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Where are the best wings in NYC

  • j

If I could only eat one food for the rest of my life it would be wings. My brother agrees. We are new in the city and looking for the best of the best. Wings should be hot, but we are looking for a joint with a variety of flavors. Also, a major pet peeve is that most wing places serve scrawny wings... Do they breed chickens to have wings that small? Where can I get some spicy wings and cold beer? I am a simple man with simple needs... Please help!

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  1. Don't know if this is what you're looking for, but Dinosaur BBQ has great wings. They're not buffalo-style; they're smoked, they're big, and they come with a choice of sauce heat-levels (I like the medium hot stupidly named "wango-tango" sauce). IMO, they're the best choice on Dinosaur's menu.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Striver

      east 4th street bar between 3rd and 2nd aves for bourbon wings.

      reservoir on university place for teriyaki wings.

      1. re: Striver

        I dream about the wings at Dinosaur.

      2. I haven't had them ALL, but my favorite Manhattan wings are:

        Croxley Ales (East Village)
        28 Avenue B Btwn 2nd & 3rd St
        Good, fun downtown bar with an outdoor garden, LOTS of great beers and great wings, on which there are frequently special deals. In my opinion, a much cooler place than Blondie's, but I live close by.

        Blondie's (two branches, I prefer upper west)
        Upper East: 1770 2nd Ave Btwn 92nd & 93rd St
        Upper West: 12 W 79th St Btwn Bway & Amsterdam
        Sports bar. Decent sports-bar food, great wings, average beer, cute waitresses. Blondie's wings are especially beefy (chickeny?) in the size department.

        Link: http://www.menupages.com/restaurants....

        2 Replies
        1. re: Andrew P.

          Between Blondies and Croxley's, I'd go with Blondies. I've only been there once, but Croxley wings were rather scrawney- though tasty. Blondies are more plump and a more featured dining item.

          1. re: Andrew P.

            RUB has killer wings, first smoked then fried, crisp but moist inside. The sauce is far more complex than the usual Frank's hot sauce mixture.

            But the last time I was there the wings were dried out, so beware.

          2. Actually, the best wings in NYC are at Bonnie's on 5th Avenue in Park Slope Brooklyn, crispy, great variety of heat (hot really is hot) and great beers. The place is owned by guys from Buffalo so it's very authentic. Good burgers too!

            1 Reply
            1. re: DeeDee


              Also a really good burger!

            2. Love the wings at Blue Smoke...

              1 Reply
              1. rathbones on 87th and 2nd

                1. Here's what you should do: Drive to JFK, Jet Blue to Buffalo, go to Duff's corner of Millersport and Sheridan Ave, get 50 hot and a bunch of Labatts Blue. This is wing heaven. You'll never look for wings in NYC again.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: vint1955

                    Ah I miss Duff's. Check out Mother's on Virginia Place if your in Buffalo for wings.

                    on a side note they are opening a Buffalo Wild Wings in Atlantic Terminal in Brooklyn. (chain and maybe not so good, but it's there)

                    1. re: vint1955

                      i miss duffs too. when i was a student at ub in the 80s, this was the place to go for a wing fix. rooties pump room near the amherst campus had great wings, too, and cheap. i heard rooties burned down.

                      1. re: vint1955

                        As a buffalo native displaced by college in NYC, duffs is but a wet dream and eternal mecca for me.

                        Surprisingly, in the Bronx there are a few decent wing spots.

                      2. I will put the wings at Grand Saloon on 23rd and 3rd up against any in NYC.
                        They are huge and they are the traditional Buffalo wing (deep-fried then covered in butter and hot sauce) but with an extra tanginess to them that is hard to place (maybe a touch of honey?)
                        If you like large, juicy, spicy wings then try them out and see whether they're to your liking. Just be warned that they are sliiiightly different from what you normally get.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Mike NYC

                          not a huge fan - much prefer Reservoir's wings to Grand Saloon. Which is slightly a shame because Grand Saloon is my local bar..

