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In Dining

Buffalo wings guide




Note: The contents of this guide were checked for accuracy when this article was updated on Sept. 24, 2008 at 11:41 a.m. We continually update the thousands of articles on OnMilwaukee.com, but it's possible some details, specials and offers may have changed. As always, we recommend you call first if you have specific questions for the businesses mentioned in the guide.


The exact origin of Buffalo wings is unknown, but many Milwaukeeans might not even care. It doesn't matter who started the craze, just as long as there are enough places around town that can keep it going.

The Anchor Bar in downtown Buffalo, however, claims much of the credit for the explosion in popularity. And regardless if this establishment can take credit or not, the city with its name attached to wings serves up the best of 'em, some say.

Former Buffalo resident Dave Ogden, who has since returned to his native Wisconsin says, "In 1992, I was not a fan of spicy food. Living in Buffalo, going out all the time and diving into these plates of wings, made me love them! This was before most other places had even heard of making chicken wings 'Buffalo style.'"

A true wing isn't necessarily about the breading, which in Buffalo is usually minimal. The actual wing flavor -- spices on the meat and sauce -- is key. Variations have emerged over the years, but the city of Buffalo maintains its stronghold as the king of the wing. "The worst wings in Buffalo are the best wings anywhere else on the planet," says Ogden.

But Milwaukee's establishments are up to the task. So many places in town serve up wings nowadays. We've started a guide to Brew City's wonderful world of wings. Know of any places we missed? Add them to the talkback section at the end.

Bigalke's
3300 S. 27th St., (414) 649-0159
Along the busy 27th Street strip, Bigalke's dishes up wings for 35 cents on Mondays, offering plain, barbecue and spicy varieties.

Buffalo Wild Wings
1123 N. Water St., (414) 277-0293
2950 S. 108th St., (414) 431-1100
2635 N. Mayfair Rd., (414) 302-1900
www.buffalowildwings.com
Openly celebrating its Buffalo, New York connection, Buffalo Wild Wings began as BW-3, targeting college campus areas before. BW-3 stood for Buffalo Wild Wings & Weck, where a "weck" was the type of bun they would serve with sandwiches. The "weck" part never caught on, so they switched official names a few years ago (and no, it's not BW-2 for short now.) Few, if any, other places offer such variety in sauces: teriyaki, spicy garlic, Caribbean jerk, blazin'... about a dozen in all. The place is designed to have you munch down wings, sometimes in competition with your friends, while watching the game and begging the staff to bring you another cold, soothing beverage as quickly as possible.

Cans Bar and Canteen
1815 E. Kenilworth Pl., (414) 225-0421
www.cansbar.com/milwaukee
Not only do they have the coolest high-pressure hand dryers in town but Cans offers up plenty of wings. They fall under the umbrella of 2-for-1 appetizers on Tuesdays, and they're 20 cents a wing on Monday (This may change, so be sure to call.).

Chili's
1601 Miller Park Way, (414) 389-9739
6439 S. 27th St., (414) 7615889
17915 W. Bluemound Rd., (262) 792-9790
N96 W18640 County Line Rd., (262) 250-1254
www.chilis.com
Chili's offers up the "Wings Over Buffalo," which adds up to a pound of wings. They all come spicy, with the standard bleu cheese dressing.

Club Garibaldi
2501 S. Superior St., (414) 483-6335
Larger than the standard wings and drums served at many places, Club Garibaldi offers more substantial -- in some cases entire -- wings of chickens. Wednesday nights, they're only 30 cents each, and like some of the other establishments, grilling after frying adds a crispy touch. Big wings and a good jukebox make a great accompaniment to the multiple pool tables and occasional band playing in the spacious back room.

Dock of the Bay
N51 W34950 Wisconsin Ave., (262) 567-0977
A typical Wisconsin tavern on a lake, the wings here are worth the drive. Come Tuesdays for 15-cent wings. Flavors include mild, medium, hot, extremely hot, honey mustard, honey barbecue, maple or honey.

Elsa's
833 N. Jefferson St., (414) 765-0615
http://www.elsas.com/
Want wings in a more stylish atmosphere? Elsa's, already famous for phenomenal burgers, grilled cheeses and the occasional kitchen fire, also serves wings that draw people out of smoky bars and into this more refined locale. The feedback is consistently glowing, and some argue they're the best around.

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Talkbacks

commish17 | Feb. 9, 2011 at 10:49 p.m. (report)

We went to the Saloon with a group of 9 people. The bar was not crowded at all but the bartender didn't seem the least bit interested in our group coming in. The service was extremely slow and we ended up waiting over 45 minutes for the 24 chicken wings we ordered. The wings were pretty good once we got them but they were nothing special. I'd give this place 2 stars because of the very slow and poor service we received.

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LoLoLeafs | Sept. 25, 2007 at 9:34 a.m. (report)

Legend Larry's Wings & Things serve the best in the state. I know locations are a hike from Milwaukee, but if you find yourself in Sheboygan or Manitowac, check them out. For the past three years, they've won national awards at the Buffalo Wing Festival in NY for their medium, hot and extra hot sauces.

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wingnut | July 30, 2007 at 10:04 p.m. (report)

go to thirstys saloon and eatery on 69 and national on tuesdays to have the best and biggest wings east of highway 100. There is a big selection of sauces, great atmosphere, and the owner is always a good guy to be around.

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lolopuffs | March 9, 2007 at 5:17 a.m. (report)

THE BBQ WINGS AT THE LODGE ARE SOOOOOOOOOO YUMMY! OF COURSE SO IS THEIR PIZZA, BEER, AND ATMOSPHERE! LOVE IT <3

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JSON14 | Jan. 27, 2007 at 2:51 p.m. (report)

WOW didn't WOW me!! Although the wings are very healthy in size the heat was missing. If you're looking for true burn your face buffalo sauce you should just grab a bottle of Frank's and make your own( and trust me I am not a fan of Frank's at all). Besides the lackluster buffalo sauces, other flavors were disappointing and reminiscent of a bar close experiment in a dorm room. HORRIBLE! I also wonder if WOW owns a deep fryer, as my wings were almost rubber as if they had been boiled. Amazing anyone spent the money on the franchise fees.

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