Food & Drink

The 8 Best Wing Spots in Minneapolis

Published On 01/21/2015 Published On 01/21/2015
Thrillist/Keane Amdahl

We've already told you about Minneapolis' best pubs to get food in (you're welcome!), but did you know that some of those places don't serve the single greatest pub food... wings? To remedy that we've assembled a list of Minneapolis' eight best places to score guess which chicken-based appetizer...


The Blue Door Pub

These maple-bourbon-bacon wings are a sweet and sticky treasure. The maple flavor works in conjunction with the savory touch of bourbon to complement the natural the flavor of the wings, which are further kicked-up by flecks of smoky bacon.

Thrillist/Keane Amdahl

Eli’s Food & Cocktails

Usually it’s all about the wings covered in delicious, delicious sauce, but these Cajun wings are just too damn good to ignore. The mixture of crispy skin and spicy Cajun seasoning is a flavor-blast straight from the delta, and when paired with a frosty pint, you really can't ask for a whole lot more.


Rail Station Bar & Grill

The smoky wings are served basically naked, but you’re allowed to choose from a variety of sauces. We recommend the Korean BBQ with an additional side of ranch because the tangy BBQ sauce pairs perfectly with the crisp skin and subtle smoky flavor of the wings, while the ranch adds richness and body. Best of all, these things are huge and meaty and a full order is easily a meal in and of itself.

Thrillist/Keane Amdahl

Zen Box Izakaya

Some of the most labor-intensive wings out there, these things are individually butterflied for a maximum meat-to-mouth ratio, and then they’re marinated overnight in a homemade teriyaki sauce before they hit the fryer, which results in an outrageously crispy exterior and a succulent, juicy interior.

Thrillist/Keane Amdahl


The smoked wings at Icehouse are the perfect blend of low-brow meets high-brow. The slight smokiness of the wings elevates the sweet, yet softly spicy sauce, and we could easily eat a bowl of that marinated celery. Seriously, it’s amazing.

Thrillist/Keane Amdahl

The Rabbit Hole

Another example of a crispy, fried wing that somehow manages not to destroy the juicy meat within. Beautifully seasoned with a variety of spices and served with your choice of one of four dipping sauces, these decedent wings are a serious treat.

Thrillist/Keane Amdahl


As far as classic Buffalo wings go, these are the ones. They’re the epitome of what a Buffalo-style wing should be. They’re cooked crisp, tossed in a spicy, buttery sauce, and served alongside a cup of blue cheese dressing with few stalks of celery. Seriously, there’s nothing not to love about these.

Thrillist/Keane Amdahl

Monte Carlo

North Loop
These Beijing-style wings are pretty regularly ranked as the best in the city, and it’s pretty easy to see why. While there’s very little about these that are actually Chinese in original, they’re fried using a dry rub that's laced with subtly Asian flavors like orange, cinnamon, five-spice, and coriander, which results in an extra crispy crust encapsulating a perfectly cooked wing. They’re also served sans sauce, which in most instances is not okay, but for some reason with these, it just kind of works.

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1. The Blue Door Pub 3448 42nd Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55406 (Longfellow)

The Blue Door Pub might look like your typical Midwest watering hole — wooden booths, twinkle lights, flat-screen tv — but you wouldn't gather from its looks, or lack thereof, is that this is home to the best pub grub in the Twin Cities. Specifically, we're talking about the Blucy Burger, two beef patties stuffed with whatever cheese your order requires (the classic has bleu cheese and garlic, the Cajun Redux have five-pepper, and the Picnic has colby jack).

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2. Eli's East Food & Cocktails 815 E Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55414 (Northeast)

Bravely crossing the mighty Mississippi, Eli's East is bringing the same cocktailing mastery you know and love to Northeast (which you know and regard with patronizing acceptance) in a larger, red-hued, natty-leathered space that's barely recognizable from when it housed O'Brien's Decoy -- really a lot of real estate for one wooden duck.

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3. Rail Station Bar & Grill 3675 Minnehaha Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55406 (Longfellow)

Established in 2004, Rail Station has more than 40 beers on tap and a host of other drinks and food in their menus. It's a quality spot to drop by and have a drink, a bite, and to watch a game.

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4. Zen Box Izakaya 602 Washington Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55415

The wings at this Downtown Minneapolis spot are some of the best in the Twin Cities. They're marinated overnight in a homemade teriyaki sauce before they hit the fryer. Be sure to stop by and try some.

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5. Icehouse 2528 Nicollet Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55404

This laid-back Whittier spot hosts live indie and jazz music acts daily in a two-story, polished industrial bar and restaurant (complete with plenty of large, comfy leather booths for the whole party). Head upstairs and watch the show, or stay downstairs for gourmet European and American fare like lobster gnocchi or a lamb platter. And it wouldn't be a real night at the Icehouse without going for one of their specialty cocktails or something from its massive top-shelf whiskey collection.

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6. The Rabbit Hole Midtown Global Market, , Minneapolis, MN 55414 (Whittier)

From couple behind the culinary genius of The Left Handed Cook comes this graffiti-laden Midtown Global Market eatery. This is one of the best spots to stop in and grab some spicy Korean-inspired bar food and a cold cocktail. You’ll never go wrong with the Harold & Kumar poutine, a slew of house-cut fries, kimchee, onion, parmesan & cheddar cheese, poached egg, pork curry gravy, and, of course, chipotle aioli.

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7. Runyon's 107 Washington Ave N, Minneapolis, MN 55401

This place has great pub fare, including their classic wings that come with excellent homemade blue cheese dipping sauce.

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8. Monte Carlo Restaurant 219 3rd Ave N, Minneapolis, MN 55401 (Central)

Established in 1906, this endearingly vintage steakhouse has tin ceilings, vinyl booths, and walls clad in sheets of floral wallpaper. And while the menu offers an impressive variety of steak options (filet mignon, NY strip, whiskey peppercorn filet...), the stand out dish at this age-old eatery is not one of the steak entrées, but rather, the famed chicken wings. The popular signature chicken is served in a china bowl layered with sizable flanks of tender white meat, each of which is marinated in honey, peppercorn and peanut-soy-ginger sauce, deep fried, and then coated with the chef's secret 18-spice mix (he admits to a bit of cinnamon, cumin and oregano, but the remainder of the blend is a mystery).



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