The Six Best Chicken Wings in Denver

Bird is the word today: It's National Chicken Wing Day!
Bird is the word today: It's National Chicken Wing Day!
Danielle Lirette

Today is National Chicken Wing Day — and we're making a flap about it. The lowly wing rose to celebrity status in Buffalo, New York, where a slathering of Frank's Hot Sauce and butter was all that was needed to secure the dish a spot on every sports-bar roster in the country — that, and a little blue-cheese dressing. But there's more to wings than just tangy heat, as Denver's restaurants prove, with smoked, fried and grilled variations doused in flavors from around the globe. Here are the six best chicken wings in Denver, with this year's winner of Westword's Best Chicken Wings award in the number-one slot.

A wok-full of wings at Ace.
A wok-full of wings at Ace.
Danielle Lirette

6. Ace Eat Serve
501 East 17th Avenue
303-800-7705

Ace loves wings so much that it hosts an annual Wings & Whiskey festival to raise money for the Denver Housing Authority's Youth Culinary Academy. But that's just once a year...and you need wings today. Ace has you covered with two styles: a naked version with marinated and fried wings and a kicked-up wing with tangy, savory tiger sauce. When are we going to stop loving these? When tigers fly!

The heat is on at Fire on the Mountain.EXPAND
The heat is on at Fire on the Mountain.
Mark Antonation

5. Fire on the Mountain
3801 West 32nd Avenue
303-480-9464

With so many styles of wings in town, sometimes its good to stick with the basics. Fire on the Mountain, winner of our Readers's Choice Award this year, boasts a dozen different sauces, but our favorite is the straight-up Buffalo, ordered extra-hot, of course. The kitchen obliges with a tongue-warming blend that includes jalapeño and habanero chiles; the first bite seems like no big deal, but the heat builds and builds until you realize you need another round of beers. And if that's not hot enough for you, the house signature El Jefe wings make the extra-hot seem tame in comparison.

4. The Ghost BBQ & Spirits
2028 14th Street, Boulder
303-998-9350

Boulder's Pearl Street Mall seems an unlikely location for a true smokehouse, but the Ghost delivers an authentic taste of Texas in the heart of the People's Republic. These mahogany wings are packed with smoky flavor and wrapped in a crackly skin, and if you want a little extra heat, just ask for a side of ghost-chile sauce. Chef/owner Bob Sargent's thing for wings flew to new heights this summer with his first-ever Ghost Wing Eating Contest, captured by Westword's video crew.

Keep reading for the rest of the list...
 

The Six Best Chicken Wings in Denver

3. GQue Championship Barbecue
5160 120th Avenue, Westminster
303-379-9205

GQue is another newcomer to the Colorado barbecue scene, and owner Jason Ganahl, a St. Louis native, has earned his wings by competing on the national barbecue circuit over the past several years. His championship chops are evident in the method he uses to give his 'cue great flavor. GQue's wings are slow-smoked before being deep-fried and then given a final dusting of the house dry rub. Head to the Westminster smokehouse for wings by the dozen — and head home with a bottle of the dry rub to add to your own wing recipe. 

2. Yong Gung
2040 South Havana Street, Aurora
720-748-3003

Yong Gung specializes in the other kind of KFC: Korean fried chicken. The wings here are twice-fried to form a crunchy, crackly shell before receiving a sticky coating of sweet, spicy goodness and a shower of chopped peanuts. The sauce is available in a hot version, too, but it won't blow your top. If you're spice-averse, a cooling side salad with Thousand Island dressing (it's like an all-American picnic!) will keep the flames at bay.

1. Cho77
42 South Broadway
720-638-8179

One bite of Cho77's grilled wings in Vietnamese caramel sauce will convince you that the other contenders are just playing chicken. Pungent fish sauce, Asian spices, burnt sugar and just a touch of heat come together in a sticky sauce lacquered on thick over juicy, chewy wings. There's no polite way to polish these off, so just go for it — after asking for extra wet wipes. We recommend Beerlao Dark Lager as a caramel-tinged complement to the best wings in town.

Use Current Location

Related Locations

miles
Fire on the Mountain
miles
The Ghost BBQ & Spirits

2028 14th St.
Boulder, Colorado 80302

303-998-9350

theghostbbq.com

miles
GQue Championship Barbecue

5160 120th Ave.
Westminster, Colorado 80020

303-379-9205

gquebbq.com

miles
Ace Eat Serve

501 E. 17th Ave.
Denver, CO 80203

303-800-7705

www.aceeatserve.com

miles
Yong Gung

2040 S. Havana St.
Aurora, CO 80014

720-748-3003

miles
Cho77

42 S. Broadway
Denver, CO 80209

720-638-8179

www.cho77.com


Sponsor Content

Newsletters

All-access pass to the top stories, events and offers around town.

  • Top Stories
    Send:

Newsletters

All-access pass to top stories, events and offers around town.

Sign Up >

No Thanks!

Remind Me Later >