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A plate of wings.
Albion Manor’s wings are special.
Ashok Selvam/Eater Chicago

Where to Eat Chicken Wings in Chicago

Chicken wings for all tastes and occasions

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Albion Manor’s wings are special.
| Ashok Selvam/Eater Chicago

Chicagoans love their chicken wings no matter the season. Korean, Buffalo, jerk, and more — there's a great variety to pluck from all across the city. There are chicken wing shacks, barbecues, and fine dining restaurants which all respect the power of the wing.

Whether wing lovers need sustenance for a streaming binge or watching a big game, this list has plenty to offer. Many would argue that a wing is just a vehicle for a great sauce, but there’s more to it. Wing size is something to keep an eye on, as some once-great chicken joints cut corners and switched to skimpy wings.

  • The November 2022 update adds After, Albion Manor, and MAK. Joker’s Cajun Smokehouse, Jake Melnick’s, and Virtue were removed.

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Great Sea Restaurant

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While seemingly everyone is going crazy for Southeast Asian-style wings, Great Sea has been serving tangy and sweet drumettes for decades; the lollipop-style wing was created in Chicago, and Great Sea popularized them. Despite the restaurant’s sale, new ownership has carried over the deliciousness and copied the techniques of Great Sea’s founders. Grabbing a bottle of sauce for the road is popular here.

Bayan Ko

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While some publications may describe Filipino food as a trend, Bayan Ko — the Filipino and Cuban hybrid in Lincoln Square — proves there’s nothing fleeting about heritage. Lawrence Letrero and Raquel Quadreny have melded island cultures at this tiny spot near the Montrose Brown Line. Chef Letrero’s wings are sticky with a finger-licking-worthy adobo glaze. The chicken is succulent and perfectly cooked.

Crisp introduced Korean-style wings to a larger audience in Chicago, and there's great satisfaction in ripping into a massive “Seoul Sassy” wing that's neither too spicy nor sticky. These are full wings that aren’t separated. The same wings are served at the sibling hot dog stand in Ravenswood, Budacki’s.

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Thanks for the photo @renemarban !

A post shared by CRISP (@crispchicago) on

Del Seoul

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Del Seoul isn't just about Korean tacos. Ownership doubled down when they added wings to their menu, which have a mild garlic-and-ginger glaze that makes them a winner. They’re served lollipop style.

Need a real crowd pleaser for Sunday’s big game? Here you go. Now taking orders for our famous K-town wings! 773-248-4227 : @ardellski

Posted by Del Seoul - Chicago on Thursday, January 30, 2020

The Albion Manor

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Albion Manor is a British pub for soccer lovers with a chic cocktail lounge upstairs. British fare is more than fish and chips; colonization absorbed many cultures. This is on display with Albion Manor’s wings which offer British Indian (tikka masala) and Jamaican (jerk) flavors. There are also garlic rosemary and Buffalo-style hot options. The wings are plump and plenty saucy — grab plenty of napkins.

A plate of wings. Ashok Selvam/Eater Chicago

Beck's Chicago

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The owner of Toon’s in Lakeview opened another bar at the intersection of Clybourn and Webster, next to deep-dish saviors Pequod’s. It would be a power move to order a pizza from Pequod’s and wings from Beck’s, as ownership brought over the same Buffalo wings to Lincoln Park. The sauce has just enough stickiness and the wings are fried to perfection. The bar has a patio, but the wings are also available for carryout.

Uncle Remus Saucy Fried Chicken

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Uncle Remus has three locations in the city and another in the suburbs. Its wings are crispy and batter-fried, then smothered with a tangy and spicy sauce.

A plate of sauce-covered chicken wings
Uncle Remus’ sauce is tangy and spicy.
Uncle Remus [Official Photo]

Dr. Bird's

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According to legend, Buffalo wings originated at the Anchor Bar, a restaurant in Buffalo, New York. Dr. Bird’s, a Jamaican restaurant off the Polish Triangle in Noble Square, opened its first location in Buffalo, but their wings aren’t the traditional type. These juicy morsels of meats are jerk rubbed and smoked with hickory. The taste is subtle and aromatic. The wings come full-sized, making them a two-handed affair.

