America's Best Buffalo Wings Slideshow
November 22, 2011
10. Dirty Birds (San Diego, Calif.)
Upon hearing that Dirty Birds had the best wings in San Diego, the fine folks at Food Smackdown knew they had to try them and were not disappointed, writing, "The wings we tried were some of the best wings in San Diego we've had! The wings were all meaty, cooked to perfection (light crisp on outside) and had excellent flavor (made with Dirty Birds' own house-made sauces). The house-made ranch and blue cheese to dip the wings in were delicious!"
9. Pluckers (Texas and Louisiana)
In the interesting story of how Pluckers came to be, the founders were told by one of their fathers, a restaurateur, “If we were smart, we would never get into the restaurant business.” Pluckers, which originally opened in Austin in 1995, now has a dozen locations across Texas and Louisiana, and recently saw its Dallas location honored as having the best wings in Dallas Fort-Worth by the Pegasus News.
8. East Coast Wings & Grill (North Carolina)
In the Carolina Wing Festival, a regional lead-up to the aforementioned National Buffalo Wing Festival, East Coast Grill took home the honors of best traditional hot wing. Founded in 1995 in Winston-Salem, East Coast Grill now boasts 75 flavors and 675 combinations of Buffalo wings at its 19 North Carolina locations.
7. Buffalo Joe’s (Evanston, Ill.)
In naming Buffalo Joe's as the best wings in its metro area, CBS Chicago writes, “Their suicide wings will leave your mouth burning for days, but in a good way. They make all of the sauces in-house and make sure the wings come dripping. The BBQ sauce for the wings is also sweet and tangy if heat isn’t your style.” Time Out’s Michael Nagrant adds that these wings are “super-crispy and huge, like chickens on steroids.”
5. Legend Larry’s (Sheboygan, Wis.)
4. Gritty McDuff’s (Portland, Maine)
When the original Gritty’s opened in Portland in 1988 (there are now two other locations in Maine), it became the first brew pub to open in Maine since Prohibition. For a $75 annual fee, you can join the Gritty’s mug club. Named amongst the best wings in New England by the Boston Globe, Gritty’s wings can be ordered in three styles: Buffalo, BBQ, and extra hot.
3. Bon Chon (New York)
In a day-long quest to find the best wings for Super Bowl Sunday, Esquire’s Scott Raab found bliss with Bon Chon’s Korean chicken wings: “It isn't merely today's best chicken; it's perfect, the best fried chicken I've ever had.” Raab continued, “On one level, this is delicate stuff, with a paper-thin skin that delivers a soul-satisfying crunch and a clean, subtle taste unmarred by anything beyond good fresh chicken and maybe a dash of salt and pepper. One batch is barely brushed with a sweetish soy-garlic mix, the other with a 'hot and spicy' blend whose snap builds nice and slow to a friendly scorch. Both are superb.”
2. City Bakery (New York)
Located in Union Square, City Bakery is a destination for tourists and locals seeking excellent coffee and cuisine. In distinguishing City Bakery as having the best wings in New York City, New York Magazine notes that the wings, of the salt-pepper-sugar or Old Bay Seasoning variety, are “insanely delicious.”
1. Anchor Bar (Buffalo, N.Y.)
It’s only fair to give the honor of the best wings in America to the establishment that invented the wing. Anchor Bar’s web site describes just how this American delicacy came to be:
“On a Friday night in 1964, Dominic Bellissimo was tending bar at the now famous Anchor Bar Restaurant in Buffalo, N.Y. Late that evening, a group of Dominic's friends arrived at the bar with ravenous appetites. Dominic asked his mother, Teressa, to prepare something for his friends to eat. They looked like chicken wings, a part of the chicken that usually went into the stock pot for soup. Teressa had deep-fried the wings and flavored them with a secret sauce.The wings were an instant hit and it didn't take long for people to flock to the bar to experience this new taste sensation. From that evening on, Buffalo Wings became a regular part of the menu at the Anchor Bar.”
6. Dixie Wings at Green Mill (28 locations across the Midwest)
After many visits to the Green Mills location in Duluth, Minn., The Unvegans Zack Colman concluded that its best wings were its boneless Dixie Wings: "These are wings with a Buffalo-like sauce that stings the mouth, but always leaves me wanting more. The Mill is also one of the few places where I opt for boneless wings versus the much manlier wings with bones. For some reason, the Dixie Wing sauce just seems to work so much better with boneless wings."
This particular Duluth location has a daily happy hour, with $5 appetizers from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. to 12 a.m. that will leave your stomach full without a hole in your wallet.