America eats billions of pounds of wings every year. Atlanta definitely does its part to contribute to that number. Whether smoked and dry or fried and tossed in buffalo sauce, there’s no doubt we love our wings. With their appearance on seemingly every menu in town, how do you find the best of the best? Here are our picks for lords of the wings.
Fox Bros. Bar-B-Q
1238 DeKalb Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30307; (404) 577-4030, www.foxbrosbbq.com/
There cannot be a serious discussion of wings in town without mentioning the brothers from Texas. They are smoked over hickory and then flash fried for a tender and crisp wing. The wings are then tossed in a spicy sauce that will tame, but not overwhelm the smokiness. Paired with an order of tots and a Shiner Bock, it makes for an indulgent afternoon that will probably result in naptime.
Jack’s Pizza and Wings
676 Highland Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30312; (404) 525-4444
Straddling the border of Inman Park and the Old Fourth Ward, this dive offers up all the best that late night dining has; cheap beer, wonderfully greasy pizza and a whole mess of wing options. Sure, you can play it safe and go with lemon pepper or medium. But why would you do that when you can try something new? Maybe a sinus clearing order of wasabi? Or maybe mix strawberry and hot? Either way you go, there will be plenty of PBR to wash it down with.
10 Northside Dr NW, Atlanta, GA 30314; (404) 221-0088
Remember how your mother told you to never judge someone by their appearance? The same holds for wing shacks. It doesn’t look like much from the outside, but these wings are legendary for a reason. There’s no fuss, just great wings. Fried crisp, you can get them in a number of flavors like lemon pepper and buffalo. Order them ahead of time for your tailgates and you’ll be making friends for life.
675 Ponce De Leon Ave NE #136, Atlanta, GA 30308; (404) 532-1580, www.minerorestaurant.com/
You wouldn’t expect a Ponce City Market taco stall to be cooking up some of the best wings in Atlanta, but that’s exactly what’s happening here. Most of the wings you’ll find in Atlanta are either fried or grilled. These bad boys are grilled over charcoal, giving them the slightly bitter flavor of great barbecue. The crispy skin gives way to juicy, flavorful meat. They are then doused with Valentina hot sauce. Be careful with your first bite, because you’re going to be hooked immediately.
4051 Buford Hwy NE, Atlanta, GA 30345; (404) 633-2400, www.namphuongatlanta.com/
Go for the pho, stay for the wings. There are plenty of options for wings on Buford Highway, but the ones at Nam Phuong are really destination-worthy. They are marinated in fish sauce, giving them just a touch of funk. Then they are fried crispy and tossed with sweet and sticky sauce bright with red chilis. Served with cucumbers and steamed rice to soak in the heat, they make for a very filling meal.
The Smoke Ring
309 Nelson St SW, Atlanta, GA 30313; (404) 228-6377, www.smokeringatlanta.com/
Castleberry Hill’s answer for barbecue has so many things going for it. The pulled pork is juicy, the Brussels sprouts are dreamy and the moonshine cocktails are plentiful. The wings though, are something else. Smokey and crispy, plump and meaty. They are perfect for a late night snack or split among friends at dinner. They are served with a white Alabama barbecue sauce that makes it all come together.