The Best Chicken Wings In Philadelphia guide image


The Best Chicken Wings In Philadelphia

17 great spots for flats and drums.

Like TastyKake and Meek Mill’s Dreams and Nightmares, chicken wings in this city are sacred. And whether you’re keeping a tailgate tradition alive or just want something spicy, finding a great wing spot can be hard if you don’t know where to look. With choices from Korean-style to classic Buffalo, Philadelphia has plenty of excellent options. We’re not saying you should try and recreate the Wing Bowl this year, but here are 17 spots to hit up if you want to.


American Sardine Bar

American Sardine Bar in Point Breeze is probably best-known for their inventive cocktails, extensive beer list, and lively, laid-back atmosphere. But it’s the wings—in both salsa macha and Buffalo varieties—that you’ll compare every drum and flat at your next tailgate to. They’re large, tender, and super crispy on the outside. Both sauces are worth coming back for, but the salsa macha has a sweet, spicy, salty blend that will make you pass on napkins just so you can claim every drop of sauce left on your finger.

Manayunk’s Union Tap House has 18 different sauce choices, and all of them go beyond the typical BBQ and lemon pepper with flavors like strawberry jalapeño, pineapple express, and a subtly smoky bourbon molasses. Orders come in 10 jumbo-sized crispy and saucy wings, and if you’re into spicy food, the Thai Hot is the way to go. If the sizzling burn gets too much for you, their outdoor tables near the Schuylkill may help you cool off (at least mentally).

Since the smoked brisket and ribs at Mike's are so good, the wings might seem like an afterthought. But there are several reasons you should put in an order at the South Philly spot: they’re tender, juicy, and perfectly glazed every time. Whatever your heat and spice preference is, you can choose from hot honey, BBQ, Korean (that comeswith toasty sesame and green onions), and a batch they call “better than Jersey Buffalo wings.” 

Irish sports bar Moriarty’s is the place to come in Center City for Buffalo wings that’ll help you forget about the current Phillies or Sixers blown lead. The wings here are meaty, super tender, and get served with homemade blue cheese sauce with creamy chunks in it. Order them along with any of the 40+ wing options on the menu while staring at the surplus of TVs. 

For over 40 years, Byrne’s Tavern has been a go-to place for bar food in Port Richmond. They only serve one style of wings here: classic Buffalo. The sauce has a nice spicy kick to it, but it’s not so overpowering that you’ll think you’re on the latest episode of Hot Ones.

Potato chips and soft pretzels are nice, but we’re not sure why wings aren’t the world’s go-to snack. We had this epiphany after tasting the kung pao wings at Spring Garden’s La Chinesca. The Mexican- and Asian-fusion spot drenches crispy wings in spicy kung pao sauce and then coats them in toasted black and white sesame seeds and cilantro. They have just enough spice to keep you reaching for a margarita, never get soggy, and have a great, satisfying crunch that will make you order 10 more. 

You won’t be forced to take your wings from Curran’s Irish Inn home—the Northeast pub has a large outdoor patio if you’d like to eat them outside. While there are plenty of options for you to choose from, you can’t go wrong with the garlic wings. The sauce is satisfyingly spicy and the meat falls right off the bone.

This Philadelphia chain doesn’t just serve your favorite strawberry lavender donuts—they also have more chicken wing flavors on their menu than Roosevelt Boulevard has traffic cameras. The moist and tender coconut curry wings are the standout. They’re perfectly seasoned and aren’t drowning in the subtly sweet rub, so you won’t have to grab your usual heap of napkins after each bite.

The black garlic wings at Fishtown's Cheu come drenched in a sweet and tangy garlic soy sauce and get covered in sesame and scallions. Even though these wings are only an appetizer, we won’t blame you if you get two orders and make them your entree.

When you bite into a wing at Love & Honey Fried Chicken, you’ll hear a loud crackle that’s more gratifying than running to the top of the Art Museum steps and hitting the Rocky pose. You can add any of their house-made dipping sauces to your wing order, and we like the hot honey. The pairing is the best one Philly has seen since the Citywide and allows for the ideal wing experience: dip, bite, lick your lips, repeat.

East Oak Lane is one of the best neighborhoods in the city to eat amazing Korean food. And Cafe Soho’s large and well-seasoned wings are definitely worth the trip to Cheltenham Avenue if you don’t live nearby. The fried chicken here is crunchy without being overdone. When you bite into one of our favorites, the garlic soy wings, you’ll taste a great blend of saltiness and sweetness on each sticky wing.

South Philly’s Sophie’s Kitchen might have the crunchiest options on this guide. The Cambodian spot serves jumbo wings that stay impressively juicy even though they have such crackly skin. And you should douse and dunk them in any of their sauces, like sweet chili sauce, lemongrass, or curry dips.

This restaurant right by the stadium has as many wing possibilities as there are Instagram filters on Thanksgiving. Our favorite, the lemon pepper wings, are juicy and seasoned with a dry rub that’s just spicy enough that you won’t need to grab your drink with every bite. This spot in South Philadelphia doesn't have a ton of room inside, so you can always bring your next 10 piece to Stephen Girard Park just a couple blocks away.

Reading Terminal Market sells everything from herbs to donuts, so of course it has you covered when it comes to wings. Dienner’s BBQ Chicken’s original rotisserie wings are tender, have a deep golden brown skin, and get covered in a spicy rub. You can eat them solo or dip them in their signature hot bar-b-q sauce.

The true test of a great wing: does it make you want another and do you want to tell people about it? Fibbers, the 69th street sports bar and grill, is one of the first places we tell people about when they ask us for wing recommendations. Try their house variety when you’re there. The amount of sauce on them is intense but that just leaves room to sop up the tangy spice with your fries.

Unlike the constant software upgrades for your phone, the wings at Landmark Americana should not be ignored. You can choose from 11 options at the University City location, but the garlic parmesan wings are our favorite. They’re breaded, then submerged in a sweet and spicy sauce and topped with parmesan and garlic flakes.

Sure, you could come to this cozy South Philly restaurant for a steaming bowl of pho or the pungent bun bo hue dac biet. No matter what you get, though, you can't forget an order of the wings. They're fried golden and have a satisfying crunch, but they're never greasy or heavy.

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photo credit: NICOLE GUGLIELMO

The Best Chicken Wings In Philadelphia guide image