What’s the Buffalo Wing Trail?
The Buffalo Wing Trail is a tribute to one of North America’s favorite foods, the Buffalo wing, first created here in 1964. It shines a light on a dozen spots around the Buffalo Metropolitan Area with amazing wings, a great atmosphere and intriguing backstories that visitors might not have known about previously.
For foodies and travelers looking for the real thing – a genuine regional culinary culture– the Buffalo Wing Trail is a slice of Americana that should be in the same category as Kansas City barbecue or Louisiana Gumbo.
How did you determine which restaurants are on the trail?
Visit Buffalo Niagara sought public input by polling its 86,000 Facebook Fans for the best wing spots in the city of Buffalo and its surrounding suburbs. VBN staff also reviewed local media outlets for previously published surveys and articles, checked online reviews and consulted with National Buffalo Wing Festival founder Drew Cerza before determining the final list of partnering restaurants. Each site on the Wing Trail was visited at least twice by VBN staff to ensure the highest standards of wing quality and customer service were in place.
We ruled out spots whose primary focus was takeout. Buffalo’s grab-and-go pizzerias serve amazing wings, but the history and atmosphere of the pubs and taverns along the trail are an important part of the experience. Want to know more about the great combo of pizza and wings in Buffalo? Click here.
What makes this trail unique?
The trail features stories and dining experiences that simply cannot be found elsewhere and until now, only some locals had known about.
Wings aren’t just wings in Buffalo – there’s a rich, nuanced scene here of distinctive neighborhood pubs, each of which perfected their own variation on wings in the years and decades after the Anchor Bar created them in 1964. Many of these spots have been around for 50, 60, or in one case, over 100 years and are brimming with character. These wing trail stops provide a great sit-down visitor experience and are part of the fabric of Buffalo.
But what about all the places serving wings that aren’t on the trail? Why isn’t my favorite place on there?
It would be impossible to include every spot in Buffalo serving wings – they’re practically available on every corner here! We believe the trail stops offer some of the most unique and delicious wings in the city that created them along with a rich tavern/pub atmosphere and the service and hospitality that the City of Good Neighbors is known for.
But we encourage visitors to ask locals for their opinion of favorite spots for wings while they’re here, as everyone has one. The wing trail is only meant as a starting point for discovering Buffalo’s rich and varied wing scene. Detours are encouraged.
How can a visitor participate in the wing trail?
VBN has printed a brochure available at its downtown visitor center and at brochure racks at area attractions and has launched a new website for visitors to follow along, along with a new video. Visitors will also have a chance to win Wing Trail merchandise by submitting photos along the trail to #WingBUF on Instagram; VBN will pick winners through the spring and summer of prizes like a Wing Trail T-shirt or chicken wing bottle opener/refrigerator magnet.
Visit Buffalo Niagara will also promote the trail experience by providing each restaurant with Wing Trail coasters, t-shirts for staff to wear, banners, window clings, check presenters and glass mugs.
What made you think of the trail?
Visit Buffalo Niagara attended the U.S. Travel Association’s annual conference last summer and sat in on a presentation about culinary trails. Food and beverage trails – ale trails, bourbon trails, deonut trails – have been successful in attracting visitors around the country. The wing trail is Buffalo’s opportunity to participate more fully in the explosion of Buffalo tourism.