Tommy, January 25 2024

Best Wings in Manhattan? Introducing The "Official Wingaddicts Manhattan Wing Trail"

As some of the world’s most-renowned chicken wing foodies we have a serious passion for wings, wing joints, wing flavors and really all things wings. Having created popular wing trails in our home state of Connecticut we figured it was time to branch out and create other national wing trails to provide not only wing knowledge, but a fun and creative way to enjoy different wing spots in different geographical locations. As always, we don’t “rate” the wings. We leave that to you!

Please leave a review and your personal findings on the Wingaddicts App. There’s a scoreboard in there too where you can earn rewards points for leaving your reviews. Please refrain from nasty and negative remarks. If you had a bad experience, we appreciate that you say so but remember that we’re all chicken wing “lovers” not “haters!” 

While all three of us personally prefer a dive bar setting when enjoying wings, we understand that takeout wing spots are a part of the culture as are chain restaurants. Sometimes we’ll even feature up a restaurant that isn’t a wing joint at all, but may have a distinctive wing on the menu that merits critical acclaim! 

There are 1.6 million people living in Manhattan and over 60 million annual visitors, frequenting 8,000 restaurants over just 22 square miles. If you went out for lunch and dinner every day and night of the week, it would take you twelve years to eat at every restaurant! Manhattan is hardly a mecca for chicken wings but that doesn't mean the world's greatest city doesn't have some players. Well, we’ve found 15 bona fide wing spots that you really need to visit along with three bonus honorable mentions spots! Please enjoy the Official Wingaddicts Manhattan Wing Trail. Remember, “if you can make it there, you’ll make it anywhere!” 

Let’s start from the top and work our way south! If you'd like to investigate further, click on the photo to be directly linked to that restaurant's website. 

Chick Chick

This is a Korean-style chicken and ramen spot was opened by chef Jun Park just before the Covid pandemic hit and won the Michelin Bib Gourmand Award in 2022 and again in 2023. This esteemed award recognizes friendly establishments that serve good food at moderate prices.

The wings here are battered with potato starch, fried on low and then a second time on high to bring on extra crisp. They come in six different flavors including Soy Garlic, Korean Sweet Gochujang, Hot Honey, Nashville Hot, Sweet Black Pepper Soy or even get them non-sauced Original. The restaurant has a Bon Chon feel to it with indoor and outdoor seating and also serves alcohol. 

Bodega 88

Bodega 88 is an interesting wing destination on the upper West Side, presenting four delicious wing flavors with a Dominican flare. Have a mojito and take down some wings with the in-house Bodega 88 Dry Rub, the Asian Citrus Glaze, Classic Buffalo or an interesting Mango Mustard wing. Owner David Arias grew up in the upstairs apartment and he and his family ran a neighborhood bodega in this spot for decades. In 2016, to keep up with the changing times, Arias turned it into a sporty tapas bar with TV's and other great pub fare. This place is awesome!

Blondie's Sports

Blondie’s is one of New York’s best dive-bar / sports-bar wing establishments, period. While it’s pure heaven to the “traditional” Buffalo wing enthusiast with eight levels of heat from Mild to “Ouch," it also serves up wings in Honey Mustard, Garlic, BBQ, Honey BBQ, Jerk, Lemon Pepper Parmesan and Honey Teriyaki in orders of ten, twenty, fifty or one hundred. Get 20 wings for $20 on Mondays! 

Blondie’s has been called “The Best Bar in New York” which is a big claim and has also received plenty of acclaim among food bloggers for their wings. 

International Wings Factory

I mean, it’s all in the name! This place specializes in chicken wings. Served in a dozen flavors with an interesting selection of six dipping sauces. 

Think fast-food restaurant, as there’s no bar on the premises. However you can eat in and enjoy those wings fresh out of the kitchen. 

There are interesting wing flavors such as Black Pepper Teriyaki, Vietnamese Chili Mango, Lemon Cajun and Tandoori Masala as well as the “Soul Purifier.” 

Yes please! 

