Wingfest: Who Makes New York City's Best Chicken Wings?

The fourth annual Wingfest hits the streets of the Big Apple to settle the matter once and for all

Where do you find the best wings in New York City?

In such a vast culinary landscape as the Big Apple, finding the perfect wing is not a simple task. And who declares a wing to be the best in town, anyway? While some spots earn their best-wings badges from well-reputed publications, others garner praise from word-of-mouth, or are declared the best by a large and steady group of loyal fans. And then there are the restaurants that themselves claim that they, hands down, serve the best wings in the city.

No matter how long or hard you look, you’re bound to find several different restaurants that are apparently home to the best wings in the city, according to one person or another, and it’s hard to nail down just one winner. With all the superlatives thrown around out there, where do you find the best wings in the city?

Wingfest, an annual beer and wing festival, is where you can find the best wings in New York City, all in one place, on just one day. Hosted by vintage sports-apparel company Streaker Sports and men’s entertainment website BroBible, Wingfest brings people from all over the city together to enjoy the city’s top wings and vote for who has the best wings in the city.

After a sellout crowd of 1,200 attendees last year, the people behind Wingfest are expecting big things from their contenders this year, who include names like Duke’s, Hill Country, Tribeca Taphouse, Wildwood BBQ, and many more. The event, which will take place Saturday, Sept. 29, consists of two separate sessions, during which attendees will enjoy all-you-can-drink specialty beers, live music, and games while taste-testing and voting on the competing wings.

The stakes are high this year, as the fourth annual event will have more than 2,400 ticket holders voting on 12 different competitors, and the competing restaurants could not be more ready for the challenge. Two-time reigning champ Duke’s has no doubt they’ll win the crown again this year. 

"The proof is in the pudding; our wings are simple and delicious. The meat falls off the bones, the sauce is finger-licking good, and the aftertaste will keep everyone wanting more," says executive chef Michael Siry.

But other contenders are looking to shake things up a bit. "I’m going with a different sauce this year," says Big Lou of Wildwood BBQ, "and I’m going a little more traditional [than past years]."

Besides determining once and for all who serves the best wings in the city, Wingfest is a day where food lovers and the city’s best restaurants gather because for one reason — wings — and celebrate their passions and hobbies together. When discussing his contending wings, made with a new chile bean paste (which he gave the Cook editors at The Daily Meal a sneak-peak taste of), chef Shamel Moorehead of Tribeca Taphouse says, "it’s really just a fun day to get together with your friends and show them the new dishes you’ve been experimenting with, and it’s a great way to interact with the fans."

Moorehead’s chile bean paste definitely had us licking our fingers, but we’re excited to see what the other competitors have in store. So what are you waiting for? Buy your tickets to this year’s Wingfest and find the answer to the most important question ever asked: Who serves the best wings in the city?

Anne Dolce is the Cook Editor at The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @anniecdolce