I only recently became a real fan of bone-in chicken wings, but it’s a delicacy I’ve casually liked for many years. It’s something I never used to crave but now find myself picking a place to eat because I need my fix. I prefer my wings to be meaty, crispy, light in sauce, and served with good ranch. Here are some of my favorites in the city (in order):
Renegade Street Eats (Food Truck*)
My favorite wings around are smoked, then chargrilled, and topped with teriyaki. They’re fantastic. The Chipotle 562 and Honey Sriracha sauces are also outstanding. (Note: these wings are so good they don’t need ranch, but it’s a nice plus once in a while.)
Steak Nina (Springfield Twp.)
Deep fried and crispy, Steak Nina’s take on chicken wings is one of my favorites around. Get them with teriyaki and some of their ranch, which is awesome.
Midway Cafe (Ft. Thomas)
Smoked and flash fried; served with your choice of sauce (I like getting wasabi teriyaki, and BBQ on the side; if you like hot, go for honey sriracha) and delicious house-made ranch.
Delicio (Montgomery and Norwood)
Coal-fired wings marinated in jalapeño-cilantro-lime vinaigrette, oven-roasted, then topped with a sweet red chili sauce.
Mac’s Pizza Pub (Multiple)
Baked and fried bone-in wings preferably with either spicy garlic or Thai chili sauce.
I want to be clear that, although the texture of smoked wings isn’t my personal favorite, there are some very good takes on strictly smoked wings in the city, such as Knockback Nat’s, The Oak Tavern, Pontiac BBQ, and Taft’s Ale House. I also really like the cilantro honey lime sauce wings at Northside Yacht Club, spicy honey wings from Mardi Gras on Madison, oven baked/smoked/flash fried wings from Dilly Cafe, and boneless Firecracker wings from Yard House. (I know the latter is technically a chain, but they’re seriously good.)
I’m aware that this is a controversial topic and that I have a lot of places to try yet, so who’ve you got?
Picture: Renegade Street Eats wings (top: Chipotle 562 sauce, bottom: teriyaki) at Listermann Brewing Company. On Thursdays they have Wing Night featuring six wings and a pint of beer for $10.
*Renegade is also in the process of building a permanent space with a full menu inside of Listermann. They hope to open January 1.