Horn's Hook Tavern

The bar opened during the beginning of the Covid pandemic in 2020. It's name is derived from the horn-shaped bend in the nearby East River (known as Horn's Hook) which was a strategic defense location for US Troops vs the British during the Revolutionary War.  

Two local bartenders teamed up with Chef Michael Contino to create a classic pub with 20 beers on tap and an interesting wing flavor list. They marinate their wings in buttermilk and serve them in Buffalo, Volcanic, Cranberry BBQ, Honey Dijon, Spicy Hudson Chili and Mike's Hot Honey flavors. Go in and claim your Independence! 

Pelicana Chicken

With a half dozen locations in NYC (and 3,000 world wide), Pelicana is one of the largest fast-food chains in the world. But don’t let that scare you. The Korean-style chicken restaurant, which started in 1982 has a clean and modern bar scene, TV’s, and even outdoor seating. The wings are breaded and friend (again, Korean style) and served in eight different flavors that you really must experience. 

If you want to stay traditional, you can go with the “Buffalo-style” in four different levels of heat. Don't be surprised if you have to stand in an actual line to get in the front door. That happens a lot here.


Scruffy Duffy’s

Scruffy’s is an Irish-pub good time dive bar that screams fun before you even walk in the front door. The “Scruffy’s Famous Wings” selection is solid with four levels of Buffalo hot and eight more of the classic flavors you might expect. And they don’t skimp out on the sauce! Inside you’ll also find dart boards, a pool table, and plenty of TV’s for watching sports. It’s also easy to find on Restaurant Row in Hell’s Kitchen. This one will be a favorite on the trail for wing lovers. 

Virgil’s Real BBQ

In the heart of Times Square, Virgils Real BBQ is as touristy as it gets. We know. And it’s a BBQ joint. We know. It’s not a wing spot. We know. HOWEVER . . . there is one wing on the Virgil’s menu and it’s one of our ALL-TIME favorites. Let’s be honest, anybody can make traditional buffalo wings at home. All you need is Franks’ Red Hot and butter. This Virgils wing (served as three giant, whole wings) is slow smoked and has a unique flavor that cannot be duplicated. Oh, and finish your wing dining experience with a hot towel. If you’re a true Wingaddict, get this wing and check Virgils off on your Manhattan Wing Trail card. (Until next time!)

Bloom's Tavern

This iconic Irish Pub is named after Leopold Bloom - a fictional character in the novel Ulysses by James Joyce - who joked that it would be a "good puzzle" to cross Dublin City without passing a single pub. Well, none of us is interested in that especially if we're in pursuit of wings!

The James Joyce-themed New York bar is one of few taverns in all of NYC with a working fireplace and serves up wings in Sriracha Honey, Buffalo, BBQ or with is House Dry Rub. You'll fall in love with the classic old-school dive bar feel here. It's quite honestly a perfect place to enjoy wings with a cold pint (or two!)

Mighty Quinn’s Barbeque

So many BBQ joints and so little time. Every BBQ restaurant worth its salt (pun intended) features brisket and ribs and pork and sausage and halved or quartered or pulled chicken, and most still consider wings to be a cute little appetizer to such. Mighty Quinn’s is also in that league, but is a monster at BBQ. Their wings are slow smoked, large and juicy and come in Spicy, Carolina Mustard or BBQ flavor. 


Dan & John’s Wings

If you close your eyes and try to conjure up the perfect place for chicken wings in NYC, you’ll imagine Dan & John’s. Its original location in the East Village has blossomed into four more including one in Brooklyn (see the Brooklyn Wing Trail - yeah they made it on that one too!) Dan and John are a couple of Buffalo transplants that wanted to bring their city’s authentic wings to the Big Apple. They serve the classic Buffalo wing with five levels of heat, three varieties of BBQ, and Garlic Parmesan, Sweet Chili, Teriyaki and Honey Mustard. It’s more of a fast food restaurant scene than a bar, but they do serve cold beer. One of the best in the city. Period.

