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

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

Chain Restaurant Chicken Wings Ranked From Worst To First

Everybody loves good chicken wings. The National Chicken Council estimates Americans ate around than 1.38 billion wings during the 2019 Super Bowl. That's four wings for each man, woman, and child in the country, if you're keeping count. And while some people might make homemade wings for the big game, the majority of chicken wings consumed are purchased from chain restaurants. Considering that modern day chicken wings were born at the Anchor Bar in Buffalo, New York, in 1964, that's been quite the come up in less than 60 years.

At eateries all across the country, you can find chicken wings, ranging from totally inedible to downright delectable. We've compiled a list of some of the most popular spots to get chicken wings in U.S., and ranked them from the worst to the best. Whether you like blazing, fiery chicken, sweetly spiced wings, or a flavor out of the ordinary, there's something for everyone. So, grab your blue cheese, celery sticks, and a stack of napkins, and let's talk wings.

1. Crispy Baked Garlic Buffalo Wings

This spin on classic buffalo wings from Jessica Formicola of Savory Experiments is wildly addictive and straightforward to prep. And who knew potato flakes could be such a win in the kitchen? “This is the best way to enjoy crispy breaded wings without all the breading,” she notes. “They provide a truly unique texture with tons of underlying flavor.”

Servings: 4
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes

  • 2 pounds small chicken wings, drums, and flappers
  • 1 cup butter, melted
  • 1 cup hot sauce, such as Texas Pete
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 2 cups dry instant mashed potato flakes
  • Cooking spray
  • Blue cheese, ranch dressing, celery or carrots, for serving
  1. Heat oven to 425 ° F. Rinse chicken and pat dry. Place a wire rack(s) onto rimmed baking sheet(s), and spray with cooking spray.
  2. Whisk the butter, hot sauce, and garlic powder in a mixing bowl. Place dry mashed potato flakes in a separate bowl.
  3. Dip each piece of chicken into the buffalo sauce mixture, then coat in mashed potato flakes. Place on baking sheet. Repeat with remaining chicken pieces.
  4. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until chicken registers at 160° F. Time will vary based on size of chicken pieces.
  5. Allow to sit for 3-4 minutes before transferring to a serving tray. Serve with dipping sauce and extra hot sauce, if desired.

The Secret to the Best Chicken Wings

Chicken wings bring us together. Perhaps it&aposs the silent understanding that we&aposre all going to momentarily abandon any social grace and etiquette at first bite, but there&aposs just nothing quite as American as grabbing a sauced-up, perfectly crisped chicken wing and diving into the messy, soul-pleasing experience of eating it hot and fresh, preferably while watching a football game. Southerners love their wings, sharing that love between classic buffalo, barbecue, and even teriyaki variations of the delicacy and with Super Bowl Sunday upon us, it&aposs time to get ready for the real showdown. (And we aren&apost talking about the football.)

We mean the longstanding rivalry between the physiological counterparts of the chicken wing: the drums and the flats. To us, it&aposs no contest but we aren&apost trying to ruffle any feathers. This divisive debate arises at Super Bowl parties throughout the South as much as, say, who deserves the title of best SEC quarterback of all time (Herschel? Cam? Peyton?). However, no matter which side you&aposre on, we can all agree that a flavorless, rubbery chicken wing has no place on our Super Bowl snack lineup.

Seasoning raw chicken wings and simply throwing them in a pan of hot oil is not the path to perfectly crispy wings, friends. It&aposs more like a one-way ticket to slick, rubberized wings that basically let the sauce just slide right off. Furthermore, condemning yourself and your loved ones to oven-baked wings at your Super Bowl party is not the can-do attitude we like to see. To cook the best chicken wings you&aposve ever made, there&aposs a simple process we like to call double frying. (Frying once is for the complacent, frying twice is for the winners.)

It involves frying the wings first in lower temperature oil, around 250⶯, to get juicy, tender meat on the inside. Then, you have two options. You can pull them out and let them cool before the second frying or, as some chefs swear by, you can freeze these wings overnight before frying them again the following day. It&aposs a technique used to dry out the skin, which helps get the crispiest skin later. Worry not: Opting to just let the wings cool in between fryings will not make a huge difference.

