Since there are only so many ways you can do Buffalo wings (one! There's only one way!), we decided to turn our pre-NFL kickoff wing-ttention towards a more diverse group of flappers. Here's a look at the nine absolute best non-Buffalo wings in LA.
Soy Caramel Wings
Belly Bombz Kitchen (address and info)
This food truck's first brick-and-mortar location does its wings boneless or bone-in, with birds in a variety of unique styles: the tangy Sriracha lime, the spicy garlic Parmesan, the smoky "bomb dust", and the aforementioned sweet soy caramel.
Peanut Butter & Jelly Wings
Buff Wings (address and info)
The rumors are true: there’s a dude in Glendale cranking out peanut butter & jelly chicken wings, and -- no surprise -- they’re actually quite tasty. Ian Angeles (points for his name alone) recently moved out of his parents' restaurant in Eagle Rock to a new strip mall location, where he fries and grills super-meaty wings in a smorgasbord of creative, LA-inspired flavors. They -- in addition to those PB&J guys -- include Korean galbi, Filipino adobo, Mexican elote (think street festival corn), and American pizza. Pro tip: wash 'em down with an Inca Kola.
Night + Market Song (address and info)
The colorful new Silverlake sequel to the WeHo Thai favorite delivers poultry goodness with its sweet and spicy hey-ha “party wings” (hey-ha being onomatopoetic Thai to describe the sound of partying). The perfectly fried and glazed wings are seasoned with fish sauce, sugar, chiles, scallions, and a squirt of lime juice, and will be even more hey-ha once the beer and wine license kicks in. Soon.
Choco Chicken (address and info)
Unless Willy Wonka has some nutso chicken wing factory that we don’t know about (wait, does he???), chances are you haven’t tried these chocolate fried chicken wings yet. Crafted by the emperor of Umami, these bad boys are brined for 36hrs, dusted with a secret, bittersweet chocolate-laden spice blend, then fried to a crunch and served with miso ranch and sweet/spicy “bee sting” sauce.
Kyochon Chicken (address and info)
If our panel of fried chicken experts wasn’t able to convince you to check out this K-town temple of flaky/crispy/crunchy/scrumptious-y wings (#2!), then we totally will. Their signature double-fried, soy-garlic (& feverishly spicy) wings are a must, but you’ll also want to order up the extra-brittle sweet honey wings, too, for the full wing experience.
What A Jerk Wings
Sunny Spot (address and info)
While Roy Choi’s latest eateries -- POT and Commissary -- may be getting all the attention these days, don't slack on the Spot. The Caribbean-inspired Venice hideaway still holds court with some solid chicken wings. Double-coated with a lip-igniting blend of allspice, ginger, garlic, and habanero, then double-fried, the “What A Jerk” wings bring the heat, Jamaica and Steve Martin-style.
Hot Pot Wings
Tasty Dining (address and info)
Buffalo, NY is a long way from Wuhan, China, and the tongue-numbing spicy chicken wings at this SGV outpost reflect that distance in their very un-Buffalo style. Cooked at your table in a dry hot pot “griddle”, these addictive, mind-altering wings are braised with spicy oil, fiery chiles, cauliflower, celery, potatoes, and herbs.
FuRaiBo (address and info)
While most of the pub grub at this izakaya standby is respectable, their Japanese-style chicken wings have developed a cult-following for good reason. These skinny, skewered wings are lightly glazed with a tart, spicy-ish marinade, then deep-fried to a brittle crisp, and dusted with a heavy layer of sesame seeds.
Crack Salt Wings
OK Chinese (address and info)
It's so tempting to rip on the name of this Eagle Rock mini-mall mecca, but their wings -- speckled with black pepper, five-spice, and "crack salt" (pocket some of this if you can) -- prove that it would be disingenuous.
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Danny Jensen is a Thrillist LA contributor who thinks "best wing roundup" research is the best kind of research. Deliver American pizza wings to him on Twitter.
1. Belly Bombz Kitchen11824 Artesia Blvd, Artesia
2. Buff Wings325 N Verdugo Rd, Glendale
3. Night + Market Song3322 W Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles
4. Kyochon Chicken3833 W 6th St, Los Angeles
5. ChocoChicken403 W 12th St, Los Angeles
6. Sunny Spot822 Washington Blvd, Venice
7. OK Chinese Restaurant6320 N Figueroa St, Los Angeles
8. Furaibo2068 Sawtelle Blvd, Los Angeles
9. Tasty Dining301 W Valley Blvd, San Gabriel
The brick-and-mortar manifestation of a Korean cuisine truck dynamo, Belly Bombz Kitchen in Artesia is ready to fill you up with some crazy wings, Spring rolls, and even unusual items like poutine and sliders.
This isn't your ordinary wing joint. This Glendale spot may do some common flavors, but it also busts out PB & J wings and others including Korean galbi, Filipino adobo, Mexican elote (think street festival corn) and, well, American pizza.
The second location of Chef Kris Yenbamroong's Night + Market, the cool and casual Song (which means two) continues the original restaurant's ode to Thai street food. The Silverlake spot serves all of Yenbamroong's cult classics, like the sweet and salty party wings, plus a revolving door of dishes exclusive to the location. The far-from-ordinary Northern Thai plates certainly aren't the Americanized cuisine you're used to in LA, so trust your gut and order whatever looks good. FYI: the fried chicken sandwich is a lunchtime hit.
This Korean mini chain specializes in fried chicken like you've never tasted before. The simple numbered menu features a fried whole chicken, rice bowls, and salad (both topped with chicken, of course), but you're really there for the mind-blowing wings, all of which are double-fried in canola oil. You should definitely get an order of the feverishly hot, signature soy garlic wings, but you'll also want an order of the extra-brittle sweet honey ones for full wing exposure. The basic strip mall outpost on W 6th Street is open until 2am on Fridays and Saturdays.
ChocoChicken in DTLA doles out chocolate-stuffed meatballs, chocolate-dipped fried chicken, and seriously unique 'tails. From the mastermind behind Umami, there's really no reason you shouldn't give this chocolateria a chance.
On the border of Venice and Marina del Rey, Sunny Spot is a stylish Caribbean-influenced restaurant whose casual menu is heavy on comfort food. The offerings include waffle fry poutine, a double cheeseburger, and chimichurri skirt steak. Though dinner is a given, Sunny Spot has a stellar brunch scene with a savory-leaning plates and bottomless mimosas, Bloody Marys, and rum punch.
The wings at this Eagle Rock joint -- speckled with black pepper, five-spice, and "crack salt" -- might be the best thing ever, and prove that the food is way better than the name of the resto.
This West L.A. Japanese restaurant is known for it's Tebasaki wings, which are at once crispy and juicy, with a sweet and spicy glaze. The wings are so addicting that patrons often ask for double orders.
This San Gabriel joint has the hook up for Chinese dry hot pots. Enjoy an exciting new take on wings, be adventurous with some bullfrog, or even get some lamb -- the choice is yours!