The Buffalo Wing was an economical snack created in response to late-night bar patrons looking for a quick snack. In the now famed Anchor Bar in Buffalo, more than 50 years ago, the Buffalo Chicken Wing was invented. PS. The guys who started BW’s (BW3’s) were students at Kent State from Buffalo and wanted that treat from home, so they opened a place.
Now…Dayton has no shortage of places to get wings. Everyone is getting in on the wing business but a few in the area do it right.
Quick disclaimer, I can’t in good faith review a wing produced by any chain that specializes in pizza. Wings that are 40 minutes old and delivered in a cardboard box is just wrong. Secondly, I left out two locally famous wing joints. For the record, I love having a tall beer and a plate of wings from Roosters or Frickers. I enjoy both equally. But…for this quest, I went to the little spots.
Today I am talking Dayton’s best wings, my favorites. A place where you can always get a great wing. The best if you will. Here’s where I land in my quest for the best of Dayton chicken wings.
1035 South Main Street
Centerville, Ohio 45458
Dayton Dragons Plaza
329 E. First St.
Dayton, Ohio 45402
Lock 27 is making magic one wing at a time. These are smoked. Deep-fried and full of flavor unmatched in Dayton. These aren’t the 10-cent wings of your college days. Crispy, but insanely tender and makes you wish you got two orders. The hot option comes in habanero peach and the mild option is a dry rub full of flavor without the heat. Lock 27 doesn’t stop there. They are making the bleu cheese dressing by hand with a little sriracha for an extra kick.
Grab one of their beers to accompany. Nothing better to wash down an order of these wings.
1001 S. Main St.
Englewood, OH 45322
These guys are more than brisket and pulled pork. Two reasons to make the drive north. Company 7 is smoking these wings in a wet marinade and then deep-frying to perfection when you order. These guys look like a standard naked wing until you take a bite. It’s the crispy fried wing you wish for with a smokey back-end you normally only get from a good slice of brisket or smoked pulled pork. The wing is one of a kind and is fall off the bone perfection so nothing is wasted.
Like Lock 27 you have options for beer to pair. Lock keeps 25 tabs of craft beers all the time. These wings are bold in flavor and will stand up to your favorite IPA or Dark Ale.
1443 N. Detroit
I like options. Nicks is a joint older than the chicken wing for which they’ve become famous. When I say options I mean options. Nicks offers their wings breaded or naked (no breading is my preference) and you can enjoy 14 different sauces.
Fire in ya Hole | Nick’s Secret Sweet Hot Damn | Original Hot | Spicy Garlic | Asian Cajun | General Zen’s | On The Fence | Sissy Sauce | Sweet Bourbon BBQ | Sweet BBQ | Sweet-n-Sour | Honey Mustard | Mild | Nick’s Dry Rub
I split my order between Original Hot and Sweet Bourbon BBQ. The BBQ is sticky and sweet with a hint of bourbon to keep it exciting. I like the hot with Bleu Cheese dressing. It’s the way the Anchor Bar intended.
Bonus…order your favorite wings with a waffle. Just try it. Something crazy good about a hot wing and a syrup-covered waffle and Nick’s does it right.
9496 Dayton-Lebanon Pike,
Centerville, OH 45458
2030 East Dorothy Lane,
Kettering, OH 45420
The World’s 2nd Best Wings. That’s how Archers bills them. These wings are huge and tasty. This is my go-to here in Kettering for a quick lunch. Available in Mild, Hot, Archer’s Style, Destroyer, Sweet BBQ, Hickory BBQ, and Chipotle BBQ. You guessed it, I get mine with the hot and always get the celery and bleu cheese. These are lightly breaded and deep fried. No tricks. Just good chicken with great flavor.
Keeping up with the theme of great wings and beer, Archer’s is no slouch in the beer area. They have 20 rotating taps but I stick with the Archer’s Ale. I’m a creature of habit and a good hoppy ale seems to work with the oil carried spice of a deep-fried wing.
I love this place. A) Everyone is treated like a local and B) the food is as fantastic as the service. I love these wings. Naked. Fried right. Big. Meaty. The hot option is just perfect. It’s worth noting that these wings come in under $10.00 and that is a deal in this post-pandemic chicken wing economy. Plenty of local beers on tap and plenty more craft beers by the bottle/can.
Here are a few more spots to get great wings in Dayton:
A very traditional wing that never leaves you disappointed. Cooked perfectly.
Hard to beat the prices here. If you are wanting 10, order 15. Thank me later.
This is a great pub that happens to have fantastic wings, and gyros, Reubens, burgers, and a bevy of deep-fried bar goodness. Try the wings first. Then go back again and again.
Go ahead. Tell me. Where should I be getting great wings here in Dayton that didn’t make the list?
P. S. Occasionally I make my own wings at home. I’m gonna share a secret with you. I have found the best recipe for getting my wings to restaurant quality. Alton Brown makes it easy for anyone to make at home, no deep fryer needed.