Chicken Wing Guide to Buffalo

Talking about the best place to eat Chicken Wings in Buffalo, NY can be a painful conversation for locals.

Everyone has their favorite spot, and normally it’s a pizzeria/bar from the neighborhood where they grew up, and theywill go to their grave thinking that place has the best wings in town. The truth about wings in Buffalo is that nearly every street has a place where you can get good wings –  and don’t tell anyone I said this, but…most wings in Buffalo taste the same. A lot of restaurants source from the same chicken wing providers and house sauces all contain a certain ratio of melted butter (it’s not butter) and Frank’s Hot Sauce.

But for people who are visiting Buffalo, we still have to answer the question ‘Where are the best wings in Buffalo?’

This guide is an attempt to answer that question. Below are a few of the spots that we think stand out from the crowd and can recommend with a clear conscience. If this article doesn’t work for you, I suggest you check out Kevin Purdy’s blog post on this topic or you could overload yourself with options and look at our Chicken Wing Tournament from 2017.

THE ROYALTY

Anchor Bar

1047 Main St, Buffalo, NY 14209 | (716) 886 – 8920

First things first, there are several Anchor Bar restaurants in Buffalo (plus Canada and Texas!) but there are only two locations worth visiting: The original at 1047 Main Street and the Airport location (if you really have no time). The original Anchor Bar on Main Street in the City of Buffalo is without a doubt, the most popular restaurants in Buffalo. That means that when you walk in, you will be surrounded by other tourists. You will be hard pressed to find a local eating at Anchor Bar, and the restaurant has become primarily a tourist destination… and it feels like it. But if you want to see the original home of chicken wings, where Bobby Flay battled the Wing King, where Jamika Pessoa (yes, that Jamike Pessoa) of the Chew visited and where the short lived Food Wars debuted their series, well… there’s no other place. Are they the best wings in Buffalo? No. Are they important? Sure.

Our Tip: Sit at the bar and grab a Genny Cream Ale on draft and stick to the basics (Mild-Medium-Hot)

Bar Bill Tavern

185 Main St, East Aurora, NY 14052 | (716) 652-7959 (takeout)

It’s not a quick drive to get to Bar Bill Tavern. It’s a good 30+ minute drive from the City and at least 20+ minutes from New Era Field. But you should make that drive because out of all of the restaurants named on this list, Bar Bill Tavern is the only place where you can get great wings and great beef on weck (you can watch them carve the meat behind the bar) at the same place. A longtime favorite with the Buffalo Eats staff, this tiny tavern won both the Best Wings AND Best Beef on Weck Tournaments in 2017 and they did it convincingly. Space is limited inside Bar Bill, so wait times can get long at peak hours (grab a drink from the nearby 189 Public House or Aurora Brew Works). Also, make sure you make a trip to the ATM beforehand because Bar Bill only takes cash.

Our Tip: I know it sounds crazy, but the Cajun Honey Butter BBQ wings are worth a shot, grab a beef on weck and if it’s too busy then order them from the Takeout location (they take credit cards there) and bring the wings to the nearby Aurora Brew Works.

Duff’s Famous Wings

3651 Sheridan Dr, Amherst, NY 14226 | (716) 834-6234

Over the years, Duffs has been slowly making a case for being the go-to tourist destination for wings. It seems like most high profile visitors know that Anchor Bar is where wings were “invented” but Duff’s is the general consensus for being the “best wings” in town. in 2010 they had a big year with visits from President Obama and Travel Channel with their show ‘Food Wars’. We don’t necessarily agree that Duff’s are the best but you could do a lot worse. Duff’s has gladly capitalized on it’s ever growing popularity. In recent years, Duff’s has expanded their empire to nearly every area in Western New York. They offer an impressive selection of sauces with slight variations to accompany any heat level. In our experience, the wings are very crispy AND very saucy. If you have plenty of time, we’ve found the original Sheridan Drive location to be the most consistent. The other locations may look flashier and have a ‘sport bar vibe’, but the original still feels home-y and laid back.

Our Tip: Like we said above, stick to the OG location on Sheridan Drive for consistently great wings (also near UB’s campus for travelers), stick to the variety of hot sauces, order the McDonalds-esque fries with blue cheese for dipping, we’ve also heard the grilled cheese is ridiculous (who knew?).

La Nova

371 West Ferry St, Buffalo, NY 14213 | (716) 881-3303

I know, this Buffalo pizzeria is legendary for their pizza and t-shirts that were the unofficial jersey of 1990’s Bills tailgating. That said, if we were going to recommend any pizzeria chicken wings, this is the one. Their standard flavors are on point but their BBQ wings are where it’s at. They are deep fried, and then liberally sauced and char-grilled, which caramelizes all of the bits and pieces of the wings… and it’s just delicious. While plenty of places have replicated this process over the years, La Nova is still our favorite. They are also one of the few venues that makes their own Blue Cheese dressing from scratch instead of scooping it from big gallon jugs. They have a small, takeout only location in Williamsville but there’s something special about that West Side location that you need to experience in person. I mean, if it’s good enough for Paula Deen it’s probably good enough for you.

