If you thought the playoffs were only about touchdowns and field goals, then you thought wrong, son. Football not only warrants the excuse to drink beers on a Sunday afternoon — it warrants the excuse to drink beers and eat all the wings your heart desires. Here’s where to get ’em.
If you ask a crowd where to find the best wings, at least 3/4 will holler out the name of this dive on old U.S. 1. There’s a great variety of sauce, but go to for the hot version — if you don’t tap out, you’ll need a towel for the sweat pouring from all the parts of your face. Bonus: The ranch is homemade.
2. Broad Street Bar and Grill
You don’t expect celery and carrots to come out of this kitchen, but they do, alongside wings that aren’t quite as big as Legends but come with great sauces like sweet Thai chili. We’re impressed.
3. Hickory Tavern
Too self-conscious to eat wings in public? The amount of screens in here will take all the eyes off your homemade bib. Order them as an entree, charred and with the honey bee sting sauce.
4. Pinehurst Brewery
Sure, an order is $12; but they’re smoked, not fried, and the sauce is cooked in, not just slathered on top. Worth it.
5. The Bell Tree Tavern
If you’re sleeping on The Bell Tree’s wings, then wake up. These come as an appetizer, but they’re pretty crispy and don’t lack sauce. We tried the classic buffalo, but you can also get them in flavors like smokey chipotle and sesame teriyaki.
If you like Hooters (for the wings), you’ll appreciate these very breaded and fried options, with a variety of sauces. Plus, 50-cent wings happen on Sundays.
Alright, we’ve given you a guide, now get to wingin’, baby.
Update: Here’s three of the best responses from readers:
“I am a big guy (6’3”, 270 – on a good day) and didn’t get that way solely from my big bones and genetics. I consider myself a “wing aficionado” and have eaten wings from all of the places you mentioned. (Love the emails by the way). I feel like my 35+ years on solid foods and my tendency to order wings from any menu offering them provides some substantial credibility to what I’m about to say: Time Out Sports Grill in Carthage has the best wings I have ever eaten. I don’t make that claim lightly. The man-sized wings are smoked before they are flash fried so the meat just falls off the bone. All of their wing sauces and dry rubs are house-made. Their ranch is also from scratch and I may or may not have purchased it by the half-gallon for different family gatherings over the years. I have nothing to gain from this recommendation but I feel like anyone that appreciates a great wing really needs to be put on what Time Out has to offer.” — Tyler Callahan
“Oh gosh, Maxies in Pinehurst has way better wings than some of these places – hot, juicy, wings with just the right amount of sauce! (they’re not swimming in it and getting soggy). Y’all should check them out.” — Corey Mansfield
“Sorry, but you totally missed CharBar. They have the best wings! Get extra charred and you won’t be disappointed…they are awesome!” — Megan Grieshaber