Everybody loves buffalo wings. Finger lickin’, lip smackin’, spicy goodness fried and sauced to perfection. It’s like the perfect bar-food. Proof: Buffalo Wild Wings has grown nearly 600% in the last decade. But where can you go for the best of the best that might be a little off the normal wing path? Here’s Dara’s list of the top sticky, saucy, buffalo-like wings in the Twin Cities!
Smalley’s Pirate Bar
423 Main Street South
Stillwater, MN 55082
If you believe a wings first duty is to be hot, and you want to show people how strong your palette is, then Smalley’s is for you! Think of it as a spiritual transformation. Hot at a level that will make you think differently about yourself. Doesn’t hurt that you can chase your wings with a delicious tropical drink like a Dark and Stormy. It’s hot wings for the worthy at Smalley’s Pirate Bar!
705 Century Avenue North
Maplewood, MN 55119
The Pablo Picasso of wings at D-Spot in Maplewood. This is where you’ll find the creative wings. There are about four dozen (!!!) wings to choose from. There’s the Coffee-Ancho Chili wing, Blueberry Goat Cheese, Double-Curry Pineapple and Chorizo-Smoked Paprika. Go nuts at D-Spot!
Shamrocks and The Nook in St. Paul
492 Hamline Avenue South
Saint Paul, MN 55116
995 7th Street West
Saint Paul, MN 55102
Call this a tie or just call it one place in two spots (they’re sister-restaurants). Shamrocks and The Nook in St. Paul churn out some great wings. While the Nook has probably the best burger and Jucy Lucy in St. Paul, the wings are not to be missed. Meaty, fall off the bone, delicious wings can be found at the Nook and at Shamrocks!
Blue Door Pub
1811 Selby Avenue
Saint Paul, MN 55104
Another St. Paul spot (although they do have a Minneapolis location now). These are the plumpest, meatiest, better grade of chicken. They are crave-able, right in the sweet spot, perfectly spiced and wonderful. Blue Door also makes a mean burger which you should be trying. Just don’t forget that they have some of the best wings in town!
2528 Nicollet Avenue
Minneapolis, MN 55404
They are called “The Chef’s Gone Wild Wings”. More chefs that are alums from La Belle Vie (how many great chefs came from there?). Matt Bickford and Mike Ryan have a multi-step process for preparing giant wings with a sweet-sour-tangy meatiness. They come with pickled celery and blue-cheese mousse for dipping. It’s just so good with a chef thoughtful preparation that’s downright indulgent. Can’t say enough good things about Icehouse!