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Tommy, April 11 2024

Best Wings in Connecticut (Part 1)

Prior to the year 2020, Connecticut was clearly more famous for its pizza than it was for its chicken wings. The pizza is still debatably the best in the world, but our Wingaddicts escapades have uncovered the fact that CT wings stack up with anybody else’s in the country. Yes, even Buffalo. 

People continuously ask us, "Who has the best wings in Connecticut?" Our answer is always the same. It's subjective. The BEST wings are YOUR favorite wings. (The three of us have our own top 10 lists).

But after 15,000 wings at 300 restaurants, we’ve been able to create THREE "official" Connecticut Wing Trails (North, Central and South) and narrow things down to what we believe are the best 54 wing spots in the state. And YES, we’ve eaten at them all. 

Welcome to the Connecticut Wing Trail North!

If you’re up to the task of completing this "North Trail” please be sure to download the Wingaddicts app and post your pictures and reviews at each stop along the way. We’d love to know what YOU think! (You can click on each restaurant name for its website info).


One of the lesser-talked-about wing joints in the state is only such because of it's location on the tippy top of the map in Enfield, just five miles from the Massachusetts border south of Springfield. Known locally for its award-winning chili and more than 100 beer choices, the Yarde Tavern also has 35 sauces and dry rubs on its wing menu! Great bar/restaurant setting with multiple large screen TV's and that ideal wing-enjoying environment. 


Right around the corner from Bradley Airport in Hartford / South Windsor, the Blackboard was opened by Greg "Blackboard" Buceivicius in 2006. It's a large dive-bar atmosphere with pool tables, dart boards, foosball, shuffleboard, beer pong, an expansive craft beer selection and a menu that has 27 wing flavors! Only the locals know about this little gold mine. We'd suggest you try the Gluttony or the Crack wings! 


This spot in Ellington, owned by Kevin and Donna Celotti, is famous for being the first-ever Moonshine Bar in the state. They serve 14 different kinds of infused moonshine, multiple bourbons and whiskeys and 14 beers on tap as well. But the most-important thing about Hidden Still is its 35-flavor wing menu which rotates twice a year. Celotti uses a dry brine on his wings, which isn't done in many places. Take your pick from the house-made sauces. You won't go wrong.


Retired police officer Adam Towers and his wife Danamarie took over this historic bed and breakfast inn on the Farmington River in Barkhamsted in 2020, which is the second-oldest Inn in the entire state. Built in 1796, this place has rustic New England charm as you sit by the giant wood fireplace and enjoy a selection of five or six different wing flavors which are as good as any you’ll find on the trail. You will recognize the quality, love the overall wing experience, and fall in love with your surroundings. The house made Teriyaki wing was one of the best we've ever had! But don’t sleep on their classic buffalo wing or the jerk, sweet chili, garlic parm, jalapeno mango or coconut chili wings either!


Many pizza restaurants add wings to their menu as an "additional item" that they think goes with pizza. At Sasso's - next door to the famous Warner Theater in Torrington - they pay serious attention to their wing game. Sasso's smokes their wings off site, low and slow, and cooks them to order in a 1,200 degree coal-fired pizza oven with eight house-made sauces to choose from. Pizza joints don't often make our Wingaddicts Wing Trails, but this one is unique. There's also an expansive modern bar and dining area, outdoor seating, and world-class pizza. For dessert of course! 


One of the oldest operating bars in the state, Old Well has had many different owners, many different names, and many different stories. Frank Cardoso and his wife Erika Lange took over in 2008 and created Old Well Tavern in this building that was built in 1730. If the walls could talk. The only location (that we know of) with an actual human body buried in the basement (Seth), this is one of the most unique wing spots we've ever been to. With amazing flavors named after customers, friends and family members you'll want to try most of them. And you should. Wings here are fried, grilled and sometimes even smoked. This place  is special.


Owned by longtime local chef, Red Lanphear and his wife Jayne, @the Corner is one of the finest restaurants in all of Litchfield County. It has always been a popular area meeting spot, but it officially became a “wing joint” when award-winning Executive Chef,  Carlos Perez expanded the wing menu from four flavors to 18 in 2022. All are worthy of your full attention. Like, gourmet wing attention.


Set in the historic Thomaston (Clocktown), BRT has been a popular local gathering place for decades. Taken over in 2005 by accomplished restauranteur and chef, Red Lanphear (see above) this place gives you everything from an awesome dive bar to a top-notch restaurant menu. But the wing game here is next-level exceptional. With a dozen flavors to choose from Chef Red rocked our world with flavors like Cherry Mead Bacon, Black Garlic Truffle, Dirty Hot Honey, Nashville Hot, Sweet Heat and Thai Sweet Ginger Teriyaki. 


We first discovered the magic when we stopped into Beachland Smoke (a BBQ themed version) back in 2020. BSmoke closed its doors, but Chip Kohn's Beachland Tavern in West Hartford is the originator of these famous smoked wings and serves them up in Buffalo, BBQ, Sweet Garlic Chili, Honey Mustard, Honey Chipotle and (our favorite) "Kitchen Sink Sauce."  Of course, we ate them all. You won't be disappointed.


