Some of us feel like we could eat wings every day, and some of us do just that. And with so many fantastic bars, grills, pubs, and restaurants in the Valley, it's difficult to know where to start when you're in the mood for some deep-fried, grilled, or golden beauties.
So, from Buffalo-style classics to smoked versions with a side of aioli, here are 10 of our favorite wings in metro Phoenix.
Casey’s Chipotle Chicken Wings at Casey Moore's Oyster House
The wings at Casey Moore's Oyster House are worth the crowds even if you aren’t a regular at this well-loved Tempe eatery and watering hole. You’ll get the full dozen at Casey’s, flavored in chipotle, barbecue, teriyaki, or Buffalo – of course, with your choice of ranch or blue cheese and side of celery and carrots. The wings themselves pack on a lot of meat, and the chipotle-flavored sauce is smoky with just a little bit of heat. The sauce is plentiful, but not overdone, thus avoiding that slimy texture once you hit wing number eight. All that for $8. What more do you want?
Chili Salt Chicken Wings at Asian Cafe Express
Located in a strip mall on the southeast corner of Main Street and Dobson Road in Mesa, Asian Café Express is a fan-favorite lunch spot and Hong Kong-style café in the southeast Valley. If you order the restaurant's Chili Salt Wings, you'll get a small plate of five extra-crispy drumettes, which come with a little spoon you can use to pile on green onions, garlic, spices, and chili oil. The toppings seep into the nooks and crevices of the crackly chicken skin, which gives way to juicy meat. The Asian-style wings may not be the most traditional route, but at $3 a serving, they're pretty much a steal.
Duck Wings at Shady Park
We never said this list had to be all CHICKEN wings. Shady Park, the new-ish Tempe bar and restaurant at the northeast corner of Mill Avenue and University Drive, does serve chicken wings, but also duck wings that are well worth a try. The distinct topography of these wings is crispy and crunchy. They’re tossed in a house-made sauce, and depending on your tolerance, can come in either regular or brutally spicy – though the regular alone is actually pretty rough, so be prepared to use the entirety of that little cup of ranch. You get four substantial duck wings for $7.
Golden Wings at Zipps Sports Grill
Zipps Sports Grill has 12 locations in metro Phoenix including in Ahwatukee, Scottsdale, Tempe, Gilbert, and Arcadia. The sports bar's order includes 10 wings covered in a honey-tinged sauce in either mild or hot. The hot comes with a good amount of extra kick, each bite offering a mouthful of spicy sauce, pepper flakes, and meat. Zipps wings will run you $7.95 for a dozen — and, pro tip: If you like your wings crispy, ask your server for an “extra three minutes.”
Hot Vings at The Vig
The Vig has three locations in the Phoenix area — Arcadia, Fillmore, and Uptown — and all three serve Thai Chili wings. The Thai Chili flavor is a sticky, delicious mess; the sweet yet mild sauce comes studded with chili flakes and coats a decent amount of juicy meat. For $11, the grilled appetizer comes with 10 wings in traditional, barbecue, and Thai Chili, all piled on top of each other on a narrow white plate, finished with a steel cup of ranch or bleu cheese, and half a dozen pieces of celery.
Monkey Wings at Monkey Pants
You’ve heard about the karaoke and comedy nights, and probably the 1 a.m. shirtless shots, but have you heard about the awesome wings at Monkey Pants in Tempe? The Monkey Wings are plump, with a well-balanced amount of sauce to wing surface – not dry, not dripping. Flavors include mild, medium, hot, barbecue, Cajun, Mae Ploy®, teriyaki, or the signature Spankin’ Monkey Sauce. If you're indecisive, you can even mix sauces for an additional $.59. All wings can be grilled or blackened upon request and come in a half dozen for $5.99 or a full dozen for $8.99.
Our Famous Wing Drumettes at George & Dragon
A staple of the Valley wing scene, “Our Famous Wing Drumettes” (informally referred to as “Dragon Wings”) can be found at that well-loved British pub located at Central and Glenrosa avenues in Phoenix. The George & Dragon appetizer has changed here and there over the years, but currently, the wings are plump, evenly sauced, and include a good mixture of drums and wings. These traditional pub wings come in mild, medium, hot, or honey Sriracha, and include your choice of double ranch or bleu cheese, plus thick cuts of carrots and celery. You’ll get eight meaty wings for $8.49.
Smoked Chicken Wings at Okra
One of Uptown Phoenix’s newer eateries, Okra is a 100-seat restaurant featuring mostly Southern and Italian-inspired dishes at The Crown, found at Seventh Street and Palo Verde Drive. The eatery's slender wings offer a robust smoky flavor and include white barbecue sauce, a thick blend of aioli and other tart ingredients that's ready to be spooned on the winglets for even more flavor. These wings have been prepared with care – smoked, rubbed, grilled, and sauced – and will run you $10 for eight wings.
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Smoked Jalapeño Wings at Long Wong's Mesa
There are plenty of unique wing flavors on the Long Wong’s Mesa menu including habanero, Arizona chile pepper, horseradish red hot, and super suicide, but we're fans of the smoked jalapeño. These hot little numbers offer a subtle hint of jalapeño at first but get spicier as you go. These are petite wings, meaning you get more sauce per square inch, so it’s a good thing there’s a napkin dispenser at every table. If you visit on Wild Wings Tuesdays, an order will run you $.49 a wing. Any other day, you can order The Famous 12 for $6.99, the Mini Bucket (25) for $13.49, the Family Bucket (50) for $24.99, or the Office Party Bucket (100) for $48.50.
Tandoori Wings at Cornish Pasty Co.
Cornish Pasty Co. offers locations in Mesa, Scottsdale, Tempe, and soon, Phoenix and is known for, unsurprisingly, its pasties. But that doesn't mean other menu items don't impress. Take the wings, for example, in saucy parliament or sweet tandoori. These wings arrive piping hot and are oven baked with a chicken tandoori marinade. It's more of a rub than a sauce, but the blackened edges of each wing are crispy, and the meat is fall-off-the-bone tender. The tandoori flavor features a mild kick, but these wings are sweeter than they look. The six wings come with cucumber and tomato slices, and a cup of Stilton bleu cheese dip for $6.50.