Deep-fried, tried, and true.
Deep-fried, tried, and true.
Photo by Gumpanat / Shutterstock.com

Miami's Ten Best Chicken Wings

If you decide to go on a hunt for Miami's best chicken wings, there are a few things to keep in mind. First is to order the smallest available portion at each restaurant because this is a marathon, not a sprint.

Beyond that, you'll need a pen and paper to document the intimate details of each variety. Think you've got it covered? Not yet. We also recommend some floss. Squirrel away any extra moist towelettes; they'll come in handy. Bring along a travel bottle of hand sanitizer too. Last, you'll want to have some lip balm. Those wings can burn.

Lucky for you, we already took on the task of discovering the best Miami has to offer. Here's what we found.

It's the Worcestershire sauce that makes Sports Grill's wings kings.
It's the Worcestershire sauce that makes Sports Grill's wings kings.

1. Special Grilled Wings at Sports Grill
Sports Grill, far west on Sunset Drive, is an average-looking sports bar with anything but average wings. They're grilled and have a crisp exterior with plenty of char. After grilling, they're tossed in Sports Grill's spicy signature sauce. The kicker is a quick Worcestershire-sauce wash that gives them a vinegary pop and adds an element of savoriness we couldn't find anywhere else. On top of that, they're some of the cheapest around: $4.79 for five.

Shuckers' wings are still among the city's best.
Shuckers' wings are still among the city's best.
Photo by Zachary Fagenson

2. Grilled Wings at Shuckers Bar & Grill
Keep your damn sauce away from Shuckers' grilled wings ($11 for ten, $21 for 20). They're crisp on the outside, hot and juicy on the inside, with the perfect amount of spice thanks to a secret blend. Just off the 79th Street Causeway, Shuckers sits right on Biscayne Bay. Football and these wings are the ideal way to spend a Sunday. Be careful, though, there was more than an hour wait for a table on a recent weekend.

House of Wings' jerk sauce will never do you wrong.
House of Wings' jerk sauce will never do you wrong.
Photo by Zachary Fagenson

3. Jerk Wings at House of Wings
Opened in 2003 by Musaddiq "the King of Poultry" Muhammad, this counter-service spot in the heart of historic Overtown (1039 NW Third Ave.) wasted no time in becoming a neighborhood institution. It might have something to do with the array of nearly 60 sauces that span everything from their erotic-sounding "cinnamon love" to the "Barack Obama" (a sweet concoction whose secrets the place won't reveal) and the "ghetto flavor" (a sweet-smoky mixture of four barbecue sauces). However, the jerk wings — flavored with a combination of fiery jerk seasonings and classic, vinegary Buffalo sauce — never disappoint. Get a ten-pack (with one sauce) for $7.95 or 200 (with any combination you like) for $135.33.

Kleinberg's wings are fiery and cooling all in the same bite.
Kleinberg's wings are fiery and cooling all in the same bite.

4. Smokehouse Wings at Bulldog Barbecue
Former Top Chef contestant and all-around loudmouth Howie Kleinberg took his television momentum and opened this North Miami barbecue joint. His smokehouse wings ($8) are unlike any other we've had. The blue cheese doesn't come on the side — it's mixed in with the spicy hot sauce and dressed over meaty wings. They're somewhat smoky, somewhat spicy, and everything you want in a wing.

Sakaya Kitchen, along with its Korean fried chicken wings, turns 8 this year.
Sakaya Kitchen, along with its Korean fried chicken wings, turns 8 this year.
Courtesy of Sakaya Kitchen

5. Korean Fried Chicken Wings at Sakaya Kitchen
Call it the little shop that Korean fried chicken (and honey-orange-glazed ribs) built. Richard Hales' double-fried chicken wings have been a hit ever since he mustered the courage to open Sakaya Kitchen in a once-deserted midtown mall. Sweet, crisp, and meaty, these wings come sprinkled with chopped scallion and minced garlic and could convert even the most dedicated chicken-wing purist.

Sparky's jerk chicken wings
Sparky's jerk chicken wings
Courtesy of Sparky's Roadside Barbecue

6. Jerk Chicken Wings at Sparky's Roadside Barbecue
New York duo Kevin Kehoe and Hans Seitz opened Sparky's in 2010, bringing proper homestyle barbecue to downtown Miami. Get the smoked chicken thigh and pulled pork plate when you visit, but start with the jerk chicken wings ($12.75 for a dozen). Meaty and full of spice thanks to plenty of Scotch bonnet peppers in the sauce, these are among Miami's better and more unusual wings.

7. Gai Tod Nampla at Cake Thai
Beyond the curries, the spicy salads, the pad priks, and the nampriks, grilled chicken is an essential part of Thai cuisine. At the recently opened Wynwood outpost of Phuket Thongsodchareondee's Cake Thai, the young chef turns out fish-sauce-glazed drumettes ($15) with a sticky, savory sauce that is the perfect catalyst for crisping the bird's skin in a shatteringly delightful crust. Did we mention the entire order is composed of drums?

Titanic, located within stumbling distance of the University of Miami, offers a textbook Buffalo wing.
Titanic, located within stumbling distance of the University of Miami, offers a textbook Buffalo wing.

8. Bucket O' Wings at Titanic Restaurant & Brewery
This microbrewery and pub is a longtime favorite of University of Miami students and beer buffs. Behind the bar are windows giving diners a look into the restaurant's brewing operations. Titanic's wings come in either one-pound ($8) or two-pound ($14.50) portions. They might look like regular Buffalo wings, but they're not. Glazed in a creamy Vietnamese sriracha hot sauce, these wings hit you immediately with the spicy punch of the Thai chili sauce that's gained a cultlike following.

Bru's triple threat wings, all drums of course.
Bru's triple threat wings, all drums of course.

9. Triple Threat Wings at Bru's Room
It felt like it took years for this Broward transplant to make its way to Miami. But when it finally opened in Westchester in mid-2015, it sated the long plight of fans shlepping up north for Bru's Room's addictive Triple Threat wings ($12.99 for ten to $55.99 for 50). The first thing to note is that for an extra few bucks, you can request your order be all drumettes or flats, a worthwhile expenditure for any serious wing eater. Next, note the deep-chocolate/maroon color smattered with garlic and fantastic bits of char. This is Bru's Triple Threat, a combination of smoky, spicy barbecue sauce along with a sweeter amalgam that's grilled and showered with pungent garlic. If you must turn your back on Buffalo sauce, this is the way to do it.

Scully's scampi wings have long been a South Dade favorite.
Scully's scampi wings have long been a South Dade favorite.
Photo by Zachary Fagenson

10. Scampi Wings at Scully's Tavern
How can garlic-and-butter-doused anything ever be bad? Scully's might catch flak for its cameo on the Food Network's Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, but the little Irish pub has been serving meaty, crisp wings ($10.50 for ten) drenched in butter and roasted garlic for years. Keep a fork nearby to get some of those tender roasted cloves onto each bite.

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