Thursday, September 5, 2013

The 10 Best Chicken Wings In Brooklyn

Posted By on Thu, Sep 5, 2013 at 2:10 PM

  • roboppy via flickr

Ok, so this is important. After doing some pretty exhaustive, highly scientific research that has perhaps left my fingers permanently stained orange, the time has come to reveal where to get the ten best chicken wings in all of Brooklyn. Look. I totally expect this list to be controversial because people really like their wings. Wings are, after all, almost the perfect food in that they're cheap, meaty, intensely flavorful, make you work a little bit to get at the good stuff, eaten with your hands, and require the use of a wet wipe once you're done. In short, they're the best and I highly recommend that you hit each and every one of these spots for the flavor punches these wings deliver. Personally, I plan on revisiting them all in the very, very near future.

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Whiskey Soda Lounge
Operated by the team behind Pok Pok Ny (and located just a block away), this bar/lounge has a more than decent menu of Thai and Vietnamese bar snacks that pair perfectly with whatever you're drinking. There isn't really much overlap with the Pok Pok menu with one notable exception: Ike's Fish Sauce Wings. This version is everything you want in a chicken wing, meaty and packed with flavor, they're unique because of the funky edge the fish sauce brings. They also just happen to be studded with crunchy fried garlic, which, frankly, I want sprinkled on all my food. Order them spicy; they don't pack too much heat, just a ton of flavor.
115 Columbia Street, South Brooklyn

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The Kung Pao chicken wings come in two sizes at Talde. Always get the bigger size. Always. They are just too damned good and you don't want to be fending off your fellow diners for the last wing. These wings are spicy, sure, but that spice is tempered by the accompaniment of a cooling buttermilk ranch dip that I would happily drink vats of. And while Whiskey Soda Lounge's wings are enhanced with fried garlic, Dale Talde has accented his with crunchy peanuts and whole chilies (tread carefully where the chilies are concerned) for an umami-bomb that you won't soon forget.
369 7th Avenue, Park Slope

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Dinosaur Bar-B-Que
Dino might not be known for its chicken, but these wings are among the best that I've ever eaten at any BBQ joint. First of all, these wings are huge. They're so big that they make you think about the fact that a T-Rex was basically an oversized chicken (with adorable, undersized arms) anyway, and that what you're really eating when you devour these wings is a descendant of the king of the Jurassic era. Beyond that though, these wings have been spice-rubbed, smoked and then grilled, locking in some serious flavor along the way. Served with Maytag blue cheese and celery and carrots, this classic rendition shouldn't be missed.
604 Union Street, Gowanus

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Bonnie's Grill
Bonnie's has long been known for having some of the best wings in Brooklyn, if not all of New York City. These wings are your classic Buffalo wings, made with Frank's Red Hot sauce and served with blue cheese, they are pretty much the Platonic ideal of a good hot wing. You can order them mild, medium, hot, or hotter, and I recommend hotter. There's plenty of beer on offer at Bonnie's to put out the flames that will soon be shooting out of your mouth.
278 5th Avenue, Park Slope

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Red Star
Chicken wings might now be on the menu of all sorts of fancy Brooklyn eateries, but sometimes you just want to eat your wings in a sports bar, while drinking a pint or two (or three) and watching, like, eight games on oversized TVs at once. Which, that's a totally relatable desire. And lucky for you, this sports bar in Greenpoint has some of the best wings in Brooklyn. In fact, they have some of the eight best wings in Brooklyn because that's how many variations they have on the classic chicken wing. You can try the bacon-cheddar version or the raspberry BBQ, but my favorite is the crispy curry wing, which comes with an addictive coriander-cucumber dipping sauce.
37 Greenpoint Avenue, Greenpoint

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Super Wings
These wings offer a Caribbean take on Buffalo wings, which, I would have thought that just meant jerk chicken, but really its so much more. These wings (which have won multiple wing contests right here in Brooklyn, because wing contests are a very, very big deal) are full of flavor and spice and are small enough (though still plenty meaty) that you wind up eating a whole pound of them without even noticing. Or at least, that was my experience, but I might just have problems.
1218 Union Street, Crown Heights

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The Kettle Black
This Bay Ridge stalwart proudly claims to have the best wings in Brooklyn, and, really, it's hard to argue with the claim. The Kettle Black offers a wide variety of wing sauces including Maryland Bay (Buffalo City Sauce dusted with Old Bay—yum), Luau (with Plum BBQ glaze), and Jamo (spicy Irish whiskey infused BBQ sauce), among many others, all of which we want to be eating right now. Just in case you need some extra incentive to head out to Bay Ridge, every Wednesday is Wing Wednesday, featuring 50 cent wings. Fifty cents! I guess there are still some good deals to be had in Brooklyn these days.
8622 3rd Avenue, Bay Ridge

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Brooklyn Star
So, my standard order at Brooklyn Star always used to be the raw kale salad and the chicken-fried steak. The kale salad made me feel a little virtuous, I guess, because the chicken-fried steak is so good there that it's gotta be a sin. However, one day, I shared a bowl of the spicy fried chicken wings with a friend and got hooked. Now, I order the chicken wings and the chicken-fried steak and, yeah, I'll probably be dead from a heart attack by the time I'm forty, but you know what? It'll be worth it.
593 Lorimer Street, Williamsburg

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Pork Slope
This is Dale Talde's second entry on this list, but, seriously, the wings from Pork Slope really need to be on here. They're totally different than the Kung Pao wings at Talde, but equally as delicious. You can order BBQ or Buffalo, but I'm partial to Buffalo, which are a riff on the classic and are deep-fried coated in a sauce made with Frank's Red Hot, honey, butter, garlic, and sriracha. They're insanely good and should be eaten with a side of tater tots. Because tater tots? Are never a bad choice.
247 5th Avenue, Park Slope

NOT THE DUCK WINGS. These are the Vanderbilts old chicken wings, but you get the picture.
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  • NOT THE DUCK WINGS. These are the Vanderbilt's old chicken wings, but you get the picture.

The Vanderbilt
So, here's is the wild card of this list, because the awesome, can't miss wings at the Vanderbilt? Are actually duck wings. But they're so good! Because duck is so good. And these are sprinkled with sesame seeds and togarashi and are just about the most perfect bar snack I can think of. Plus, duck is kind of totally better than chicken, so these are sort of perfect in having not only great "chicken" wing spicy flavor, but also the meatiness which comes from the gamy perfection that is duck. Yum.
570 Vanderbilt Avenue, Prospect Heights

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About The Author

Kristin Iversen

Kristin Iversen

Kristin Iversen is the Managing Editor at Brooklyn Magazine and the L Magazine. She has been described as "a hipster buzzword made flesh." This seems pretty accurate.

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