Philly is a sports-watching and wing-eating kind of town. Chicken wings of all stripes — Buffalo, hot, rotisserie, barbecued, fried, Korean, even vegan — are easy to find throughout the city. A local sports radio station even hosted one of the country’s most notorious wing-eating contests for 26 years. Fortunately for Philly’s reputation, the debauchery that is Wing Bowl is no more — but the love of chicken wings will never die. No list of a reasonable length could accommodate every great wing in town, but this one includes a variety of styles and favorites.Read More
Where to Order Wings in Philly
Get ’em while they’re hot
People from all over the region head to Cheltenham’s Asian fusion eatery Cafe Soho for crunchy Korean-style fried chicken wings with a sweet and savory soy garlic sauce or an addictive spicy glaze.
Among chicken wing connoisseurs, Byrne’s Tavern is often at the top of the list. The Port Richmond bar has been pressure cooking its famously tender wings since 1978. On Super Bowl Sunday, Byrne’s starts cooking before daylight and sells literally thousands of wings to go.
The black garlic wings at Cheu Fishtown are tangy with a sauce consisting of a fermented bulb of garlic that’s pureed with soy sauce and cooked in brown sugar, and they’re served with sesame, lime, and scallions or cilantro.
Love & Honey Fried Chicken
The buttermilk fried wings at chicken specialist Love & Honey in Northern Liberties are served with one house-made sauce, like brown sugar barbecue, with the additional option to make them Nashville style, slathered in Nashville-style hot chili oil.
David's Mai Lai Wah
This open-late Chinatown spot that’s popular with the party crowd and post-shift restaurant industry folks is known for its salt and pepper wings. The sauceless wings are marinated and deep fried before being pan fried in a wok, dusted with salt and white pepper, and topped with jalapeños.
The rotisserie wings at Dienner’s inside Reading Terminal Market are some of the best around by far. With parchment-like skin, they’re meaty, tender, and delicious. The Amish stall, open since 1980, also sells its wings smoked and fried.
McGillin's Olde Ale House
At McGillin’s, Philly’s oldest continuously operating tavern, the beer is always flowing, and on Tuesday nights from 5 to 8 p.m., 10 wings cost $8, with all the requisite sides. Choose from four wing varieties: crispy with blue cheese dressing, Old Bay, barbecue, or Thai, tossed in a sweet and spicy sauce.
Nick's Bar & Grille
In Old City, Nick’s puts its smoker into service to cook its popular salt-and-sugar–rubbed wings before frying them up for crispiness. The bar serves six different kinds of wings, including hot honey, garlic parmesan, and Old Bay.
Walnut Street’s Moriarty’s has won awards for its huge wings. The Irish pub still serves its classic hot wings the way it did when it opened in 1974: coated in a tangy sauce and served with blue cheese dip, carrots, and celery.
Washington Square West’s Crunchik’n serves Korean fusion dishes like bulgogi tacos, kimchi cheese fries, and big crunchy wings in a variety of sauces from sweet to spicy. The fast-casual spot run by a father-daughter team is also known for its oven-baked wings, for anyone seeking a healthier option.
SouthGate, the Rittenhouse gastropub with a Korean menu, is known for its “KFC,” which stands for Korean fried chicken. These wings are double-fried for crispiness and served with soy garlic or spicy gochujang sauce.
Sophie’s Kitchen on Washington Avenue serves Cambodian-style wings with a sweet chili sauce, lemongrass, and curry. This BYOB comes from the same family that ran South Philly’s popular but now closed Khmer Kitchen.
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Federal Donuts (multiple locations)
The fried chicken at Federal Donuts has become a must-try Philadelphia treat and the local chain’s wings don’t disappoint. Each order includes five uncut wings and a choice of dry seasoning (buttermilk ranch, za’atar, and coconut curry) or glaze (chili garlic, honey ginger, or sweet soy garlic). Bonus: The wings are served with a freshly made honey-dipped donut.
Like all the tasty meats at Mike’s BBQ in South Philly, the wings here are smoked. The full story: These juicy whole wings are marinated for 24 hours, dry rubbed and smoked for two hours, and then fried to order for crispness.