You'd expect America's best beer city to have some seriously sweet bar snacks to go with all those suds... and it does. In fact, there are so many great places to score the single greatest bar snack of all time, chicken wings, that it can be hard to pick the best one. That's why we picked PDX's 10 best wing spots for you...
The indisputable kings of the hot wing, Fire on the Mountain has been serving its famous fried chicken since 2005. Not only does it offer the city’s tastiest Buffalo sauce, but it also has the spiciest, and if you’re feeling adventurous, there's a roster of 12 homemade sauces ranging from Jamaican jerk to a raspberry habanero. And if you’re feeling like a beer well, there's that too!
Who would have thought that a little Hawaiian spot would be serving super-sweet Korean-style chicken wings? Sure, you can get them with your plate lunch, but the best time is happy hour when they’re five for $5. These crispy delights come coated in a mildly sweet and spicy sauce and are topped with fresh scallion. Add two scoops of mac salad for $2 and a dangerously boozy Mai Tai for $5 and dream of palm trees.
A little, okay a LOT, off the beaten path, you’re forgiven for not knowing about this unknown Chinese restaurant in the no man’s land between Portland and Gresham. But if you do find yourself driving those lonely streets, we highly recommend stopping in (or even better, ordering to go) for the mandarin chicken. They might not sound special, but these wings are nothing like the mandarin chicken bits you get at Panda Express.
Top Chef runner-up Gregory Gourdet runs the kitchen at one of our favorite places to catch the sunset and offers modern Asian cuisine at Downtown’s only rooftop bar. So what does a modern take on the chicken wing look like? Delicately Frenched, fried, and glazed in a sweet chili sauce, these wings are like meat lollipops.
There are now four Andy Ricker joints serving his signature wings in Portland. The original Pok Pok on Division; its “waiting room” across the street, Whiskey Soda Lounge; a Thai drinking establishment near NoPo, Pok Pok Noi; and now Pok Pok Wing in the airport. With openings in both NYC and LA in the past two years, it’s fair to say these wings are the most famous food to come out of Portland. And why not? These crispy wings are covered in a sweet and funky fish-sauce glaze that you can get either mild or spicy.
This bar’s main attraction separates itself from other classic Buffalo wings by smoking its wings before frying them. The depth of flavor is a welcome addition, as is the house-made hot sauce that almost gives Fire on the Mountain a run for its money. The best part is combining happy hour (five wings for $5) with “Wing Wednesday,” netting you 10 wings for the same price.
One of the other spots to remain in our good graces, this little corner market puts out no nonsense wings (and jojos, if you’re so inclined) that don’t require any special smoking, seasoning, or saucing. Breaded with a hint of spice and touch of salt, eat them piping hot straight out of the bag. Oh, and it doesn’t hurt that at three wings for $2.50, these are the cheapest on our list.
You’ve probably seen the red sign hanging from what appears to be a dilapidated house on an unassuming corner of NE Glisan. Oregon Lottery and Keno banners adorn the outside of a building that houses not only Chicken Little, but also the Hour Glass Pub, an unnoticeable dive bar except for the fantastic frying going on in the next room. You can order a whole bird or by the piece, and at $1.50 a piece for wings, that's definitely the way to go.
Once a food cart famous for down-home vittles, CQ now a real restaurant famous for... um, the same thing! We’ll admit it’s almost cheating to put Crown Q’s wings on this list because they come with a waffle, but then again, everything should. Add a little of the homemade BBQ sauce and you’ve got one of the best dishes on Killingsworth.
One of our favorite new spots in the Pearl not only brews a decent beer (despite being a midwest transplant), but it also manages a decent lineup of bar food that, considering the portion size, is a pretty sweet deal. A common phrase on the menu is, “These bad boys are huge!” And when it comes to the wings, that's no lie. Our suggestion, go for happy hour when you can get three wings for $6.
Sign up here for our daily PDX email and be the first to get all the food/drink/fun Portland has to offer.
1. Fire on the Mountain3443 NE 57th Ave, Portland
2. Ate-Oh-Ate2452 E. Burnside Ave, Portland
3. Happy Garden2367 SE 122nd Ave, Portland
4. Departure Restaurant & Lounge525 SW Morrison St, Portland
5. Pok Pok3226 SE Division St, Portland
6. NEPO 425403 NE 42nd Ave, Portland
7. Alberta Market915 NE Alberta St, Portland
8. Chicken Little Restaurant7401 NE Glisan St, Portland
9. Crown Q BBQ445 NE Killingsworth St, Portland
10. Fat Head's Brewery131 NW 13th Ave, Portland
With a few of their wing locations scattered around town you’re probably already aware of these guys. But their location on Fremont doesn’t stop at the city’s best buffalo wings, they decided what goes great with wings? Pizza! Yeah, okay, so they make pizza too, so what goes with pizza and wings? Beer! And some damn good brew too.
Be sure to try the Aina Burger with crispy pork belly, kimchi relish, shredded iceberg, and shaved onion --proving that not all Hawaiian-style burgers come with teriyaki and pineapple.
A little, okay a LOT off the beaten path, you’re forgiven for not knowing about this unknown Chinese restaurant between Portland and Gresham. But if you do find yourself driving those lonely streets we highly recommend stopping in (or even better, ordering to go) for the mandarin chicken.
Located in the Nines Hotel, The Departure serves authentic pan-Asian cuisine -- such as sushi, dim sum, and kushiyaki, along with vegan and gluten-free items-- and creative cocktails in a scenic, double balconied setting with a great outdoor seating area and sweeping views of downtown PDX. Try the Tasho Macho, the venue's longest-surviving drink, which is an Asian fusion take on the Moscow mule.
James Beard Award-winner Andy Ricker's Pok Pok -- the first of a few outposts around the country -- is known for its menu of authentic Thai food. The kitchen hones in on relatively unknown dishes from the North and Northeast of Thailand (don't expect pad Thai here), but a wide range of Southeast Asian flavors and ingredients are represented. Among the roster of family-style noodle dishes, salads, and smoky meats, the chicken wings are a standout. Based on recipe from a Vietnamese street vendor, the wings are marinated in fish sauce and sugar before they're fried and tossed in garlic, resulting in a caramelized finish and a whole lot of flavor.
Swing by for gourmet-ish American "pub fare", some beers, and weekly trivia.
Hiding inside this unassuming little convenience store are some of the best -- and cheapest -- chicken and jojos in town.
Oregon Lottery and Keno banners adorn the outside of a building that houses not only Chicken Little, but also the Hour Glass pub, an unnoticeable dive bar except for the fantastic frying going on in the next room. You can order a whole bird or by the piece, and at $1.50 a piece for wings, they’re definitely the way to go.
A contender for the best BBQ in Concordia arrives in the form of Crown Q, where they not only sling quality 'Q, but they also do a monster burger and a magical thing called "chicken-fried bacon".
This Pearl spot not only brews a decent beer (despite being a midwest transplant), but also manages a decent lineup of bar food that, considering the portion size, is a pretty sweet deal.