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Some places known for their chicken wings

Hi, I'm looking for places that have exceptional chicken wings. I'm looking for places that have multiple preparation styles.

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  1. When you say multiple preparation styles, are you referring to different sauces?

    I've had the best sauces at Plucker's. (I love their spicy BBQ flavor.)

    1. I like the wings at Pluckers: NOT breaded, pretty crispy skin, they have a variety of sauces they'll soak 'em in.

      Plus their homemade potato chips are fab and their salads are good. To me, a nice side salad is a great accompaniment to the wings.

      1. I like Plucker's better than others I've tried (eg., much larger wings than Wing Stop, and I hate how Wing Stop absolutely drowns them in sauce). Check out their dry sauces/seasonings too: I love the ranch seasoning, and cajun is good too. Never tried their chips but they had good waffle fries.

        2 Replies
        1. re: renz

          I have to disagree. Although I did like several of the sauces that I have had at Pluckers, I think the quality of the chicken is not that great.

          I have eaten at Pluckers two times and both times the chicken wings had feathers and feather nodules left on the wings. These remaining feathers is generally a sign of lower grade chicken or an inept supplier.

          I do not remember if there is a size differential between Pluckers and Wing Stop, but it could be true. With specific instructions I think Wing Stop wings are better. If you request them well-done or extra crispy (the only food I prefer that way), too much sauce shouldn't affect them as much.

          On a side note, Wing Stop has tasty fries that were potatoes earlier that day and great ranch for them (and blue cheese for the wings).

          1. re: Chefdavis

            I am obsessed with buffalo chicken and have been searching for the best in Austin. I SO miss the buff-chick I could get in Boston and NYC, delicious!

            I agree with you and think Pluckers wings and strips are downright atrocious. I've eaten there several times and been consistently disappointed. Aside from the wings and sauce being mediocre, the dressing that is used for dipping is of low quality as well. I think it's funny that they charge you for it if you use more than one little cup. Their reason is that they "make it in house." Shouldn't every wing shop make their own dressing in house?? Weird reasoning...

            Anyway, Casino El Camino, IMO, has the best authentic hot wings in Austin. The hot wing sauce is light and buttery, and the bleu cheese dressing is fresh and tangy.

        2. Billy's on Burnett has great wings. The "shaggy" wings, with a Jamican jerk sauce, are very popular and oh so delicious.

          1 Reply
          1. re: missmitzi

            I second Billy's Shaggy wings. Crave them all the time.

            Also agree that Pluckers is just horrible...I mean horrible-horrible. I even had a gift certificate and thought the weren't worth it.

          2. Wing Stop (I usually go to east riverside location) - Great sauces (Hot, Cajun, Lemon Pepper, Garlic Parmesan, hawaiin bbq are my favorites) - GREAT french fries, homeade ranch and blue cheese dressing. Wings have a nice crispy skin exterior. The smallest wing size around though.

            Pluckers: Large wing size, many different sauce choices. I honestly usually go with the Chicken sandwich dunked in whichever sauce you please, with a side of waffle fries.

            Daddy's (formerly BW3) on 6th - large size wings, didn't care for sauces.

            Haven't tried but I heard are good: Casino El Camino ("Hot" only though)

            Favorite alternative "wing": Mexican White Wings at The Tavern (12th and Lamar) - slice of chicken breast and pepper wrapped in bacon, deep fried, tossed in spicy wing sauce. Cheap on Thursday nights after 8pm.

            1. RC Fowler's has good wings (bigger than Pluckers) and does them cheap on Monday & Tuesday nights too!

              1. Ask for Baker's Gold sauce at Plucker's

                1. I agree that Pluckers is pretty blah.

                  A couple of little hidden wing gems are Legends Sports Bar at 183 and Mopac (next to Holiday Inn) and Brooklyn Heights Pizzeria at Parmer and Avery Ranch Blvd. Both have great wings. Neither of them have a variety of flavors or prep styles, though.

                  1. I recently tried the wings from Wing Stop. If these are even close to the best wings in Austin, then that makes me very sad. I know we're nowhere near Buffalo, but Wing Stop's prorduct is not acceptable, in my opinion, even by relatively low college-town-late-night-delivery standards. (I didn't get them delivered.) The wings were not ordered "extra crispy," but my objection wasn't just to their slimy texture. I didn't enjoy the flavor—which was called "original hot" but actually wasn't hot at all. The blue-cheese dressing, which someone above wrote is homemade, had no blue-cheese flavor. I've had better jarred versions.

