February 3, 2012
Roundup: In Honor Of The Super Bowl (And Today’s Wing Bowl), Our Top Picks For Awesome Wings In Philadelphia
So the Super Bowl is this weekend. And we thought it made for an appropriate time to bring you a new roundup of places to go for great wings around the city.
Also, in case you didn’t hear, today, February 3, marks the 20th anniversary of a little event called the Wing Bowl, the annual competitive eating competition at the Wells Fargo Center.
And the greatest competitive eater of all time, the legendary Takeru Kobayashi, competed at this morning’s Wing Bowl (the clock started at 6 a.m.; these people are serious about their wings). Not surprisingly, he won, ingesting an unbelievable 337 wings, and in so doing, demolished the previous record by more than 80 wings.
Now on to the roundup. There are simply too many places serving great wings in Philadelphia for us to include in a single roundup, so instead we’ve tried to provide a selection of places to go for some amazing wings. This list is not limited to traditional Buffalo wings; we also wanted to include some upscale takes on wings, a few options for rotisserie wings, and even a few places to go for Korean-style wings.
In honor of Kobayashi’s incredible performance earlier today (and the 20th Annual Wing Bowl itself) as well as the Super Bowl this Sunday, we present to you our top picks for delicious wings in Philadelphia.
As always, let us know your favorite spot for wings in the comments below. Happy eating!
• Pub and Kitchen: Pub & Kitchen is a restaurant/bar/gastropub located on the south side of the Rittenhouse Square neighborhood. P&K sources their chicken wings locally from Eberly Farm (near Lancaster) and serves two kinds of very popular wings: a traditional Buffalo-style wing and an awesome honey whiskey variation. The actual wings are smaller than most but the quality of the wing more than makes up for it.
• Union Jack’s: The sign outside reads “World’s Best Wings” and the regulars inside agree. Bring your appetite because with sauces ranging from traditional “Hot” to “Raspberry Jalapeño,” you’ll want to try them all. Two locations: Manayunk and Glenside.
• Byrne’s Tavern: A Port Richmond favorite, Byrne’s Tavern serves up tender, fall-off-the-bone wings that have kept the crowds coming for nearly 35 years. Available for eat-in or take-out, the wings come in servings of 12 to 100 and are best accompanied by an order of the Irish bar’s popular potato logs.
• Cafe Soho: The wings at Cafe Soho are (urban) legendary. They’ve been endorsed by the likes of James Beard Award-winning chef Michael Solomonov (whose wings at Federal Donuts also grace this list, below) in the New York Times. Cafe Soho’s twice-fried Korean-style chicken wings come in two varieties: spicy and a special garlic and soy sauce. Order both. You won’t regret it. (215)224-6800
• Curran’s Irish Inn: At Curran’s Irish Inn, located in Northeast Philly, the Best of Philly wings come in a variety of temperatures and seasonings: hot, mild, medium, Cajun, garlic, barbecue or plain. Those who want to try more than one kind of the mouthwatering wonders (and who wouldn’t?) can opt for Pudgy’s Wing Sampler, which gives you 15 wings in three styles.
• R2L: Chef Daniel Stern dishes up pan-roasted wings covered with a spicy sauce, scallions and served with long hots that are just as vibrant as R2L’s breathtaking views of the Philadelphia skyline. Tip: plan appropriately and stop by in the early evening to catch a sunset.
• Federal Donuts: Fried chicken and donuts. An uncommon but undeniably delicious combination. And Federal Donuts nails both. So well in fact, that they received a huge write-up in The New York Times. Federal has introduced whole wings into their offerings on the weekends. Available in the two glazed flavors: chile-garlic and honey-ginger; as well as the three crispy varieties: ranch, Harissa and Za’atar.
• Percy Street: Wings? Tails? Whatever. Gobble down Percy Street’s Turkey Tails tossed in Sweet Thangs BBQ sauce and wash them down with a Hillybilly Gatorade.
We’ve got many more recommendations below.
• Monk’s Cafe: Grab the Beer Bible. You’re definitely going to need something to extinguish the fiery Hell in your mouth after gnawing on these Spanish Flies Wings. Enjoy in moderation.
• Varga Bar: Wing connoisseurs, flock to the Super Fowl II on Sunday, February 5 at Varga Bar where you can vote on wings and indulge in all-you-can-eat specials. Chef Evan Turney (yes, he’s Marcie’s brother) serves up delicious wings every day, not just for Sunday’s event.
• Tangier: There’s nothing mysterious about Tangier’s wings… they’re crispy, hot and served with homemade blue cheese. But their Mystery Beer… that’s a different story.
• Race Street Cafe: The sweet and spicy glaze-like sauce used on these wings will have you licking your fingers. And the plate.
• Moriarty’s: Whole. Wings. That’s right, the wings at Moriarty’s have long been considered some of the best wings in Philadelphia and we’re not going to argue.
• Khyber Pass Pub: The only thing better than Kyhber Pass Pub’s wings? Kyhber Pass Pub’s wings and a local craft beer. Insider tip: ask for the Alabama White BBQ sauce, which is normally served atop the fried okra.
• National Mechanics: Give your taste buds a history lesson with these good old-fashioned wings. You won’t find any flat screens here; however, they do have a rather impressive projector.
• Silk City: The one-pound orders of chicken wings at this hip diner, restaurant, bar and beer garden come in two varieties: spicy Buffalo and Thai-chili glazed. Both are highly recommended.
• Sampan: Come for Happy Hour, and stay for the thai chili wings. Ask to sit at the open kitchen counter and you’ll get to see your wings prepared.
• Tavern On The Hill: Holding it down in Northwest Philadelphia is the Tavern on the Hill, located at the top of Germantown Avenue in Chestnut Hill. Regulars swear by the wings at this friendly neighborhood bar and for good reason — they’re stellar. They come in four varieties: mild, medium, hot and barbecue.
• Chickie’s & Pete’s: We’d be remiss not to mention Chickie’s & Pete’s, named the best sports bar in all of North America in an ESPN Mobile poll last summer. The South Philly flagship location (there are ten locations and additional storefronts inside stadiums and amusement parks) has four giant bars, huge TVs (we’re talking 12-foot HD projectors), 25+ beers on tap (including a vast local selection) and a famous seafood menu, in addition to delicious wings.
Don’t see your favorite on the list? Give it a shout out in the comments below.