Eat, Restaurants

Best Wings in the City of Chicago

Watch Preview Chicago Exclusive video, but here is chicagoist‘s list.

The 7 Best Wings In Chicago

With the Super Bowl right around the corner, now is the time to start stocking up on game day snacks. A favorite football tradition for many is the delicious fried chicken wing. Whether you like it covered in blazing hot sauce, a sweeter BBQ option or argue for team ranch or blue cheese, we’ve got some picks for our favorites around the city.

Put in your order before Feb 2 if you want to make sure you’ll have plenty of wings for the game. We wouldn’t slight you if you decide to head out before and taste test a few options as well.

Crisp Chicken/Facebook

Located in a neighborhood littered with gluten-free and all natural options, Crisp is Lakeview’s fried chicken haven. Their Korean style chicken, including the jumbo wings, is available in four variations: Plain Jane (sauce-less), BBQ, Buffalo and the crowd favorite, Seoul Sassy. While I appreciate the fact that you can tailor the already delicious buffalo sauce to your heat preferences, it’s hard to beat that gingery and subtly sweet Seoul Sassy. The jumbo wings are plump and with an addicting golden fried crunch. Those watching their diets can go to town on the Buddha Bowl, loaded with up to 12 veggies and topped with a fried egg. This spot is BYOB, so bring something tasty. — Erika Kubick

Crisp is located at 2940 N Broadway.
Monti’s Restaurant
As a gluten-free eater, wings and bar food are usually off limits for me. Monti’s earned my love and all of my wings budget when the bartender overheard me talking about how I wished I could eat wings and offered to change up the recipe on the fly for me. Normally wings are either battered, dredged in flour, or they are tossed in the fryer with all the other battered food. He offered to have the kitchen whip up a batch to cook in the convection oven instead of the fryer. Magic! Within a few minutes I was watching the Blackhawks while chowing down on some extra spicy gluten-free buffalo wings. The bartender told me anytime I (or now you) come in, just ask for the special gluten-free wings. I fell in love with the plain buffalo with plenty of blue cheese, but a fellow patron told me he stops in every week for the Nuclear wings. If wings aren’t your style, get an authentic Philly Cheesesteak, which are also available on a regular or gluten-free hoagie roll. — Jennifer A. Freeman

Monti’s is located at 4757 N. Talman Ave.
Jake Melnick’s Corner Tap
Don’t laugh but this Streeterville sports bar makes some of the best —and most extreme — wings in Chicago. Stunt eaters and people with cast iron stomachs may not be able to resist the allure of the ghost pepper wings but their regular buffalo wings are arguably the best in Chicago. — Chuck Sudo

Jake Melnick’s Corner Tap is located at 41 E. Superior St.

The Fifty/50 wings/Facebook

The Fifty/50
The idea of going into a bar whose primary purpose is to blare loud sporting events from a jillion oversized TVs makes my skin crawl, but the wings here are so plump, juicy and tasty that I will weather the hellish atmosphere to enjoy them. I like to get there early to avoid most of the crowd so I usually end up pairing a huge order of their boneless wonders with a mimosa bucket—I know, it sounds weird but it’s delish—and I get a ton of their spicy garlic sauce on the side to dip the wings in. Start with an 8 piece order your first time but don’t be surprised if you end up ordering two. — Tankboy / Jim Kopeny

The Fifty/50 is located at 2047 W Division St.
In five years, I’ve learned that enjoying chicken wings but not buffalo sauce can be a bit of a problem in this city. While many bars offer decent BBQ or plain fried options, it’s hard to find a truly delicious non-buffalo wing. That’s what I like about Output though. Without sacrificing your dignity for a trip to B-Dubs (that’s bro speak for Buffalo Wild Wings), you can find a fairly impressive array of wing flavors at this West Town sports bar. In addition to traditional spicy options, you can have your wings coated in lemon pepper, teriyaki and roasted garlic BBQ sauces —none of which are half bad. While the ambience of this place won’t blow you away —I recommend stopping by for a plate of wings after work and moving on sooner rather than later —it’s a good, cheap option if your tastebuds can’t take the heat. — Katie Karpowicz

Output is located at 1758 W. Grand Ave.

