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Tommy, April 28 2024

Best Wings in Connecticut (Part 3)

The "Southern" CT Wing Trail

Connecticut has become a hot spot for great chicken wings over the past few decades and we’ve created three state “Wing Trails” to share some of those amazing destinations with the world. We sliced the state into three sections - North/ Central/ South - and featured 18 of the best wing joints for each trail. 

No, we didn’t research the internet to find these locations. We ate at least six different wing flavors at every one of them. Wink. If we somehow missed YOUR favorite spot, let us know! We’ll be shocked, but we’ll check it out! With that I bring you the SOUTH Connecticut Wing Trail. 

STATION 25 Mark Lutz has been serving up great food for years in upper Fairfield County. From food trucks to multiple brick and mortar spots he recently opened this spot in Newtown on Rt 25, near the Monroe border. This comfortable bar/restaurant is firehouse themed and allows you to get your (very large) wings breaded or traditional naked with ten flavors to choose from. We suggest going straight for the Honey Hot Tamale wings or take a stab at the Lemon Pepper or (our fave) Gorgonzola Cherry Pepper. You will ALWAYS get your wings breaded unless you ask for the "naked" or "gluten free" version. So avoid the surprise! Of course they're amazing either way!

MICHAEL'S TAPROOM The first thing you notice upon walking into this restaurant is that it's HUGE! The second thing you'll notice is that WINGS are the first thing on the menu! There's a selection of around 30 flavors to choose from and they come with little "flavor flags" on toothpicks so you'll be able to tell your wings apart. What a great spot to watch the game, drink a beer, and eat some solid wings. We enjoyed six flavors, but really enjoyed the XXX Habanero. 

REDDING ROADHOUSE Chef Shawn Reilly and his wife Erin took over this historic local spot in Redding and brought it way back to life. A rustic family restaurant that has something for everybody, it may well be the ONLY wing spot in town. And, frankly, its all you'll need. Outside of all the great pub food and a dinner menu that will make you drool, you'll find ten excellent flavors of wings (and we ate them all)! Try out the Gochujang wings. You're welcome.

PUB 67 TAP ROOM Musician Craig Strilka and his wife Sarah revamped this Seymour venue on Rt 67 next to CVS pharmacy and turned it into a great local gathering spot. With an enormous list of craft beers on tap, live music, and a great bar menu, Pub 67 also has 18 solid in-house wing flavors to pick from. You won't be disappointed with your visit here! 

JIMMIE'S PLACE This restaurant has been passed down through four generations of owners and Chris Caruso (at age 23) took it over when his grandfather and his father passed away within four days of one another in 2021. Chris turned Jimmie's from a local Seymour lunch bar to an open-seven-days-a-week foodie destination with a killer menu and an (even more killer) wing game. Jimmie's wasn't a wing destination in the past, but now you'd be well served to make a special trip from anywhere to feast from the 45 flavor menu. The lemon pepper wing is our all-time favorite lemon pepper wing. But there are SO many more! 

HARD HAT CAFE Ahh, the CT originator of the "Doob Style" wings! John Acanfora took over this North Haven watering hole and turned it into a legendary local destination. The wings at Hard Hat are "to LIVE for" and you'll need to order more than just one flavor. The Doob Style Buffalo is other worldy and the Lemon Pepper is one of the best we've encountered. Hard Hat has additional locations in Wallingford (Hard Hat 2), and Durham. Get you some! This is a Wingaddicts Hall of Fame spot for sure!

DEW DROP INN All Connecticut wing conversations start and stop with Dew Drop Inn. You might have a wait to get in. You might have a tough time finding a parking spot. And you might even pay a little bit more. But you will also choose from 130 house-made flavors, you will get the highest-quality chicken wings cooked from raw, and you will be treated like a VIP by owner Jason Carlucci and his amazing staff. Being a wing lover and not going to Dew Drop is like taking your family on vacation to Orlando and not going to Disney World. 