Our Tip: Order the BBQ Wings and a large Cheese and Pepperoni Pizza and watch the magic that is the delivery guys/kitchen staff at the West Ferry location. Blue Cheese on the side for crust dipping.

LOCAL FAVORITES

(Older Exterior)

Doc Sullivan’s

474 Abbott Rd, Buffalo, NY 14220 | (716) 436-3302

You might not know this, but Buffalo has so many places serving wings that we even have regional specialties within Buffalo. South Buffalo in particular was/is known for ‘Smitty’ style Wings, generally a dry spice rubbed chicken wing (usually nutmeg shows up) with a little sauce. There aren’t many places serving these around town (Potter’s Field is the only other South Buffalo bar that serves them that we can think of) and Doc’s is old school South Buffalo bar. In recent years, an ownership change has cleaned up the place and updated the facade and interior but they still have the pub food classics.

Our Tip: Order a Guiness with some Smitty wings and sit at the bar.

Elmo’s

2349 Millersport Hwy, Getzville, NY 14068 | (716) 688-7237

Located within almost walking distance from UB’s North Campus, Elmo’s is located in an unassuming strip plaza off Millersport that features tennants like a Sushi restaurant, a Chinese restaurant, a Subway, a nail salon and a Dollar General. Known for being Khalil Mack’s favorite place to get wings and the home of their trademark ‘double dip’ (it’s exactly what you think, mixing two different sauces), the popularity of Elmo’s pushed them to take the runner up spot in our 2017 Chicken Wing Tournament.

Our Tip: It’s all about the double dip and the most common recommendation is some flavor (Medium/Hot/Honey Mustard) with Cajun.

Kelly’s Korner

2526 Delaware Ave, Buffalo, NY 14216 | (716) 877-9466

On the outside, Kelly’s Korner looks like every other Kenmore/North Buffalo dive bar – and that is mostly true. There is a bowling arcade game, plenty of worn in leather bar seats and the regular clientele are always entertaining. Their food menu is ridiculously cheap and like a true dive bar, their bottles of Genny are under $3. Even though they are inexpensive, their Medium Chicken Wings are large, juicy and served extra crispy. But it’s their Hot wings that separate them from the bars down the street. They are fried and coated with a dry rub and then finished in hot sauce. The texture and flavor is just unreal.

Our tip: Sit at the bar, grab a beef on weck and when you order wings.. order them Hot.

Nine Eleven Tavern

11 Bloomfield Ave, Buffalo, NY 14220 | (716) 825-9939

This is my (Donnie) personal favorite. This small South Buffalo Bar has a dedicated group of regulars that fill up the dining room and bar for their unique chicken wings. Unlike the majority of restaurants on this list, Nine Eleven has a secret, ‘from scratch’ sauce recipe that doesn’t taste like anything else you’ve ever had. The wings are coated in a sauce that has flakes of garlic and a sweet and tangy flavor that wing purists will either love or hate. The restaurant only has one person in the kitchen (the owner), so be prepared to wait patiently for your food. Hidden on a side street in a residential area, this is a true chicken wing gem. Like Bar Bill Tavern, make sure you stop by an ATM before you’re visit because they also only take cash.

Our Tips:

CULT CLASSICS

Judi’s Lounge

2057 Military Rd, Niagara Falls, NY 14304 | (716) 297-5759

Mammoser’s Tavern

16 S Buffalo St, Hamburg, NY 14075 | (716) 648-1390

Sal’s Lounge

283 Olmstead Ave, Depew, NY 14043 | (716) 683-9553

4 thoughts on “Chicken Wing Guide to Buffalo

  • October 19, 2011 at 2:28 pm
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    Cole’s on elmwoods sicilian wings, and jack’s place off millersport personal favorites

    Reply
  • November 6, 2011 at 12:30 pm
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    MISTER Bs REST/BAR !!! NIARARA FALLS NY, Hands down best CHICKEN WINGS IN WESTERN NEW YORK !!! BLOWS AWAY DUFFS AND ANCHOR BAR !!! over rated and over priced. TRY MISTER Bs !! 2201 hyde park blvd.

    Reply
  • February 2, 2012 at 10:24 am
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    Definitely try the BBQ wings at Metzger’s Pub in West Seneca. They are known for their Beef on Weck (which I’ve never tried before) but they have a delicious, thick bbq sauce they coat the chicken wings in then throw them back on the grill to char them. Which I prefer over the thin, ketchup wings at Duff’s and Anchor Bar.

    Reply

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