The Best Chicken Wings In Philadelphia

15 great spots for flats and drums.
This is a plate of wings from Royal Tavern.

photo credit: NICOLE GUGLIELMO

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 tricky if you don’t know where to look. From korean-style to buffalo, Philadelphia has plenty of excellent options. We’re not saying you should try and recreate the Wing Bowl this year, but here are 15 spots we'd hit up if we were to do such a thing.


photo credit: GAB BONGHI


Queen Village

$$$$Perfect For:Drinks & A Light BiteEating At The BarUnique Dining ExperienceSmall PlatesDrinking Good BeerEating At The Bar
Earn 3x points with your sapphire card

If there were a rare scenario in which Philadelphians had to choose only one restaurant to dine at for the rest of their lives, a high number would choose Royal Sushi & Izakaya in Queen Village. Yes, the omakase experience is the best in the city, but their karaage wings also add to the popularity. They’re topped with a subtly tangy soy chili vinegar, along with red onions and scallions that intensify the super crunch of each wing. The order of six is never enough,  but it does have us considering a monogamous relationship with the place.

Since 1978, Byrne’s Tavern has been the go-to place for bar food and a must for wing aficionados in Port Richmond. The beloved tavern only serves one style of wings: classic buffalo. They’re meaty, tender, and the housemade sauce has a kick without being dramatic. Rumor has it that they sell thousands on Super Bowl Sunday alone, but it’s crowded by the neighborhood every day of the year.

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).

photo credit: NICOLE GUGLIELMO

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 comes with toasty sesame and green onions), and a batch they call “better than Jersey Buffalo wings.” 

The dry-rub wings at Queen Village’s Royal Tavern are worth forgetting everything you learned about sharing as a kid. They’re seasoned evenly, and instead of having a crackly dredge, the skin clings to the meat like a wet bathing suit. They come with pickled carrot and celery, and a choice of two sauces: peri peri, green sauce, cherry BBQ, or habañero tamarind. You can skip them all, since the peppery spice is good enough to eat solo. If you really want something to dip into, go with the sweet peri peri and habañero tamarind.

For a long time, Buffalo sauce was the undisputed champ when it came to drenching all things drums and flats. That's until Hot Ones started bottling lava, and everything got coated in lemon pepper, garlic soy, maple Sriracha. At Kelliann’s in Fairmount, you can have the best of both wing worlds. The KA’s Style crispy-edged wings have a blend of Buffalo and garlic parmesan, essentially starting a spicy vs. creamy tug-of-war. Fortunately, the winner is everyone who orders them.

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, a restaurant that blends Asian and Mexican cooking traditions. Expect crispy wings drenched in kung pao sauce and then coated in toasted black and white sesame seeds and cilantro. These 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. 

Fairmount’s Bad Brother’s gochujang wings have serious char marks, and the mound of them takes up 80% of the plate. These spend time getting a little smoky on the grill before they’re tossed in a dark soy and sesame sauce, then topped with pickled jalapeño and radish. And while playing dress-up is nice, you really don’t need any ranch sauce on the side. These jumbo wings are already dripping with a slightly salty and sweet glaze.

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.

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 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 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 plate combination 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.

Chase Sapphire Card Ad

Suggested Reading

This is the burger at Royal Tavern.

The Best Burgers In Philly, Ranked

The 10 best burgers in Philly, according to us.

This is a cheesesteak at Circles + Squares in Philly.

The 10 best cheesesteaks in the city.


There are a lot of places where you could watch sports that aren’t your living room, but these are our favorites.

The Best Hoagies In Philadelphia image

Philly makes a lot of great hoagies. These are the 14 best.

Infatuation Logo


2024 © The Infatuation Inc. All Rights Reserved.
The views and opinions expressed on The Infatuation’s site and other platforms are those of the authors and do not reflect the official policy or position of (or endorsement by) JPMorgan Chase. The Infatuation and its affiliates assume no responsibility or liability for the content of this site, or any errors or omissions. The Information contained in this site is provided on an "as is" basis with no guarantees of completeness, accuracy, usefulness or timeliness.


Get it on Google PlayDownload on the App Store