Exploring Chicken Wings in DC

January is a fantastic month for sports. At this point, the NFL regular season has wrapped up and the playoffs are less than a week away. College football is awaiting its championship game, which will take place on January 11th, and the NBA and the NHL seasons are each in full swing.

All of that sports watching – and probable beer drinking – is sure to work up a hefty appetite.  You’ll be ready for that hefty appetite since you detoxed at some of these DC juiceries, right?

Of all the choices when it comes to game food, chicken wings are one of the best. That’s especially true in DC, where wings come in many tasty styles, from traditional Buffalo to meat-free. These are some of the more interesting ones to keep an eye out for:


The sauce-heavy Buffalo wings at Duffy’s Irish Pub (2106 Vermont Ave, NW) have tons of fans, and the dive bar managed to reopen this fall after a being closed for about a year. Wingo’s in Georgetown is no-fuss, and they serve Buffalo wings in tons of flavors and spice levels, from mild up to abusive and suicidal. The Buffalo wings at ChurchKey (1337 14th St. NW) are also meaty, crispy and easily paired with one of the bars many beers on draft.


It doesn’t get much better than a plate of fried and juicy Korean chicken wings. Head to a Bonchon (locations in Navy Yard as well as in the surrounding area) for wings tossed in either soy garlic or spicy. The level of heat can vary, so be ready for a surprise if you choose to go bold with your sauce.

KoChix Chicken in Shaw (400 Florida Ave NW) is another spot to settle the craving. Order up anywhere from five to 40 wings and binge away. Like Bonchon, the menu features some other Korean dishes as well.


Grilled and Dry-Rubbed Wings

Sometimes the best chicken wings aren’t covered in a layer of dressing. Take, for example, the succulent whiskey wings at Jack Rose Dining Saloon (2007 18th St. NW). They’re marinated in honey, garlic, apple cider vinegar and smoked bourbon.

The hot wings at Comet Ping Pong (5037 Connecticut Ave, NW) come with a zippy dry-rub that’s almost like a Jamaican jerk seasoning. They’re a pleasant surprise at what you’d expect to find at what’s primarily a pizza spot.

For more regional taste, try the Old Bay-rubbed Chesapeake wings at Union Pub (201 Massachusetts Ave, NE). You can also find this style over at Duffy’s on U St.

Smoke and Barrel DC

Vegan Wings

Wait – what? Meatless chicken wings? It sounds weird, but there is hope out there for vegetarians who want to experience some of the chicken wing hype. Make a trip to Smoke and Barrel (2471 18th St. NW), which serves up unique smoked vegan wings alongside its lengthy barbecue menu. Flavor choices include options like dry, wet, or muddy barbecue.

Buffalo Chicken Dip

If you can’t bear the messiness of eating chicken wings, Buffalo chicken dip is a perfect solution. It’s everything great about wings with the added bonus of hot, cheesy and creamy dip. All you need is some toasted bread, chips or celery to scoop it all up.

A good number of sports bars have Buffalo chicken dip on the menu, such as Ventnor Sports Cafe (2411 18th St. NW) in Adams Morgan or the Capitol Lounge (229 Pennsylvania Ave, SE).

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