By: Saúl Berríos-Thomas | Layout Editor
The search for the Burgh’s best chicken wings has come to an end. We have scoured the city in search of amazing combinations of flavor and quality, but we’ve reached the last wing in the basket and only one can reign as Pittsburgh’s best.
To recap, the places that we selected are The Library at 2302 E. Carson St., William Penn Tavern, located just off of Walnut St. in Shadyside at 739 Bellefonte St., Wings, Suds and Spuds at 8806 University Blvd. and Burgh’s Pizza and Wings at 533 Washington Ave. in the heart of Bridgeville.
I have always used the same three criterion to help decide upon the winners: quality, cook and flavor. The first category is the quality of the chicken wing used. Here the top pick is The Library. They were the freshest wings and the consistency in size was unmatched by the other places. Second place goes to William Penn Tavern. They had very big wings that were also fresh and not frozen. This one was very close though, because the quality at Wings, Suds and Spuds came in at a tight third.
Next is the cook. The winner here goes again to The Library’s poultry. The cook takes 30 minutes after you place your order. But the wings aren’t sitting under a heat lamp in the back, they’re being cooked fresh. They are crunchy on the outside, but tender near the bone, so the meat slides right off. Second place here is Wings, Suds and Spuds because they were also cooked fresh to order, but they were not quite as consistent as The Library.
The final piece to an excellent wing is the savory flavor that drips off of the wing, more commonly known as the sauce. The best sauce in Pittsburgh is the Kitchen Sink sauce from William Penn Tavern. This incredible combination of flavors shocks the palate every time. It is sweet, spicy and bold. There is no sauce to compare it to and it is by far the winner.
Second place for sauce is The Library for their Buffalo Ranch sauce, or if you prefer the Buffalo Bleu. Most people dip their buffalo wings in ranch or Bleu Cheese, but The Library does that for you with these great sauces. The familiar combination shines in this sauce because the flavors go together perfectly. Wings, Suds and Spuds has a few sauces that could be third because even though they do all of their sauces really well, they don’t have a unique sauce that really sets them apart.
So based on all three categories The Library is The Duke’s choice for best wings. They have the most consistency among the categories and they put an emphasis on giving you high-quality wings. While price isn’t a factor for the best wings, The Library has the all-you-can-eat wing special, from Sunday through Tuesday, which makes the trip across the Monongahela all the more worth it.
Although we crowned a winner, all of the places mentioned are superb choices. No matter what part of the Burgh you hail from, a wing option is there too. But don’t take my word for it, discover your own local favorite and support your fellow yinzers.