Chicago's Must-eat Chicken Wings
Wings and the Super Bowl go together like eggnog and Christmas. Which is why now is an appropriate time to round up some of the best wings in Chicago, so you can feast your way around the city preparing for the big game. From classic wings to newfangled, here are some of the best.
Barn & Company: A high-caliber barbecue restaurant such as Barn & Company knows its meat. So naturally, it knows how to cook the perfect chicken wing. Like the rest of the glorious meats, the wings get smoked before they’re glazed or rubbed with your choice of buffalo, garlic butter, Jamaican jerk seasoning, lemon-pepper rub, and others.
Kimski: A Korean-Polish fusion eatery may not seem the most obvious route at first when you're hankering for wings, but you'd be remiss to pass over Kimski's wonderful Kopo Wangs. They're smoked before they get fried, imbuing each morsel with a pleasant headiness and aroma that lingers on the tongue. It also goes down nice and smooth with the accompanying sweet & spicy sauce.
The Fifty/50: One of the most rightfully popular destinations for wings in the city, The Fifty/50 serves wings in a few different ways, all of them relatively classic and incredibly solid. You can order them regular breaded, boneless breaded or smoked. The latter is particularly interesting, as they're prepared in a maple-cinnamon brine and smoked over applewood before getting served with bourbon BBQ sauce.
Honey Butter Fried Chicken: If you're gonna go out for wings, you know a restaurant specializing in fried chicken is going to be a good bet. Indeed, Honey Butter Fried Chicken features crispy, lip-smacking wings with red chili glaze or honey buffalo sauce. They've also got numerous dipping sauce options, such as herby ranch, Wisconsin blue cheese and candied jalapeño mayo.
Jake Melnick’s Corner Tap: This River North icon has built quite a reputation for its wings, which comes in a dizzying array of flavors and spice levels. Each platter comes brimming with saucy, plump wings, either in classic buffalo, in firy hot XXX or in more novel flavors like PB&J (Thai peanuts with raspberry chipotle jelly). They even have BBQ duck wings on occasion in limited availability, glazed with housemade stout BBQ.
R.J. Grunts: Another longstanding spot renowned for its Americana-style wings is R.J. Grunts. With four options to choose from, all of them succulent and finger-licking good, the Lincoln Park restaurant is a reliable destination for your poultry fix. There’s buffalo wings, hot buffalo wings, super hot buffalo wings and tangy barbecue for something a bit mellower.
Ramen-san: You may not expect a ramen restaurant to have chicken wings necessarily, but indeed Ramen-san boasts some of the most addictive snacks in the city. The eatery features two five-piece options, each with a distinct Asian accent. For those not afraid of heat, try the Spicy Szechaun. For those who prefer their spice mellowed with some sweetness, the Sticky Thai is a good option.