January 31st, 2014
12:05 AM ET
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Kate Krader (@kkrader on Twitter) is Food & Wine's restaurant editor. When she tells us where to find our culinary heart's desire, we listen up.

2014 is the 50th anniversary of the first Buffalo wings at the iconic Anchor Bar in Buffalo, New York. So, as we do every year at Super Bowl time, let’s go to the National Chicken Council for some amazing stats:

1.25 billion wings will be consumed during this Super Bowl – that’s 20 million more wings than last year.

There's enough to put 572 wings on every seat in each of the 32 NFL stadiums.

There will be no chicken wing shortage this year; in fact, chicken wings will be about 5% cheaper than they were last year.
To celebrate the all-important Buffalo wing anniversary, let’s honor some great wing spots, as well as places to stock up on stellar nachos and chili.

Chicken Wings

Grillin’ Wings & Things: Denver, Colorado
In Broncos territory, GWT is a consistent pick for Denver’s best wings. The place doesn’t just deep-fry its classic chicken wings, it finishes them on the grill with a choice of sauces (spicy garlic chile, sweet ginger Thai, honey hot and teriyaki). And GWT doesn’t stop at chicken: The Pig Wings—mini pork shanks that are fried, then grilled—come with assorted sauces, too.

Hay Merchant: Houston, Texas
At this craft beer bar next door to the awesome Underbelly restaurant, you can get wings in orders from six to 60, with four sauce options: PB&J, Korean chile-flavor gochujang, caramelized fish sauce and classic. A little about the sauces: The PB&J is literally made with creamy peanut butter, grape jelly and Sriracha, while the fish sauce wings are tossed with a mix of honey, SunnyD(!), minced garlic and chile paste. 
The Abbaye: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
The Saturday before the Super Bowl, The Abbaye hosts its third annual Vegan Wing Bowl. For $10, noncompetitors can have bottomless Philadelphia Brewing Co. beer and discounted vegan wings. Competitors can pay the $20 contestant fee, which includes bottomless beer and all the wings they can eat in the allotted time. The winner scores a trophy, roller derby tickets and a cash prize. If you’re more of a random vegan, traditional blue cheese or ranch dressings are available to go with the wings.

Make slow cooker chicken wings at home
Howells & Hood: Chicago, Illinois
As part of its first Chili Cook-Off on Super Bowl Sunday, H&H serves chili flights with samples of seven varieties of chili prepared by chefs such as Mercadito’s Patricio Sandoval, Three Aces’ Matt Troost, and John Manion of La Sirena Clandestina. Among the selections: Kobe brisket chili with corn bread croutons; Brazilian feijoada-style chili with black beans and linguiça (garlicky sausage); and Spicy Piggy Chili Verde, with crispy pig’s ear, smoked chiles and habanero–roasted sunflower seeds. Fans’ votes will determine the champion.

J&G Grill at St. Regis Deer Valley: Park City, Utah
The über-local Wild Game Chili here is made with deer, elk and wild boar sourced from the Rockies, served in a chili broth made with Squatter’s Beer from Salt Lake City. It’s topped with shredded local Beehive cheddar cheese from Uintah, Utah, plus I’m-not-sure-if-they’re-local pickled Fresno chiles and whipped crème fraîche.

Stay in and make chili

Bimbo’s Cantina: Seattle, Washington
Seahawks fans, take note: Seattle Weekly describes this spot as “a gift from God to inebriated Seattleites.”

Bimbo’s menu includes seven varieties of nachos, including Peppered Shredded Beef with organic beans and guacamole, and the popular Stoner Nachos: a mound of nacho-cheese Doritos topped with melted Jack cheese, jalapeños, house-made pico de gallo salsa and cumin–lime sour cream. There’s the option of adding chicken, pork verde, beef or vegan chipotle chicken to any of the nachos.

The Arsenal at Bluejacket Brewery: Washington, D.C.
At this new brewery restaurant, chef Kyle Bailey got my attention with this brilliant idea for Super Bowl Sunday. Instead of traditional nachos, he’s creating a Smother Station: a variety of dips for dunking fries and tater tots. Sauces include a Korean bulgogi dip made with sesame oil, garlic and ginger; buttermilk–sour cream dip with dill and a touch of Tabasco; and smoked cheddar dip made with Schlenkerla Märzen beer.

Phoenix Bar: San Francisco, California
This old-school Irish bar also eschews traditional tortilla chip nachos. Instead it makes its own signature version with potato wedges topped with black beans, cheese, scallions, guacamole, sour cream and salsa. Phoenix also gets high marks for its Buffalo chicken wings, if you feel like celebrating the Anchor Bar anniversary.

Win at homemade nachos

More from Food & Wine:
America’s Best NFL Stadium Eats
Best Chicken Wings in the U.S.
Outrageous Nachos
America’s Greatest Chili
Delicious Super Bowl Recipes

Make these delicious things for the Super Bowl:
Buffalo jalapeno poppers
Slow cooker chicken wings
Slow cooker chili con queso
Homemade tortilla chips
Pizza dip
Other dips including guacamole, artichoke dip and pimento cheese

© 2011 American Express Publishing Corporation. All rights reserved.

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Filed under: Content Partner • Food and Wine • Super Bowl • Tailgating

soundoff (27 Responses)
  1. Tailgate Giant

    Nothing Like Good Old Buffalo Wings at your Next Tailgate, Get a Serving Tray to serve them and everything you need for your next tailgate at http://www.tailgategiant.com today!

