I could write a dissertation on why chicken wings are the greatest comfort food ever invented, but most of you know that already. So instead, here’s a list of Dublin City Centre’s best chicken wings. This article will cover crispiness, sauce ratio and, of course, the most important question: does the establishment provide a bowl or wipe for your sticky hands or leave you suffering with a painfully insufficient napkin?
“€14.95 is expensive enough for wings, but the portion is absolutely huge and these crispy wings are dripping with the perfect amount of Buffalo sauce”
Elephant and Castle
18-19 Temple Bar, Dublin 2
You’ve heard it a million times: “Elephant and Castle do the best wings!” However, if you haven’t had a chance to sample them for yourself, you may be wondering if the hype is justified. Well, stop wondering – it is. Elephant and Castle serves over 200 kilos of chicken wings per day for good reason. €14.95 is expensive enough for wings, but the portion is absolutely huge and these crispy wings are dripping with the perfect amount of Buffalo sauce. You can expect top-class service and lovely desserts as well. My only criticism: last time I sampled these wings, I was not provided with a bowl of water or hand wipes. A small price to pay for the best chicken wings in Dublin.
62 South Great George’s Street, Dublin 2
A much more recent addition to the Dublin wing scene, Wing It opened their city centre premises in January, a fact which I am grateful for. These connoisseurs honed their expertise on their Tallaght premises and the product was perfect by the time it hit George’s Street. Although, unlike other establishments who perfect a single-wing recipe, the USP of Wing It is choice. Offering Traditional, Boneless and Cauliflower wings and 10 different flavours of sauce from Teeling Whiskey BBQ to Mango Habanero, Wing It is the kind of place you can bring your wing-hating friends to start slowly converting them to the wing-life. Get the main portion for €14.95 or be clever and get the starter portion for €7.95 to leave room for the ‘Ultimate Fries’ loaded with mayo, cheese sauce and bacon. Once again, only a napkin to wipe my hands with, and once again, the wings are so good that I managed to ignore this oversight. Get ready for the food coma of your life.
16 Montague St, Saint Kevin’s, Dublin 2
Simplicity is key in Montague Street’s trendy wing restaurant, where the style is understated and the menu is pared-down to the basics. However, this is probably a wing spot for those who value crispiness over sauce flavour. The wings have great texture, the vibe is laid-back and there’s a lovely selection of dips, but the sauce leaves something to be desired. That said, they were still memorable enough to warrant a place in this article and a bit cheaper than the previous options at just €12.95. Wishbone gets extra points as I was provided with a nice packaged wipe. This recommendation, however, comes with a caveat: book in advance or starve in line for far too long. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
“With restaurants on both Dame street and in Temple Bar, you’re never far from their legendary (and cheap) selection of BBQ wings”
34 Essex Street, Temple Bar, Dublin 2 and 34 Dame Street Dublin 2
Fair enough – the majority of restaurants on this list are a little pricey when you’re living off copper coins found in the pockets of old coats, but that’s where Smokin Bones comes in. With restaurants on both Dame street and in Temple Bar, you’re never far from their legendary (and cheap) selection of BBQ wings. Generally their wings are priced at €8.95, but as students, we can benefit from a ridiculously good student deal: €6.95 for wings and a side. Plus, with a great atmosphere, a variety of juicy flavourful wings, and an impressive selection of craft beers, Smokin Bones is the perfect cheat-day venue. Side note – got a friend who’s always bragging about how much spicy food they can handle? Bring them for a round of Smokin Bone’s “Feckin Hot Wings” and see what happens.
Canal Bank Cafe
146 Leeson Street Upper, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4
For convenience, all restaurants featured in this article are within walking distance of the Trinity campus, so while Tribeca (famed home of the best chicken wings in Dublin) doesn’t feature, I made sure to include its sister restaurant, Canal Bank Café. Wars have been fought over the exact recipe of their secret buffalo wing sauce, but simply make the 20 minute journey from College to Canal Bank and you can sample it yourself – no need for agonizing over butter to hot sauce ratios. Get a huge portion for €14.95 and choose from a very posh list of wines, beers and cocktails to wash them down. If Smokin Bones is somewhere you can bring your friends when you’re horribly hungover, Canal Bank Café is somewhere you can bring your parents when you want to impress them with your ‘adultness’ while still getting to eat wings. It’s a win-win.