PUB ON HOWE After a long run as a popular Shelton bar/restaurant called Danny O's, the Orazietti's sold the place and took a break. Break over. Dan and his wife Linda moved back into this historical downtown location at 441 Howe Ave and reopened as The Pub on Howe. An Irish Pub (run by Italians), this place if welcoming and friendly and has a solid list of 15 of your classic wing flavors on the menu. Take your pick. Then try the Irish Egg Rolls. You'll probably leave with a few new friends too.

PORKY'S CAFE If you stand on the roof at Pub on Howe, you'd only need a 3/4 pitching wedge to hit a golf ball to Porky's. Established by Paul Piccarillo and Mark "Porky" Anderson in 1987 (now run by co-owner Mike Manzo) this is unquestionably Shelton's favorite wing joint. Fans of Porky's wings will fight you on that. Consistent and excellent every time, there are only four flavors on the menu (and then three or four combo flavors from those four). Straight buffalo is the house favorite, but the Wingaddicts favorite was the "Triple Dip" which is a combo of Buffalo, BBQ and Spicy Thai. BWW, the fourth flavor is Buffalo Garlic Parm. 

NEW WEST CAFE Since 1980, this awesome dive bar on Whalley Ave in New Haven has been a local hotspot. No frills here, people. No website. No huge social media presence. But they do have everything that matters including a blackboard with twenty wing sauce flavors. Most are permanent, including the house favorite Creamy Cajun, and some rotate in and out with specials from time to time. Say hello to the "two Michele's" who run the place. They're always there! 

ARCHIE MOORE’S What can you say about Archie Moore's. Owner Bob Fuchs took over this hundred-year-old bar in New Haven and turned it into Connecticut's first-ever restaurant to serve our beloved chicken wings. In other words, Archie's is CT's version of Anchor Bar. You can't go wrong with the traditional Buffalo wings at Archies, but we suggest you venture into a few of the other flavors as well. You won't find dozens of flavors here, but they instead choose to do a few flavors extremely well. There are also Archie Moore's locations in Wallingford, Milford, Fairfield and Branford. Another Hall of Famer.

ORANGE ALE HOUSE Right on the Post Road in Orange, this place is one of the area's most fun party bars. With TV's, live music, and electric nightlife, OAH has an extensive menu of all the pub-fare you'd expect. Owner Jim Hassenmayer also has 15 wing flavors on the menu including one of our favorite Cajun Dry Rubs. 

HAIR OF THE DOG Sandra DeRosa grew up down the street. She worked her first job in the building, became a long-time bartender at the bar, got fired for refusing a dress code and then bought the place! Hair of the Dog in the Devon section of Milford is awesome both inside and out, giving off a Key West vibe in the summertime. The wing menu shows off a dozen great flavors with including the "Scarpariello Wing" which we've only ever seen on ONE other menu. Ever. This wing in itself is a reason to go! You'll fall in love with this bar. If you're a music fan, you'll have a blast with all the themed menu items not to mention the great memes and sayings framed up on the walls. 

MY BAR & GRILLE We have a soft spot for this homey dive bar because it opened in 2020 right as we started Wingaddicts. Tom and Karen Langrieger opened up this spot in downtown Milford and have become an instant local favorite. Their wing menu includes a strong selection of 18 wing flavors. We enjoyed six of them with our favorites being the Jerk, the Cajun Butter and Karen's creation, Karen's Hot Honey. Warning for all you hot wing lovers: the Carolina Reaper wings are some of the hottest we've ever encountered. If you can eat an order of seven, we'll buy you a glass of milk. Oh, and they have a "shot ski.” 

BONFIRE GRILLE Right on the sound in Milford, Rob Cyr and Frank Basil took over this popular Milford location formerly called Sloppy Jose's and turned it into a local favorite. This shoreline pub fare menu includes the burgers and sandwiches you'd expect, along with a great dinner menu. Their wings come in only eight flavors, but they're unique. You'll probably have a tough time deciding between the Buffalo Gorgonzola, Firecracker Margarita, Habanero Bonfire Blaze, Sticky Chipotle Raspberry and the house-favorite BBQ Dry Rub. Our only advice, if you get the Bonfire Blaze wings, ask for a frozen sangria. You'll need it to put out the fire!

