hunger binge

The Ten Best Wings in Denver

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King of Wings rules the wing scene. - LINNEA COVINGTON

King of Wings rules the wing scene.

Linnea Covington

It’s always a good time to eat chicken wings, but there’s something about the onset of fall and the kickoff of football season that has us hungering for this messy, delicious and versatile finger food.

Metro Denver has many options for wings, in styles ranging from classic Buffalo to garlic Parmesan to Korean. The way each place preps its chicken matters: Some smoke the wings, others fry them, still others bake them, and a few do all three before tossing in flavoring. And then come the sauces…

Where do the best wings in Denver land? We flew into the task of trying as many as possible to make the determination, skipping the spots that only occasionally offer specials. Even so, it was tough to narrow down our favorites to ten, but we managed — focusing on those with juicy meat on the bone, a pleasing crispness outside and great flavor all the way through.

Here are the ten best we sampled, listed in alphabetical order:

<a rel="nofollow" href="https://media1.fdncms.com/den/imager/u/original/12234024/ace_wings_by_linnea_covington.jpg" rel="contentImg_gal-12233416" title="Tiger Wings from Ace Eat Serve. – LINNEA COVINGTON" data-caption="Tiger Wings from Ace Eat Serve.  
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Tiger Wings from Ace Eat Serve. - LINNEA COVINGTON

Tiger Wings from Ace Eat Serve.

Linnea Covington

Ace Eat Serve and Wing Alley
501 East 17th Avenue
303-800-7705

Inside Ace Eat Serve, chef Thach Tran created Wing Alley as a takeout-only spot open Wednesday through Sunday from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Of all the great offerings from this concept, our favorite is the Tiger Wings, which are glazed in an Asian-style sweet and salty lemongrass chili sauce. The Tiger Wings have been around for years, and are available on both the Wing Alley and Ace menus. Wing Alley also serves flavors such as Asian buffalo, Korean-style Angry Chicken, and Lucky Dragon, which is made with bang-bang sweet Thai chili sauce. There are also naked wings and two dry rubs: the Night Owl, with parmesan and lemon garlic pepper; and Foxy Kitsune, with Japanese chili powder and shichimi togarashi spice blend. All of the wings are fried and crispy. Eight pieces run $16, sixteen pieces are $31, and a pack of 24 costs $46. Visit the restaurant on Wednesdays to get four wings for $5 plus whiskey specials all night.

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Brined, smoked and grilled wings from Crush Pizza & Tap. - JASON MCGOVERN

Brined, smoked and grilled wings from Crush Pizza & Tap.

Jason McGovern

Crush Pizza + Tap
1200 West 38th Avenue
720-619-3337

Yes, owner Jason McGovern knows his pizza, but he also knows how to make a killer wing. In fact, he’s opening a wing-focused spot called Crush Wings + Tap soon in the former home of The Elm on Colfax.  McGovern marinates his chicken, then smokes it, bakes it and finally fries it to order. This means not only that the meat is super flavorful and juicy on its own, but the crispy outside lends a pleasing bite and works as a catalyst for holding one of the many sauces or dry rubs available. Our favorite sauces have a sweet heat thanks to the sriracha mixed in with either honey or maple syrup. There are other options, too, including the super spicy crush bomb, sweet-and-sour habanero, classic Buffalo and dry rubs like Nashville hot, sweet heat and lemon pepper. Get these wings in bundles of five, nine, twelve and sixteen, starting at $8.50.

<a rel="nofollow" href="https://media1.fdncms.com/den/imager/u/original/12234025/gque_wings_by_covington.jpg" rel="contentImg_gal-12233416" title="Simple Buffalo wings from GQue Championship BBQ in Westminster. – LINNEA COVINGTON" data-caption="Simple Buffalo wings from GQue Championship BBQ in Westminster.  
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Simple Buffalo wings from GQue Championship BBQ in Westminster. - LINNEA COVINGTON

Simple Buffalo wings from GQue Championship BBQ in Westminster.

Linnea Covington

GQue Championship BBQ
5160 West 120th Avenue, Westminster
303-379-9205
8433 Park Meadows Center Drive, Lone Tree
303-729-2506

Getting a solid Buffalo-style wing is sometimes all one needs to curb the craving, and the meaty, buttery and smoky wings at this barbecue joint with locations in Westminster, Lone Tree and at Mile High Stadium hit all the right notes. In fact, the wings at owner and barbecue master Jason Ganahl’s place were Westword‘s pick for best wings in 2019, and the dish still stands up two years later. Each batch of wings gets slow-smoked over hickory logs before being flash-fried to order, resulting in juicy chicken and crispy skin, even when it’s coated in rich and spicy Buffalo sauce. You can also opt for a dry rub or whatever special wing flavor the eatery is dishing out that day. Order five wings for $6.99 or ten for $12.49.

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These wings from King of Wings are pretty perfect. - LINNEA COVINGTON

These wings from King of Wings are pretty perfect.

Linnea Covington

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