The Best Chicken Wings In Miami guide image


The Best Chicken Wings In Miami

Miami's best chicken wings, according to us.

When you think about what makes a great chicken wing, a few things come to mind: crunchiness, buttery buffalo sauce, aesthetically pleasing grill marks, the words "lemon pepper," and, inevitably, taking a shower with a small mountain of Wet-Naps. But whatever kind of wing you’re in the mood for, chances are, it’s probably on this list—from sticky-sweet Lao wings to classic hot wings with a side of blue cheese.


Tâm Tâm

Tam Tam's wings are messy, crunchy, covered in fish sauce caramel, and are our absolute favorite wings in Miami. Each wing is so crispy it’s hard to tell if you’re holding a flat or a drum. They'd be delicious naked, but the sticky fish sauce caramel adds a delightful punch of flavor—and acts as an adhesive for the little bits of fried garlic. You will need to take a sink bath after you eat these. Luckily the bathroom is also a mini karaoke club.

South Miami is the epicenter of sports bar wings, and Sports Grill does them better than anyone else in the neighborhood. There are a few options here, but get the Dale style, named in honor of a Sports Grill regular who requested his wings be basted on the grill with the spicy house Miami Heat sauce. We thank you, Dale, a true wing genius if there ever was one. Because the result is saucy, charred, spicy, and the ideal sports bar wing. So come here next time there’s an important game on and (even if we lose) you’ll at least have these wings.

Apocalypse’s wings are slathered in Miami's own version of liquid gold: a sweet, tangy colada barbecue sauce rightfully called “oro negro”. We’re not sure if it’s the combination of coffee rub and cafecito sauce, or the love we feel for these wings—but our heart flutters with every bite. Like anything of value, resources are low, and they can run out. So get there early, order a burger too, and, no, you are not lost. Apocalypse is, in fact, in the middle of a Kendall golf course

If we’re handing out awards for The Best Sauce Situation and The Most Perfect Fried Exterior, Korean Kitchen would win both. Like proper Korean fried chicken, the wings have a thin, crispy outer shell that’s barely holding in tender meat that slides right off the bone. There are a couple of sauce options, but you want the “sweet and spicy”—a gochujang-based sauce that makes each wing so beautifully shiny you could probably use a drummette to find your way home in the dark.

Keg South is a dark dive bar in Pinecrest with dollar bills stapled to the walls, sports playing on TVs, and grilled wings in their simplest form. These wings are served naked, with nothing but char marks and ranch or blue cheese. And they prove that a perfectly grilled wing doesn’t really need anything else. Each bite is like getting gently slapped with a smoking piece of charcoal (in the best way possible). These are the wings every parent manning a backyard grill aspires to make.

Jackson Memorial Hospital is probably the last place you’d expect to eat great food. But that’s where you’ll find some of the best Haitian food in Miami. Gregs Cookout is on the south side of the Jackson campus and will blow you away with their wings. We like to order ours with a glossy mango habanero sauce that’s sweet and buzzing with heat. Each order comes with nine wings that are first oven roasted, then fried—plus a side of spicy pikliz. The result is meat that falls right off the bone. If only hospital food was this good.

Off Site’s are the kind of wings you want to be eating alongside a cold beer, which you can easily make happen at this Little River nano-brewery. The wings are both smoked and fried—two objectively good things in one package, like a dog that can also play jazz saxophone. There isn’t a photon of the wing’s exterior that isn’t crispy. And under that crackly skin awaits two to three bites of outstanding smoked chicken.

Far Out Pizza is a retro slice shop in the epicenter of Calle Ocho that makes good pizza. But you shouldn’t only be eating pizza here, because their other menu items are even better. For example: the wings. These are fried to tender perfection, but the house buffalo sauce is really why they’re on this guide. It’s so good, super buttery, and has enough heat to make your lips tingle for 20 minutes.  

