No food scores with sports fans quite like wings. Whether hot, spicy, sweet, all wings, all drumsticks, or a little of each, we've listed ten of our favorite spots for wings in the Valley (plus a few honorable mentions) that are sure to leave you cheering.
Teakwoods Tavern & Grill At this casual bar and restaurant with locations in Gilbert and Chandler, big, juicy wings are golden-fried in varieties of traditional (our favorite, $9.99/dozen), "Boneless Buff Bites" ($8.99/pound), and all white-meat tenders ($8.99/pound). After you pick your type, pick your flavor from choices like suicide, honey BBQ, teriyaki, and specialty sauces like the mighty El Heffe, Teakwoods' mild wing sauce with garlic, cilantro, and a bit of suicide sauce for a kick.
Zipp's With several locations Valleywide, this locally owned and operated sports bar chain may have its flaws, but it gets its grilled Golden Wings ($7.95) right every time. Served up as mild, medium, hot, or extra hot (listen to your server: don't do the last two), go with the golden sweet mediums -- they feature a satisfying, crispy finish and are hot enough to warrant a swig or two of cold beer between bites.
Uncle Sam's It ain't just the cheesesteak that makes this family restaurant of East Coast-style eats so good -- its fried wings are consistently tasty, too. With locations in Phoenix and Peoria, Uncle Sam's serves up styles like original Buffalo, BBQ (which they call "wussy"), suicide, and honey hot. And at their wallet-friendly prices of six for $4.25, a baker's dozen for $7.95, and a "small" (25) for $14.50, you can afford an extra ice-cold beer to wash 'em down with.
CK's Tavern & Grill When ordering up the half-dozen, first-rate fried wings ($4.99) at this eclectic Ahwatukee establishment, make sure to request the kitchen finish them on the grill for that extra-crispy texture. Along with the familiar sauce varieties (hot, teriyaki, BBQ, and honey) don't miss the unique chipotle raspberry for some satisfying sweet heat.
Four Peaks Brewing Company & Four Peaks Grill & Tap For hop heads, the fact that the grilled Brickhouse wings ($9.50) at this Tempe institution and its new sister restaurant in north Scottsdale are nearly as good as its award-winning classic suds is a bonus of the brew-lovin' kind. Order up these crispy, succulent wings with your choice of Buffalo, Oatmeal Stout BBQ, or spicy Thai peanut sauce.
AZ88 For wings that stay up past dinnertime, it's hard to beat this late-night, trendy watering hole and cafe at the Scottsdale Civic Center. Grab your fellow night owls and enjoy meaty, juicy wings in three styles: Hot and spicy Buffalo, tangy teriyaki Buck 'n Wings, and Dragon Wings made with soy and ginger. The cost is $29 a platter and $10.25 a plate.
Lo-Lo's Chicken & Waffles This Phoenix institution of stellar soul food (with a second location in Scottsdale and a brand new flagship store downtown) does its chicken wings nearly as well as its noteworthy food monikers -- but with more of kick. Called Chyna's Honey Hots ($12), six meaty wings get soaked in a sauce of honey and stinging heat and nearly beg to be washed down with a mason jar full of Lo-Lo's strong and sweet Kool-Aid.
District American Kitchen & Wine Bar Wing fans can live it up at this cosmopolitan-minded bar and restaurant bar inside the downtown Sheraton with its tastefully clever Singh Farm Honey Wings ($8 at lunch, $4 during happy hour). Naked and prepared so they each have their own "handle," the drumettes can be swirled as-you-please in pickled jalapeños, lime salt, and Singh Farms honey. Delicious.
La Grande Orange Grocery and Pizzeria If there are two things to remember about this popular spot in Arcadia, they are pizza and wings -- and when it comes to the latter, LGO's are tough to beat. Baked and grilled (never fried), big and meaty, and tossed in a peppery sauce that boasts tang and spice in equal measure, pick up six for $7 and a dozen for $13.
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J.T.'s Bar & Grill The wings ($7.50) at this neighborhood hideaway on the edge of Arcadia have a reputation as fiery as owner J.T. himself. Fried, tossed, and then grilled, they're served up perfectly crispy, and with just the right amount of salt. Available in flavors like suicide, spicy honey BBQ, or, our favorite, the works.