Next, the second instance of frying occurs at a higher temperature, around 350-375⶯, to get that perfectly crispy skin on the outside. Don&apost crowd the pan, as you&aposll risk lowering the temperature of the oil. Finish by tossing in the sauce of your choice we&aposre partial to our Alabama White Sauce, Buttery Nashville Hot Sauce, and Vietnamese Peanut Sauce.

We asked our favorite Southern barbecue expert and author of South&aposs Best Butts, Matt Moore, to lay out his technique for getting the best chicken wings. He also followed the double-cooking strategy, but in his own barbecue-loving way. If you like a smokier flavor, this is the tweak you need.

"I typically smoke mine low and slow at 200⶯ for about 45 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches about 120⶯. This allows me to gently cook the meat and render off some of the fat to promote a crispy skin when frying, while keeping it moist and imparting a great smoky flavor," Moore said. "From there, I like to fry in 350⶯ oil until skin is extra crispy and the internal temperature is 165⶯."

There you have it. Tweak the details, but respect the process. Beginning with low heat, taking a breather, and then finishing with high heat makes all the difference.

WATCH: Beer-Battered Fried Chicken Wings

When it comes to getting those perfect chicken wings, whether for the Super Bowl or tailgating in the fall, don&apost just wing it! This double-frying technique will save you from setting out slippery, rubbery, or subpar chicken wings ever again. If you&aposre grilling instead of frying, try our Wonder Wings to get that same crispy skin!


  • Second Installment: Top 10 Most Unique Flavors For Chicken Wings
  • Third Installment: Top 10 Best Kept Secret Places for Chicken Wings
  • Fourth Installment: Top 10 Best Places for Chicken Wings with Friends
  • Fifth Installment: Top 10 Best Places for Chicken Wings with Family

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Recipe Summary

  • 2 pounds boneless pork, cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes
  • 14 (4 inch) skewers
  • salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • seasoned salt (such as LAWRY'S®) to taste
  • 4 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 2 cups Italian seasoned bread crumbs
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups vegetable oil for frying

Thread 2 or 3 cubes of pork onto each skewer. Sprinkle each skewer on all sides with salt, black pepper, and seasoned salt, and set the skewers aside.

Whisk eggs and milk together in a bowl. Place the seasoned bread crumbs in another bowl. Pour 2 cups of water into a 9x13-inch baking dish with a wire rack set in the dish, and set the dish aside.

Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Heat oil in a deep-fryer or large saucepan to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

Dip each skewer of pork into the egg mixture, then dip in crumbs dip the skewers a second time into egg mixture and then crumbs. Gently lay the skewers, a few at a time, into the hot oil, and brown until the coating is crisp and golden brown, about 3 minutes per side. Set the fried skewers aside while you finish the rest. Once the skewers are all browned, set them on the wire rack in the baking dish. Cover the dish tightly with aluminum foil.

Carefully place the baking dish with the skewers into the preheated oven, and bake until hot and no longer pink in the center, about 20 minutes. Remove the foil, and bake 10 minutes more to dry out the crumb coating. Serve hot.

DELAWARE: Anthony's Coal Fired Pizza in Pike Creek and Wilmington

Antonio M./Yelp

Instead of getting a bath in oil, the chicken wings at Anthony's Coal Fired Pizza are roasted in a coal-fired oven with temps north of 800 degrees then served with focaccia bread. The original wings are topped with caramelized onions. Delaware Online/News Journal readers, in a poll, crowned these wings the best in the state.

Give chicken wings a new spin with an easy tamarind glaze

Crispy, sticky, spicy Buffalo wings have long been a bar favorite. But in recent years, chefs at all sorts of restaurants — from corner pubs to gastropubs — have been turning out creative spins on the humble chicken wing. One of those chefs is Ben Zwicker of New York City's TBar Steak & Lounge, whose "Angel chicken wings" are marinated in a savory blend of soy sauce, sesame oil, garlic and ginger and then finished with a sweet-tart tamarind glaze.

While the wings are deep-fried at the restaurant, Zwicker modified the recipe for the home cook by replacing deep-frying with a quick pan-fry, followed by baking — he demonstrates the easy method for making the wings (and the delicious results!) in this video. The video kicks off with how to make chicken wing "lollipops," which are a popular restaurant preparation. Don't feel like fussing with this step? Just buy chicken wing "drumettes" at the supermarket and start by making the marinade or the glaze — both can be made ahead, so your day-of prep time is minimal. Restaurant-style wings just got even easier!

