I love buffalo wings. As can be seen from the Wingtacular, Best Buffalo Sauce and the red stain on my shirt. So I have decided to list the best buffalo wings in the DC area. This list is not totally complete as I haven’t had every single hot wing from every single restaurant, but it is rather thorough. Feel free to chime in with your favorites. If I haven’t been there I will look it up and try them out.  They might cause the list to change up.

Hot Wings
Hot Wings

Requirements for a great hotwing:

  • Nice juicy wing
  • The wing has to have meat, some places serve the tiniest wings that literally have no meat on them.  (They are not on this list, you know who you are).
  • The wing sauce has to be spicy, but flavorful.  Some sauces are hot, but there is no flavor to the wing.  All you get is spice.  On the other hand there are places that have smokey and sweet sauces but absolutely no spice.  There has to be delicate balance.
  • The wings have to be affordable.  I don’t want to pay $20 for 10 wings.  That is absurd.  Chicken wings are cheap to purchase and unless the sauce has gold dust in it, I am not paying that much for a wing.

Click below to see the list

1. Capital Lounge – These wings are amazing and affordable.  The sauce is spicy and awesome.

2. Hard Time Cafe’ – These wings are grilled and smothered with a nice spicy sauce.  While not the traditional fried wings, these are awesome.

  • At $8.95 these wings are little pricey but well worth it.
  • Hard Time Cafe is located all over the DC area so check the link for a location near you.
  • http://www.hardtimes.com

3. The Exchange – I buy these wings by the pound.  Usually two.  The sauce has good flavor and plenty of heat.  This place is my Softball bar and they offer specials throughout the week.  Check out their website for details.

4. Kelly’s Irish Times – Excellent wings!  Every other time that I got to Irish Times they have $0.50 wings.  I only go on Saturdays for the $15 all you can drink Miller Lite.  It is a crap shoot if you will get wings or not.  I suggest calling ahead.

5. Bottom Line – They have great beer and great wings.  On Saturday’s they have $3.50 baskets of wings.  While the size of the wings is smaller, the sauce and  the price makes up for it.

Honorable Mention

  • Wing Zone – Alexandria
  • Crystal City Sports Pub – Crystal City
  • Bailey’s Pub – Ballston
  • Murphy’s Pub – Alexandria

Rex is an avid griller, barbecuer and bacon enthusiast. He is the Pitmaster for the Rex BBQ competition team. Rex was also featured on the TV show American Grilled. If you have any questions or wish to have Rex decode your favorite dish, click on the ASK REX link in the menu above.


  1. While I agree with the majority of the list, I am disappointed that the Union Pub's wing did not make the list. When they are done right they combine a very meaty wing with a sauce that has a good flavor and kick. My top five would be similar but would add Murphys and Union pub in and subtract bottom line and the exchange. Otherwise, great post…

  2. I hear ya Sean, but last time I was at Union Pub they had less than stellar wings. Enough so, that they didn't make the list. I will have to go there again and try them out.

  3. I love properly done wings. But as you pointed out, many pubs find a way to screw them up. Sometimes it is the simpler foods that are harder to prepare perfectly.

  4. so where is the best wing dings? you know…those non-saucy wings that are crispy. the only ones i have found in the area are at the movie theaters in arundel mills outlet. only other place is back home at this drive up eatery in PA.

  5. These are all blue line wing spots, those of us on the red line will counter with Mighty Pint, Big Hunt, Lucky Bar, Cleveland Park Bar and Grill and 51st State (which is actually on the blue line).

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