Join Bon Appétit web editor Alex Delany as he searches for the best Buffalo wings that their namesake city has to offer.
Check out all the wing spots Alex hit:
1. The Lenox Grill
2. Gabriel’s Gate
3. Anchor Bar
7. Glen Park Tavern
8. Gene McCarthy’s
9. Doc Sullivan’s
10. The Blackthorn
12. Bar-Bill Tavern
For More Information on Buffalo Wings in Buffalo Check out www.buffalowingtrail.com
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12 Types of Buffalo Wings in 12 Hours. Which is the Best? | Bon Appétit
Bill's mafia ever-present always watching it doesn't matter where you are it doesn't matter what party you're at or what sporting event you're watching you're probably looking for one of the greatest finger foods of all time it's messy it's spicy it leaves your tongue tingling and it gets sauce all over your face and hands talking about the buffalo wing and today we're in Buffalo New York looking for the best wing in town here's what I'm looking for in a great buffalo wing size it should be a medium-sized wing not tiny not huge the chicken itself should be well-cooked I want juicy tender meat nothing stringing the skin needs to be crispy I don't want skin that's gummy and falls off and then the sauce the most important thing equal parts spicy creamy and tangy and I don't want wings that are dunked in sauce I want it tossed nicely a delicate coating on that crispy skin you know how this goes I've got 12 hours to hit as many wing spots as possible I'm gonna invite some guests along the way and maybe pick up a couple side challenges to keep things interesting let's go it's 11 a.m. and we're at our first stop on our buffalo wing adventure and we've got some medium sauced wings just want to note there's gonna be a lot of these for me today it'll be dropping stacks of napkins let's see first wing of the day and I'm starting with a flat cuz that's what I prefer first thing I notice about this sauce obviously it's the first thing you taste it's really balanced it's really nice there's acidity there's heat not too much heat and you get that buttery creaminess coming through too but that crispness of the skin isn't quite there for me the Lenox grill it's attached to the hotel Lenox I don't think that's coincidence these are big wings and you know you're obably gonna need a nap you're gonna be in a little bit of a food coma after eating these get yourself a room because this is the hotel wing why did I agree to get in this face with this awesome camera we are at Gabriel's gate and walking through that restaurant the vibe in there is super weird and cool it's kind of like if Grizzly Adams opened a sports bar and they serve buffalo wings surprise first thoughts these are looking a little smaller than the ones at Lennox grill a little bit less sauce skin looks a little crispier but we'll get to that when we taste them wish chicken just seems like perfectly cooked like it's not stringy you get nice big pieces falling off the bone this sauce holy Gabriel's gate these are the angel wings because once you cross through that gate you're in heaven okay weird Anchor Bar this is the birthplace of the buffalo wing or so I've been told it seems like this is the place where the tourists congregate and the locals kind of steer away from I'm a tourist I'm here I will say that the skin on this is pretty crispy but the first thing you notice is that this sauce doesn't really have much flavor I can tell them most of it is butter wings aren't that hot there's not much acid going on the wing itself on the drier side the skin is the best part about this wing it's crispy but the sauce it just leaves a lot to be desired the Anchor Bar this is the original wing just cuz it's the original doesn't mean it's the best but without this guy we wouldn't be making this episode we're showing respect where to do oh hey we're on the Elmwood strip at Cole's afternoon sir pretty good pretty good hubba yeah okay could I grab a local beer beer IPA maybe IPA yeah I have a couple questions for you sir Buffalo native honey besides Coles what's a must hit for buffalo wings what's your would you grow up with what's your personal favor I must wing ya must a must wink besides here yeah Duff's out in the suburbs Gabriel's game any other Street is very very excellent okay cool they're one of the better ones downtown what was the first wing you ever had do you remember where you went for the first time you ever had before yeah I'm feeling good I've eaten a solid amount of chicken wing so far but we got to push through more a lot more coals wings overall appearance looking pretty crispy sauce not too heavy we got that nice orange color going on skin on the chewier side not necessarily crisp your side sauce flavor-wise mostly pepper you're getting more of that Cayenne size-wise we're looking pretty medium here liking the size still want a little more crispy toes goals this is the add-on wing maybe here for a burger but you're not gonna skip out on an order of wings for the table we're at Elmo's and earlier I said I was gonna invite some friends along for the ride here and this friend royalty I won't introduce you to the wing King what's the deal how'd you get the name so back in 2002 I started the national buffalo wing festival because we didn't have one if you ever saw the Throwdown with Bobby Flay well he came out and challenge me to a throwdown and I was fortunate enough to beat him so he's going to be the wing king so hey Bobby places you're