have a disastrous effect on the chicken-wing industry. “It would kill wings, it would be terrible on wings,” Joe Sanderson of Sanderson Farms Inc. said at the Reuters Global Food Agriculture Summit in March.
Buffalo Wild Wings, a now-omnipresent chain inspired by delicious wings, echoed Sanderson’s sentiment and offered its customers, who were hungry for both wings and football, six free wings if they signed a petition to end the lockout before July 20. The lockout ended shortly after the deadline, but Buffalo Wild Wings made good on its promise anyway. Two great American industries had been saved.
Let's face it, it's virtually impossible to make “bad” wings, and so it wasn't easy to determine America's 10 best. However, the bars and restaurants on this list go above and beyond, serving wings fit to be eaten at dinner for a month straight. The pictures alone will make your mouth water and your stomach yearn. Hopefully, you're lucky enough to live close to some of these wings to make it happen.