Some let you design your ideal bite, while others offer a unique take on this humble food. Regardless of whether you opt for traditional or innovative, you’ll be reaching for a wet wipe and asking for more, more, more. Here’s our five favorite places for chicken wings in New York City. By Jessica Allen.
207 West 38th Street
New York, NY 10018
If you’re a wing connoisseur, then no doubt you’ve already heard about BonChon Chicken. If not, allow us to introduce you to do this Korean chain with locations in Midtown, otherwise known as heaven. The wings come cooked Korean-style, or double-fried, which means uber-crunchy on the outside, soft and tender on the inside. Then they get nicely saturated with your choice of sauce, including soy garlic, spicy, or a little of both. You can get the same treatment on chicken strips and drums, too, if you’re so inclined.
Dan & John’s Wings
135 First Avenue
New York, NY 10003
A bare bones wing joint, Dan and John’s encourages you to belly up to the bar, order a pint, a bunch of wings, a side of tater tots, and stay awhile. Wings come in three styles: boneless, vegetarian and traditional, with nine different flavors — from mild, to medium to insane (super spicy) as well as BBQ spicy and BBQ sweet. Also be sure to try their rotating flavor of the month. The eponymous owners (i.e., Dan and John, plus Pat) hail from Buffalo, so eating wings is most definitely in their blood.
International Wings Factory
1762 First Avenue
New York, NY 10128
More: Best Comfort Food In NYC
As you’d expect from the name, International Wings Factory specializes in wings. Here you can get naked wings (sans sauce), or wings doused in a variety of sauces, among spicy BBQ, pure heat (super-hot buffalo), and Vietnamese chili mango (both sweet and spicy). Alternatively, you can go for a tandoori spice or lemon cajun dry rub. Did we mention that you also have to choose between traditional or boneless? By the time you’re done ordering, you’ll have a plate of food specifically targeted to your taste buds. Dig in!
Mighty Quinn’s BBQ
Mighty Quinn’s BBQ relies on a low and slow technique for most everything, allowing fire and time to work their magic. The wings are a delicious exception: they get smoked, fried, and covered in the house-made chili lime sauce. Last but not least, they get a sprinkling of toasted sesame seeds. Go ahead and lick your fingers; we’re not here to judge you. Wings are great to-go, of course, but eating in allows you to admire the craftsmanship that goes into the reclaimed wood and interiors of the various locations around town.
117 Columbia Street
Brooklyn, NY 11231
When Andy Ricker’s temple to Thai opened in Red Hook a few years ago, hungry hordes lined up around the block for the kitchen’s authentic takes on classics like khao soi. They continue to line up for Ike’s Vietnamese Fish Sauce Wings, based on a recipe Ike brought with him from Vietnam. We say this with a straight face, as well as a good deal of love and respect for the four other spots on this list, but these are perhaps the best chicken wings in the five boroughs. The secret? Fish sauce, palm sugar, garlic, and lots and lots of time in the fryer. They’re sour and sticky and sweet and just about perfect. Learn more here.
Jessica Allen is a New York-based writer.