                    Their fries do appear to be fresh-cut from real potatoes, as Chefdavis noted above. They looked promising. However, they were sprinkled with a seasoning mix that seemed to include white table sugar. At first I thought that someone had accidentally switched the sugar with the salt, but then I remembered that I've been served similarly-flavored fries in the Midwest. To me, fries that taste like this are a crime against perfectly-good potatoes. If this is their standard seasoning (and sugared potatoes don't sound appetizing to you), you could try asking them not to season the fries at all. I should also note that even when the fries were piping-hot, they weren't particularly crisp.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: MPH

                      I'm also a fan of the wings at Billy's. I order the regular one's off the menu, I'm not sure if they're the Shaggy's ones or not, but they're mighty tasty.

                    2. Does anyone know of any particularly good wings at Chinese restaurants? I haven't sampled many of the offerings in Austin, but when I order a combo from New Mandarin Kitchen (they deliver), I usually get 1 wing with my order and it's really tasty (often the best part of my meal). Kind of sweet, crispy but light batter. Doesn't need any sauce.

                      So I wonder if there's a whole world of chicken wings that haven't been addressed here (ie., not Buffalo-style). What about this Korean fried chicken place I've seen mentioned?

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: latikeriii

                        I don't know where you are located, but near the intersection of 620 & 71 is Kahuna's (in the same strip mall as Brit Golf, a matress store, Quizno's). They prepare a fantastic lemon pepper wing without sauce. I believe they have sauce choices on the side, but you won't need them. The wings are fried, but totally greaseless. I highly recommend.

                        1. re: renz

                          Renz, try Red Cap Chicken on South Congress for the Korean Fried Chicken. I had it yesterday for the first time and it was amazing. Kind of a thicker coating with a honey-based sweet/hot sticky sauce.

                          For Chinese Wings, I used to really like Beijing Wok on Brodie (only their wings and their crab/corn soup though). They had the sweet/crispy thing going on. And once, a long time ago, I had some at the Buffet Palace up north (the one that's no longer there) that were like that as well. I've been searching ever since...

                        2. I've heard the Alligator Grill has good wings. But I recently saw a Wings and Things near Byblos at Parmer and I35 near the WalMart. I'm not sure if it's the same but I used to eat at a place of the same name in Fl. that was directly out of Buffalo. No breading,crisp w/red hot. I think this one also has lemon pepper. I'll have to try it if I can forget that Byblos is there.

                          1. Has anyone else had the wings at Green Mesquite? They smoke the wings first before tossing them in sauce. What comes out is a very delicate but fully satisfying version. I'm really taking a shining to them.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: amysuehere

                              Two of my favorite wings are Hooters naked Bentleys with sliced jalapenos on top and for an awesome spicy honey wing NXNW can't be beat, great fried calamari too :-)

                            2. logans roadhouse makes a great grill wing with chipolte sauce and bj;s brewery has great wings .

                              1. The Shady Grove makes pretty tasty wings. They're quite spicy and they're grilled rather than fried. No choice of sauces as I recall (if that's what you mean by 'preparation styles') but they're still the best thing on the menu.

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: coco_beware

                                  I forgot the grilled wings @ BoneDaddys...eggcellent.

                                  1. re: Sofa King

                                    Kahuna's in Bee Cave is awesome. Lemon Pepper is the best.

                                2. gotta cast my vote for Pluckers. They're not fried, and you get a pretty large variety of sauces to choose from. The wings are pretty meaty as well, which is my pet peeve with most of these places...I hate those little skinny wings with about 3 bites on them. Another plus with Pluckers is that the other menu items are pretty good; you're not stuck with just wings. I've only eaten at the one at 183/Burnet, so I can't speak for the others.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: gawain44

                                    I'm going to go out on a limb and say you mean they aren't *breaded*....but they are fried.

                                  2. Just moved to town recently, and I must say I'm sorely disappointed with Austin's lack of quality wing joints. I love hot wings. I used to eat them once a week when I lived in cities with good ones. Perhaps I've been spoiled, but every wing restaurant I've been to in town seems like a poorly managed chain. Is it too hard to ask for a place to serve crispy, not breaded wings with a hot sauce that tastes like they actually care about what they're doing? Where are the local shops run by 300 pound dudes that just love to make them some hot wings? I would think every city had that. I'm convinced Austin is hiding one of these gems somewhere. If I ever find it I don't care how far past round rock it is. I will be driving there for my weekly wing fix.

