As you already know, wings are wildly popular in these parts — so much so, it almost seems like the options are endless. But we all have our favorites, and the 10 below are mine. Keep in mind, there are many places I’ve still yet to try, so I also included 35+ reader suggestions to reinforce all the great options in Central Arkansas. With all that said, in no particular order, here are my 10 favorite wings, in honor of National Chicken Wing Day.
The marinated, battered, and then deep-fried wings at Certified Pie are off-the-charts good. The coating is super thick and just soaks up any sauce or seasoning that the staff adds to it. I highly recommend the sweet and spicy Truth Sauce, but Buffalo, teriyaki, honey BBQ, garlic Parmesan, honey mustard, country fried, and even the new Parmesan dill are all great options.
If you love wings, Chicken King has choices — and plenty of them. I won’t go through all the flavors, but I can vouch for the Garlic Hot (non-battered). I’ve never had any of Chicken King’s country-fried wings, but I can’t imagine them being anything but awesome.
Town Pump’s wings come in a variety of flavors, including mild, medium, hot, ouch, BBQ, spicy BBQ, lemon pepper, garlic Parmesan, sweet heat, Pump rub and Dirty Bird. I’ve only tried the sweet heat and garlic Parmesan and was immediately criticized for not ordering the Dirty Bird. Nevertheless, no matter what flavor you choose, you’ll be sure to be blown away by the crispiness of these wings. What a perfect fry job.
Charlee’s Good Time Drinkery
I am a huge fan of smoked wings, especially when they’re flash-fried afterward, which is exactly what Charlee’s does. And they aren’t stingy with the bbq sauce either, a sweet version that you can probably ask them to back off a bit if you’re averse to a heavy coating. Eight wings come in an order, and there’s a choice between bbq (sweet or spicy), Buffalo (hot or not), or a house dry rub.
Lost Forty Brewing
Like Charlee’s, Lost Forty smokes their wings, followed by a quick frying. The wings are small (not a knock) and tasty. While I can only vouch for the Buffalo Way Sauce with its mild spice level, I imagine the hotter Smoked Reaper and Sweet & Spicy-Q are both excellent options as well, depending on your palette preference.
Before we get to their wings, can we all agree that Lazy Pete’s is one of the most underrated, hidden gems in Little Rock? Good, glad we got that out of the way. And the wings play a big part in the greatness. Small, crispy, and juicy, these fried chicken wings are a vision, and while you’ll be tempted to order the Original Buffalo or even the Honey Sriracha, the Lemon Pepper is the way to go.
Bulgogi Korean BBQ (Conway)
I love Bulgogi in Conway and only wish the restaurant was in Little Rock. The menu is small, yet everything they do, they do quite well. This includes the chicken wings appetizer that will tickle your sweet and savory taste buds with a teriyaki-like sauce topped with a sprinkle of sesame seeds. Have a few before your rice and noodle bowls hit the table.
Hey, upscale restaurants like Table 28 can do wings as well. Load up on the napkins and don’t be afraid to lick your fingers while sitting at the bar (or a table). Heads up though, these are duck wings, which are a little bigger in size and every bit as delicious as its poultry counterpart. Table 28 gets a little fancy with a combination of candied ginger, paprika, and chili.
By now, you can probably deduce that I fancy the sweet/heat combo as it pertains to wings. This is the case with HallBros2Go’s wings and their use of the house-made Sweet Stella Sauce that Daron and his crew drizzle over the country fried wings. If you can’t wait for the food trailer that sets up in their family’s K Hall and Sons parking lot on some Sundays, just order some wings at the grocery store and ask for a side of Stella Sauce.
Rock City Kitchen
Rock City Kitchen’s wings are fairly new to me, but I just couldn’t leave them off this list. An order comes battered and fried, then a sauce of your choice is added. Go with the Sweet Barbeque, but I’m sure all (Truth Sauce, lemon pepper, teriyaki sweet chili, Buffalo or Rock City) are worthy of a try. Like HallBros2Go, RCK does a drizzle, rather than a complete toss.
Reader Recommendations: The Wing Shack, Mike’s Café, Sauce(d), Count Porkula, KnightFire BBQ, Arkansas Best Wings, Brood & Barley (duck wings), Daddy’s Smackin’ Wings (Russellville), Lucky Luke’s BBQ (Fayetteville), Valhalla Restaurant & Axe Throwing, Chicken Wangs Café, Soul Fish Café, Pizza Café West, Flyway Brewing, The Rail (Rogers), Chicken Wangz III, Grumpy’s Too, Brewster’s 2 Café, Four Quarter Bar, Brewski’s Pub & Grub, Edward’s Food Giant, Jacob’s Wings & Grill, Wings on the Run, Dem Dam Wingz, Lost Pizza Co., Jim’s Razorback Pizza, S & K Wings, Wing Shack, Wing Shack #2, Red Moon Tavern, Joey’s Bar & Grill, Crazee’s Café, 825 Food Truck, Wings Take Out LR, Big Whiskey’s, Hotboxx Woodfire Pizza (Eureka Springs)