This North Miami Beach takeout operation makes the wing you want if you like options. You can customize nearly every step of the way—from whether you want it fried hard or extra wet, to choosing from the over 20 sauce options. Although, moving forward, it is going to be difficult for us to pick anything other than their sweet and peppery pineapple jerk. Keep it in mind next time you’re having friends over to watch a sport. But do yourself a favor and look at the rest of Fatboy's online menu before you check out, because they have more very good dishes like a great jerk chicken and fluffy conch fritters.

This Virginia Gardens pub doesn’t look like much from the outside, but it has a big indoor bar, a liquor store, an outdoor bar, tons of booths, TVs lining every wall, and they make everything from the chili to the chunky blue cheese dip from scratch. The food here is a level of quality you wouldn't expect from a dive bar near the airport, and the wings are some of Miami’s best. Each is baked, fried, and then grilled. They’re served by the pound (about seven crispy jumbo wings per order). The sweet ginger wings are covered in a glossy sauce that has a hint of heat. And the buffalo wings are sauced before being grilled, so all the flavor is sealed underneath a nice char.

In a hypothetical scenario in which we can only eat one restaurant’s wings for the rest of our lives, we might just pick Hometown’s smoked ones. They’re truly good enough to commit to a lifelong monogamous poultry relationship. Each wing has a dusting of mole spices that intensifies this already perfectly smoked wing’s flavor. There’s also crumbled queso fresco sprinkled on top as well as a delicious charred poblano crema you can dip every meaty piece into.

The bar wing is a sacred genre of wing. It needs to be fried, a little spicy, and come with your choice of ranch or blue cheese. And Pizza Tropical (the pizza ventanita on the patio of Gramps) makes an outstanding, simple bar chicken wing. You can order them hot-sauced or tossed in a mild honey garlic sauce. Whatever version you get, they’ll be cooked beautifully—and won’t be so messy that you’ll be too embarrassed to eat them in public.

You might remember coming to this Gables bar in your early twenties and belting out Laura Brangan’s “Gloria" on karaoke night. No? Just us, then. Well, Titanic is still a great place to butcher songs on Sunday nights, but it also serves a literal bucket of wings. Their wings are baked, fried, and served dry or (our preference) covered in a thick sriracha sauce that’s tangy, spicy, and leaves the corners of your mouth tingling well after you’ve finished. Every shiny metal bucket is filled with ten jumbo wings, carrot and celery sticks, and a side of creamy blue cheese. And if your karaoke days are behind you, check out the actual bands that play here on Saturday nights.

If you’re craving a classic fried wing—something straightforward to eat on the couch on a Thursday night—consider placing an order at House of Wings. The mostly takeout Overtown spot does a solid hot wing, and they have a truly ridiculous amount of sauce options. There are literally dozens and dozens and dozens (including sauces such as: Honey BBQ Jerk, Henessey Glaze, and something called "Golden Goblin”). But a classic lemon pepper or buffalo are good options if you're having sauce indecision.

You know them. You love them. You’ve celebrated at least one little league victory here in your life. Flanigan’s is a classic South Florida chain and you know what? Their wings are pretty good, and consistently so—no matter which of the eight Miami locations you visit. They aren’t mind-blowing, but they’re comforting—the kind of saucy wings (mild, medium, hot, or BBQ are your options) perfect for drenching in blue cheese. You will need roughly 75 moist towelettes afterward.

World Famous House of Mac is another simple but wonderfully executed fried wing. The skin is bubbly and crispy, and their lemon pepper seasoning (our favorite flavor here) just hits all the right notes of (spoiler alert) lemon and pepper. This is another good takeout option, especially if you live close to one of their two locations in North Miami and Wynwood. Also, if you are not lucky enough to know this information yet: wings and mac and cheese make one hell of a combination. And as the name implies, this place makes the latter quite well, too. 

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photo credit: Cleveland Jennings / @eatthecanvasllc

The Best Chicken Wings In Miami guide image