The Best Chicken Wings in LA guide image

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The Best Chicken Wings in LA

Great spots to get some wings around town.

For many people, chicken wings are associated with bar snacks and football games. But for us, they’re for weekday evenings, date nights, picnics, and maybe even a quick breakfast in a pinch. They’re delicious and portable, great hot or cold, and they can make you feel like a giant eating a tiny drumstick. Thankfully, LA is home to a wide range of wing flavors and styles—from tangy lemon pepper wet to crunchy Korean fried chicken—and we made this guide to help you find them. Here are our favorite spots for chicken wings in LA.


THE SPOTS

Maple Block Meat Co. imageoverride image
7.6

Maple Block Meat Co.

$$$$

3973 Sepulveda Blvd, Los Angeles
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Maple Block is an excellent barbecue restaurant in Culver City known for brisket, spare ribs, smoked pork belly, and a pimiento cheese sandwich we’d take a bullet for. And it’s time for their chicken wings get 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. Six wings for $12 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.


Ye Rustic Inn is a legendary dive bar in Los Feliz known for its surly waitstaff, loud music, and chicken wings that are 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.


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Ayara Thai is a family-run spot in Westchester that’s been cranking out tremendous Thai classics like khao soi and pad woon sen, but their muay thai wings are a sleeper hit. Each plump piece of poultry is marinated for maximum flavor, fried naked, then served with a dipping sauce  that takes the dish to a new level. Their housemade BBQ sauce blends stir-fried garlic and red chiles with vinegar and a secret ingredient, to create a one-of-a-kind, sweet-sticky dipping sauce that we’d travel hours in traffic to eat again.


photo credit: Matt Gendal

Eszett imageoverride image
8.3

Eszett

Eszett is a hip strip mall spot in Silver Lake with great wine and snacky-shareable dishes. In other words, this isn’t a wing den screening the NFL on three different big screens. But they do make excellent smoky wings that deserve your time and attention. Eszett’s chicken is juicy on the inside, nicely charred on the outside, and tossed with salsa macha. The salsa macha isn't too oily or, surprisingly, that spicy. But you should still expect messy drippage on your hands.


Whether you come to this Arts District spot by yourself or with eight of your closest family members, every meal at Yangban needs to include a plate of their wings. Each piece is twice-fried and coated in a sweet soy-garlic glaze, which lends each bite a sticky, crunchy pop. And though $26 might seem like a lot for 10 wings (you can also get a half-order for $13), rest assured  that these babies are massive.


Once night time rolls around, Silver Lake’s All Day Baby transforms into a Vietnamese restaurant called Tet-A-Tet. The inventive menu here works in some  miscellaneous Latin influences at all the right places, including their smoky chicken wings. Your first bite will be full of charred chile heat from the salsa macha-coated skin, but it’s the second bite of hickory-smoke flavor from the tender meat inside that brings everything together in perfect harmony.


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. Oh, and that basket comes with fries and one of their buttermilk biscuits, which are so good, you can purchase the mix on Amazon.


Korean fried chicken enthusiasts have long debated the superior of two popular franchises: Bonchon or Kyochon? Our pick between the two is KyoChon, a counter-service Korean chain spot serving light and airy chicken wings on W 6th Street in Ktown. The standout element of Kyochon’s chicken wings is the crispy batter— a thick coating of crackly skin that holds its crunchy texture under a spicy soy garlic glaze. We also like that Kyochon’s wings are on the smaller side, which makes taking down a 10-piece order less daunting.


This Gardena chicken joint serves the kind of deep-fried wings that taste like they've been double-coated in flour to make them extra crispy. Our favorite flavor here is lemon pepper: the wings come slathered with citrus juice and a peppery dry rub that will alter the pH levels in your mouth (in a good way). The garlic parmesan chicken sandwich and bright red “Cali Heat” chicken tenders are fantastic, too. This casual, counter-service, strip mall spot has no indoor seating, but they do have a table-filled patio out back that's perfect for large groups.

If they were giving out wing awards, Alondra’s would take home a trophy for “Most Reliable.” The fried chicken at this mini-chain is consistently crispy and tender, no matter which of their five locations in LA you visit. And with over fifteen different flavors on a scale from mild to “this isn’t spicy, this is just rude,” Alondra’s is our go-to spot for big events involving people with varying heat tolerances. Our favorite flavor is chili-lime, which has the zest of citrus peel and the heat of habanero hot sauce.


Highland Park’s Greyhound is usually one of the best places to watch sports in northeast LA, thanks to 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.


Located in the heart of Sawtelle's Japantown, with a second location in Gardena, Furaibo is a tiny izakaya with tremendous tebasaki-style chicken wings. A specialty of Nagoya, a city in central Japan, these wings are twice-fried in a savory-sweet glaze (no breading or batter) giving them a distinct crispy skin that 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 otherwise, the earthy sweetness of the mild is great, too.


American Deli is an Atlanta-based wing shop that quietly began opening franchises in LA a couple of years ago, the largest of which sits in an Inglewood strip mall off Manchester Ave. If you know Atlanta, you know it's a serious wing town, and the crunchy, bronzed wings here definitely live up to that reputation. The best part about American Deli, though, is the sauces, namely the salty-tangy lemon pepper wet and “family gold,” a garlicky honey mustard sauce. And for true wing connoisseurs, they also let you easily specify all drums or all flats on your takeout order. 


Another top-tier wing spot located in an Inglewood strip mall, Wings 2 Go is basically the homegrown rival to American Deli in this part of town. They do brisk takeout business and it shows: ultra-crunchy, jumbo wings arrive freshly fried and neatly packed, the veggie sticks come with housemade ranch, and they never, ever forget the wet naps. The best flavors here are the lemon pepper with a hot sauce drizzle (R.I.P. your sodium levels), jerk-style BBQ, and their garlic parmesan, which involves a creamy white garlic sauce drizzled on top.

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