For many people, chicken wings are reserved for game days - and with sports in full-swing (or, uh, kick), now’s the time to act upon that impulse. But whether you’re planning a picnic, heading to the beach for the afternoon, or just looking to curl up on the couch and binge-watch murder shows all night, chicken wings always fit the bill. From Nashville hot chicken to gochujang-covered Korean-style wings, there is no shortage of great versions all around town. Here are ten that we love.
OB Bear is one of our favorite sports bars in the city, and during normal times, it’s the kind of place you’d walk into for a quick beer, then stumble out three hours later with five new friends and a wash-off Dodgers tattoo. While the menu is filled with excellent bar food (the seafood pancake and spicy octopus are both musts), pretty much everyone here is eating the chicken wings. Coated in a sweet and spicy gochujang sauce, OB Bear’s wings are deeply savory and have a very satisfying crunch to them. Available for takeout and delivery.
Having only opened in late 2019, Hotville is still fairly new to LA, but its pedigree cannot be questioned. Owned by Kim Prince, a relative of the Prince’s Hot Chicken empire in Nashville, this is real-deal hot chicken that goes toe-to-toe with the best in town. There are four different spice levels ranging from “West Coast Plain” to “Nashville Hot,” and you’re absolutely ordering the latter. Is it spicy? Of course it is, but that should be the reason you’re eating here. Available for takeout and delivery.
The hey-ha wings from Night + Market are correctly identified on the menu as “party wings” - because there’s no way to have a bad time while you’re eating them. They’re perfectly crispy, and then tossed in a sauce infused with incredible flavors like palm sugar, fish sauce, and Thai chilies. These wings are sweet, salty, and at only $8, an essential order any time you’re in the mood for Night + Market.
Maple Block is an excellent BBQ restaurant in Culver City known for brisket, spare ribs, smoked pork belly, and a pimiento cheese sandwich we’d take a bullet for. It’s time for their chicken wings to have similar acclaim. Served only at dinner (after 4:30pm), these are the kind of hefty, smoky wings that make you realize most versions out there don’t have any meat on them at all. Eight wings for $15 might seem a bit steep, but you get what you pay for - which in this case, are some of the best wings on the Westside. Available for takeout and delivery.
Located in the heart of Sawtelle Japantown, Furaibo is a tiny izakaya with tremendous tebasaki-style chicken wings. A specialty of Nagoya, a city in central Japan, the wings are twice-fried in a savory-sweet glaze (no breading or batter) giving them a distinct crispy skin that audibly crackles as you bite into them. These are the kind of light, airy chicken wings that you can eat a dozen of and not even blink (and we blink a lot). If you’re looking for some heat, go for the extra spicy (it’s not too intense), but we actually prefer the earthy sweetness of the mild instead. Available for takeout and delivery.
Ye Rustic Inn is a legendary dive bar in Los Feliz known for its surly waitstaff, loud music, and chicken wings - easily some of the best in town. They aren’t flashy or served with a bunch of bespoke dipping sauces, but you don’t want flair when you’re drinking beer and yelling at your team; you want no-frills bar wings. And these are that. You get to choose your desired spice level and crispiness, and while ordering them extra crispy is non-negotiable, we’ll let you pick your heat. Their “suicide” level is certainly an experience, but when it comes to sharing with a group, medium or hot are probably the safer bets. Available for takeout and delivery.
This Culver City spot has been cranking out supremely crunchy fried chicken for nearly 20 years now, so it’s not surprising that they’re wing experts, too. You can’t go wrong with any of their chicken combos, but we love the spicy wing basket - the skin is beyond crispy, the meat is moist, and they’re coated in a sweet and spicy sauce you’ll be licking off your fingers until halftime. Oh, and that basket comes with fries and one of their buttermilk biscuits, which are so good, you can purchase the mix on Amazon. Even better: Honey’s Kettle recently expanded their delivery range to include DTLA, USC, Ktown, Inglewood, and more. Available through most major apps.
Like much of Piccalill’s menu, their smoked wings combine the flavors and techniques of Asian and Southern cooking - they’re served whole-wing (bone and all) and super-crispy, almost Nagoya-style, but the taste of the smoke (and the tangy mustard sauce on the side) is pure Carolina BBQ. These definitely aren’t run-of-the-mill bar wings, but all those flavors and textures will give your mouth something to do besides yelling at Anthony Lynn to use Austin Ekeler in the passing game. Or maybe that’s just us.
Love Baked Wings
Love Baked Wings is a wing specialty shop on Melrose and a great place for big orders ($14 will get you ten wings). The menu is large, with tons of different flavors, sauces, and dry rubs, but don’t stress too much - there isn’t a wrong order here. So mix and match to your heart’s delight based on what you’re in the mood for, and be sure to throw in a few sides of their potato wedges and house pickled cucumbers. Both are excellent.
The Greyhound - Bar & Grill
Highland Park’s Greyhound is usually one of the best places to watch sports in northeast LA, thanks to their plentiful TVs, great cocktails, and tremendous wings. They’re closed for dine-in, but they can still provide those drinks and wings for whatever game you’ve been forced to watch at home. They’ve got a whole bunch of different flavors, with options like Cajun, cherry-chipotle BBQ, and - our personal favorite - house Buffalo, infused with bourbon and maple syrup.