                        2. they're not your typical buffalo wings, but go to kasadela, 647 E 11th street, corner of avenue C, link below. get the wings and a bunch of other small plates, some good sake, and munch out. excellent.

                          1. Blondies, like Atomic, are run-of-the-mill IMO. ANd they are on the scrawny side, slightly undercooked the 2 times I had them.

                            Tastiest wings I've had in NYC by far (after trying many) are at Scruffy Duffy's, 8th Ave bet. 46th/47th. Awesome, tasty, cooked right every time. I'm salivating just thinking about them.

                            I haven't had DInosaur's wings but they sound tasty also, from all reports.

                            1. I like the wings at First on 1st ave.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: alex70

                                First closed about 2 years ago.

                                1. It's not in New York City, but the best "buffalo" wings are at CANDLELIGHT INN on Central Ave in Scarsdale.

                                  Long link, but says it all: http://www.google.com/maps?hl=en&...

                                  4 Replies
                                    1. re: Scooby

                                      so happy to see "the light" getting it's due. it's a classic bar and the wings are fabulous and very hot. you're sinus' start burning as soon as you walk through the door. actually haven't been there in years...

                                      1. re: mrs. jones

                                        The Candlelight! I'm a Yonkers boy, used to make the (underage) trek there on many a night in the late 70s. "Touch Me" by The Doors was selection A-1 on the jukebox. Wonder if it still is....

                                      2. re: Scooby

                                        YES! I am so happy The Candlelight made it on this thread. SO GOOD!

                                      3. Atomic Wings at Down the Hatch is yummmmy.
                                        Also, if you ever find yourself downtown in the Financial District, check out John St. Bar & Grill. On Monday's they serve $.25 wings.

                                        Both places are dives, but the wings are very good.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: FoodFanNYC

                                          John St. is totally nasty. The wings at Meades, an off-shoot of Jeremey's down by the Seaport were good last week. Nice and crisp with tangy sauce, a few diff choices.

                                        2. Jacob,

                                          Did you end up going to any of these? I'm curious because there are so many recommendations, and, besides the plurality for Dinosaur, not much agreement.

                                          1. I had the wings at McKenna's last night (14th & 8th Ave)...they are divine. More BBQ than Buffalo, they come piping hot in a sticky/sweet/bourbon-ish glaze with a cup of bleu cheese dressing and a mound of fresh, crispy, salty, McDonalds-ish fries. All this for $5!!

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: sweetpickle

                                              I was very excited about trying the wings at McKenna's, but could not have been more disappointed. Not only were they not great wings, they were actually some of the *worst* wings I've ever had, even compared to wing-deprived places like Northern California. They came out soggy and bland, without a trace of vinegary tang, and had the texture of something that had been frozen alongside a woolly mammoth They reminded me of the janky frozen A&P wings I used to get in college, and bake in the oven. Maybe the recipe changed, or maybe it was because I opted for the spicy, but these wings tasted like they had fallen off the back of a Sysco truck.

                                              The fries were still good (McDonald's-ish pretty much nails it), but the wings are now $6, and only about 5 or 6 come to a plate. Oh, and the beers are $6 (For Yeungling! At a dive bar!), and they (illegally) charge you more if you use a credit card. All in all, whoever makes the management decisions in this bar needs to get his head out of his rear end.

                                            2. Croxley's on wed nite is the best deal in town....

                                              Blondie's is good. service, eh?

                                              still trying to hit the up the bourbon wings at 4th between 2nd third. 4th street bar.

                                              keep ya posted on that

                                              1. Dinosaur is a great place and their sauce is available in grocery stores.

                                                1. I think the wings at Kasadela are the best but just to warn you they are not hot. Kasadela is a japanese isakaya.


                                                  Last time I went the wings were meaty.

                                                  Nagoya in Japan is also famous for their chicken and they got a chicken wing place called Tebaya that makes their classic version of wings. They are more on the peppery side than hot. I'm only suggesting them as other flavors you may want to try.

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: designerboy01

                                                    I secong Tebaya - it is a different flavor but they are really addictive. Also the chicken sandwich there is kickass.