the wing King I'm rolling you don't argue about no way no way what makes for a good buffalo wing it starts out with the right oil it's got to be a good oil that you're gonna cook the chicken wings in I like the largely not a jumbo wing I want too much chicken it's got to have that cayenne pepper sauce like that Frank's redhot flavor for a traditional buffalo wing that's what it's got to be can you teach me how to properly eat a flat or a drum you've got different ways you can break them and make two bones out of it or one that was extremely professional no I'm not at all today so now that we've eaten a couple of these what's your first impression at the endless wing what do you like about it you know now I feel the bird here the bite here but the flavors on the time it's a good balance wait okay I like it I'm thinking it too this sauce is fantastic isn't it excellent really good so this is a saucy wing after the sports game vibe in here right what's the nickname for this wing double play a double play a double play it's got the flavor and just got the bite at the end double play with the wing king himself do one bite in a row one bite inner ohms what roll we're in Amherst right outside of Buffalo and where it Duff's sitting at a picnic table by the scenic highway can't tell from sitting outside pop it off in there there are a lot of people eating a lot of wings color wise we're looking a little darker that orange is more saturated which means probably some more hot sauce size wise we're looking medium to small skin is looking pretty well soft let's eat these are very saucy but I'm not mad because the sauce is very flavorful not super crispy it's not soggy it's like kind of somewhere in between it's got a lot of acid from the hot sauce some vinegar and it's got the heat to starting to hit a little bit everyone's looking out for me the tough swing I think this is the Willis carrier wing Oh who's Willis carrier well one of my heroes he invented one of my favorite things in the world air-conditioning and he's from Buffalo Thank You Willis okay we're inside we're out of the heat no we're at Callan Park Tavern okay initial thoughts on the paler side wings are looking on the smaller side saw see that look at that dress and if I've been here pretty old school you got vinyl tablecloths and then you got some you know old-timers at the bar sharing stories about the good old days but we're here for the wings not the old-timers chicken is super tender and kind of like cut off in pieces just a little strings skin there's some crispy parts but a little bit soggy the sauce itself though definitely heavier on the butter I want a little bit more Tang a little bit more heat from it this in honor of the bills mafia is the table breaker you need a bunch of these get that weight up when you jump off of the car we're gonna be sure you break through that deep Bills mafia they're scary fun but scary we're here with another order of wings this time at gene McCarthy's and before we dive into these I want to introduce two more guests we have Donnie and Tom from Buffalo eats joining me for this review G McCarthy's wings first impressions look a little bit paler than we've had look a bit smaller to take one first question though drum or flat if it's a good wing it's a good one guard less of it fair I disagree it's not drum all day drum all day bed all day it's an easy like just bite right off the bone you gotta rip the flat and a half it's too much work so the no discrimination on this side and the lazy man it's a little light on the sauce yeah not much spice happening not much acid no tang really a lot of butter but the skin is nice and crispy and the the meat is actually fairly juicy a little bit more chicken flavor than I'd like I'm gonna be perfect he's too much like chicken what's the nickname for the G McCarthy's wing we're in the the old First Ward neighborhood which is a super blue-collar like working class type of neighborhood I would I would maybe call this the working-class wing G McCarthy's this is the working-class wing it works hard for what it does and you don't want it in a suit where it docked Sullivans for guess what another plate of wings before we get into these these are Smitty style wings it means there is a spice blend that goes into the butter you can tell already probably pretty heavy on the butter just from the way it looks colors also a little deeper skin is super crispy and there's plenty of sauce on here oh that's right and I will say all the spices in the butter just kind of like bring more of a depth of flavor to it it's a little bit warm it's a little bit vegetal there's some nice acid going on the sauce the one thing it's missing is heat there's not much heat on this it's like a very dull kind of heat so the vibin doc Sullivan's it's dad-ish in there Aaron's in there having their beer watching the game as much as I am enjoying the Smitty wings doc Sullivan's isn't known for the sweaty wings what they're known for thank you are these these are their beef on weck wings oh this is tossed in a core strategy Olli and has caraway seeds on top so it's kind of imitating that this kind of roll is like only made in Buffalo really plus they give you that nice little oz you dipping sauce and it should be noted that this took first place in the 2017 wing fest so you're looking at a champion here not a buffalo wing but it's a good wing in Buffalo so doc Sullivan's this is the dad wing it's gonna sit