Someone once asked me this question: “Can you really tell the difference between the wings at Wild Wing Café and the wings at BW3?” I put down my wing, licked my fingers, slapped him across the face, and said, “You should be ashamed of yourself.” I picked my delicious wing back up and gnawed on it as I said, “There are at least two things wrong with what you just said. First, of course there’s a difference. You just have to eat chicken wings with disgusting regularity like I do. Second, the two wing joints you mention serve some of the most mediocre wings in town.” That’s when he slapped the wing out of my hand and said, “Oh yeah? Look at the poll results and then tell me whose wings are mediocre.”

So without further ado, here are the top 5 according to me and the Charlottesville wing-eating public. (Please tell us your favorite sauces or other recommendations in the comments!)


Jed Poll Results
#1 Perfect wings at McGrady's Irish Pub in Charlottesville, VAMcGrady’s Wing sampler at Wild Wing Café in Charlottesville, VAWild Wing Café McGrady’sserves up big juicy wings with just the right texture. The sauce sticks to the wing without being too thick, and the fried parts are crispy without overwhelming the chicken flavor. Sauce recommendation: Final Heat.Speaking of overwhelming fried parts, I’m going to need to hear a defense of Wild Wing Café. Maybe different locations are better but my most recent trip there was not bad…it was terrible. The regular wings were extremely dry and tough – like something you would find on a patch of scorched farmland a few months after a nuclear holocaust. The boneless wings had monstrous clumps of fried batter that overwhelmed the chicken, and all the sauces were sugary. Maybe we could have been directed away from the sweet sauces, but our server admitted that she didn’t know the difference between the flavors because she doesn’t like spicy food. FAIL.
#2 Delicious boneless wings at the Lazy Parrot Grill in Charlottesville, VALazy Parrot Perfect wings at McGrady's Irish Pub in Charlottesville, VAMcGrady’s While McGrady’s spins the finest overall wings for my money, Lazy Parrot is a very close second, if only because of the better-than-average quality boneless wings and the sheer diversity and quality of sauces. The Smoky Jalapeño Cheddar is probably the best sauce in town, especially if you ask them to kick the spice level up a notch. Other highlights are 9th Chamber, Hoodoo, Afterburner, and Ranchero, which is buffalo sauce with ranch seasoning. Extra points go to the servers, who can describe every one of the dozens of sauces in detail.
#3 Tasty Chipotle BBQ wings at Beer Run in Charlottesville, VABeer Run Delicious boneless wings at the Lazy Parrot Grill in Charlottesville, VALazy Parrot Though more glazed than spun, and a touch too sweet for my tastes, Beer Run‘s quality chicken and rich Chipotle BBQ sauce put it well above much of the competition. Purists need not apply since they only serve the one flavor.
#4 Decent Jammin' Jalapeño wings at BW3 in Charlottesville, VABuffalo Wild Wings (BW3) Tasty Chipotle BBQ wings at Beer Run in Charlottesville, VABeer Run
Charlottesville
Placing 7th out of 8 in the popular vote, BW3‘s wings are, in my opinion, more than good enough for football. It’s hard to find a flavor that’s not sweet, but the sauces can be surprisingly complex, and they’re good and juicy (as long as it’s not game day, when certain flavors sit under the heat lamp for a while). Sauce recommendation: The Jammin’ Jalapeño is unusual but not spicy enough. Go for Wild. Extra points for being able to order anywhere from 6 to 50 wings at a time.
#5 Decent and deliverable wings at Wings Over Charlottesville in Charlottesville, VAWings Over Charlottesville Decent and deliverable wings at Wings Over Charlottesville in Charlottesville, VAWings Over Charlottesville A relatively recent addition to the wing scene, Wings Over Charlottesville squeezes into the top 5 by the skin of its home-deliverable wings. How could we deny a place that delivers until 12:45am Sun-Wed and 2:45am Thu-Sat? I didn’t like the skinny curly boneless wings as much, but the regular wings are more than edible. Go for the Jet Fuel sauce.Extra points for the always enthusiastic young owner, but negative points for the always bizarre and awkward exterior/interior. Then again, if you’re getting delivery, who cares?
Honorable Mention: St. Maarten Café, for coming in 6th; The Box, which received a couple of write-in votes; and “staff meal at the Clifton Inn,” which wins the “least likely write-in” prize.