Angel chicken wings with tamarind glaze

  • 16 chicken wing drumettes or lollipops
  • 1 cup marinade (see below)
  • 1/2 cup tamarind glaze (see below)
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
  • 1 carrot, julienned (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons neutral oil, such as canola, for frying
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 large knob ginger
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) tamarind paste *see note, below
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce

Make the marinade and marinate the wings: Place all ingredients in a blender and liquefy. Pour over prepared wings and marinate in a sealed container in the refrigerator for at least an hour and up to two days.

Make the tamarind glaze: Place all ingredients in a sauce pan over medium-heat heat and simmer, stirring frequently, until reduced by half, about 10 to 15 minutes (the glaze should have the consistency of maple syrup or warm honey). Set aside until cool. Glaze may be made ahead and stored in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator for up to one week.

Cook the wings: Remove wings from marinade and shake off excess liquid (discard marinade). In a nonstick pan (preferably oven-proof) over medium heat, heat oil and then cook the chicken wings until browned, about 5 minutes. Transfer to the oven (if you did not use an oven-proof skillet to brown the wings, transfer them to a rimmed, oven-proof pan or dish) and bake at 375 degrees until cooked through, about 10 to 15 minutes, flipping wings halfway through cooking. Remove wings from oven, pour off excess fat, and place on stove top over medium heat. Add a few tablespoons of tamarind glaze (enough to coat the wings). Toss the wings in the glaze and continue to cook over low-medium heat until the glaze is shiny and clings to the wings. Remove wings from heat and toss with the sesame seeds.

To serve: Fill a plate or bowl with the julienned carrots, then place the wings on top with the little bones sticking up. Or simply serve on a plate or platter.

*Note: Tamarind paste can be found in the Asian food section of many supermarkets, in Asian specialty stores and online.

The Best Wings In NYC: Ranking The Best Chicken Wings In New York City

There is no food we love more here at BroBible than wings. They’re the ultimate Bro food: Spicy, easy to wash down with beer, and best enjoyed in the company of friends. They perfectly compliment a variety of social situations: sporting events, happy hours, and late night munchies.

As New Yorkers, wings are near and dear to our heart. In my eight years of calling NYC home, I’ve been lucky enough to sample wings all over the five boroughs. Here’s my definitive list of the best wings in New York City, all worthy spots for the true wing connoisseur.

13. Mason Jar

43 E 30th St, New York, NY 10016

Extremely popular Murray Hill happy hour bar. If you can resist their mouthwatering smoked brisket, go for the wings. They run out fast, but they’re smoked to perfection.

12. Croxley Ales

28 Avenue B, New York, NY 10009

There are ample places to love this Tristate-era institution. For starters, there’s nothing but craft beers on tap, all priced very affordable. Second, amazing wing specials — Their Wing Night specials are legendary — $.40 wings from 4PM – 1AM. You can stay for up to 90 minutes of stuffing your face with wings and beer. If you hit it at the right time, sometimes they do free wings at the bar during happy hour.

11. Blind Tiger

281 Bleecker St, New York, NY 10014

Another spot with an incredible arsenal of craft beers on tap. Their boozy beer brunches are unmatched in Manhattan, but they also get big ups for the wings on their pilsner-brined wings on bar menu. Try the Korean bbq sauce — it’s far from your typical wing.

10. Dinosaur BBQ

700 W 125th St, New York, NY 10027

It always blows my mind how many New Yorkers have lived in the city for years and never made the journey to the West Side Highway at 125th street for Dinosaur BBQ. I do it twice a year, if not more. Sure, it’s technically from Syracuse, but let’s not dwell on semantics — Their wings are easily some of the best in the city. Dinosaur smokes their wings with a zesty spice, then grills them and slathers them with whatever sauce you’re into. I recommend the spicy BBQ. If you like kick, I recommend the Wango Tango Habanero BBQ sauce or the garlic chipotle. If you’re going on a Saturday night, expect to wait — I’ve waited two hours for a table just to sink my chompers into some bbq at Dinosaur. The healthy selection of bourbons at the bar helps pass the time pretty quickly.