you down in a faded blue bill shirt from 1993 and tell you about the fourth consecutive time the bills lost the Superbowl could have been the year but this is the dead wing we're at the blackthorn in South Buffalo and another special guest joining me this is a longtime friend and she's a Buffalo native Alex scorching ski okay before we start drum or flat drum for sure and I'm a fat guy so let's do it alright I know you're not like a blue cheese guy but oh I haven't been dipping blue cheese just to make sure every wing is judged as a wing it's not a wing Penna sauce well not a wing in two sauces it's good it's pretty mild medium very Drive which I like I'm not a good a saucy wing girl one other thing to note is this backyard it's huge there are ping-pong tables fire pits cornhole Kinect for putt-putt golf seems like a fun establishment and if you go inside you can definitely tell the owners are proud to be Irish I'm diggin the vibes here all these vibes all these flavors were given this a nickname what do you think the nickname should be hold me closer Irish dancer wow that's really good alright Alice korchinsky you heard it you heard it here hold me closer Irish dancer I'm holding these clothes tonight what do you know more chicken wings we are in Hamburg and we are at the Mosers also we got a special guest she's not gonna be eating but that's Brooklyn she's real good girl my Mosers makes their own hot sauce to mix with the butter for these buffalo wings so flavor profile probably gonna be a little bit different these are super crispy the texture on the skin isn't awesome you get a little bit more of a super dry heat from it there's there's definitely sauce on here but there's not tons of it it's not dripping off the wing these are looking good size wise when you can tell that there's some other kind of spice going on besides that cayenne pepper this heats building on me in a very pleasant way lips are a little tingly now back in the throat I feel it this place feels a little bit different than anywhere else we've been so far it just feels like it's the small-town wing joint so but Mosers this is the hometown hero wing small town vibes it's got the heat to take you the whole way it's a good wing we got some bar bill buffalo wings they're looking kind of pale which means probably not as hot skins are looking very crispy wings are looking on the smaller side buffalo wings they're inherently a late-night food you can eat them during the day but when the Sun Goes Down that's when the true flavor comes out and you can tell everyone knows that because at bar bill it's packed everyone's drinking their beers everyone's eating their wings you drink enough beer here you get your name engraved in a mug I don't have one of those yet but I do have the wings so I'm just gonna eat these things skin beautifully crispy light and airy and just crackly in all the right ways the meat perfectly cooked I might want a little bit more hot sauce on these wings it's leaning heavily on the side of butter right now but they're cooked so perfectly that I almost don't even care and there is that little bit of spice kind of creeping up on me right now the bar bill wing this is the regular wing everyone knows your name here if you drink enough you got your mug behind the counter and this wing you know it's gonna be cooked perfectly every time you're in the regular apparently there's something called the suicide wing at bar bill and someone on this production team thought it would be a good idea for me to eat them before I go to bed and sleep peacefully this is the hottest wing here there's a lot of hot sauce going on it smells sharp and peppery in a way that doesn't make me feel great no the Flies like you this guy's gonna die soon the next city that I want to go to somewhere in Scandinavia or like the plains of Canada Iceland if you do that's one if you guys want to comment and the how brave I am for doing this they're actual tears subscribe it's you bone Appetit youtube channel cuz it wouldn't make me really happy so I'm gonna sleep on that and get back to you guys tomorrow morning barbell 911 tavern doves thus poles is absolutely number one in western New York I'm vegan okay I got some sleep I had some weird buffalo sauce dreams that I don't want to talk about we're here though to tell you what the three best buffalo wings in Buffalo New York are and number three memos are perfectly cooked wing crispy skin and so much flavor in that sauce a really nice heat on it number two I dined with royalty I got a royal wing elmo's that sauce was so balanced and beautiful tons of acid tons of heat and super super creamy that sauce is amazing and what's the best buffalo wing in Buffalo New York Gabriel's gate you got me you got me through the gate and I want to stay there those wings hit every mark I wanted them to hit the size was perfect not big not small the sauce was flavorful heat acid and butter all balanced perfectly the chicken itself was cooked just tender enough and the skin was crackly and crispy with every bite Gabriel's gate you got me these were my favorite spots but I'm sure you have yours if I missed anything let me know in the comments below thanks to the City of Buffalo for having us thanks for everyone at the bars and restaurants we visited for showing us hospitality thanks for the bills mafia kept me looking over my shoulder the whole time I'm Alex Delaney bone Appetit and I need to find some air conditioning