Where to get the best chicken wings in Austin for your Super Bowl snacks
If there’s a game on TV, you can bet there are chicken wings around. They’re easy to eat, versatile and flavorful. And few things taste as good with beer (there’s a reason they’re on the menu of almost every bar that serves food).
Restaurants around town prepare them in myriad ways, making them suitable for any carnivore’s palate. Preparations range from the classic Buffalo wings, created in 1964 at the Anchor Bar in the dish’s namesake upstate New York City, to smoked to extra crunchy Korean style.
Below are 50 great options for wings around town. My top picks are indicated with an asterisk — but, come on, they’re wings; they’re all good — and I’ve highlighted a few of my favorites up top to give a sense of the variety you can find. I’ve also listed the restaurants and trailers geographically, so you can get your wings home quickly.
If you’re ordering a batch for Super Bowl Sunday, or anytime, an air fryer works great for reheating. And if you know you’re going to be reheating and don’t have access to an air fryer, Home Slice Pizza partner Jeff Mettler recommends ordering the wings dry, reheating them on a sheet pan at 425 degrees and tossing them in sauce after they reach your desired level of crispiness.
*Hold Out Brewing. Chef Rich Reimbolt believes bar food deserves the same amount of attention as more expensive fare. After brining his wings in a solution that includes brown sugar for color and caramelization, the former lead sous chef at Jeffrey’s parbakes the birds low and slow to render as much liquid fat from the skin as possible and fries them to achieve their glassy, crunchy and crispy finish.
“Ten years into my cooking career, at the end of the day, they’re easily my favorite,” the Idaho native said of the quintessential beer-drinking food.
The two accompanying sauces at the brewery next door to sister restaurant Better Half also get careful consideration. Reimbolt pumps up traditional Frank’s Hot Sauce with butter, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice and horseradish, and he elevates his buttermilk ranch dressing with white soy sauce, sour cream, dill, cayenne and Duke’s mayonnaise. (holdoutbrewing.com)
*Hoover’s Cooking. “If it fits in a pit, we in Texas try and smoke it.” That’s Hoover Alexander explaining his general philosophy and also one that applies to his wings. He serves them “Hoover sized,” meaning you get the whole wing.
The fifth-generation Texan and Austin High graduate loves sweet heat that lingers. That’s why he coats his birds in a mixture of Louisiana Hot Sauce, chipotle, honey and molasses before smoking them. The kitchen finishes the birds to order on the charbroiler before giving them another swish through the sauce. (hooverscooking.com)
*Tommy Want Wingy. You don’t have to tell brothers Neil and Shawn O’Quinn how popular chicken wings are. They’ve been operating one of the city’s best food trucks for almost a decade. And, yeah, there are fries and tots, but the wings are the stars.
Neil learned the French-cut style that creates a chicken lollipop while at culinary school, and after making them for friends for years, the two brothers opened their first trailer off Barton Springs Road in 2012.
Cutting those lollipop wings requires a considerable amount of labor, so you may see Neil twirling his wrist to work out the kinks when you pick up your order. The result of all that labor is an incredibly juicy wing, lightly floured, fried to order and tossed in a sauce of your choice. My favorite is the traditional Buffalo. Or maybe it’s the sweet chile. But the spicy pineapple packs a nice sweet punch. I don’t know. Maybe just get the wings dry and get all of the sauces on the side for dipping.
The brothers have a third trailer, named after a delightfully absurd scene in the movie “Tommy Boy,” coming to Lustre Pearl South. They had planned a brick-and-mortar location at the beginning of last year but that’s been put on hold.