MAK Restaurant

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MAK, which stands for “Modern Asian Kitchen,” has been a great choice for Chinese American food in Wicker Park for years. It’s a casual spot that serves those lollipop wings with a sticky-sweet sauce with Sichuan peppercorns. MAK isn’t the loudest restaurant, but deserves local business, especially in comparison to some of the other neighborhood options for Chinese food. 

The Fifty/50

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Wicker Park’s venerable sports bar keeps on going, even as the neighborhood goes increasingly family friendly. It’s all about the wings here, available in traditional fried or smoked. There’s a variety of sauces, but the “OG Buffalo” is the best.

A plate of Buffalo wings with celery and carrots and ramekins of ranch dressing.
Fifty/50’s chicken wings come fried or smoked
Sarah Zelman/Fifty/50 Restaurant Group

Jerk seasoning can be a gimmick when not executed well. There are no gimmicks at Soule in West Town, where a compact menu produces tangy collards, fried or blackened catfish, and some of the best shrimp and grits in the city. The jerk wings are also flavorful with nice hints of clove and nutmeg that give way to a little heat.

Timothy O'Toole's Pub Chicago

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This Chicago sports bar has been around since 1992 in Streeterville, meaning the Bears fans have had only one Super Bowl appearance to celebrate since the bar’s been open. But fans can’t blame the Buffalo wings. These moist pieces of meat have a decent amount of red pepper spicy, aren’t too messy, and are well-balanced. While the Buffalo is the king, there are seven other sauces including sweet Thai chili and the Irish ghost (which is a Buffalo variant with ghost pepper powder).

The variety of wings at Output puts most spots to shame, with unique sauce flavors like lemon pepper and roasted garlic barbecue. It’s right near the United Center in West Town. There’s also a location close to Wrigley Field. This might be the best “traditional” wing in town.

This selection might be cheating because it’s duck, not chicken. But the flavor from the duck wings at After is worth seeking out for wing fans. After is the chic lounge from the owners for two-Michelin-starred Ever. The bar’s in the same building and every seat in the house can be booked for a reservation. These crispy and sous vide morsels come in a savory and sweet sauce and are tossed with scallions. They’re beautiful and show how a fancy kitchen can have fun with bar food.

Phlavz Bar & Grille

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Phlavz started as a jerk chicken truck, then graduated to restaurant status in University Village. The wings have great flavor (it’s a little disappointing that they’re so tiny: ownership should work on that) and are blackened with that familiar jerk seasoning. The jerk sauce on the side is a secret weapon: sweet, tart, and with a touch of heat. These are quality chicken wings.

Wings with fries in a checkered wrapped basket.
Phlavz’s chicken wings
Ashok Selvam/Eater Chicago

HaiSous Vietnamese Kitchen

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HaiSous and the more casual Cà Phê Đá next door both serve these terrific crispy wings which come on a bed of rice. They’re kept whole and coated with a sticky glaze that packs some umami thanks to the fish sauce. Aromatic herbs augment the experience and there’s the fun of tearing the wings in half.

Bonchon

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Bonchon, a cult favorite Korean chicken wing chain, arrived in Chicago and brought long lines to Chinatown. The restaurant features wings with a soy glaze that aren't very messy. It's not the spiciest wing, but there's tons of flavor. There are also locations in Wicker Park and suburban Glenview.

Sauwze gang.

Posted by Bonchon on Friday, December 6, 2019

Cleo's Southern Cuisine

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In 2019, Cleo’s Southern Cuisine opened in Bronzeville serving Creole and Southern food. The restaurant’s signature dish may be its chicken and waffles, which feature fried chicken breaded with a very tasty coat of seasonings. Customers will get full-sized wings with the option to get one of five sauces drizzled on top. The best is the “honey hot,” which won’t make diners sweat and allows them to enjoy the crunchy chicken underneath. All the sauces are delicious, and it would be prudent to ask for them on the side. A second location is in the West Loop at 190 N. Wells Street.

The wings from Cleo’s Southern Cuisine.
Ashok Selvam/Eater Chicago

Bronzeville Wingz

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Lemon pepper wings are among the more than 30 sauce options at this wing specialist. This Black woman-owned restaurant serves battered or naked wings. The Gold Butter option is among the more unique sauce choices. Prepare to wait on busy days.

