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.

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:

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.

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 Ave, 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

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