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The Best Wings In Houston

Great restaurants to get some wings around town.
chicken wings

photo credit: Richard Casteel

While chicken wings may often be associated with watching a big game at a sports bar, they’re actually a versatile little snack. They make a great meal for a casual weeknight dinner, late-night power-up, even breakfast—chicken wings can do it all. Here are the best places in Houston to get lemon-pepper-rubbed, sticky-glazed, and smoked wings in the city.

THE SPOTS

photo credit: Richard Casteel

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The Heights

$$$$Perfect For:Walk-InsCasual Weeknight DinnerSerious Take-Out Operation
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Chicken wings at the Heights restaurant Gold Tooth Tony’s, range from plain to fully decked out.  The dolled-up variants like the general tso’s are perfectly sticky and taste exactly like their flavor inspiration. But the garlic parmesan chicken, which keeps a tight balance between dry and wet rub, showcases the best of what the massive wings have to offer. They have a crunch that’s almost cartoonishly loud, the crispiness of the chicken can’t be compared to any other wing in the city.

The Breakfast Klub in Midtown is a morning affair, and we’re so impressed with their chicken wings that we’d eat them at 8am with no waffle involved. They serve as the archetype for classic fried chicken wings—golden, firm crust, and generously seasoned chicken—with enough flavor to stand on their own. But we don’t mind having them alongside the fluffy waffles and dipping them in a little bit of the warm maple syrup that’s on tap.

Stuff’d Wings is a casual, counter-service joint on the edge of Midtown, making it a catch-all for U of H students grabbing a quick bite. And while fried wings with crackling skin aren't unusual for Houston, only Stuff’d Wings has chicken crammed with one of three types of boudin, or creamy mac and cheese. Even with the fun fillings in the center, the highlight is still the impressively crispy wing itself. So if the traditional chicken wing ever feels too mainstream, get a five-piece platter from Stuff’d Wings. And don’t forget the Cajun fries.

Winnie’s isn’t technically a sports bar, but the wings here make us feel like we should be glued to a bar stool and watching the big game with a beer in hand. The Midtown joint specializes in a no-nonsense wing with thin skin and tender meat underneath. There are a few flavor options, but we like our Winnie’s wings coated in a light lemon pepper dry rub, dunked in ranch, with a few celery sticks on the side for decoration.

Wings are one of the heaviest hitters on the menu at this Soju bar. Both the soy garlic and the sweet and spicy come thoroughly tossed in a thick glaze, with tteokbokki on the side. Plus, One Shot Pocha double-fries their wing, which results in astronomic levels of chicken skin crunchiness.

photo credit: Kamp

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Some wings taste best on a patio next to a three-foot-tall mimosa. That’s where Kamp comes in. The Galleria clubstaurant specializes in keeping the party going, and the kamp wings make great party fuel. The eight-piece wings can be prepared three different ways (fried, naked, or smoked) with a slew of sauce options. Mix and match, but we pledge our allegiance to the buffalo sauce that is (of course) spicy but not too acidic. And something about the puffs of blueberry hookah smoke in the air adds to the effect of eating these wings.

As delicious as they are when served hot at the table, we’re convinced that the wings at Nua Thai in Midtown would be just as good served cold. This might be because of the crispiness of the chicken, which has additional crunchy bits that look like they were hand-placed onto each wing. While the wings are big enough to be filling, their tender meat means they could theoretically be consumed in one clean bite by an experienced wing-eater. Plus the tangy sauce they’re served with ensures that no drop is left behind.

The Wing Boss, a chicken wing joint in the Medical Center, is best known for its “breaded” fried chicken wings that can be served plain or coated in one of 13 different sauces. Whether you get wings dunked in a sticky, hot honey sauce or dusted with a Cajun dry rub, the chicken is generously seasoned and the skin crackles enough to put potato chips to shame. Sit at the bar and down a house cocktail next to some devoted regulars, or snuggle into a booth where it'll just be you and your wings (and maybe some boudin egg rolls, too).

While Gatlin’s BBQ in Garden Oaks is best-known for its brisket and ribs, the chicken wings are the menu’s unsung heroes of the menu. The meat on the wings is similar to the rest of their barbecue—it has the same smoky flavor, is tender like a love song, and the skin is a crispy delight. The original wings come dressed in Gatlin’s house BBQ sauce which is spicy, sweet, and has a dash of vinegar. But there are a few more flavor options like spicy buffalo and sweet Thai chili.

The soul food landmark Alfreda’s has some of our favorite fried chicken in the Third Ward. Chicken wings come whole (flats and drums connected) and if you order them as a plate, they are served with sides like mashed potatoes, candied yams, and collard greens. But even on their own, the chicken is crispy, with no seasoning spared on the tender meat. We like to order doubles because the standard three-piece combo isn’t enough, especially after one bite of the crackling skin on the chicken.

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