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. When the air turns cool and team jerseys make their way to the front of closets, some turn toward the TV and ready their smartphones to draft fantasy football teams. We, the intellectuals, are fully ready to engage in a different kind of sport.
Yes, it’s time to make your picks for the FWL — that’s Fantasy Wing League. Here we gooooo. Here’s where to get ’em.
1. The Fan Favorite: Time Out Sports Grill
We received several passionate replies about Time Out’s wings from a reader last year. Here’s one that really stood out:
“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
2. The One That Has it In the Name: Legends
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. When the sign says “Best Darn Wings,” you have to live up to the name. 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.
3. The One That Brings Variety to the Game: 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.
4. The One That’s Dressed Out First: 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.
5. The One Drafted From Private School: Pinehurst Brewing Co.
Sure, an order is $12; but they’re smoked, not fried, and the sauce is cooked in, not just slathered on top. Worth it.
6. The Unassuming Starter: 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.
7. The Predictable Player (aka ‘Ol Reliable): Rudino’s
If you like Hooters (for the wings), you’ll appreciate these very breaded and fried options from Rudino’s, with a variety of sauces. Plus, 50-cent wings happen on Sundays.
8. The One You Think is Hot: Maxie’s
There’s no shame in watching the game for the special, uh, appeal, of a certain player. But with options like chipotle BBQ and flavors ranging from mild to “scorcher,” wings from Maxie’s Grill and Tap Room wings don’t just look the part.
Alright, we’ve given you a guide, now get to wingin’, baby.