“We were super stoked and then, well, you know exactly what happened,” Neil said. (tommywantwingy.com)
Gus’s Fried Chicken. Wings fried to a crunchy golden finish. (gusfriedchicken.com)
*Home Slice Pizza (North Loop location). Co-founder Jen Scoville Strickland grew up about an hour from Buffalo, so you know these crispy, crunchy, classic wings are done right. (homslicepizza.com)
Jackalope. You can’t have a good dive bar without good wings. Jackalope, which serves three different pepper varieties, got the memo. (Facebook.com/thejackalopebaratx)
Tso Chinese Kitchen. A light batter leads to crackling thin skin on these wings served with sweet chile sauce. (tsodelivery.com)
*Wingzup. Grilled, smoked, fried, bone-in or boneless and served with one of more than 25 sauces, this is the spot for variety. (wingzup.com)
Yalla Burger and Wings Halal. Tight skin fried to a crispy golden finish. (Facebook.com/yallaburgersandwings)
Anything’s Baked Potato. Honey hot, sweet chile and golden fried are on the menu here. (anythingsaustin.com)
*Cavalier. Brined and fried to a juicy, amber finish. (thecavalieratx.com)
Country Boyz Fixins. After you’ve tried the gumbo and fried ribs, tackle the hot wings. (countrboyzfixins.com)
*Delray Cafe. Quintessential Buffalo wings at a quintessential bar. Or go slightly more newfangled with wings tossed in barbecue sauce from neighbor Franklin Barbecue. (nickelcity.com)
*Fat Daddy’s Chicken. How can you improve on piping hot salty and juicy whole fried chicken wings? Serve them on sweet and supple waffles. (fatdaddyschicken.com)
*Kinda Tropical. Tamari glaze and lime ranch give an East-meets-West vibe that is, well, kinda tropical. (kindatropical.com)
Mr. Catfish. This restaurant can fry it all, including breaded whole wings. (Facebook.com/thebestcatfish)
Arpeggio Grill. The Mediterranean restaurant offers more than a dozen flavors, from lemon pepper garlic to Cajun teriyaki. (arpeggiogrill.com)
BBQ Chicken Highland Village. Korean fried chicken that can play sweet, savory and spicy notes. (bbqchickenhighlandvillage.com)
Hi Wings. Peach habanero, sweet orange and honey ginger are a few of the creative flavors on offer at this restaurant that specializes in Korean fried chicken. (hiwingsatx.com)
*Kome. Sweet and spicy wings with an Asian accent if you want a break from your raw fish feast. (kome-austin.com)
*Le Bleu. The passion fruit garlic chile sauce is what makes the Vietnamese wings. (lebleuatx.com)
*Salty Cargo. Green onions and kimchi balance the richness of wings lacquered with pork fat soy sauce. (saltycargo.com)
*Seoulju. Funky and sweet Korean chile and pungent garlic fish sauce are two choices for these crunchy twice-fried whole wings. (seouljuatx.com)
The Tavern. In addition to the classic style, you’ll also find boneless wings wrapped with jalapeño and bacon. (tavernaustin.com)
*Thai Kun. Cilantro and green onion cool these Thai chile and tamarind glazed wings. (thaikun.com)
*Titaya’s. Floral notes and dimension come from lemongrass, garlic and peppercorns on these fried Thai wings. (titayathaicuisine.com)
Gossip Shack. The Cajun lemon pepper wings will leave a buzz on your lips. (Facebook.com/GossipShack)
Halal Wings. Curry, Chinese and Mediterranean flavors are just some of the array of flavors at this wing shop. (halalwing.com)
Charm BBQ Chicken. The Korean fried chicken offshoot of the city’s best Korean barbecue restaurant. (charmbbqchicke.com)
*Donkey Mo’s. A side of pickled radish, a banchan staple, plays foil to the knobby and crunchy soy-glazed Korean fried chicken at this H-Mart food court standout. (donkeymos.com)
*Austin Eastciders. The only smoked wings I know of with a mustard glaze. Makes sense to me. (austineastciders.com)
*Black Sheep Lodge. Classic wings tossed in a medium Buffalo sauce is the go-to order at this bar. (blacksheeplodge.com)
Brick’s Pub. If poutine and baby corn dogs don’t get your attention, the bacon jam served with these wings will. (bricktopspub.com)
Cuba 512. Lemon pepper puts pop into the wings at this restaurant known for its Cuban pork and chicken dishes. (cuba512.com)
*Da Boot Po-Boys. What’s voodoo sauce? Hit up this trailer that serves arm-sized po boys to find out. (dabootpoboys.square.site)
*Evangeline Cafe. The Green Wings here are the only wings I know tossed in Cajun Chef’s Green Hot Sauce. (evangelinecafe.com)
Rusty Cannon Pub. Old school classic Buffalo wings. (Facebook.com/RustyCannonPub)
Bahadi’s Chicken Lounge. Garlic toast on the side is a brilliant touch at this comfort and soul food restaurant that serves whole wings. (bahadischickenlounge.com)
*Broth and Basil. Fish sauce lends umami to these Vietnamese-style wings. (brothandbasil.com)
*Tony’s Jamaican Food. Jerk wings deliver a taste of the Caribbean. (tonysjamaicanfood.com)
Chi’lantro. The Korean fried chicken wings pack a pungent tingle. (chilantrobbq.com)
Cover 3. Chipotle ranch gives a smoky and tangy finish to the wings. (cover-3.com)
*Deckhand Oyster Bar. Asian-inspired wings and the coldest beer I’ve had in Austin is a winning combination. (deckhandoysterbar.com)
Green Mesquite. Wings fragrant with deep smoke penetration. (greenmesquitebbq.com)
*Lucy’s Fried Chicken. Maybe you like your wings smoked, maybe you like 'em fried. Lucy’s doesn’t make you choose. (lucysfriedchicken.com)
Pluckers Wing Bar. The cluckin' empire might have the most sauces and rubs of any wing outfit in the state. (pluckers.com)
Rolling Rooster. Make it a meal by adding waffles or one of several soul food sides. (therollingrooster.com)
Sap’s. These whole fried wings get Southeast Asian flavor from sweet and sour sauce. (sapsver.com)
*Spicy Boys. You can get flavors from Thailand and Korea to spice up these boneless wings. (spicyboyschicken.com)
*Stiles Switch. The post oak flavor is bone deep. And why choose between tangy Alabama white and honey barbecue sauces when you can just double dip?(stilesswitchbbq.com)
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