Maybe it’s the Super Bowl or maybe it’s the cold weather finally letting up. Maybe it’s just human conditioning. Whatever it is, we’re craving chicken wings in a way that we typically don’t in the colder months. And the best of the best wings can be daunting to hunt down any time of year, as it feels like every restaurant in L.A. serves them. Where are the good ones hiding? We went on a quest so you don’t have to. Here are the best chicken wings in Los Angeles, from Thai to tamarind to classic buffalo in spots like a Los Feliz dive and a Culver City fine-dining spot.
1. Ye Rustic Inn
Dive bars usually aren’t known for their food. Cheap drinks, stiff pours and dim lighting that makes everybody in the building look 10 percent more attractive than they actually are is more de rigueur at a dive. But at Rustic, things are different. Walk in at any time of day and you’ll see most—if not all—tables sporting a big plate of wings. Though a classic Buffalo sauce is all they offer, they’ve perfected it. Get your wings extra crispy and with extra veggies, and let go of all shame: The ample portion of sauce is just dying to get all over your face and hands. But once you dive into the tender, crunchy, spicy, tangy and vinegary experience that is a plate of Ye Rustic Inn wings, none of that will matter to you. All that will matter are the juicy, hot and steamy morsels in front of you.
2. Night + Market
Thai food generally reserves the right to kick your ass with fiery chilies—especially at any Night + Market establishment, be it in Venice, WeHo or Silver Lake—but the wings are quite sweet, and a full-on master class in nailing the salty-sweet combo. In fact, when your mouth is on fire from the rest of the meal, you may end up grabbing the wings to help cool things down.
3. Button Mash
The last remnants of Nguyen Tran’s Starry Kitchen are alive and well at Button Mash, the Echo Park bar meets arcade meets gastropub. By far one of the most fun places to eat in L.A., Button Mash’s excellent, vintage-leaning cabinet collection stacks up nicely to the strong beer list and an even stronger menu of Asian-influenced bites. And, you guessed it, the highlight of this menu is three different types of double-fried wings. Between the sweet tamarind flavor, the salty garlic option and the spicy “tangy,” it would be impossible for us to pick a favorite—we guess you’ll just have to order all three.
4. Howlin’ Ray’s
At some point, somebody’s told you that Howlin’ Ray’s fried chicken is the best fried chicken in L.A. It’s certainly the spiciest, and the tender, juicy chicken hiding underneath the Nashville-style cayenne- and paprika-based crust is extremely difficult to beat. It’s not just tenders and sandwiches though, as Howlin’ also throws their magic all over wings, too. As we all know, meat tastes best when it’s eaten off the bone—you need these wings.
5. The Greyhound Bar & Grill
In a city full of sports bars slinging generic wings everywhere you look, most start to look and taste exactly the same. This isn’t the case at the Greyhound, one of Highland Park’s most reliable sports spots. With wings served in 18 different flavors—among them garlic parm, cherry bomb, and chili con limón—it’s safe to say you most definitely won’t get bored. The fact that they’re delicious doesn’t hurt, either.
All credit for this delicious list goes to Time Out. https://www.timeout.com/los-angeles/restaurants/best-chicken-wings