Not to be confused with the world-famous Frank Pepe's pizzeria in New Haven, our single Wing Trail stop in Manchester, Pepe's Restaurant & Lounge is NOT a pizza joint at all. Instead it is your favorite hometown bar that takes great pride in its award-winning wings in 23 flavors. Great place to drink beer, watch the game, chat with the locals and enjoy some of the other pub fare as well. The wings are always consistently and perfectly cooked, and have been for well over a decade! 


Location, location, location. Red Rock Cafe is across the street from the entrance to the University of Connecticut. Yeah, the home of the multiple World Champion UConn Huskies basketball teams. Needless to say, with over 60 wings on the menu Red Rock is THE #1 wing takeout spot in this college town. This family-owned restaurant has a huge menu, but its that vast selection of wings that caught our eye. We had eight in one sitting and the Chipotle Garlic stood out from the crowd. It's also a "Red Rock Favorite."


So if you're a UConn student and you don't say Red Rock is your favorite wing spot, you say it's Bidwell Tavern. Only five miles away, this restaurant is one of the most-historical wing spots in the state. Founded in 1822, Bidwell was one of the first well-known "wing joints" in CT and still is today with its 40 wing flavors alongside of it's all-American pub fare and rustic New England motif. The wings are big and meaty, and new owner John Russo (who recently took the restaurant over from his uncle Scott Russo) breathes new life into this Wing Hall of Fame destination.


Another college town wing spot on the trail, Blarney's is directly across the street from Eastern Connecticut State University. A longtime Irish Pub college bar, Blarneys is a fun and exciting stop on the trail alongside of Willibrew (next up) which is walking distance away. We mashed out six flavors in our visit and the locals raved about the "Blarney's Special Sauce." It was awesome. If you're a heat seeker, try the Murder Sauce wings at your own risk!


Willimantic Brewing Company is also next door to ECSU and is a gigantic and beautiful modern Connecticut brewery in an historic building. Owner David Wollner brews all his own beer in house and became known for his tacos before the wings got hot. What sets Willibrew apart on the trail is the fact that you can order yours fried or grilled. The Grilled Buffalo wings are unforgettable and there are nine other flavors you can choose from. Feeling spicy? Try the Oy Vey wings! You'll love this place.


"Flying Monkey Wings" are the VERY first thing you see when you pick up a menu in this awesome family bar and grill restaurant! Owner Junior Baez created a masterpiece in this "airline-themed" easy-access location with pub-fare as well as delicious dinner entrees. Their jumbo wings are fried with their proprietary "Monkey Rub" and served in some super unique flavors. We loved them all but particularly the Spicy Monkey (topped with deep fried cherry peppers) and this Drunken Grubin' Monkey wing. 


When Fred Marcantonio decided to open his own sports bar in Plainville in 1993, he was rolling the dice on every young guy's fantasy. Days before opening he realized he didn't have a buffalo wing recipe. Fate would have it that he mentioned that out loud in front of his "insurance guy" who gave him one. The rest, as they say, is history. Sliders became one of the first CT establishments to feature wings on the menu and that list has grown to thirty-plus excellent flavors and five locations around the state. The energetic sports bar atmosphere is electric. That famous Sliders buffalo wing sauce has also become one of the best around. When you're visiting, start with that one! While Plainville is the original Sliders location, you can check the "Sliders" box on your CT Wing Trail by visiting any of the five locations (Plainville, Southington, Berlin, Wallingford or Middletown).


Only 1,500 feet up the street from Sliders, "J.Tim's" as its known to all the locals, may be THE most-famous wing spot in the state having won numerous awards (and even gaining national recognition) for it's legendary "Dirt wings." While this enormous (and old) restaurant is really NOT a "wing joint" by your standard definition, it does have 13 dedicated fryers and churns out more wings than any other restaurant. FOODIES ALERT! Order a bucket of Dirt wings and have your video camera ready when they show up at the table. You're welcome!


Joe Marques started Jerzie Joe's in Southington after taking over a bar called Jerzie's in 2007. Wildly popular with the locals, this dive-bar hangout has a large outdoor seating area and (under the radar) puts out 15 outstanding wing flavors always cooked from fresh. The house favorite is probably the Buffalo Bleu! Ours too! 


It's borderline impossible not to include some great wing spots we absolutely loved while in this region. We couldn't include everybody on the list so if a wing menu was limited or if a restaurant focused more on other foods (like pizza) we may have left them off the official list. But that doesn't mean they don't serve binge worthy wings. If you drive past one of these restaurants on your journey, get in there and be wowed. Honorable mention spots include Clocktown Brewing Company in Thomaston, Blue Plate Tavern in Plainville, Fork & Fire in Farmington, Carmine's Bar Grill Stage in East Hartford and Mulberry Street Pizza in Manchester.

Did we miss your favorite wing joint? We'd love to know. And we'd also love to know what you think about each of these spots after you've tried them out yourself! Leave your personal reviews on the Wingaddicts App which is 100% free in the App Store! You can also send any questions or comments to me personally at I promise to answer them all. 

And remember . . . there are TWO MORE amazing Connecticut Wing Trails! 

Wings up!

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Previous The Best Wings in Westchester?
Next Best Wings in Connecticut (Part 2)