Food & Drink

The 11 best chicken wings in NYC

Published On 08/12/2014 Published On 08/12/2014
Andrew Zimmer
Flickr/Jason Lam
Flickr/ H.L.I.T
Facebook/ Croxley Ale House
Flickr/ IStoleTheTV
Adam Lapetina
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1. Blondies 212 W 79th St, New York, NY 10024 (Upper West Side)

Blondies has all the fixins of a quintessential sports bar: big screen TVs, cheap happy hour drinks, and all-you-can-eat-wings on Monday nights. The Upper West Side spot is usually packed with Big 10 alums cheering on their respective alma maters.

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2. Distilled New York 211 West Broadway, New York, NY 10013 (Tribeca)

This sprawling gastropub, situated in a landmark TriBeCa building, is a dark-wooded space with charcoal banquets, an elevated outdoor patio, and incredibly high ceilings. Living up to its name, Distilled derives the essential elements from classic pub fare and drinks and then redefines them, from complimentary popcorn with "magic dust" to chicken fried duck & waffles. The wings, created and perfected over several years (including during Chef Shane Lyons' stint at Momofuku), are dredged in a combo of beer, liquor, and spices, then twice-fried with a freeze in between to maximize their crispiness. The method seems like madness, but it creates some of the best wings in the city.

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3. Pok Pok Ny 117 Columbia St, New York, NY 11231

Andy Ricker's Michelin-starred restaurant on Brooklyn's Columbia Street Waterfront specializes in Northern Thai food, a regional cuisine that favors pork and deep-frying over spiciness and coconut milk. Pok Pok's menu is filled with family-style plates like deep-fried pork riblets, minced pork salad with crispy fried garlic, and insanely good chicken wings, deep-fried and coated in fish sauce. There's usually a wait at peak dinner times, especially for a table on the back patio in the summer.

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4. Whiskey Soda Lounge Ny 115 Columbia St, Brooklyn, NY 11201

Pok Pok's brother restaurant, WSL dishes Authentic Thai food and drinks in Brooklyn.

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5. Dinosaur Bar-B-Que 604 Union St, Brooklyn, NY 11215

Before Dinosaur Bar-B-Que was a kitschy blues-and-barbecue chain, it was a motorcycle hang in Syracuse, and all of its locations across the Eastern seaboard pay appropriate homage to its biker bar history. As for the food, the ribs, pulled pork, and brisket are something to write home about, as are the sauced-up hot wings. Live music, featuring acts from rock and reggae to R&B and classic soul, keeps Dinosaur BBQ's honky-tonk charm alive.

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6. Old Town Bar 45 E 18th St., New York, NY 10003 (Union Square)

While many other bars are trying to create it, old-school New York charm comes naturally to this institution, which has been slinging drinks since 1882 (then known as Viemeister’s). The charm, however, is not the only anachronism that makes it so popular: Old Town also boasts a mahogany bar, distressed mirrors, a dumbwaiter, and high, tin ceilings.

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7. Campeon 9 E 16th St, New York, NY 10003 (Union Square)

Tequila enthusiasts and football fans alike are lured to Campeon, a Mexican mezcaleria-slash-sports bar off of Union Square Park. The neon-bedecked venue is organized around a long bar and is split between a front area with full-length banquettes and a more secluded back dining room. TVs line the entire space, meaning you don't have to huddle around a packed bar to see the winning field goal. Margaritas rule the drink menu while spicy guacamole, taquitos, and tacos are a welcome change from the mozzarella sticks and onion rings that make up standard bar food menus. That said, there are plenty of wings to go around.

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8. The Hog Pit 37 W 26th St, New York, NY 10010 (Flatiron)

This Southern BBQ dive is one of the best in the Flatiron. Sidle up with some hearty chili, watch a few games, and wash it all down with a cheap brew or two.

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9. The Blind Tiger 281 Bleecker St, New York, NY 10014 (West Village)

Arguably the epitome of a New York City craft beer bar and a true pioneer in the NYC craft scene, Blind Tiger’s been doling out a fine selection of the top tier libations since it opened in 1995. It’s the go-to spot to meet folks from your favorite breweries who happen to be swinging through town, and the tap takeovers are legendary to say the least. Sip from 28 taps, two casks and a staggering list of microbrew bottles.

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10. BonChon Chicken 325 5th Ave, New York, NY 10016 (Korea Town)

With outposts across NYC, the Korean mega-chain BonChon is known for its perfectly crispy, huge wings, with flavor choices of soy garlic or "hot" (which contains red chili peppers and 'gochugaru,' a smoky Korean spice). If that weren't enough to whet your whistle, the Midtown East location of the chain is also decked out with large HDTVs for sports fans to watch games. Score!

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11. Croxley Ales 28 Avenue B, New York, NY 10009 (East Village)

One of a handful of locations in the greater New York area, the East Village's Croxley Ale delivers beer and wings in a dark tavern space complete with mounted TVs. Croxley might be a sports bar, but don't expect typical sports bar beer (read: Bud, Miller, or Coors). Instead, you'll find an expansive and rotating roster of craft beer from near and far, bottled and on tap. The food menu sticks to the bar food canon (that's a good thing) with sauce-covered Buffalo wings, crispy mozzarella sticks, and mounds of nachos.

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12. Lansdowne Road 599 10th Ave, New York, NY 10036 (Hells Kitchen)

Once you've stepped into Lansdowne Road, you're expected to "Drink like a champion", as their motto goes. You'll have no problem living up to those expectations with an expanded draft list and delicious eats (especially their wings) to soak up the suds.