    May 24, 2014 at 9:19 pm |
  2. Nik without a C

    I lived in New Jersey, that is where the Super Bowl is being played, so bufflo wings are tasty if you make home made bleu cheese, the comment ahead three paragraphs ago, I like his idea and he sent the recipe out, here is my New Jersey way of doing wings, W sauce for wings, also you can use a baking paint brush for the sauce. BBQ sauce is the real deal. Tomoato sauce can be used, but I use Tomatos on the vine for sauce for wings.

    February 2, 2014 at 4:08 pm |
  3. Reagan

    What kind of list of best Buffalo Wings excludes the Anchor Bar and Sawyer House in Wheatfield. Only Western New York can do wings. The acceptable dip is chunky blue cheese. Ranch???? Amateurs.

    February 2, 2014 at 2:46 pm |
    • B Johnson


      February 3, 2014 at 12:50 pm |
  4. Corinne

    I love grillin wings n things!

    February 1, 2014 at 10:54 pm |
  5. B Johnson

    Any article that discusses Buffalo wings and places to eat them that does not include any places from Western NY on their "best of" list has zero credibility.

    February 1, 2014 at 8:56 pm |
    • Wing Guy

      Care to elaborate? Are you from Western NY? What restaurants (beside's Duff's and the Original Anchor Bar, which you failed to mention) would you suggest?

      February 3, 2014 at 2:33 pm |
      • B Johnson

        I am from WNY. Duffs and Anchor Bar are both fantastic. Most places (pubs, pizza places) in the greater Rochester/Buffalo area prepare them well. "The Casino" at Bemus Point on Chautauqua Lake is good too.

        once had wings at a place in Virginia... they were disgusting.

        March 6, 2014 at 12:35 pm |
  6. The Truth

    At first glance I was excited about seeing a Philly place on the wing list. But when I started reading the excitement turned to horror. There is no such thing as a vegan wing, that is an oxymoron. If you are vegan you do not eat wings, burgers, chilli etc, etc. All of them are made from meat and can not be made without it. You made your life choice now live with it.

    In Philly the best place for wings is Moriarty's.

    January 31, 2014 at 2:14 pm |
    • Ally

      They're probably in the same camp that invented the To-furkey.

      January 31, 2014 at 3:35 pm |
    • Wings disturb me

      I like wings. But sometimes it disturbs me after eating a dozen. I think, I just ate 6 young chickens to have one meal. Yikes..

      January 31, 2014 at 9:07 pm |
      • dr salt

        Wings are from adult chickens and then theres the rest of the bird which gets sold. 2 wings = 1 bird wing, the little drumstick and the flat piece with 2 bones in it are part of the same wing cut at the elbow (theres a 3rd piece called the wingtip but you dont eat that), so each bird produces 4 buffalo wings.

        February 1, 2014 at 7:45 pm |
        • dr salt

          You are also cutting down on chicken slaughter by choosing wings over breast because they are less in demand, all the people buying just chicken breasts are creating an excess of waste, if more people ate the other parts of the chicken we would need a lot less chickens.

          February 1, 2014 at 7:51 pm |
        • Wings no longer disturb me

          Good to know, thanks.

          February 2, 2014 at 10:06 am |
    • JGN

      Gosh, 'You made your choice now live with it"? It's not like they're murderers or drug addicts. Vegans merely choose to eat different foods; if they choose to prepare them in the manner of a hot wing or a hot dog, it doesn't seem like it should concern you so overly much.

      February 2, 2014 at 1:21 am |
  7. Do it properly

    Real buffalo sauce is super easy to make, please dont buy the pre-bottled crap, the difference in taste is gargantuan.

    FRANKS regular hot sauce (or some other CAYENNE PEPPER sauce like Louisiana/TexasPete, not Tabasco, that is a totally different pepper and will not create "buffalo" sauce)

    Melt 2 parts butter in a pot, stir in 2 parts hot sauce. Add up to 1 more part hot sauce or shake in ground cayenne pepper to make it hotter. Dont dilute the butter ratio too much, if its not hot enough add a little ultra hot sauce like Dave's Insanity.

    January 31, 2014 at 1:15 pm |
    • Jdizzle McHammerpants ♫♫

      This guy knows what's up.

      January 31, 2014 at 1:16 pm |
    • SW

      Your recipe is similar to mine, except add a dash or worcestershire and lemon juice, salt 'n pepper! Do NOT bread the wings. Simply fry them in light, but hot, oil. Drain them from the grease, toss them with the buffalo sauce, and put in the oven for about 15 min. So good!

      January 31, 2014 at 2:10 pm |
  8. Foodee

    Super Bowl or not, anyone consuming wings has the palate of a goat.

    January 31, 2014 at 12:19 pm |
    • MattD

      I did not know goats are carnivores. And what would you, in your infinite sophistication, recommend for Super Bowl grub?

      February 1, 2014 at 10:43 am |
  9. Dave K

    The pic on the main site shows Barbeque wings not Buffalo wings, and Buffalo wings are served with Bleu Cheese not Ranch. There is only one way to prepare Buffalo wings (though heat can go from mild to emergency room and there's room for a bit of variation in some of the sauce ingredients)... any other preparation (Sweet and Sour, Barbeque, etc...) are just wings.

    January 31, 2014 at 11:58 am |
    • Your Proctologist

      Hang on a minute ... let me get that stick out.

      January 31, 2014 at 12:02 pm |
    • JGN

      Well who died and made you god of chicken wings?

      February 2, 2014 at 1:22 am |
  10. Jdizzle McHammerpants ♫♫

    Atomic is the only way to go. The only draw back is the burning ring of fire post-digestion.

    January 31, 2014 at 9:30 am |
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