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A steel bowl full of chicken wings.
The wings at Joker’s Cajun Smokehouse.
Joker’s Cajun Smokehouse

Where to Eat Chicken Wings in Chicago

Chicken wings for all tastes and occasions

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The wings at Joker’s Cajun Smokehouse.
| Joker’s Cajun Smokehouse

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 January 2022 update added Bayan Ko, Dr. Bird’s, Joker’s Cajun Smokehouse, Bronzeville Wingz, Timothy O’Toole’s, and Virtue for new blood, Landbirds and Nita’s Gumbo were removed due to closures. Table, Donkey & Stick no longer offers wings, while Perilla, Chicago Wings Around the World, and Chiya Chai make way for new additions.

As of January 3, the city has mandated that those ages 5 and up be fully vaccinated and masked at public places indoors while not actively eating or drinking. For updated information on coronavirus cases, please visit the city of Chicago’s COVID-19 dashboard. Health experts consider dining out to be a high-risk activity for the unvaccinated; it may pose a risk for the vaccinated, especially in areas with substantial COVID transmission. The latest CDC guidance is here; find a COVID-19 vaccination site here.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Uncle Remus Saucy Fried Chicken

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4650 W North Ave
Chicago, IL 60639
(773) 227-1006
Visit Website

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]

2. Great Sea Restaurant

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3253 W Lawrence Ave
Chicago, IL 60625
(773) 478-9129
Visit Website

While seemingly everyone is going crazy for Southeast Asian-style wings, Great Sea has been serving tangy and sweet drumettes for decades. Despite the restaurant’s sale, new ownership has carried over the deliciousness and copied the techniques from Great Sea’s founders. Grabbing a bottle of sauce for the road is popular here. The restaurant relocated to a building across the street from the original space in April.

3. Joker's Cajun Smokehouse

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2416 W Schubert Ave
Chicago, IL 60647
(312) 818-1325
Visit Website

The smoker that once belonged to Bo Fowler’s Fat Willy’s Rib Shack in Logan Square has been put to good use. Joker’s Cajun Smokehouse offers a unique spin on barbecue by adding a little bit of heat to the smoked meat genre. The cooks demonstrate this in their dry-rubbed and smoked wings. Moist and highly addicting, these wings are one of the best new offerings in town. Wings are only available in Logan Square, not at the new Chicago’s French Market location.

Joker’s Cajun Smokehouse
Joker’s Cajun Smokehouse

4. The Fifty/50

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2047 W Division St
Chicago, IL 60622
(773) 489-5050
Visit Website

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

5. Soulé

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1931 W Chicago Ave
Chicago, IL 60622
(312) 526-3825
Visit Website

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.

6. Bayan Ko

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1810 W Montrose Ave
Chicago, IL 60613
(773) 698-6373
Visit Website

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. They’re also doing a special calamansi variant for the Super Bowl.

7. Output

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1758 W Grand Ave
Chicago, IL 60622
(312) 929-2515
Visit Website

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.

8. Dr. Bird's

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1215 N Milwaukee Ave
Chicago, IL 60642
(716) 807-7062
Visit Website

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.

9. Beck's Chicago

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2201 N Clybourn Ave
Chicago, IL 60614
(773) 661-1573
Visit Website

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.

10. HaiSous Vietnamese Kitchen

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1800 S Carpenter St
Chicago, IL 60608
(312) 702-1303
Visit Website

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.

11. Phlavz Bar & Grille

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717 W Maxwell St
Chicago, IL 60607
(773) 717-7979
Visit Website

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

12. Crisp

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2940 N Broadway St
Chicago, IL 60657
(773) 697-7610
Visit Website

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 !