BLIND RHINO When it comes to quality wings, great flavor selections, perfect wing-eating atmosphere and pure passion for the wing game no other establishment in all of Fairfield County is in this conversation. There's Blind Rhino and there's everybody else. Sorry, not sorry.  Casey Dohm, Jamie Pantenella and Matt Bacco - opened the Blind Rhino in South Norwalk in 2015 and added another location in Black Rock. They also have and have multiple food trucks that serve their award-winning wings at festivals, fairs and breweries. There aren't dozens of flavors on the menu but nearly ALL of their flavors have won awards at The National Buffalo Wing Festival in Buffalo, NY including their Hot Buffalo which took home first place in multiple times! Don't just take our word for it. Go on in and count the trophies. 

VINNY'S BACKYARD You won't find a bunch of great wing photos on their Facebook page. You won't drool over their website or online menu, but if you're looking for wings in CT's third-largest city you're going to want to be stopping at Vinny's. Locals down there will start by telling you that they're the "Best wings in Stamford," you'll hear things like "Best in Fairfield County" and many will also say "Best in state." We'll let you decide. They have seven base flavors on the menu and offer our favorite dive-bar atmosphere with other great pub fare as well. 

BRICKHOUSE BAR & GRILL Right in the heart of downtown Stamford, you'll find this popular hangout which is all things to all people. You have your giant wood bar with plenty of beer selections, TV's for watching sports, dart boards, classic pub fare, live music at night and also a gourmet restaurant. Brickhouse is family owned and operated and boasts an interesting wing game. In addition to frequent flavor "specials" the menu has "Grilled Lemon Pepper Wings" in addition to its normal wing menu with a dozen flavors. They've been recognized as some of "Stamford's Best Wings" and they're not shy about it! 

SMOKEY O’GRADY’S In the town of East Lyme, O'Grady's is one of the crown jewels of the state's south eastern side since 2006. Your favorite bar atmosphere, a great beer and IPA selection, indoor and outdoor seating and (most importantly) a wing menu with 35 mouth-watering flavors. You will have difficulty selecting just one, or two, or three. Wings are the star of the show here, everything made with fresh and locally sourced ingredients, and the locals will all tell you that they're the best wings they've had anywhere. We say, decide for yourself! 

RABBIT HOLE TAVERN Jack Flaws spent a career as an executive chef at high-end restaurants including Max Downtown in Hartford, Jack's Saybrook Steak in Old Saybrook and The Fish in Westerly, Rhode Island. He decided to "downscale" and opened up Jack Rabbit's and The Rabbit Hole Tavern in Old Saybrook. The Rabbit Hole is a full dive bar/tavern with a full pub menu. Jack Rabbit's is a kid friendly fast-food takeout version connected to the restaurant on its left offering all the same fare. Famous for their gourmet burgers, gourmet hot dogs and lobster dogs (!) these two spots also have seven mind-blowing (house made) wing flavors on the menu including seven heat levels of house-made buffalo. One of the best-kept secrets on the trail. But it's no secret in Old Saybrook.

HONORABLE MENTION: HooDoo Brown's, Eli Cannons, Charlie's Place, GG's Pizza, and Coals Pizza will all give you an A-plus wing experience. They missed out on our Trail, however because we just can't quite classify any of them as true "wing joints." They have heavier focus elsewhere. 

So that's a wrap for the South CT Wing Trail. OK, so I know what all you "left brained" people are saying right now. "Wait, that was twenty spots. You said there were 18!"  Yes, the South Trail was by far the most challenging to build. Not because we couldn't find bonafide wing joints, but because we just couldn't narrow it down. I tried for days to eliminate two of these restaurants from the trail. Couldn't do it. 
Let's call it "extra credit!" Thank me later! 

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. 

Wings up!

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Previous Best Wings in Connecticut (Part 2)
Next Best Wings in Buffalo? Let's Go!