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12 best chicken wings in WNY

If you’re on the prowl for fowl, look no

Anchor Bar / 104 Main St. / Buffalo / 884-4083

An institution and home to the original chicken wing. The downtown landmark was established in 1935, but made its mark with the invention of the chicken wing in 1964.

Photo by Derek Gee / Buffalo News file photo

Duff's Famous Wings / Several locations / Amherst, Orchard Park, Depew

Featured on national television programs, Duff's has been serving wings for more than 40 years. Here, medium is hot; medium hot is very hot; and hot is very, very hot.

Photo by Mark Mulville / Buffalo News file photo

The Nine-Eleven Tavern / 911 Bloomfield Ave. / Buffalo / 825-9939

The wings arrive arranged on a plate, not dumped in a bowl, a sign of how seriously this tiny neighborhood place takes its wings. The customized sauce gives a nod to the Frank’s-based classic, but the umami intensifier of a grated Parmesan-like cheese, and a touch of sweetness to take the edge off the burn.

Photo by Sharon Cantillon / Buffalo News

Mammosers Tavern and Restaurant / 16 South Buffalo St. / Hamburg / 648-1390

Another small place that draws locals for its distinctive “dry” wings, which feature a spice rub or paste to amp up the flavor. Lauded by wing lovers who don’t want a messy experience, and spice lovers who say the cooks aren’t afraid to deliver flamethrower heat.

Photo by Buffalo News file photo

Doc Sullivan's / 474 Abbott Road / Buffalo / 822-1182

The regular wings are worthy, but it’s the “Smitty Style” wings, pictured, that make this place stand out among South Buffalo taverns. A complex spice blend that includes celery salt and clove makes for a plate of wings that stand on their own.

Photo by Harry Scull Jr. / Buffalo News file photo

Bar Bill Tavern / 185 Main St. / East Aurora / 652-7959

You might have to shoulder your way through the crowd of regulars and ask for a table, but it’s worth the trouble. Cooks at this little place take pride in delivering super-crispy wings no matter which of its many sauces they’re wearing. Unlike most wing destinations, the nontraditional sauces like honey butter barbecue might be most popular.

Photo by Charles Lewis / Buffalo News file photo

Elmo's Bar and Restaurant / 2349 Millersport Highway / Getzville / 688-7237

There’s not a lot to make Elmo’s stand out until you get to the wings. Big, crispy chicken digits that hold their sauce well. The Cajun style gets a lot of raves with its dry-rub-spiced ride on a smoky grill, but the standard works pretty well, too.

Photo by Mark Mulville / Buffalo News

Sal's Lounge / 283 Olmstead Ave. / Depew / 683-9553

Just another neighborhood tavern till the wings arrive. There’s an extra coating, though not a crust, to amp up the crispiness, and the sauces are no-fooling spicy. Nothing else on the menu stands out, but with wings like that, nothing has to.

Photo by Sharon Cantillon / Buffalo News

La Nova Pizzeria / 371 West Ferry St. / Buffalo / 881-3303

The barbecue pit wing, fried, doused with barbecue sauce, and caramelized on a grill, might not have been invented by La Nova. But they were certainly popularized by the pizza chain and remain a standard.

Photo by Derek Gee / Buffalo News

Gabriel's Gate / 145 Allen St. / Buffalo / 886-0602

Despite all the places that sell chicken wings on Allen Street, Gabriel’s Gate has held on to its reputation as the best wing in Allentown. Big, meaty wings by the platter have wing lovers returning even if the rest of the menu is hit-or-miss.

Photo by Robert Kirkham / Buffalo News file photo

JP Dwyer's Irish Pub / 65 Webster St. / North Tonawanda / 692-4837

The list of sauces will make wing traditionalists queasy, but Dwyer’s has created lots of fans for unlikely combinations such as raspberry barbecue and wasabi plum. If you’re interested in seeing how far the wing can go, Dwyer’s will help you out.

Photo by Buffalo News file photo

Brennan's Bowery Bar / 4401 Transit Road / Clarence / 633-9630

This place has been satisfying families for 30 years, and though it’s nominally an Irish-themed pub, it’s the wings that lead its reputation. Big, crispy and carrying a moderate amount of sauce, they light up diners’ faces like a pot of gold.

Photo by Robert Kirkham / Buffalo News file photo

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