I have a confession to make: Buffalonians are hiding something from the rest of you. A secret so sacred that it’s rarely discussed and when it is, only among ourselves. That secret? We all have our own favorite wing spot. The place we go when we have a hankering. Oh sure, when cousins Bert and Gertrude come to town we’ll point them to one of the popular wing spots you read about on any list of the “Best Wings in Buffalo.” But that’s not where we go. No. We have our own spot. A place with our favorite wings. The good stuff. The Truth.
This is only scratching the surface, but there’s a whole other world of wings in Buffalo and I’m going to break omerta to tell you about it. Here now are the wing spots where the locals are hanging out:
1. Dalmatia Hotel, 1187 Tonawanda St., Tonawanda
Try finding a menu for this place online, I dare you. It’s such a well kept secret that a lot of locals couldn’t even tell you where it is (North of the city in the Town of Tonawanda). The ones that can will also tell you how delicious their wings are.
Bonus: Cheap Beers
And not just your standard Canadian and domestics. Local microbrews that would cost you $6 bucks or more elsewhere are just three dollars here.
2. Central Park Grill, 2519 Main St., Buffalo
CPG is the one place that always gets a mentioned whenever I poll the locals on their favorite wing spot. It’s as certain as death and taxes. Order their carolina tangy gold sauce.
Bonus: Location, Location, Location
I can’t decide between the live music or the elevated outdoor patio. There’s really no wrong answer.
3. Kelly’s Korner, 2526 Delaware Ave., Buffalo
Kelly’s is maybe the most widely known local spot. You might even find it on one of those lists I mentioned. Camouflage the fact that you’re an out-of-towner by not asking for a menu. They don’t have any. All of their menu items are hand written on bar signs along the walls. If you’re feeling adventurous try having the garlic wings or a conversation with one of the regulars seated at the bar.
Kelly’s is just as well known for their beef-on-weck as they are for their wings. Order the combo.
4. Fat Bob’s, 41 Virginia Pl., Buffalo
Buffalo’s BBQ joint serves up the biggest wings I’ve ever seen, straight off the pit, and evenly coated with a layer of thick sauce. Take your pick between the standard hot, medium and mild or one four different BBQ sauces.
Bonus: Shark Week
Between the smokehouse decor, Shark Week on the TV with the sound up, and the fully bearded, fully -entertaining, menu savvy bartender, Fat Bob’s is the best all-around wing experience for your money.
5. Nine – Eleven Tavern, 11 Bloomfield Ave., Buffalo
The secret is out, South Buffalo. No place received more votes in my unofficial social media poll than Nine-Eleven. Oh GAWD, People are so passionate about Nine-Eleven they sent me pictures of wings from this place. And they didn’t disappoint.
Bonus: French Fries
I’m fairly certain they coat the hand cut fries with butter. If it’s not butter it’s something else and if it were socially acceptable to do so in public I would have licked the plate clean of whatever it was.
On the Buffalo Wing Trail, But Still Flying Under the Radar
6. Doc Sullivan’s, 474 Abbott Rd., Buffalo
They have two versions of hot, medium and mild sauce: regular and Smitty. I have no idea who Smitty is but YOU SIR, have some delicious sauce. Order your wings extra crispy and extra saucy.
All bars should have shuffleboard. Shuffleboard is a gentleman’s game. And a game for people whose hands are covered in wings sauce.
7. Elmo’s, 2349 Millersport Hwy., Getzville
Usually when you order wings to go they’re not as fresh and not as good by the time you get them home. Not these wings. These wings still had that fresh out of the fryer flavor and were practically swimming in sauce.
Bonus: The Double Dip
Can’t decide on a flavor? You don’t have to. Elmo’s will dip your wings in your choice of two sauces. Go with medium/cajun then call me later and thank me.
8. Lenox Grill, 140 North St., Buffalo
This unassuming saloon is tucked inside Allentown’s historic Lenox Hotel and its wings are the stuff of legend. There is a daily special sauce of the chef’s creation and the best sauce is one that isn’t on the menu: korean bbq. The wings are cooked to near perfection and have a buttery flavor that you won’t find too many other places.
Bonus: Tower of Meat
The sandwiches come piled so high you need a knife and fork to eat them. Try the Pittsburgh style steak.
9. Mammoser’s Tavern, 16 S. Buffalo St., Hamburg
You’ve heard me say it before: a good bar does one thing well and Mammoser’s does wings very well. When your plate arrives you might be wondering if you ordered the right thing. Don’t fret – Mammoser’s patented look is that they’re drier than most. All that spicy heat is locked up inside their patented butter-free house sauce.
Bonus: House Beer
Mammoser’s makes its own in-home beer. And this isn’t the typical lager or brown ale you’re thinking of. This is a hoppy session-style IPA that took some experience to craft.
The list of local favorites could go on forever, but rather than spill all our secrets to you try this: ask a local where their favorite place is. When they give you the same boiler plate answer they give all out-of-towners ask again and maybe, just maybe, they’ll share their secret with you.