We know this can be a touchy subject, especially with so many local wing spots around town. Regardless of your stance on the best wings in Columbia, all of these handhelds are worth trying and we're just as obsessed as you are. We've rounded up just a few of the local favorites to try in town, but we simply couldn’t name them all. Where will you start your wing journey? And if you’ve already tried them all, you know you need seconds.
A Devine Street staple for nearly 30 years, Publick House recently got a facelift with new menu items and decor. Still, this institution instantly comes to the minds of locals when thinking of where to get their hot sauce fix. These spicy stunners are fried in 100% vegetable oil, then individually sauced over open flame for the utmost perfection. Start your meal with fried pickles or pub bread, order up some garlic parmesan or spicy pterodactyl wings (a secret menu item) and enjoy this true Irish pub ambiance.
Their slogan may be “Best BBQ on Both Sides of the Tracks,” but Railroad BBQ’s smoked wings (choose from dry rub, buffalo, Carolina red or Carolina gold) have a special place in our hearts alongside the ribs, collards and other Southern delicacies. Dine in to enjoy the memorabilia-filled walls and welcoming atmosphere.
RIVER RAT BREWERY
When you're at River Rat sippin' on a prosecco popsicle cocktail or a Dogs on Surfboards IPA (yes, you read that correctly), compliment your drink with some of Columbia's most beloved wings. They are smoked in-house and, if you so choose, spicy. Everything on River Rat’s menu is elevated fare from your typical bar or brewery food so grab some extra napkins and let's clink glasses.
Across the bridge in West Columbia, D's Wings is a one-of-a-kind spot covered wall-to-wall in unique signage. With over 25 flavors (including margarita!!!), finding a signature sauce that floats your boat will be a piece of cake. We hear that you should order the spicy parmesan or the Cajun teriyaki wings-paired with bleu cheese and a cold draft beer, of course.
HOME TEAM BBQ
While you can’t go wrong with a platter of barbecue at this Five Points joint, you would be remiss to skip over Fiery Ron’s Smoked Chicken Wings. This dry rub comes with Alabama White Sauce that will have you asking for another half dozen + the option to add death relish, if you so dare. If it’s that time of day and your wings are calling for a side of cocktail, Home Team is known for their frozen drinks like the Gamechanger or the Irish Coffee.
The go-to hangout for Lake Murray locals, Schooners is a come-as-you-are bar and grill where folks hang out after long days on the lake. While you wait for your sriracha honey flats, wing chips + fried okra, you'll get to enjoy an ice-cold (and we really mean that) beer from a frosted mug. We recommend going on a Tuesday, when the wings are just 75 cents and summer-jams whistle in the background by a local band.
Bringing in games like pinball, skee-ball and classic arcade games to Main Street, Transmission Arcade will have you feeling a bit nostalgic. But the food is what we’re really talking about here. Local secret, Smokey Loggins, handles this menu featuring none other than their infamous smoked wings. If you’re a local wing connoisseur, you’ve had these babies at Bar None on a Tuesday – if you know, you know. And if you haven’t had these fall-off-the-bone specialties, put them on your carryout list ASAP.
WINGS & ALE OF LEXINGTON
Known for friendly service and top-notch bartenders, Wings & Ale of Lexington is a local favorite. From sweet Teriyaki to savory garlic butter to zesty lemon pepper, they offer a variety of flavors to enjoy. And depending on your appetite and the size of your party, they come in a variety of quantities including 8, 12, 20, 30, 50 and 100. Choose from traditional or boneless, too.
ZA’S BRICK OVEN PIZZA
Ok, ok. We know this says “pizza” in the name but hear us out. This popular Devine St. neighborhood spot sources many of their ingredients from SC farms and just like they wood-fire their pizza in a brick oven, they also wood-fire their chicken wings making them crispy on the outside and full of flavor on the inside. They offer traditional wing sauces on the side for dipping but honestly, these wings are best plain and straight from the fire.
The wing-game is pretty strong in this capital city – Let us know if we missed your favorite!