Chicken wings, buffalo wings or hot wings? Maybe you keep it simple with just "wings." But, as Shakespeare would say, what's in a name? That which we call a chicken wing, by any other name, would taste as delicious. (That's exactly what he said in Romeo & Juliet, right?)
Regardless of what you call these spicy handhelds, we're just as obsessed as you are. We've rounded up the local-favorite wing spots in town, so you'll know exactly where to sit down and order up when you arrive in #RealColumbiaSC. And whether you like them extra crispy or tender, saucy or smoky, there's a place to satisfy every taste. We'll save the flats vs. drums argument for later. (Cough, flats).
Did Bar None start the Columbia trend of smoked wings? Arguably so. The local-favorite dive bar is known for its laid-back atmosphere and late-night food that you'd actually still enjoy if you were eating it in the middle of the day. Every menu item is consistently delicious-from low country barbecue and pizza to cheese-covered French fries. The smoked wings, though, have patrons anxiously waiting in anticipation for the bi-weekly Tuesday Wing Night. Personally, it's our two favorite days of the month.
A Devine Street staple for nearly 30 years, Publick House instantly comes to the minds of locals when thinking of where to get their hands dirty with hot sauce. These spicy stunners are fried in 100% vegetable oil, then individually sauced for the utmost perfection. So start your meal with fried pickles or pub bread, order up some butter barbecue or lemon pepper wings (try the pterodactyl if you're feeling adventurous) and enjoy the Devine Street ambiance on the outside patio.
Café Strudel is best-known around Columbia for its unforgettable brunch. The legendary Hangover Hashbrowns, French toast made with pineapple Hawaiian bread and other hot items keep the line weaving out the door throughout the morning. However, don't sleep on Café Strudel as a dinner spot. The unforgettable smoked wings pair alongside $5 bloody Mary's at happy hour and, well, you just can't beat that.
Across the bridge in Cayce, D's Wings is a one-of-a-kind spot covered wall-to-wall in unique signage and autographed dollar bills. 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.
Already-delicious chicken wings have just been significantly elevated. How is that possible? Stuff them with more delicious-ness, obviously! At 2 Fat 2 Fly, nothing on the menu is #basic. You can order chicken wings stuffed with cheese + jalapenos, jambalaya and even mac n cheese. I know, right? It's crazy-and you'll wonder how they do it the entire meal-but it's completely and utterly delicious. They were even featured on the Oprah Winfrey Network. Yep. They're that good.
When you're at River Rat sippin' on a prosecco popsicle cocktail or a Broad River Red, compliment your drink with some of Columbia's most beloved wings. They are smoked in-house and, if you so choose, spicy. River Rat only has a few things on the menu, which means that everything they do, they do well-and with precision. So grab some extra napkins and let's clink glasses.
The go-to hangout for Lake Murray locals, Schooners is a come-as-you-are bar and grill - where Irmo locals hang out after summer ballgames + 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.
8. The Kraken
If creative menu items like lobster grilled cheese don't have you sold, Rosewood's premier gastropub, the Kraken, is also known for its phenomenal smoked wings. This is your place if you prefer secluded and under-the-radar spots that boast an array of craft beer and a laid-back atmosphere. If you feel like living on the wild side for a night, top off your meal with a peanut butter sriracha donut, and let us know what you think. (Ps: you can now get the Kraken's famous wings from its newest sister-restaurant, the Black Market Tavern!)
Did we forget your favorite? Tweet us at @ColumbiaSC & let us know your go-to wing spot in #RealColumbiaSC!