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Rhode Island’s Best Chicken Wings

Sunday, February 03, 2013


It was the Anchor Bar in Buffalo, New York where we first tasted Buffalo wings, and we've been huge fans ever since. Whether it's the beginning of a new season for the Patriots or Super Bowl Sunday, there's nothing better than a platter of these beauties from Rhode Island's best spots. Except maybe another 99-yard pass.

The South Street Cafe, Providence

Where are you going to get enough wings to feed a football team without breaking the bank? Ask the Patriots -- this is where they order them to go when they need fuel for practice. South Street has been here for a long time, consistently turning out good food and drinks and it's become a Jewelry District staple. Barbecue and teriyaki please, but it's their traditional Buffalo that remind us those originals at the Anchor Bar, which set the standard for what a wing should be: deep-fried but not greasy, flavorful, with a kick at the end that makes you need a drink. Super-plump and super-cheap, the wings here can make a linebacker happy. And when it comes to fill-your-gut kind of food, we will always trust the 350-pound guys to steer us in the right direction. 54 South St, Providence, 454-5360.

The Ivy Tavern, Providence

Hope Street residents like to keep this little gem to themselves... the Ivy is one of the best bar/food options on the East Side. We used to live on Hope and have been loving the Ivy since a filmmaker friend turned us on to it. The Ivy is small. But it's one of the coolest places in the city to watch a game and grab some very good pub-grub. We are here for the wings, however, and the Ivy's "Chicken Tazers" don't disappoint. These spicy wings are marinated before frying to add extra flavor, moisture and heat. We were amazed at the lack of greasiness on the wings and loved the cool cilantro pesto served over the top. It provided the perfect cooling effect (as did the draft beer!). All of the food here is good if you're not in the wings mood. We also suggest the old bay-scented calamari and the Ivy burger. 758 Hope St, Providence, 421-4489.

Gator's Pub, North Smithfield

Gator's Pub in North Smithfield is that perfect neighborhood spot where the whole family can enjoy a night out or you can enjoy a game with some buddies.

The wings at Gator's are the old-school type -- the only crazy flavor is an awesome boneless Asian-inspired. They are fried and tossed with your choice of heat -- simple, but why mess with perfection? The masochist in us is always drawn to the nuclear and these don't disappoint. For a lot of restaurants, heat alone is the objective, but these wings retain flavor, too, along with that soul-scorching heat. If you're looking for a little more substantial bite, try the Buffalo chicken sandwich. All that great flavor without the bones. 1402 Victory Highway, North Smithfield, 769-2220, www.gatorspub.com

The Ocean Mist, Matunuck

For longer than we care to admit, we have loved Wednesday Night Wings at the Mist. Their tag line of "just a beach bar" couldn't be further from the truth. The Mist has some of the best bar food around, whether it's a Mexican style breakfast, fish and chips (try the Cajun version) or some incredible wing flavors, and they always hit the mark. Wednesday night wings has saved many a broke U.R.I. student from fast-food hell with two-dollar baskets of wings all night long. Nice, plump wings are deep-fried and tossed with a rotating bevy of 12 different sauces and served to the masses. You can expect to find the biggies every week, but it's the other, more creative sauces that we love. A recent visit had us licking the Georgia peach and pineapple teryiaki sauces off of our fingers for fear of wasting some of the sauce on our napkins. Peanut butter and jelly? Haven't gone there yet. But you never know. 895 Matunuck Beach Rd, 782-3740, www.oceanmist.net

Doherty's East Avenue Irish Pub, Pawtucket

When we are in the mood for good pub food and an incredible beer selection, we often choose Doherty's. Can we just say 82 beers on draft?

And it's a good thing too, because with a giant menu of pub food to choose from, you need all of those unique beer pairings. Beer is what drew us here but it's the food that brings us back. Nothing fancy, just pub stuff done right. The fish and chips, the shepherds pie, and the steak tips are all terrific. But we want wings and Doherty's delivers crisp tasty wings every time. With nine different flavor and heat combinations, there are wings for every taste here. The traditional Buffalo are not to be missed, with an amazing amount of flavor mixed in with all that heat. We also love the orange ginger flavor when we are in the mood for a little Asian influence. And don't forget, Monday nights feature twenty five cent wings all night long, to make Monday Night Football even better! 342 East Ave, Pawtucket, 725-1800, www.dohertyseastave.com


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