There are many things that people say helps to cool the burn of the hottest hot sauces – milk, ice cream, lemon juice. But, for us, a cool breeze might do the trick. Thankfully, when you venture out to the fourteen stops along the Buffalo Wing Trail, eight locations come equipped with airy, relaxing patios. Whether you’re looking for an idyllic backyard oasis, live music and entertainment, or a place to bring your furry companion, each patio at these legendary wing spots offers something unique. Consider this your summer wing checklist. See you on the Trail!
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Photo by Bar-Bill Tavern (Facebook)
The Patio: There’s usually a pretty long wait at this East Aurora tavern (yes, the wings are THAT good). But if you get lucky, you might just score seats on the Bar-Bill’s front patio. Take in the Main Street foot traffic and wave hello to the neighbors enjoying a beer at Aurora Brew Works. What’s more, this is an all-season patio, meaning that in the winter you can “chill”, enjoying wings on the fully enclosed seating area.
The Wings: Immaculate, hand-painted sauce, always five flats and five drums in a perfect pinwheel.
Blackthorn Restaurant & Pub
Photo by Blackthorn Restaurant & Pub (Facebook)
The Patio: This isn’t a patio, it’s an entertainment complex! Plenty of seating, backyard games, live music, and an outside bar await at this South Buffalo institution. A popular hangout of locals and South Buffalo firefighters, the Blackthorn is one of those places that you’ll find yourself wanting to linger at until the sun goes down. And you’re welcome to!
The Wings: “South Buffalo-style”, warm spice blend, very crispy.
Photo by Cole’s (Facebook)
The Patio: Of all the patios of the Buffalo Wing Trail, this one probably has the best people watching. I mean, c’mon, it’s the Elmwood Village. When Cole’s rolls up the garage doors on their dining room, it’s your duty to try to nab the best seat in the house. What’s more, Cole’s just added a back patio that’s right beside the giant mural of a hurdling Josh Allen, as portrayed by artist Philip Burke.
The Wings: Classic, consistent heats, pair it with a beef on weck sandwich.
The Patio: A slice of paradise in Buffalo’s Allentown neighborhood, this shady back patio of Gabe’s is ideal for escaping the harsh rays of the summer sun. Order a double of wings (and maybe a beef if weck sandwich) to maximize your time under the umbrella and next to the babbling fountain in Allentown’s favorite backyard.
The Wings: Large and meaty, tongue tingling heat, very saucy.
Photo by Gene McCarthy’s (Facebook)
The Patio: If the patio of Gene McCarthy’s was any closer to the Buffalo River, you’d practically be able to paddle up to it. A popular hangout, post-kayak session, Gene’s patio is set amongst the towering grain silos and elevators of the Old First Ward. On occasion, you’ll see a freight train roll by on the rail line that runs alongside this tavern and brewery. Oh, and this patio is very dog-friendly, too!
The Wings: “McCarthy’s-style”, hot and spicy BBQ, blue cheese mixed right into the sauce, #NeverRanch.
The Patio: Classic old-school tavern inside, hip, tree-flanked patio outside. Put in an order and grab a table along the banks of Eighteen Mile Creek which runs behind the restaurant. Or, if you’re stopping in for a quick lunch, enjoy your order at the few tables out front, steps away from the center of the Village of Hamburg.
The Wings: Original sauce with a slow burn and high heat, not saucy, but very juicy.
The Nine Eleven Tavern
Photo by The Nine Eleven Tavern (Facebook)
The Patio: Imagine your South Buffalo friend has a quiet, peaceful, relaxing backyard. Now imagine your friend also makes some of the best wings in Buffalo. That’s the Nine-Eleven Tavern. This no frills outside hangout, set amongst the houses of Bloomfield Avenue, is an awesome spot to kick back after a long day. Enjoy a cold beverage while you patiently wait for those perfectly prepared wings.
The Wings: “The Purist Wing”, secret family sauce recipe, large, saucy and flavorful.
Photo by O’Neill’s Stadium Inn (Facebook)
The Patio: You’re in Bills country now. In the off-season, you might see O’Neill’s patrons enjoying the summer sunshine on the patio, eating wings and gazing lovingly at Highmark Stadium across the street. But during football season, the patio is overflowing with members of Bills Mafia either filling their bellies for the game ahead or celebrating a ‘W’ with a round of wings and beer.
The Wings: More than 60 wing flavors, but the standout is the Chiavetta’s wing – tastes like a summer BBQ.