Wogie’s Bar & Grill

Aaron Hoffman opened Wogie's as a tribute to his father William who bore the nickname. Wogie was a Philadelphia guy and loved his Philly cheesesteaks but his favorite city was New York. Hence, Hoffman’s “kitchen/ bar/ bakery” specializes in the Philly cheesesteak. But, keeping it in the family, Aaron’s mother Kate is the namesake on our favorite food. “Krazy Kate’s Wings” come in Buffalo (mild, medium, hot or Krazy), Parmesan, BBQ, Garlic, Honey Mustard and Salt & Pepper Dry Rub. The menu asks, “Can you handle Krazy?” Let us know! They supply the wet naps! Incidentally, Wogie’s was names as one of the “9 Best Sports Bars in NYC.” And it's officially called NYC's Original Philly Bar. If you're an Eagles a Phillies a Flyers or a Sixers fan, you'll feel right at home. 

Reservoir Bar & Grill

Another wonderful dive bar/ sports bar in Greenwich Village with wings on the menu. They take them pretty seriously here and serve them up in five flavors (Buffalo, Teriyaki Pineapple, Honey Garlic, Fiery House BBQ and Lemon Pepper). They have some nice drink specials at Happy Hour as well! 

The Grayson

This spot is like your classic dive-bar / sports-bar atmosphere with TV’s cranked up during sporting events and an energetic night life. All the pub fare you’d expect teed up with a nine-flavor wing menu. They serve wings with their house “Grayson Spice” along with Buffalo, Garlic Parm, BBQ, Honey BBQ, Sweet Chili, Teriyaki, Sweet Cajun and “Outrageous.” You might hear patrons chanting and cheering as some brave soul tries to get through a whole plate of those without bursting into flames. 

Mudville9

Serving NYC since 1977 and located in the heart of Tribeca, this sports bar cooks everything from scratch and has a full bar with craft beers and liquors. How do you like your wings? They cook them three different ways here! The menu includes "Baked Garlic Parm" wings, "Grilled Jerk" wings, or traditional oil-fried Buffalo wings with your preference of heat. They also step things up with the occasional wing specialty like Kung Pao wings and other flavor bombs you won't be able to resist ordering. You’ll fall in love with this spot for sure.

Honorable Mention Spots You Should Visit

Jasmine's Caribbean Cuisine: Let’s keep this one short and sweet. Jasmine’s isn’t a wing joint. As the name implies, it's a restaurant that serves authentic cuisine from Jamaica, St Thomas, Antigua, Trinidad and Dominican Republic. If you’ve eaten that cuisine before, you’re in for a special surprise. If you haven’t, you must. The only wing on the menu is the Jerk wing, but we simply had to include this spot because it may be the best jerk wing you will ever eat in America. Let us know! 

Madame Vo: A Vietnamese restaurant in the East Village, this spot is certainly NOT a wing joint either. In fact there’s only a single wing entry on the “Appetizers” section called "Madame Wings." This spot needed to be included because of its individuality. A true Wingaddict simply must experience these spicy chicken wings caramelized in a garlic fish sauce. 

Fish Cheeks: Only blocks away from Madame Vo lies another such restaurant that must be experienced. Fish Cheeks is a Thai restaurant which also has only a single wing on its menu. The “Zabb Wings” are full wing pieces lightly battered and fried with a dry chili lime rub and fried makrut lime leaf. They explain it as a Thai-styled, Doritos-like seasoning and they sell it to go. 

Therein lies our BIG APPLE WING TRAIL! Nearly every bar and restaurant has wings on the menu, but we didn't consider any with a simple "chicken wings" entry. We look for places that highlight their wings and go the extra mile when it comes to our favorite cuisine!
We're not big into using the word "BEST" as it relates to anything as subjective as food preferences and a headline like "Best Wings in Manhattan" is about as arrogant as a blogger can get! Haha. We know very well that the best wings, are your favorite wings. Did we miss any important ones? We'd love to know!

Tommy Wyatt is co-founder of Wingaddicts and author of  “Under the Wingfluence."  He can be reached directly by email at tommy@wingaddicts.com 

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Tommy

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