                                    A lot of the recommendations I see above seem like restaurants and bars that happen to also serve hot wings, not hot wing joints that happen to have other options. The kind of places that have the wings listed with the appetizers. I don't feel like a restaurant, that just happens to serve wings, counts: there has to be a commitment to the hot wings. Anyways, here's my experience at 3 of Austin's hot wing establishments:

                                    Pluckers is disgusting. Is there really such a dearth of serviceable wing restaurants in this town that people resort to eating here? This stuff is only fit for starving college students -- soggy, low quality meat and the sauce has little flavor, it tasted like bottled hot sauce. I always get straight hot flavored hot wings, and Plucker's rendition tasted like nothing but hot sauce, like they didn't even care to mix a sauce together. I prefer my wing sauce to be very hot but still retain flavor. The meat was also disturbingly hard and extremely fatty. I had to pick out several feathers while eating. I wouldn't eat at Plucker's again, if I had the choice.

                                    Wing Stop was not bad, but it wasn't good either. As others have noted, the wings were soggy. The sauce was ok, but the meat wasn't the greatest. This place definitely doesn't make me excited about getting hot wings, and I don't think I would ever eat there again.

                                    I can't believe no one's mentioned Wngs n' More. Of the three wing joints I've been to in town this one was the best. The meat was decent quality. The chicken was crispy, but that might have been because there wasn't much sauce on them -- I like my hot wings to be pretty wet. The sauce is pretty good, but it's too buttery, so buttery you can noticeably taste it. Wings n' More may have to hold me out until I can actually find a good wing joint in town.

                                    I may have to make it my new mission to try out every wing restaurant in town until I find that diamond in the rough. Not being able to get my weekly wing fix is killing me.

                                    6 Replies
                                    1. re: cez77

                                      Wings n More was born out of College Station, and having spent 5 hungry years there, I agree that they're wings are pretty darn good. I recommend ordering them "extra hot, extra wet". And yes, they are not shy with the butter.

                                      1. re: cez77

                                        While we all have different tastes, I'm amazed by the hatred for Plucker's. Granted, it's EXCEEDINGLY kitschy at times and often gets confused as to it's identity (bar or restaurant), but I'm in love with their sauces. I am borderline addicted to their spicy BBQ and teriyaki sauces. The service is almost always first-class and really strives to accomodate special requests. (FYI, try asking for them to toss your fries in their fajita seasoning.)

                                        I've never had worse sauces than Wing Stop. Their teriyaki, in particular, tastes especially harsh and artificial.

                                        I realize that in our quest for "intense deliciousness," we often try to find the establishments that are off-the-beaten-path. However, such a search does not mean that we should look at any chain or popular establishment with disdain and disgust. Alas, I see that way too often on this board.

                                        Or maybe I'm just not sophisiticated enough of a food hipster because I love Plucker's, Rudy's, and El Gallo. I've got no problem admitting my love for Velveeta-covered Tex-Mex or Plucker's chicken tenders. Am I less of a hound because my tastes aren't "hip"?

                                        1. re: exlnghrn

                                          Sorry to disagree exlnghrn, but Pluckers isn't dissed because it isn't "hip" or because it's a chain. It's just bad...

                                          Twice I went, first on my dime. Was so horrible, all eight of us agreed to complain to the manager - completely inedible. He gave us all $20 gift certificates (instead of a refund) and we TRIED to go back and enjoy it. Again, inedible. There were FEATHERS on one of my wings.

                                          1. re: amysuehere

                                            I love the Sesame Chicken wings at Pluckers. I have never seen feathers or nodules on my wings, and I have eaten there several times. Must be my untrained eye. I do like the Buffalo Medium wings as well, but rarely get them-I love the Sesame ones too much.
                                            I will admit, I have never had authentic Buffalo wings before, so I probably just don't know better.
                                            I go to the Pluckers in Lakeline, and can't really complain about the service. I used to go to the one at 183 and Burnet, which is always crowded, but has decent service.
                                            There is a little inconsistency on the size of the wings.
                                            I guess I will just have to admit to being one of the untrained masses on this one.
                                            The bottom line is that we are far removed from Buffalo, so a lot probably gets lost in the translation. It appears that wings are not our strong suit. Hopefully someone from there will move here and fill the void.

                                        2. re: cez77

                                          Lots of people don't care for crispy wings. I'm one of them. To each his/her own; I'll stick with Pluckers. I love their Cajun Spiced wings. Not many places serve fried pickles either.

                                          1. re: cez77

                                            I finally hit Wing Stop (N Lamar location) and was underwhelmed as well. I think I had the opposite problem as many in this thread. My wings were overcooked and undersauced. I did add some lemon pepper to the order, and if the wings weren't so overcooked I could recommend the sauce. I still want to try Arpeggio Grill out.