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13. Del Seoul

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2568 N Clark St
Chicago, IL 60614
(773) 248-4227
Visit Website

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

14. Bonchon

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2163 S Chinatown Place
Chicago, IL 60616
(312) 877-5822
Visit Website

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

15. Jake Melnick's Corner Tap

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41 E Superior St
Chicago, IL 60611
(312) 266-0400
Visit Website

Levy Restaurants broke the code for chicken wings years ago when they opened Jake Melnick's with a very traditional take on the Buffalo wing. It still remains extremely popular — especially for its wings — which come in nine flavors including “PB&J” and the “XXX” which are advertised as the “world’s hottest.”

Bring on the wings & bloodies and watch the Big Game today at Jake’s

Posted by Jake Melnick's Corner Tap on Sunday, January 26, 2020

16. Bronzeville Wingz

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4300 S Michigan Ave
Chicago, IL 60653
(773) 424-8223
Visit Website

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

17. Timothy O'Toole's Pub Chicago

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622 N Fairbanks Ct
Chicago, IL 60611
(312) 642-0700
Visit Website

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).

18. Cleo's Southern Cuisine

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4248 S Cottage Grove Ave
Chicago, IL 60653
(773) 633-2757
Visit Website

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 options 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. Cleo’s also has a location inside Time Out Chicago food hall.

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

19. Virtue Restaurant

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1462 E 53rd St
Chicago, IL 60615
(773) 947-8831
Visit Website

Chef Erick Williams has a special offering for Black History Month through the month of February that also coincides with the Super Bowl. Williams always has aimed to offer an elevated level of hospitality at Virtue, where his philosophy is nourishing the mind and body. Translation: Williams is going to feed customers and educate them. For February, Virtue is offering a special Shoebox Lunch, a fried and breaded chicken wing meal that comes in a special box featuring artwork the spotlights famous Black Americans. Customers will find blurbs and illustrations about mathematician Katherine Johnson (Hidden Figures), and Negro League baseball star Satchel Page. These “Shoebox Lunches” were meals made and packed by family members, church goers, and others to accommodate traveling Black southerners who could not risk their lives by stopping at racist restaurants they did not serve them. The boxed lunches were meant to be enjoyed while on the bus. Additionally, Buffalo-style wings are available for the Super Bowl.

A brown cardboard box filled with breaded chicken wings, biscuit, and sauce.
Virtue’s Shoebox Lunch
Ashok Selvam/Eater Chicago

20. Surf's Up South Shore

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2236 E 71st St
Chicago, IL 60649
(773) 891-5544
Visit Website

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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1. Uncle Remus Saucy Fried Chicken

4650 W North Ave, Chicago, IL 60639
A plate of sauce-covered chicken wings
Uncle Remus’ sauce is tangy and spicy.
Uncle Remus [Official Photo]

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.

4650 W North Ave
Chicago, IL 60639

2. Great Sea Restaurant

3253 W Lawrence Ave, Chicago, IL 60625

While seemingly everyone is going crazy for Southeast Asian-style wings, Great Sea has been serving tangy and sweet drumettes for decades. Despite the restaurant’s sale, new ownership has carried over the deliciousness and copied the techniques from Great Sea’s founders. Grabbing a bottle of sauce for the road is popular here. The restaurant relocated to a building across the street from the original space in April.

3253 W Lawrence Ave
Chicago, IL 60625

3. Joker's Cajun Smokehouse

2416 W Schubert Ave, Chicago, IL 60647
Joker’s Cajun Smokehouse
Joker’s Cajun Smokehouse

The smoker that once belonged to Bo Fowler’s Fat Willy’s Rib Shack in Logan Square has been put to good use. Joker’s Cajun Smokehouse offers a unique spin on barbecue by adding a little bit of heat to the smoked meat genre. The cooks demonstrate this in their dry-rubbed and smoked wings. Moist and highly addicting, these wings are one of the best new offerings in town. Wings are only available in Logan Square, not at the new Chicago’s French Market location.

2416 W Schubert Ave
Chicago, IL 60647

4. The Fifty/50

2047 W Division St, Chicago, IL 60622
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

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.