                                                  2. If you're near midtown east, check out the wings at Bliss Bar. The wings there are a great balance of texture, flavor, and spice. Decent sized too! (As a side note, from what I recall, they have a great 2 for 1 happy hour that goes till 9pm or 10pm)

                                                    1. Anyone try Black Finn's? They have a $30 special for all you can stuff beer and wings during football games. I must say I was impressed with the wings (very meaty) and good flavor. Not the best I've had but very good and good value.

                                                      1. The Skyway Wings at Skyway Malaysian Restaurant (Allen St. between Division and Canal) actually aren't hot-peppery but do have a delicious blend of spices on them. They're listed under "Appetizers" but are a generous portion. Try them!

                                                        1. Baker street on 1st ave and 63rd make great wings- not scrwany meaty and crispy will make them hotter if you like and the def have a large selection of cold beer on draft

                                                          1. The Back Page on 84th and 3rd in Manhattan has the best wings. Trust!

                                                            1. Gotta vote for Dinosaur too. Jsut went last night, they are so meaty and perfectly charred and sauced.

                                                              1. Believe it or NOT....somewhere as unexpected as Chinatown for about $6-$7 buck a dish of Fried Chicken wings are to die for. Hot green peppered deep fried chicken wings. 69 Bayard Street. (we call it the MONEY HOUSE) you can't miss it. It's got a good couple of hundred - dollar bills taped with your signed or tagged name on it in RED MARKER.

                                                                OR try the regular fried chicken wings with 2 slices of fresh lemon HOT off the deep frier. You can't beat that kind of wings cuz this place has been around many decades ago in the heart of chinatown.

                                                                Chinese wings! (a world where wings were invented)

                                                                2 Replies
                                                                1. re: foodcritik

                                                                  I haven't ordered the wings there, but my last two trips to that restaurant were so bad that I've relegated it to the Wo Hop Hall of Shame. I think they're no better, or not enough for it to matter. Just putting that out there as a word of warning.

                                                                  1. re: foodcritik

                                                                    try the wings there, or at least, get takeout. those are good wings!

                                                                  2. Haven't seen a vote for Bonnie's Grill out in Park Slope yet... Best wings I've had, but you gotta ask for them hot. And when they say hot, they mean HOT. WhoO! That's the only way to have it.

                                                                    1. these are my recs:


                                                                      but if you want meaty, try the honey sticky wings served at any Dallas BBQs; these huge monsters are actually really good. Ask them to go light on the sauce, it'll be much better.

                                                                      Also, the wings at Pete's Tavern are incredible.

                                                                      1. I have not been to this place in some time (maybe four years), but there's a place called Mudville 9 Saloon, on Chambers Street, that served some mighty fine wings. If I remember correctly they had a wide variety flavors and a wide variety of sizes (from 5 wings to a "Double Bucket" which is like 100 wings for $65.00. Very novel). They also had a variety of spice degrees - from "Mild" to "Super Wow." Because we thought we were cool, my girlfriend and I decided to go with the "Super Wow." My Christ, when they were put in front of us all we had to do was smell the fumes coming off of those things to know we were in serious trouble. They were so hot SO HOT that I almost lost consciousness. Beer after beer went down to foil the flame to little effect except possible liver damage. It was fun. Not the best decor around, but it certainly was fun.

                                                                        I just checked their website and they have unlimited wings & fries and unlimited pitchers of beer (for two hours) for $22.00/person.

                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                        1. re: sourmilk

                                                                          I too went to college in Buffalo and miss Duffs!! Those are the best wings I've ever had.
                                                                          Now, as for Mudville, those were some of the best I found in NYC, its been a number or years since I've been there, and I'm not sure if they still are, but is they are, you should definitely give it a try!

                                                                        2. For classic buffalo wings, Scruffy Duffy's hands down has the best wings. Big and delicious. Blondie's is good too.

                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                          1. re: fooodie

                                                                            the scruffy duffy wings are now suppposedly at landsdowne Road

                                                                            1. re: Jeffsayyes

                                                                              The wings at landsdowne are good, but for some reason don't taste quite as good as scruffys. Maybe it's all in my head. I need to try hibernia as scruffy's wings have supposedly spawned there as well.