Surf's Up South Shore

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There are several locations of Surf’s Up including in Oak Park, Bronzeville, and South Shore. Seafood is the focal point — they even serve vegan “shrimp.” But throughout the years, they’ve made a name for themselves with their Hennessy chicken wings, which come in a sticky orange sauce made with the popular cognac. The sweetness is apparent, and the chicken is plump. Let the wings cool down before consuming. It has nothing to do with burning the roof of your mouth. Give the sauce a chance to cool down and caramelize. The wings taste better.

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Great Sea Restaurant

While seemingly everyone is going crazy for Southeast Asian-style wings, Great Sea has been serving tangy and sweet drumettes for decades; the lollipop-style wing was created in Chicago, and Great Sea popularized them. Despite the restaurant’s sale, new ownership has carried over the deliciousness and copied the techniques of Great Sea’s founders. Grabbing a bottle of sauce for the road is popular here.

Bayan Ko

While some publications may describe Filipino food as a trend, Bayan Ko — the Filipino and Cuban hybrid in Lincoln Square — proves there’s nothing fleeting about heritage. Lawrence Letrero and Raquel Quadreny have melded island cultures at this tiny spot near the Montrose Brown Line. Chef Letrero’s wings are sticky with a finger-licking-worthy adobo glaze. The chicken is succulent and perfectly cooked.

Crisp

Crisp introduced Korean-style wings to a larger audience in Chicago, and there's great satisfaction in ripping into a massive “Seoul Sassy” wing that's neither too spicy nor sticky. These are full wings that aren’t separated. The same wings are served at the sibling hot dog stand in Ravenswood, Budacki’s.

View this post on Instagram

Thanks for the photo @renemarban !

A post shared by CRISP (@crispchicago) on

Del Seoul

Del Seoul isn't just about Korean tacos. Ownership doubled down when they added wings to their menu, which have a mild garlic-and-ginger glaze that makes them a winner. They’re served lollipop style.

Need a real crowd pleaser for Sunday’s big game? Here you go. Now taking orders for our famous K-town wings! 773-248-4227 : @ardellski

Posted by Del Seoul - Chicago on Thursday, January 30, 2020

The Albion Manor

Albion Manor is a British pub for soccer lovers with a chic cocktail lounge upstairs. British fare is more than fish and chips; colonization absorbed many cultures. This is on display with Albion Manor’s wings which offer British Indian (tikka masala) and Jamaican (jerk) flavors. There are also garlic rosemary and Buffalo-style hot options. The wings are plump and plenty saucy — grab plenty of napkins.

A plate of wings. Ashok Selvam/Eater Chicago

Beck's Chicago

The owner of Toon’s in Lakeview opened another bar at the intersection of Clybourn and Webster, next to deep-dish saviors Pequod’s. It would be a power move to order a pizza from Pequod’s and wings from Beck’s, as ownership brought over the same Buffalo wings to Lincoln Park. The sauce has just enough stickiness and the wings are fried to perfection. The bar has a patio, but the wings are also available for carryout.

Uncle Remus Saucy Fried Chicken

Uncle Remus has three locations in the city and another in the suburbs. Its wings are crispy and batter-fried, then smothered with a tangy and spicy sauce.

A plate of sauce-covered chicken wings
Uncle Remus’ sauce is tangy and spicy.
Uncle Remus [Official Photo]

Dr. Bird's

According to legend, Buffalo wings originated at the Anchor Bar, a restaurant in Buffalo, New York. Dr. Bird’s, a Jamaican restaurant off the Polish Triangle in Noble Square, opened its first location in Buffalo, but their wings aren’t the traditional type. These juicy morsels of meats are jerk rubbed and smoked with hickory. The taste is subtle and aromatic. The wings come full-sized, making them a two-handed affair.

MAK Restaurant

MAK, which stands for “Modern Asian Kitchen,” has been a great choice for Chinese American food in Wicker Park for years. It’s a casual spot that serves those lollipop wings with a sticky-sweet sauce with Sichuan peppercorns. MAK isn’t the loudest restaurant, but deserves local business, especially in comparison to some of the other neighborhood options for Chinese food. 

The Fifty/50

Wicker Park’s venerable sports bar keeps on going, even as the neighborhood goes increasingly family friendly. It’s all about the wings here, available in traditional fried or smoked. There’s a variety of sauces, but the “OG Buffalo” is the best.