                                          2. Someone told me never to eat anything at Bone Daddy's except the wings. I can get behind this, having had good smoked wings at other 'cue places. Having said that, I think I probably prefer the smoked ones to the breaded/fried.

                                            I've never been to Bone Daddy's, but curious if anybody has tried their wings.

                                            11617 Research Blvd

                                            Bone Daddy's
                                            11617 Research Blvd, Austin, TX 78759

                                            2 Replies
                                            1. re: Nab

                                              Has anyone tried the wings at the Green Mesquite on barton springs? I heard they are good - they are the smoked variety.

                                              1. re: LakeLBJ

                                                Finally tried these for lunch today at Green Mesquite. Good size, meaty wings and drummettes, mesquite smoked, then finished with a traditional BBQ sauce. They are not spicy like a Buffalo style hot wing, but they are very good.They taste and look like they keep them on the smoker and then finish them over the grill with sauce when you order, as some of the sauce has the look like it's been hit with a flame. I cook these occasionally for myself at home in a similar manner and these are as good or better than homemade. You can order them as a plate and get two sides, or alone off the appetizer menu. I got them as a plate because I do like Green Mesquites green beans and potato salad. I had stopped going to GM a few years back because the quality of their BBQ had gone way downhill over the last several years, but I'll definitely back for these.

                                            2. Nubian Queen Lola's has the best wings in town. It may take Lola an hour to make you your food, but it's worth the wait.

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: heyhigirl

                                                I ate there last night after having read your reply. After a little research on it I was intrigued and decided to try it out. It's also close to my house.

                                                First I must say that I was a little mislead by your statement. By "wings" I think everyone here is referring to Buffalo style hot wings - fried goodness slathered in sauce. When I asked Lola for some hot wings she just looked at me funny.

                                                I then decided to try the Wing dinner, since I figured that is what you were talking about... OMG! It was amazing. I was born and until recently lived all of my 25 years in the deep south. I'm a dedicated foodie and have tried every type of soul food I have been able to get my hands on. I would never expect to be impressed by a soul food restaurant in Austin, but those chicken wings were some of the best fried chicken I have ever had. Perfectly seasoned, perfectly cooked, and deliciously greasy. They were great. I'll be dreaming about them for weeks

                                                I had macaroni and cheese, and fries as my sides. I also got a cup of the gumbo - just to try it out. Both dishes came with cornbread. My friend got the red beans and rice and a catfish po-boy. I didn't try his sandwich, but the red beans and rice were very good.

                                                The fries were hand cut season fries and were just as good as the chicken, which is to say they were fantastic. I was not all that impressed with the macaroni and cheese. It was good but didn't wow me like everything else. The gumbo was also good, but I feel I've had better at other cajun restaurants and at home.(go mom!) Cornbread's also another item that would be hard to impress me since my mom probably makes some of the best you could ever have.(cooked in seasoned-since-the-turn-of-last century cast iron - yum) I think it was a little sweet for my tastes, but my roommate swore it was some of the best he'd ever had and couldn't get enough of it. All in all it was a wonderful meal.

                                                I wanted to post here to recount my experience and also thank you for turning me on to Nubian Queen Lola's. It's only a couple blocks from my house and I think I'll be returning there weekly.

                                                Also.... for the love of all that is holy, could someone please find a real wing place?

                                              2. I like the wings at Habana on Soco. On Thursdays, they are only 25 cents, and they are marinated in lime juice and spices. Pretty darn tasty.

                                                1. I tried Billy's the other night on the recommendations of several above. I've been to the bar a couple of times before, but I'd never tried anything other than the fried pickles. (yum!)

                                                  I got the extra hot wings instead of "shaggy" because I always go with hot, and I didn't even see "shaggy" as an option on the menu.(did I mess up?) When I opened my take out box I was a little surprised by the meager size of the chicken pieces. The tiny bits of meat that clung to the bone made it look like the bird had died of starvation. It was pretty awful. The wings were also totally dry. I expect buffalo style hot wings to have some wet sauce on the outside, and was a little miffed that these weren't what I was expecting. Even though I ordered the hottest wings Billy's offered they weren't nearly as hot as I prefer my wings to be. However, the wings were pretty tasty. Still, I felt gypped by their puny size; I don't think I'll ever order them again.

                                                  I'm going to keep trying the recommendations in this thread. While I've had some great bbq wings before, I don't think they'll sate my hunger the same way that true fried, slathered in sauce hot wings will. Also, I'm not expecting much since none of the joints mentioned (that I haven't been to) sound like true wing places.

