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Wings at Distilled
Photograph: Jennifer Arnow

The best wings in NYC

Looking for the best wings in NYC? Here’s the best bird at everywhere from divey bars to upscale restaurants.

Written by
Alisha Prakash
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We take our bar food and snacks very seriously, especially the best wings in NYC. In a city where there’s no shortage of chicken joints (see: the best fried chicken, the best chicken and waffles, etc.), it takes a lot to make one stand out. To help, we’ve assembled the best wings, both buffalo and beyond, that satisfy cravings on game day or any day.

9 best wings in NYC

  • Restaurants
  • Gastropubs
  • Flatiron
  • price 1 of 4

You’d think a place that has been pouring drinks for more than 120 years would know a thing or two about how to please. And you’d be right. Opened in 1892 (yes, it even stayed open during Prohibition), this Flatiron dive delivers with refreshing pints, a rollicking post-work (and post-post-work) crowd and a charming old-timey vibe, with distressed mirrors, high tin ceilings and a mahogany bar. All that imbibing will help you work up an appetite, and the peppery Buffalo wings are the perfect remedy. Equal parts tangy and buttery, the crispy-on-the-outside, meaty-on-the-inside wings are so addictive you’ll be licking your plate clean.

  • Restaurants
  • Midtown East
  • price 1 of 4

This popular chain gives your favorite bar snack the Korean treatment—which is to say, they’re fried twice to create a crackly shell then smothered in your choice of soy-garlic or hot-and-spicy sauce. The symphony of soy sauce and garlic produces a savory kick, while the fiery mouth-puckering dressing, made with gochugaru (or red chili pepper powder), make it a scorching affair. But don’t sweat it—coleslaw, pickled radish and steamed rice sides will help keep your cool.

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Croxley Ales
  • Bars
  • Beer bars
  • East Village
  • price 1 of 4

With several locations spread across New York, this sports bar boasts a comprehensive craft beer list (it even cheekily touts no Bud, Coors or Miller), but the real draw is its insanely good bang-for-your-buck wings. Chomp down on 40-cent wings six days a week (MonThu 4 pm1am, Sat noon5pm, Sun noon1am). Score!

All good things take time—just ask Momofuku Noodle Bar vet chef Shane Lyons, who spent years fine-tuning the recipe for the crispy cluckers served at this 110-seat Tribeca restaurant. Submerged in a glorious mixture of suds and spices, the fowl then hits the fryer—twice—and is lathered in a salty-sweet Gochujang sauce. Luckily, the high-ceilinged space keeps the lights dimmed, making it the perfect discrete setting to lick your fingers judgment-free.

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  • Restaurants
  • Thai
  • Cobble Hill

The wings at this Brooklyn joint aren’t your typical game-day favorite, but that doesn’t mean they’re not just as mouthwatering. Inspired by some fish-sauce wings he tasted at a roadside stand in Saigon, chef Andy Ricker created his own Vietnamese version, dubbing them Ike’s Fish Sauce Wings. In his rendition, a dose of garlic, sugar and fish sauce marinade meet a pile of meaty poultry before frying. The result is culinary magic: a savory, sweet and sticky snack that’s then finished with crispy caramelized garlic.

  • Bars
  • Beer bars
  • West Village
  • price 2 of 4

This West Village haven is best known for its craft brews (28 taps, two casks and more than 80 bottles) that you most likely can’t find anywhere else. Drain a few pints, but don’t miss out on the wings, which happen to be some of the best in Gotham. Brined in a salty pilsner to maximize juiciness, the meat is then baked and coated in either hot buffalo or Korean BBQ sauce. If you go the peppery, mouth-tingling route, the spicy fumes will hit your nose, but a house-made bleu cheese dip soothes some of the heat.

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  • Restaurants
  • Barbecue
  • Morningside Heights
  • price 2 of 4

At John Stage’s beloved Brooklyn and Harlem smokehouse, an order of the Wango Tango wings is the way to go. Spice-rubbed, pit-smoked and charred on the grill, the tender, fall-off-the-bone meat is then doused in a spicy-sweet mixture that stars cayenne, habanero, black pepper, molasses, brown sugar and onion. Though a hard act to follow, the other dressings—honey BBQ, sesame hoisin, garlic chipotle and the uber-spicy Devil’s Duel—also put up stiff competition to the BBQ counterparts south of the Mason-Dixon line.

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