207 W 38th St New York , NY 10018

There are three of these in NYC now. Each location flash-fries up some of the most beloved chicken wings in the city. The spicy wing is pretty solid, but do the soy garlic sauce for a wing that’s a little sweet with a lot of kick.

8. Blue Smoke

116 E 27th St, New York, NY 10016
255 Vesey St, New York, NY 10282

Three words: Alabama white sauce. It’s a mayo-based bbq sauce that’s sweet and savory. It’s an ode to the sauce they use for the Kickin’ Chicken at Hog Heaven in Nashville. To be honest, there’s nothing like it in NYC.

278 5th Ave Brooklyn, NY 11215

A Park Slope wing heaven. They do authentic Buffalo-style wings, which means no smoking or grilling. They’re just perfect fried and sauced with a hot buffalo sauce of different heat levels. Don’t be a whimp — Go for hottest one on the menu. It hits you right where you need it.

560 3rd Ave, New York, NY 10016

This place is fun. Wednesday – Sunday, it’s packed with Brooks Brothers-wearing yuppies who work in NYC’s financial services industry. It was a regular Thursday hangout spot for me in my Murray Hill years, especially during football season when you can watch the college game and the NFL game while stuffing your face with their wings. Back in the day they won BroBible’s Wingfest a couple years in a row, but I think that’s because they brought their wait staff talent to rig the system and stuff the ballots.

We haven’t done WingFest in years, but still appreciate Duke’s competing dirty like that.

5. Down The Hatch

179 West 4th Street, New York, NY 10014

A basement wing institution in the West Village, usually crawling with NYU students It’s the quintessential college dive bar experience in one of the bougiest neighborhoods in Manhattan. It’s loud, people get wasted, and the wings — made by Atomic Wings — are aces. The half-price weekday happy hour is A++.

212 W 79th St, New York, NY

Best spot for sports and wings on the Upper West Side. Their Honey Barbecue is a personal favorite, but more important is how nuanced their heat levels are: Weak, Plain, Mild, Medium, Hot, Smokin’, Scorchin’, Sizzlin’, Ouch. Wicked.

3. Bar Coastal

1495 1st Avenue, New York, NY 10075

A California-themed surf bar that serves wings…. on the Upper East Side? I wish I could tell you how much I love this place. For years it was my go-to spot to watch college football games on Saturday thanks to their amazing all-you-can-eat, all-you-can-drink specials: From the kickoff of the noon game till 6ish, they’d charge $50 per person for endless wings and pitchers of beer for a table. I can’t imagine how many hundreds — if not thousands — of wings I’ve housed here.
Pro tip: The hot buffalo wings are where it’s at, but if you want to mix it up go for the spicy jerk BBQ. It’s a wing rubbed in spicy Jamaican jerk seasoning with a touch of sweet from the BBQ sauce. So, so good.

2. Wingbar
275 Smith Street Brooklyn, NY — 11231

Best wings in Brooklyn, bar none. It’s beauty is its simplicity: Banging wings (only three flavors, too: medium, hot and bbq), cheap domestic pitchers, and open late. Their backyard patio is an anomaly for most good bar wings spots in NYC, making it perfect for munching outside.

1. Atomic Wings

Address: 306 E 49th St, New York, NY 10017

Price: $11.99 for 10 pieces

Atomic Wings is by FAR the best place to go for wings in NYC. Although percentage-wise it’s close to Hooters, the price is also quite reasonable which makes it an even better option. I ordered 10 wings but had the flavours split in half, five pieces of hot flavoured wings and the other five, lemon pepper. The lemon pepper wings from Buffalo Wild Wings were a nightmare, and I couldn’t finish them. I decided to risk it and try again and that was a really good idea because never had I ever tasted magic until then. The combination of flavours was so exquisite, I couldn’t believe my taste buds. My barely sophisticated palate was shaken. It was like unicorns were gliding all over my tongue, leaving behind lemon pepper flavoured rainbows.

One of the things that caught me off guard, in a good way, was the buttery element to the wings (which is what the wings from Hooters had too). I found myself eating wings that had the perfect balance of creaminess, tanginess and spiciness from Atomic Wings. It was such a beautiful experience. The size was just right, the crispiness was on point, I really can’t think of anything bad to say about them.

Watch the video: TANGY BUFFALO CHICKEN WINGS. Tasty and Easy food recipes for dinner to make at home