This is the fourth installment of my five part series on eating chicken wings in Western New York. If you missed my first three articles, please click here (top 10 must visit places) and here (10 most unique flavors) and here (top 10 best kept secret places) when you have time to help update yourself on what I wrote about for the previous topics on this subject.
The reaction that we have received so far is tremendous and has confirmed what we already knew – the people of Western New York have very strong feelings about their chicken wings, especially when it comes to voicing their opinions on their favorite places to eat them. Please keep the feedback coming and don’t be shy about expressing your thoughts about Buffalo’s signature snack food item.
Today’s topic involves the ten best places at which to eat chicken wings with friends. These are the types of places you would prefer to “hang out” at with your friends from high school, your neighbors, your teammates from your summer softball team, etc. Our fifth and final installment will focus on “family friendly” restaurants and other eateries that serve up delicious wings, so keep those places in the back of your mind. But this top ten list is about where you would go with the guys and/or gals to maybe have an adult beverage or two while eating large quantities of chicken wings.
Listed below in no particular order is my top ten best places for chicken wings while spending time with friends. Feel free to visit any of these establishments yourself and then share your opinions on YOUR favorite local places to go with friends and eat wings.
BUFFALO BREW PUB
6861 Main Street / Williamsville / Northtowns | (716) 632-0552
New York State’s oldest brew pub has been serving up plenty of tasty treats and ice cold beverages since 1986, including some tremendous chicken wings. Incredibly fun atmosphere with reasonable prices and very friendly service. I have a handful of friends who live nearby and are proud “Mug Club” members who are regular customers at “The Pub.” All the chicken wing flavors are dynamite, and I also recommend trying the chicken wing soup sometime if you are in the mood for a creamy blend of spicy chicken, bleu cheese, hot sauce, celery and carrots served in a deliciously heavy cream.
COLE’S RESTAURANT AND BAR
1104 Elmwood Avenue / Elmwood Village / Downtown | (716) 886-1449
One of Buffalo’s best places for craft and Belgian beer, this is another great hangout spot for a group of friends looking to catch up on things or discuss the results of the latest Bills or Sabres game. One of the Elmwood Avenue Strip’s places to see and be seen, there is never a dull moment at this joint. Their barbecue chicken wings are consistently “jumbo” sized and are finished on the grill, just like barbecued wings should be.
1541 Hertel Avenue / North Buffalo | (716) 833-9899
Like some of the others on this list, here is a place that is also suitable for families. That being said, getting a close-knit group of friends to clear their calendar and spend some time at Wellington Pub is how I have truly enjoyed the experience of dining and drinking at this popular spot in North Buffalo. Smack dab in the middle of Hertel Avenue’s central business district, you simply cannot challenge the statement that this is one of the ultimate hangout spots in all of Western New York. Last time I checked an order of fifty wings was still under $25, a bargain in this day and age especially when you know the top-notch customer service here continues to be one of the main reasons so many of us come back again and again.
1424 Millersport Highway / Williamsville / Northtowns | (716) 639-0027
When I hear the phrase “casual dining and spirits” I immediately think of Jack’s Place. My two visits to this establishment blew me away in terms of the comfortable atmosphere, the friendly employees and the wonderful food, including their chicken wings. In fact, both times that I dined at Jack’s I thoroughly enjoyed their “Taste of Buffalo” platter, which consists of six perfectly fried and sauced chicken wings and a beef on weck slider sandwich. Outstanding.
2263 Delaware Avenue / North Buffalo | (716) 874-3020
A friend of mine lives literally right around the corner from Gordon’s and maybe summarized it best when he sent me an e-mail describing why he so thoroughly enjoys hanging out here with his roommate and a few other friends every Saturday night: “It’s a great neighborhood pub because you can go there and just be yourself, listen to their awesome jukebox and always get perfectly cooked wings.” Well said.
THE SWANNIE HOUSE
170 Ohio Street / Old First Ward / South Buffalo | (716) 847-2898
One of my personal favorites, a visit to “The Swannie” is always part of my itinerary whenever I head downtown for a Buffalo Sabres game. Just a classic South Buffalo dive bar that serves up a splendid menu, including chicken wings. Placing a single order results in the delivery of 15 juicy wings covered in “Swannie Sauce.” The ideal spot to spend time with friends while at the same time observe some classic characters who come from all over Western New York to eat and drink and enjoy a historic Buffalo hangout.
THE GLEN PARK TAVERN
5507 Main Street / Williamsville / Northtowns | (716) 626-9333
Some friends who live in the Northtowns steered me here last summer and I thoroughly enjoyed their company at this restaurant. There is a “Cheers” like atmosphere here, even for a Southtowns guy like myself who had never been there before. While everyone may not have known my name, the employees treated me and my friends like we were royalty. Chicken wings? Yes, they have chicken wings. DELICIOUS chicken wings. Known as “tavern wings,” they are just one of the many delicious items on their menu. This can be the perfect destination for a group of guys looking to start things off with a round of beers or a contingent of women who want to to each sip on a cosmo or glass of wine.
1110 Elmwood Avenue / Elmwood Village / Downtown | (716) 882-4000
The cornerstone establishment on Buffalo’s Elmwood Strip, this place has it all no matter how large a group of friends you wrangle up. With two floors and a huge patio, Mister Goodbar has plenty of space for you to stretch out and relax. They also have a tremendous selection of craft beer and I can tell you firsthand some of the friendliest bartenders and waitresses in Western New York. The chicken wings are never a disappointment, with my suggestion being to make arrangements to meet friends there on Sunday for their weekly wing specials.
THE BLACKTHORN RESTAURANT & PUB
2134 Seneca Street / South Buffalo | (716) 825-9327
The quality customer service makes this place stand out and is a reason why when I get friends together who live in the South Buffalo/West Seneca area we usually end up at The Blackthorn. The crowd is always lively and the mood is always cheerful here, especially when it comes time to eat their chicken wings. Ordering them either the traditional way or “South Buffalo Style” will result in smiles all around your table.
320 Pearl Street / Business District / Downtown | (716) 853-6322
I recently ducked into this place after a long day at the office and met up with a half-dozen friends who were already enjoying themselves. Located across from the Hyatt Regency Buffalo, this is an ideal hangout if you desire a menu that has that distinctly Buffalo flavor. The perfect setting to gather before any major event happening downtown, we chose – surprise – the chicken wings and were thoroughly impressed with the sweet chili sauced wings.
Dan Meyer on Chicken Wings in WNY:
First Installment: Top 10 Must Visit Places for Chicken Wings
Second Installment: Most Unique Flavors For Chicken Wings in WNY
Third Installment: Top 10 Best Kept Secret Places for Chicken Wings
Fifth Installment: Top 10 Best Places for Chicken Wings with Family
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