Crispy fried wings have long been a staple of Southern cooking, while Buffalo, New York, birthed the idea of tossing them in a spicy, buttery, vinegary sauce. Now wings come in a seemingly endless array of flavors and styles, from dry rubs to fruit-spiked sauces to smoked versions that you can find at many of our picks for the city's best barbecue joints. The recent craze for Korean fried chicken has brought a wave of soy sauce- and gochujang-based takes, too; at Vietnamese restaurants, wings get a complex boost from fish sauce.
While searching for the best wings in the area, we tasted our way through a fresh batch of contenders, with a few ground rules: We focused on brick-and-mortars, skipping national or international chains and only considering bone-in wings (because boneless wings are not technically wings at all).
Here are our picks for the ten best wings in the Denver metro area, listed in alphabetical order:
CD's Wings7685 West 88th Avenue, Westminster
cdswings.com With a large dining area plus a patio, CD's has room for a lot of wing fans — which is a good thing, since it tends to draw a big crowd regularly. And for good reason: Its deep-fried wings are available tossed in over twenty sauce options that range from totally mild choices like lemon pepper and teriyaki to the ghost pepper-spiked Last 1 Standing. CD's also understands that wing preferences are a personal thing. Want all flats, extra crispy, swimming in sauce? No problem. Beyond the wings themselves, the eatery serves up an extensive menu of other fried fare, from corn nuggets and okra to beer-battered haddock. Along with its Westminster outpost, it also operates a food truck and will soon add a location in Aurora.
Fire on the Mountain3801 West 32nd Avenue
300 South Logan Street
fotmdenver.comThis wing joint with a jam-band soul opened in West Highland in 2012 and added a Wash Park outpost in 2019. Yes, the wings are on the small side; that's because FOTM uses only cage-free, antibiotic-free chicken, along with making other environmentally conscious moves like composting all of its food scraps and recycling its cooking oil. But size doesn't really matter when the wings are cooked perfectly and tossed in a stellar selection of sauces, including a rotating sauce of the month. The killer beer list is a major bonus, as are the ever-changing specials, just in case you're in the mood to skip wings once in a while.
Genna Rae's Wings & More1819 East 28th Avenue
gennaraeswings.comThis takeout-only storefront in Whittier was opened by Genn Dickerson in 2016. Originally from the Virgin Islands, Dickerson serves food with a Caribbean edge, including large wings that come in flavors like mango habanero, jerk sauce and Island Zing. More sweet and tangy than spicy, they pack a lot of flavor and a supremely crunchy bite. The "& More" ups the temptation factor at Genna Rae's, since you can pair your wings with a giant $12 burger, soul food dinners like catfish and hot links, and such sides as Southern greens, plantains and mac and cheese.
King of Wings7741 West 44th Avenue, Wheat Ridge
kingofwingstaphouse.comThere's a reason we were salivating for Eddie Renshaw and Evan Pierce's King of Wings to open up again after a December 2021 kitchen fire and permitting delays forced it to pivot to smashburgers cooked outside to stay afloat. But while Snipeburger was a hit (one the owners continue to bring back as a pop-up), the chicken wings, which made a comeback in March 2023, are simply the best around. Each order gets grilled — adding a deep, smoky essence and a charred caramelization to the skin — before being doused in one of ten sauces, including Thai BBQ, bourbon buffalo or tangy gold. The Wheat Ridge location also doubles as a taphouse, and it plans to open a second location in Golden soon.
Mono MonoMultiple locations
If it seems like Korean fried chicken joints are flocking to Denver, that's because they are. As more and more people get hooked on the other KFC, new options continue to join the scene. While many of them are outposts of international chains, we're particularly impressed with the growth of Mono Mono, which was inspired by a single-location restaurant with the same name in New York City but was brought to Denver by local restaurateur J.W. Lee in 2021. Now with six locations and counting, its ultra-crispy double-fried wings are a can't-miss, especially when you pair them with a cold Mono Mono beer (it brews its own at its Lafayette location) and sides like corn cheese and bulgogi nachos.
Piper Inn2251 South Parker Road
piperinn.comDuring the Piper Inn's more than five decades in business, the wings at the family-run joint have become legendary. Currently owned by Jed Levin, the Piper is also a biker bar with a unique menu that mixes classic bar fare and Chinese dishes, including Cantonese options like egg foo young and chow mein. The wings are available in classic Buffalo, a garlic dry rub, a seasonal option and Chinese style — fried in a wok and doused in a blend of oyster sauce and a secret Chinese spice mix.
The Porklet12201 East Mississippi Avenue, Aurora
theporklet.com The Porklet, with its adorable porcupine logo, is so named because pork cutlets are the specialty, jacketed in an almost painfully crunchy breadcrumb shell and dripping juice with each bite. But you must not overlook the meaty wings that somehow manage to maintain their crunch beneath a sticky layer of sauce. Choose from options like sweet honey butter, tangy Buffalo, savory Garlic Bomb or the messiest of them all, the Black & White BBQ. It's okay to make a pig of yourself with fried chicken this good.
Twin's Wings48580 West Colfax Avenue
303-477-4460This spot that specializes in wings and burgers has no official website, but what it does have is big, meaty wings at an affordable price. They're available in ten sauce options, including a buttery garlic parmesan and a standard hot with a vinegary punch. They take about fifteen minutes to cook to order, so call ahead for the smoothest experience, but plan on dining in for the crispiest eating experience. And if you're hungry for more, it also offers daily specials like a burger, fries and drink for $9.99 on Thursdays.
Viet's Restaurant333 South Federal Boulevard
vietsrestaurant.com Located in a corner of the Far East Shopping Center, right next to the more casual Viet's Cafe, Viet's Restaurant offers a deep dive into Vietnamese cuisine, with a pages-long menu that can be dizzying for a first-timer to navigate. But you can't go wrong with the wings, which are available two ways. The traditional bone-in wings on the platter are crisped to perfection and coated in a sticky, salty fish sauce-spiked glaze. Or you can opt for the canh ga don thit, chicken wings that have been deboned and stuffed with a mixture of pork, herbs and spices, served sliced along with fresh veggies and rice noodles so they can be eaten as lettuce wraps.
The Wing Hut
15473 East Hampden Avenue, Aurora
winghutaurora.comThis small, family-owned spot has specialized in wings for over two decades, and the experience shows. The wings are on the smaller side, but with tender meat, a nice, crisp bite and a whopping 46 killer sauce and dry-rub options, size really doesn't matter. Not sure where to start? The garlic parmesan is a customer favorite, while the hot honey mustard offers a sweet and tangy experience with a kick. Orders are placed at the counter, and you can go half and half on flavors when getting wings by the pound — an essential move if you're going for variety. Wing Hut also has a lineup of Cajun items, including po'boys, gumbo, gator jambalaya and fried okra.