                                                                          2. I just had the wings at The Blind Tiger on Bleecker - they were on special and were amazing. Since the place lacks a fryalatar (spell?) they are slow baked and simply melt off the bone.

                                                                            1. bon chon chicken does wings, right?

                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                              1. re: thew

                                                                                Yes they do! But actually I like the wings at Mad for Chicken even better. I dream about them. Get some!

                                                                              2. Tequila Jack's on 93rd and 3rd. The best classic wings, order them well done. They fry them fresh, they're never frozen, and they use the classic franks/butter/etc sauce. great for game day

                                                                                1. The Blind Tiger Ale House on Bleeker just started serving wings and they are incredible - slow baked, not fried - the meat falls right off the bone. The sauce is your average Franks reduction but with an extra kick and the wing quality is top notch.

                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                  1. re: professorpint

                                                                                    Sorry if I'm violating any rules, but the BEST wings I ever had are up near Uconn (Storrs) BIDWELL'S TAVERN. My wife and I take road trips just for the wings, yes, they ARE that good.

                                                                                    Here's their link. Check out the different sauces they offer. http://www.bidwelltavern.com/

                                                                                  2. The Wing Bar on Smith Street in Brooklyn...they ask for best in ALL nyc right?

                                                                                    1. Blue Ribbon on 5th ave in Brooklyn does amazing wings. They used to be served with a little sterno pot thingy so you could sear them yourself table side, but I think too many people set themselves on fire. The sauce is more sweet than hot, but the wings are very big. A good way to loose a decade of your life is to wake up hung over around 2pm, obsess over your creative output for about 8 hours, then show up at Blue Ribbon around midnight for wings and PBRs.

                                                                                      1. Virgil's chicken wings should be their own food group. Not Buffalo style but big wings, smoked, slow cooked and then finished on a grill with nice charred flavor with a great bbq sauce. Tons of great flavor and great falling off the bone texture but never dried out. It's the only thing I order there. Will split an app with whomever I'm with then have another order for entree. Also comes with a side of the best blue cheese dressing that I've ever had, which is completely unneeded cause the wing sauce is so good on it's own. Have been to all other major bbq places in NYC except for Dinosaur, as well as other well regarded wing joints (I love wings). Nothing else comes close.

                                                                                        10 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: pfps823

                                                                                          For non buffalo style wings, you can't beat dinosaur

                                                                                          1. re: fooodie

                                                                                            Have you eaten Virgil's? Care to offer a comparison?

                                                                                            1. re: pfps823

                                                                                              I don't particularly like anything at virgil's. The food is ok, but IMO nothing special. They tend to use too much liquid smoke. That being said it's been a while since I've tried the wings there so I can't give a good comparison. But the wings at Dinosaur are a good size. All the flavors are good, but I really like Wango Tango. I'm sure someone else on these boards has been to both and can chime in.

                                                                                              1. re: pfps823

                                                                                                I finally tried the chicken wings at Dinosaur after hearing how fabulous they are. It was good, but not what I was expecting from a BBQ place. It was difficult to get to the flavor of the chicken since it was completely covered with sauce. I didn't detect any smokiness either. I was expecting them to be more like the smoky wings at Virgils, but they were not. While Virgil's is slightly more than passable for BBQ, I much prefer their wings over the ones at Dinosaur.

                                                                                                1. re: pfps823

                                                                                                  VIRGILS WINGS are AS GOOD AS IT GETS. I've eaten a lot of wings these last two months and have done a lot of ravings; but when it comes to VIRGILS WINGS, there is no comparison. They are in a separate class and category by themselves--Trust me, it does not get better than this.

                                                                                                2. re: fooodie

                                                                                                  Dinosaur's Garlic-Chipolte Wings are awesome.

                                                                                                  1. re: ZaZa

                                                                                                    Virgils wings are also awesome.

