Food & Drink

Atlanta's best wings

Published On 08/23/2013 Published On 08/23/2013
Strawberry/Sriracha Wings, Jack's Pizza and Wings - Atlanta
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1. JR Crickets 129 North Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30308 (Midtown)

In 1982, a man named Paul Juliano opened a rickety chicken wing joint in Midtown Atlanta and named it JR Crickets. Like any true visionary, he branded it with a logo of an upright peanut pretending to be a cricket in a tux jacket and no pants. Thirty-five years later, Juliano’s crispy fried wings have become the stuff of ATL legend -- from the classic Buffalo and the thick BBQ to the wet teriyaki and the dry-rubbed lemon-pepper. The skin holds up to all of these rich and tangy sauces, and the accompanying fries, not too thick and not too salty, make for an ideal side. It’s hard to say that anybody in the state does wings better than this pants-less peanut.

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2. Chick-a-Biddy 264 19th St NW, Atlanta, GA 30363 (Atlantic Station)

Shaun Doty and Lance Gummere of Bantam + Biddy crossed the road and took their fried-chicken talents to Atlantic Station for Chick-a-Biddy, a farm-fresh concept with even more of the feathered fowl to love.

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3. Cafe Circa 464 Edgewood Ave, Atlanta, GA 30312 (Old 4th Ward)

This chic restaurant and lounge serves Latin & Cairbbean food like catfish bites, sweet plantains and gumbo. There is also a rooftop space for live music that draws a late-night crowd.

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4. Calypso Cafe & Grill 58 Walton St NW, Atlanta, GA 30303 (Downtown)

This Downtown Jamaican resto uses all traditional spices and ingredients so you can nosh on fully authentic Caribbean eats.

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5. Fox Bros Bar-B-Q 1238 Dekalb Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30307 (Dekalb)

An Atlanta institution serving up solid BBQ fare like pulled pork and beef brisket sandwiches, Frito pie, and burnt ends. We think that Fox Bros Bar-B-Q serves up some of the best BBQ in town, but you'll have to stop by and see for yourself.

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6. Jack's Pizza & Wings 676 Highland Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30312 (Old 4th Ward)

The folks at Jack's fashion the place as a dive bar and they aren't wrong. But with some of the cheapest beer and tastiest pizza and wings around the Old Fourth Ward, labels don't matter much in this joint.

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7. Muss & Turner's 1675 Cumberland Pkwy, Atlanta, GA 30080 (Smyrna)

Born out of two friends, Muss & Turner's is a sleek yet down-to-earth deli and bistro serving up stacked sandwiches, large plates of grilled meats, and a burger that consistently ranks among Atlanta's best. The Reason to Reuben sandwich features a picture-perfect stack of corned beef brisket, Swiss cheese, sauerkraut, and Russian dressing on marble rye, while the turkey-filled Gobbler is made with decadent Ritz cracker stuffing. There's often a line, but take comfort in the fact that there's no danger of M&T going out of business anytime soon.

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8. D.B.A. Barbecue 1190 N Highland Ave NE, Ste B, Atlanta, GA 30306 (Virginia Highland)

With its red plastic chairs, booth seating, and vintage Coke ads on the wall, D.B.A. Barbecue looks like the kind of joint that would serve down-right sloppy but delicious BBQ on paper plates and cheap beer in styrofoam cups. And that's partially true -- the smoked wings, ribs, brisket, and pastrami that grace this Virginia Highland spot's plates are top-notch -- especially when paired with a side of Texas toast -- but the full bar takes things one step further with its selection of craft beers from the Southeast and spiked slushy cocktails.