Wings prompt all kinds of difficult decisions. Do you go BBQ or Buffalo? Do you make a joke about Paul McCartney or Thomas Haden Church? These are debates that have befuddled man since the beginning of time, so to help provide at least a little clarity, here are the best of the best poultry limbs (well, the tinier ones) San Diego has to offer, in no particular order.
Any Flavor at Dirty Birds
Once you get over the lack of a Jamal Anderson presence, Dirty Birds makes amends with some of the most kick-ass wings in San Diego. You can’t go wrong with any of the 30 flavors, but definitely try out the six newest ones, including Old Bay, Ninja, and Italian Stallion, which together sound like the makings of a great action movie.
Foggs Flaming Hot Sauce Wings at Phileas Foggs
Even if you like your wings scorching, watch out for the FOGG ALERT warning. They aren’t messing around -- the Foggs Flaming Hot Sauce will burn your face off. But, like, deliciously.
Salted Pepper Chicken Wings at Royal Mandarin
Nobody does salt & pepper wings like Royal Mandarin, but call ahead and order to go -- the secret is out and this place gets packed! Good news is, you can also order those crispy suckers by the party tray, so stock up and have some friends over. Or, you know, just stock up.
Cajun Garlic Wings at The Canyon Sports Pub and Grill
Bringing a little bit of Louisiana goodness to SD, Canyon’s cajun garlic wings are a can’t-miss for serious wing-lovers. If you’re not down with garlic, you are possibly a vampire, but rest easy, Mr. True Blood, as they have award-winning hot wings that are some of the best in town.
Alabama Chicken Wings at Felix’s BBQ
"Good things come to those who wait" doesn't always apply to going into a career as a waiter, but it DOES apply to Felix’s Alabama chicken wings, which're marinated for 24hrs before being fried up to a crispy golden brown. Order them with BBQ sauce, or just take them down as they are.
Dry Rub Wings at Brazen BBQ
Over at Brazen BBQ, they slow-smoke their wings and serve them with a dry rub, Buffalo sauce, sweet Creole mustard, or their homemade secret recipe B.R.A.G. BBQ sauce.
Vietnamese Fish Sauce Wings at Que Huong
City Heights East
Buck tradition (well, Western tradition) and forget the hot wings -- do them up Vietnamese-style, because Que Huong is the spot for wings doused deliciously with fish sauce.
The Gambler at Riviera Supper Club
They’ve got about half a dozen flavors to choose from, but if you’re willing to try your luck, order The Gambler: a dozen wings, 11 original-style and one
Kenny Rogers serenade burning one mixed in the bunch for a surprising kick in the mouth.
1. Que Huong4134 University Ave, San Diego
2. Dirty Birds4656 Mission Blvd , San Diego
3. Phileas Foggs11385 Poway Rd, #100, San Diego
4. Royal Mandarin1132 E Plaza Blvd, National City
5. The Canyon Sports Pub & Grill421 Telegraph Canyon Rd, Chula Vista
6. Felix's BBQ With Soul342 Euclid Ave, San Diego
7. Brazen BBQ441 Washington St, Hillcrest
8. Riviera Supper Club7777 University Ave, La Mesa
Que Huong is a San Diego Vietnamese restaurant that's dishing out some of the best fish-sauced chicken wings in the city.
Dirty Birds offers 30 flavors of wings in a spot overlooking the Pacific, as well as several flatscreen TVs to monitor your favorite game.
Phileas Foggs of Scripps Ranch offers traditional British fare like fish and chips, shepherds pie and Irish stew, as well as English meat pies, sausage rolls and scotch eggs. PF is best known, though, for its wings— try the spicy BBQ or garlic salt and pepper. Drinks options are equally solid: PF has well over 200 imported and craft beers and the 20 tap direct draw system has a high emphasis on local craft, specialty and one off production draft beers.
Royal Mandarin is a Chinese restaurant in National City that's known for its incredible chicken wings.
The Canyon Sports Pub & Grill is, well, a sports pub & grill in Chula Vista that's serving up some of the city's best hot wings.
Any place with a hickory wood-burning pit deserves to... cook amazing BBQ soul food in it. If you're feelin' manly, unbutton the top of those jeans and dig into a BBQ combo platter (1/4 rack & 1/4 BBQ chicken) or a sandwich that has slow-smoked chicken.
Brazen BBQ offers unique sandos like the culturally confused Texan/ Cuban “Lone Star” (smoked ham, pulled pork, pickled red onions, Swiss & Creole mustard) served alongside a spiced rum/ habanero/ pineapple/ ginger beer “Blazin' Sunrise” cocktail.