                                                                                                    Although DINO and VIRGILS wings are both grilled, they are both different (with their own personality).

                                                                                                    ...if we do not have different personalities, wouldn't life be boring....

                                                                                                3. re: pfps823

                                                                                                  I second Virgil's wings.. juicy, meaty monsters with flavorful heat and the right amount of "tooth" and char. I love 'em with a side of vinegared greens and a pint of something hoppy. I work in the neighborhood and take lunch at the bar there a couple of times a month.. never been able to finish a whole order by myself! The ribs are great there as well, but a bit on the pricey side - understandable considering it's tourist hell ground zero and the rent must be nuts. Shamefully, I've never been to Dinosaur, but if I had the dough, I'd take Virgil's over Blue Smoke, Daisy's or Fette Sau (all of which I also love, btw!).

                                                                                                  1. re: Celebrity Holmes

                                                                                                    I've never seen wings at Fette Sau. Smoke Joint has wings though. And I'd agree about the wings at Blue Smoke, mediocre. I like wings to have some crispness in the skin and the ones at Blue Smoke are flabby and soft.

                                                                                                    1. re: Pookipichu

                                                                                                      Oh, hey Pookie.. I'm sorry.. I've never had wings at Blue Smoke, Daisy's or Fette Sau (or anything other that a great meal at any of those places). I was both writing about my favorite wings AND responding to "fooodie's" post about not particularly liking anything at Virgil's. Virgil's is my favorite wings AND BBQ place in the city. I shoulda been clear about that and/or not digressed.

                                                                                                4. i'm no wing expert...but has anybody tried the wings from wing wagon on flatbush?

                                                                                                  1. Donovan's in Woodside. I don't like wings much, but these baked wonders are got-dang delicious. And the bleu cheese! Heaven.

                                                                                                    1. Here is a year retrospective of a mission we went on to find the best hot wings in NYC. We did crown Bar-Coastal the winner but there isn't a bad wing in the bunch. Happy eating, tell 'em Burger Conquest sent you.


                                                                                                      1. UFC Chicken on Roosevelt Ave is very good: prefer it to any other kind in the city.

                                                                                                        This a Korean franchise, but there is some truth to the common joke that KFC should really mean Korean Fried Chicken. ;-) And please don't forget daikon radish!

                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                        1. re: diprey11

                                                                                                          Also out in Jackson Heights but a good 10-15 minute walk from the subway is Cassidy's which has amazing wings particularly their medium wings which are sweet, slightly spicy yet still buffalo wings and their nuclear wings with jalapenos in the sauce are amazingly hot and delicious. I almost hate revealing my favorite wings place but goodness is meant to be shared.

                                                                                                        2. Red Star in GP. Best wings in New York, and I've been to most of these places named above (DInosaurs, Blondies, Bonnies, Atomic, etc). Plus their wing night (where wings go for 0.50 cents each) is nothing to scoff at either. They also offer tons of flavors, even a strangely popular raspberry wings (personally not a fan though).

                                                                                                          1. Our family favorite is the International Wings Factory on Upper East around 91 street.Their sauces are great.

                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                            1. re: orangefoodie

                                                                                                              AWESOME. International Wings Factory, on First Avenue, between 91st & 92nd Street, offers 13 different coatings w/choice of 4 dips. Caters to all palates of spice preference.

                                                                                                              COASTAL PEPPER (a blend of Hawaiian fruits and Caribbean Jerk) is my FAB FAVORITE. Soul Purifier Buffalo Wings w/Blue Cheese dip are also really good for the spice folk.

                                                                                                              Thanks orangefoodie!

                                                                                                            2. VIRGILS BBQ WINGS ARE AS GOOD AS IT GETS !!! They also have beer. These are my absolute favorite (w/side of greens). Apparently the prep takes hours for these large, grilled wings, and the dipping sauce is absolute perfection--no one makes it better. Once you've tried this, you'll be smitten.

                                                                                                              DINOSAUR's grilled wings will also please you; I say this with emphasis. The wings are also large at DINO, and they have lots of beer. Trust me on this.