A plate of Buffalo wings with celery and carrots and ramekins of ranch dressing.
Fifty/50’s chicken wings come fried or smoked
Sarah Zelman/Fifty/50 Restaurant Group

Soulé

Jerk seasoning can be a gimmick when not executed well. There are no gimmicks at Soule in West Town, where a compact menu produces tangy collards, fried or blackened catfish, and some of the best shrimp and grits in the city. The jerk wings are also flavorful with nice hints of clove and nutmeg that give way to a little heat.

Timothy O'Toole's Pub Chicago

This Chicago sports bar has been around since 1992 in Streeterville, meaning the Bears fans have had only one Super Bowl appearance to celebrate since the bar’s been open. But fans can’t blame the Buffalo wings. These moist pieces of meat have a decent amount of red pepper spicy, aren’t too messy, and are well-balanced. While the Buffalo is the king, there are seven other sauces including sweet Thai chili and the Irish ghost (which is a Buffalo variant with ghost pepper powder).

Output

The variety of wings at Output puts most spots to shame, with unique sauce flavors like lemon pepper and roasted garlic barbecue. It’s right near the United Center in West Town. There’s also a location close to Wrigley Field. This might be the best “traditional” wing in town.

After

This selection might be cheating because it’s duck, not chicken. But the flavor from the duck wings at After is worth seeking out for wing fans. After is the chic lounge from the owners for two-Michelin-starred Ever. The bar’s in the same building and every seat in the house can be booked for a reservation. These crispy and sous vide morsels come in a savory and sweet sauce and are tossed with scallions. They’re beautiful and show how a fancy kitchen can have fun with bar food.

Phlavz Bar & Grille

Phlavz started as a jerk chicken truck, then graduated to restaurant status in University Village. The wings have great flavor (it’s a little disappointing that they’re so tiny: ownership should work on that) and are blackened with that familiar jerk seasoning. The jerk sauce on the side is a secret weapon: sweet, tart, and with a touch of heat. These are quality chicken wings.

Wings with fries in a checkered wrapped basket.
Phlavz’s chicken wings
Ashok Selvam/Eater Chicago

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HaiSous Vietnamese Kitchen

HaiSous and the more casual Cà Phê Đá next door both serve these terrific crispy wings which come on a bed of rice. They’re kept whole and coated with a sticky glaze that packs some umami thanks to the fish sauce. Aromatic herbs augment the experience and there’s the fun of tearing the wings in half.

Bonchon

Bonchon, a cult favorite Korean chicken wing chain, arrived in Chicago and brought long lines to Chinatown. The restaurant features wings with a soy glaze that aren't very messy. It's not the spiciest wing, but there's tons of flavor. There are also locations in Wicker Park and suburban Glenview.

Sauwze gang.

Posted by Bonchon on Friday, December 6, 2019

Cleo's Southern Cuisine

In 2019, Cleo’s Southern Cuisine opened in Bronzeville serving Creole and Southern food. The restaurant’s signature dish may be its chicken and waffles, which feature fried chicken breaded with a very tasty coat of seasonings. Customers will get full-sized wings with the option to get one of five sauces drizzled on top. The best is the “honey hot,” which won’t make diners sweat and allows them to enjoy the crunchy chicken underneath. All the sauces are delicious, and it would be prudent to ask for them on the side. A second location is in the West Loop at 190 N. Wells Street.

The wings from Cleo’s Southern Cuisine.
Ashok Selvam/Eater Chicago

Bronzeville Wingz

Lemon pepper wings are among the more than 30 sauce options at this wing specialist. This Black woman-owned restaurant serves battered or naked wings. The Gold Butter option is among the more unique sauce choices. Prepare to wait on busy days.

Surf's Up South Shore

There are several locations of Surf’s Up including in Oak Park, Bronzeville, and South Shore. Seafood is the focal point — they even serve vegan “shrimp.” But throughout the years, they’ve made a name for themselves with their Hennessy chicken wings, which come in a sticky orange sauce made with the popular cognac. The sweetness is apparent, and the chicken is plump. Let the wings cool down before consuming. It has nothing to do with burning the roof of your mouth. Give the sauce a chance to cool down and caramelize. The wings taste better.

Related Maps