The Five Best Wings in St. Louis

Selecting Riverfront Times' Best of St. Louis 2011 was no picnic. Choosing the winner meant several worthy candidates would go unmentioned -- until now. In this Gut Check series, we are chewing our way through notable runners up in a number of categories. To see hundreds more winners and finalists and download the Riverfront Times Best of St. Louis mobile app, visit our Best of St. Louis homepage.

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Jennifer Silverberg
The Super Bowl is a week from Sunday, and according to a Los Angeles Times report, Americans will eat 1.25 billion wings the day of the big game. That's not a misprint. 1.25 billion wings, or 5% of America's total wing consumption for the entire year.

Gut Check loves us some wings. Here are our finalists for the best in St. Louis.

The Finalists:

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Ian Froeb
The "Meramec Chicken Wings" at Kirkwood Station Brewing Company
Kirkwood Station Brewing Company (105 East Jefferson Avenue, Kirkwood; 314-966-2739)

At Kirkwood Station, the brewpub that has had more names than Puff Daddy, the wings are so plump that it's difficult to imagine the size of the chickens to which they were once attached. You can choose one of three sauces to coat the crisp wings: traditional buffalo, sweet and tangy or chipotle barbecue. Our money's on the traditional. Actually, while "traditional," this isn't the usual thin, fire-engine-red buffalo sauce, but a thicker -- dare we say creamy, even -- version, a brilliant orange color, with a nice depth of flavor after that initial piquant hit.

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Ian Froeb
The "Fire" wings at Peel Wood Fired Pizza
Peel Wood Fired Pizza (921 South Arbor Vitae, Edwardsville, Illinois; 618-659-8561)

Peel roasts its wings in the same wood-burning oven used for its pizzas (and most everything else), imbuing the exterior with crunch and that wonderful sweetness of browned meat. Sauces range from the classic buffalo to Thai red curry to a balsamic-vinegar reduction, but the standout might be the "Fire" wings, tossed with crushed red pepper, Parmesan cheese, basil, salt and olive oil spiked with roasted garlic.


Location Info

Kirkwood Station Brewing Company

105 E. Jefferson, Kirkwood, MO

Category: Music

Peel Wood Fired Pizza

921 S. Arbor Vitae, Edwardsville, IL

Category: Restaurant

Pi Pizzeria-Delmar Loop

6144 Delmar Blvd., University City, MO

Category: Restaurant

St. Louis Wing Co.

9816 Manchester Road, Rock Hill, MO

Category: Restaurant

O! Wing Plus

10094 Page Ave., Overland, MO

Category: Restaurant

My Voice Nation Help
11 comments
050262jsd
050262jsd

TJ Wings in Valley Park Mo. has the best Cajun Wings around.

PAT
PAT

MATINLEY'S IN FLORSSANT HAS VERY GOOD WINGS

Ann
Ann

I tried the wings at the Kirkwood Station Brewing.  They were some of the greasiest I've ever had.  The sauce wasn't doing it for me either, and I stopped after one wing.  My girlfriend ate two.  Perhaps one person's creamy is another's greasy. 

James Barnett
James Barnett

I would like to suggest the wings at Bogarts Smokehouse. I was waiting in line on Saturday over the summer when Pitmaster Skip Steele came out with a pan and implored all the waiting customers to try one (or more) of his smoked chicken wings. Much like his famous ribs, you don't need barbecue sauce to make these taste right. These are also the only wings I think I've ever had where the chicken fell of the bone. I don't think they're on the menu regularly, but according to the restaurant's Facebook page, they will be offering them on Super Bowl Sunday.

rmward
rmward

I'd like to suggest an honorable mention for Mai Lee's Canh Ga Kho Xa Ot (#102 on the menu), chicken wings caramelized in sugar and fish sauce and stir fried with chile, garlic, and lemon grass. Not a traditional hot wing, and easy to overlook in a city-wide survey, but quite yummy. 

(Although the best version of this I've had is Ike's Wings at Pok Pok in Portland.)

IanFroeb
IanFroeb

Actually, I was at Bogart's this past weekend, James, and had a chance to try them. I agree -- very, very good.

IanFroeb
IanFroeb

Actually, I was at Bogart's this past weekend, James, and had a chance to try them. I agree -- very, very good.

IanFroeb
IanFroeb

This has leapt to #1 on my list of dishes to try. Thanks for the tip!

rmward
rmward

It's kind of buried on the menu. Cindy caught it; I totally didn't realize it was there. I think they'd probably sell a bunch with placement on the appetizer menu and a pandering name, but when we tried to order it as an appetizer we were told it took a while to prepare, so perhaps the logistics just don't work out. 

Be sure to let me know what you think.

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