2047 W Division St
Chicago, IL 60622

5. Soulé

1931 W Chicago Ave, Chicago, IL 60622

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.

1931 W Chicago Ave
Chicago, IL 60622

6. Bayan Ko

1810 W Montrose Ave, Chicago, IL 60613

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. They’re also doing a special calamansi variant for the Super Bowl.

1810 W Montrose Ave
Chicago, IL 60613

7. Output

1758 W Grand Ave, Chicago, IL 60622

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.

1758 W Grand Ave
Chicago, IL 60622

8. Dr. Bird's

1215 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60642

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.

1215 N Milwaukee Ave
Chicago, IL 60642

9. Beck's Chicago

2201 N Clybourn Ave, Chicago, IL 60614

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.

2201 N Clybourn Ave
Chicago, IL 60614

10. HaiSous Vietnamese Kitchen

1800 S Carpenter St, Chicago, IL 60608

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.

1800 S Carpenter St
Chicago, IL 60608

11. Phlavz Bar & Grille

717 W Maxwell St, Chicago, IL 60607
Wings with fries in a checkered wrapped basket.
Phlavz’s chicken wings
Ashok Selvam/Eater Chicago

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.

717 W Maxwell St
Chicago, IL 60607

12. Crisp

2940 N Broadway St, Chicago, IL 60657

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.

2940 N Broadway St
Chicago, IL 60657

13. Del Seoul

2568 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60614

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.

2568 N Clark St
Chicago, IL 60614

14. Bonchon

2163 S Chinatown Place, Chicago, IL 60616

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.

2163 S Chinatown Place
Chicago, IL 60616

15. Jake Melnick's Corner Tap

41 E Superior St, Chicago, IL 60611

Levy Restaurants broke the code for chicken wings years ago when they opened Jake Melnick's with a very traditional take on the Buffalo wing. It still remains extremely popular — especially for its wings — which come in nine flavors including “PB&J” and the “XXX” which are advertised as the “world’s hottest.”

41 E Superior St
Chicago, IL 60611

Related Maps

16. Bronzeville Wingz

4300 S Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60653

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

4300 S Michigan Ave
Chicago, IL 60653

17. Timothy O'Toole's Pub Chicago

622 N Fairbanks Ct, Chicago, IL 60611

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).

622 N Fairbanks Ct
Chicago, IL 60611

18. Cleo's Southern Cuisine

4248 S Cottage Grove Ave, Chicago, IL 60653
The wings from Cleo’s Southern Cuisine.
Ashok Selvam/Eater Chicago

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 options 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. Cleo’s also has a location inside Time Out Chicago food hall.

4248 S Cottage Grove Ave
Chicago, IL 60653

19. Virtue Restaurant

1462 E 53rd St, Chicago, IL 60615
A brown cardboard box filled with breaded chicken wings, biscuit, and sauce.
Virtue’s Shoebox Lunch
Ashok Selvam/Eater Chicago

Chef Erick Williams has a special offering for Black History Month through the month of February that also coincides with the Super Bowl. Williams always has aimed to offer an elevated level of hospitality at Virtue, where his philosophy is nourishing the mind and body. Translation: Williams is going to feed customers and educate them. For February, Virtue is offering a special Shoebox Lunch, a fried and breaded chicken wing meal that comes in a special box featuring artwork the spotlights famous Black Americans. Customers will find blurbs and illustrations about mathematician Katherine Johnson (Hidden Figures), and Negro League baseball star Satchel Page. These “Shoebox Lunches” were meals made and packed by family members, church goers, and others to accommodate traveling Black southerners who could not risk their lives by stopping at racist restaurants they did not serve them. The boxed lunches were meant to be enjoyed while on the bus. Additionally, Buffalo-style wings are available for the Super Bowl.

1462 E 53rd St
Chicago, IL 60615

20. Surf's Up South Shore

2236 E 71st St, Chicago, IL 60649

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.

2236 E 71st St
Chicago, IL 60649

Related Maps