(Buffalo Joe’s/Facebook)

Buffalo Joe’s
Buffalo Joe’s became a regular stop for my friends and me 20 years ago, when our newly acquired drivers’ licenses afforded us the chance to explore the cooler parts of the North Shore. All these years later, and their tasty buffalo wings continue to make Buffalo Joe’s a “must-stop” any time we find ourselves in Evanston. Their signature wings come in mild, spicy, suicide as well as BBQ. Wings come in single or double orders —we always go double with half spicy, half suicide. The wings are fried up crispy before being tossed to order in their tangy, buttery sauce. And don’t forget an order of the buffalo chips —what they call their waffle fries. While serving up consumate bar food, Joe’s ambiance is more hot dog stand than bar. But they do serve beer. — Benjy Lipsman

Buffalo Joe’s is located at 812 Clark St., Evanston
Harold’s Chicken Shack
Although quality control may vary by location, overall Harold’s Chicken Shacks across the city make some of the best wings in Chicago. If you want the perfect combination of a crisp, hard-fried skin concealing a juicy, tender meat underneath, you cannot go wrong with some Harold’s wings. They’re perfect to nosh on on their own or slathered in hot sauce or barbecue sauce but, if you want to order them like a pro, confidently approach the counter (or bulletproof glass) and ask for your wings to be “fried hard, hot and mild sauce on the bird.” That is as Chicago as not putting ketchup on a hot dog. — Chuck Sudo

Harold’s Chicken Shack has locations across Chicago.


Eat, Restaurants

The Best Doughnuts in Chicago

Watch our Exclusive Video about the best doughnuts in Chicago

Then take a look at the list complied by our friends at eater:

8 Great Chicago Doughnut Shops That Hit the Sweet Spot

Jeffy Mai

Few people can resist a good doughnut and with the sweet treat’s sudden boom in popularity, Chicago has suddenly become home to many of the country’s finest shops. Check out eight top picks below to satisfy that doughnut craving. Some places are recent additions while others have been around for decades but no matter where you go, those fried pastries will hit the spot any hour of the day.

1 The Doughnut Vault

Brendan Sodikoff’s shop is not only the de facto standard for doughnuts in Chicago, but quite possibly the entire country. The award-winning spot has garnered praise from critics and eaters alike and it’s easy to see why. The menu features lots of inventive offerings alongside daily specials but the plain glazed doughnut shows you can’t beat the classics. Arrive early because there’s bound to be a line and once they’re all gone, Doughnut Vault closes up for the day. And if you bring a box to the office, well let’s just say you won’t have any trouble making some friends.

2 Stan’s Donuts & Coffee

Los Angeles’ famous shop Stan’s opened in Chicago last year thanks to a partnership with local breadman and restaurateur Rich Labriola. The selection of pastries comes in all shapes and sizes and features everything from buttermilk old fashioned and real fruit fritters to stuffed “pockets.” These specialty donuts are filled with spreads such as Biscoff cookie butter or peanut butter. You know, just in case a regular doughnut didn’t hit the sweet spot.

3 Glazed and Infused

With several locations scattered about, Glazed and Infused has quickly become one of the top doughnut purveyors in town. There are always rotating specials but you can never go wrong with the sweet and savory standby maple bacon Long John or the crème brûlée donut, which brings the famous dessert to pastry form by filling it with vanilla crème and coating it in a brûléed outer crust.

4 Do-Rite Donuts & Coffee

Whether it’s the pistachio-Meyer lemon doughnut or vanilla bean glazed cinnamon crunch, Do-Rite’s assortment of treats doesn’t disappoint. Better yet, the shop carries tons of special options for those who are gluten-intolerant or vegan.

5 Dinkel’s Bakery

This Lakeview institution has been serving piping-hot doughnuts for more than 90 years and there’s good reason people keep coming back. The bakery has a variety of pastries and goods available but the doughnuts are the highlight. Raspberry bismarck donuts are perfectly-filled dough balls while another popular choice is the chocolate-covered cake doughnut that’s an excellent rendition of a classic.

6 Firecakes

Firecakes offers several unique creations like a maple glazed pineapple & bacon doughnut and a peanut butter cup version, but the most exciting seasonal specialty is the ice cream doughnut sandwiches. The simple yet delicious delight is a doughnut cut in half, packed with scoops of gelato and drizzled over with chocolate sauce. It’s good enough to eat year-round but you’ll only find it during summer so don’t miss out.

7 Old Fashioned Donuts

Go big or go home at Old Fashioned Donuts. Texas doughnuts are large enough to fit around your neck while apple fritters can feed one for days. So definitely bring an appetite (or some friends) because finishing one of the fried behemoths here is no small task.


8 Dat Donut

Ever have a donut craving in the middle of the night? Well the next time that arises, head over to Dat Donut. The South Side spot is open 24 hours and offers a standard variety of glazed, chocolate, buttermilk and cake doughnuts that are “too good to dunk.” The signature Big Dat doughnuts will likely take you more than one sitting to finish though—it’s dat big.




Chicago Restaurant Week is Here

Restaurant Week is underway in Chicago, which is gathering nearly 400 of our city’s best restaurants to create prix fixe meals for a limited time. The concept is straightforward: Dinner may either be $44 or $33; while lunch and brunch are $22. It’s a perfect time of year to taste and experience the Chicago food scene. Additional details are available at and reservations can be made through OpenTable. Don’t miss your chance!


See 8 of our favorite participating restaurants…


Nico Osteria






Le Colonial


The Allis


Bar Siena


Del Frisco’s


Margeaux Brasserie



Which Chicago spot looks best to you?