                                                  Maybe one day my dream of finding a decent hot wing in Austin will be realized.
                                                  *begging for someone to find one*

                                                  6 Replies
                                                  1. re: cez77

                                                    I had the same experience at Billy's. He insured me that they were hot enough to knock my socks off. I felt barely a burn. You really have to crave "hot' to truly know what I am looking for. The shaggy flavor is okay, although there is a lot of coriander. Both were dry when I had them as well.

                                                    As a point of reference, how did you like BW3?

                                                    I may make my own this weekend in my stir-fryer with some sambal olek.

                                                    1. re: rudeboy

                                                      I don't like BW3. There are several locations in my hometown -- Birmingham -- and I've been to them a couple times. I don't think BW3's sauce is very good. I know of several places with far better wings in B'ham, so I've never bothered to return to BW3 after my first unsatisfactory experiences.

                                                      Maybe I'm just trying the wrong flavors? Any suggestions? I love my wings hot. However, I hate it when restaurants think that hot hot wings should be all fire and no flavor.(which is the crime I've always accused BW3 of)

                                                    2. re: cez77

                                                      Shaggy's used to be a bar/grill on S. Congress (where South Congress Cafe is now). They went out of business but still bottle and sell their jerk marinade. http://www.shaggyssauces.com/

                                                      It's not on the menu, but Billy's has a little sign on the wall advertising wings in the Shaggy's jerk sauce. From your earlier post, cez77 (hot wings only), I'm not sure if they would have been any better for you.

                                                      As an aside, I saw "The King Of Kong" last week. I really want to try the "Rickey's" sauce sold by competitive video gamer (and movie villain) Billy Mitchell...

                                                      1. re: mkwng

                                                        Billy's "Shaggy wings"... are they grilled, like traditional jerk chicken? Or are they fried like buffalo wings and then tossed in Shaggy's sauce? And, is the Shaggy's sauce actually a marinade or a sauce? Their website is using the terms interchangeably. Does Billy's use it as a sauce or marinade?

                                                        I'm asking 'cause Hubby says he wants jerk chicken, and although we've not had any I'd call "authentic", I'm wondering if the Shaggy wings, which get the raves, would take care of that craving, or if I should suggest something like Hoover's?

                                                        1. re: stephanieh

                                                          I think they're grilled and then tossed in the jerk sauce. Although I love them, last time I went, they sure were sad and small.

                                                          1. re: amysuehere

                                                            Thank you! That's good to know. I'll see if he wants to chance it.

                                                    3. has anyone dared to try the wings at Alamo Drafthouse? I've always wanted to try them, but talk about the worst possible thing to eat in the dark...

                                                      4 Replies
                                                      1. re: amysuehere

                                                        yes, they are good. They are the best thing I've eaten there, although I have only had pizza and burgers. Traditional buffalo style with celery sticks. But be sure to ask for blue cheese dressing or you will get ranch. They are messy, but they bring you a wet wipe.

                                                        1. re: TroyTempest

                                                          Hmm, interesting. I'll have to try those the next time I'm there.

                                                          I've tried a lot of the drafthouse's menu. The pizza and burgers are never that great. I think their quesadilla is my favorite. I usually get that, cheese dip, and beer, mm-mm.

                                                          1. re: TroyTempest

                                                            Alamo's wing's are decent - seem pretty standard to me. They come with a side of bread which adds a little. I usually order a burger or pizza at the drafthouse. As for queso dip at Alamo, I tried that once - a pitch black theater and trying to dip chips and not spill it all over myself proved to be a bad idea.

                                                          2. re: amysuehere

                                                            I'm a fan of their Batwings: they were a menu special during The Dark Knight, but have been added to the permanent menu at Alamo Village and South Lamar. Sweet soy sauce thing on the wings, with a ginger plum dipping sauce. Really tasty, definitely worth trying.

                                                          3. Anyone tried the wings at Arpeggio Grill? They sure have a lot of sauce options.

                                                            2 Replies
                                                            1. re: mkwng

                                                              i've had the cajun teriyaki wings and thought they were really good. they were tasty leftover, too. the sauce itself is very unique, kind of asian, lots of spices, and kind of spicy. for the record though, these might be the only wings i've ever eaten. other than run of the mill blue cheese and ranch dressing, the wings were not accompanied by anything.

                                                              as a side note, i like arpeggio's pizza crust, but watch the number of toppings you get.. the center gets incredibly gross and soggy.

                                                              1. re: topodrinko

                                                                Thanks! (I had the exact same problem with their pizza, funny enough).