Restaurants

The Best Chicken Wings in Los Angeles

Be sure to have some wet wipes handy.

9 min read
2/8/2024
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Compared to other parts of the bird, wings have inherent advantages, like having a higher skin-to-meat ratio and being unbeatable in delivering sauces and rubs. In the right hands, frying or grilling them means you get the juiciest white meat imaginable with wonderfully crisp or caramelized skin. And, thankfully, Los Angeles has a lot of great wing spots. You can sink your teeth into some spectacular wings with flavor roots in Asia, Armenia, Italy, and the American South as well as varied culinary techniques (brining, double-battering, wood-smoking). Here are 15 of the best chicken wings in the city, all available through DoorDash. Be sure to have some wet wipes handy.

Woon

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Keegan Fong and his mother, Julie Chen, debuted their charming Chinese restaurant in Historic Filipinotown in 2019 with thick noodles, dumplings, and delectable chicken wings. The Fongs toss the wings in a flour-starch batter, then liberally season them with vivid five-spice and fresh garlic before deep-frying. The wings are peak savory snack.

Bone Kettle

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Chef Edwin Tjahyadi highlights his Indonesian heritage at this Old Pasadena spot, and it’s best conveyed through the wings. He citrus-brines drumettes and coats them with potato starch laced with star anise, Makrut lime, and lemongrass. Bone Kettle finishes the fried wings with Thai chilies and a drizzle of sticky kecap manis, or sweet soy sauce. Before digging in, squeeze charred lime all over the wings for a little brightness.

Night + Market Song

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The peek gai hey-ha, a.k.a. “party wings,” at chef Kris Yenbamroong’s three Thai restaurants in Silverlake, Venice, and West Hollywood live up to the name. The crisp drumettes and flats hold up to the sticky sauce that starts with fish sauce, sugar, Thai chilies, vinegar, and white pepper and finishes with scallions. The result is sweet, salty, and sour — perfection.

Cosa Buona

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Chef Zach Pollack doesn’t hold back at his neighborhood pizzeria in Echo Park. That extends to chicken wings drenched in Zach’s Red Hot sauce — a flavor-forward mix of Calabrian chilies, fish sauce, honey, and butter. The wings come with carrot and celery sticks as well as a mildly funky blue cheese dipping sauce made with Gorgonzola, staying true to Cosa Buona’s Italian concept.

Shlap Muan Wings

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Owners Hawk and Sophia Tea specialize in one thing at their Long Beach restaurant and Pasadena ghost kitchen, and that’s knock-out chicken wings inspired by their Cambodian heritage. You can’t go wrong with any of the wing styles, whether that’s the orange chicken wings that have a “fruity and unique heat” thanks to a kick from habanero, or the Cambodian Dirt® wings with lemongrass pepper dry seasoning, or the wok-fired Dirty Elvis Wings drenched in a sweet, smoky soy caramel.

donnys wings and spicy fries

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South L.A. native Donny Harrell started cooking wings and fries for his mother at age 10, and now the chef and serial restaurateur has mastered this iconic combo at his North Hollywood restaurant. Wings are available as flats or drumettes and in flavors like lip-smacking lemon pepper, beguiling barbecue Parmesan, or, simply, hot, which lives up to the name. Don’t skip the housemade ranch or blue cheese dressings.

Brooklyn Ave. Pizza Co.

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Mexican culture and Italian American pizza collide at this Boyle Heights spot, and it’s a beautiful thing. Chef Jorge Sandoval uses the humble wing as his canvas, whether that’s wood-firing and seasoning with gremolata or showering fried wings with Flamin’ Hot Cheeto dust. As for the latter, one bite of his clever and delicious combination of Cheeto dust, nacho cheese, and Parm proves these wings aren’t just a novelty.

Gorilla Pies

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These aren’t your regular ol’ dive-bar wings. At this Pittsburgh-inspired pizzeria in Valley Village, chef Ben Osher takes his wings seriously. He double fries starch-coated drumettes and flats for extra crunch and glazes them with sauces like smoky Buffalo and agave chili. But dry and spicy may be the best of the bunch; the wings are tossed with powdered yogurt, powdered buttermilk, powdered garlic, Tajin, and “extra spicy” chili powder and then served with cooling ranch.

Maple Block Meat Co.

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At this pair of barbecue joints in Grand Central Market and Culver City, pitmaster Rudy Suazo brines flats and drumettes in citrus, ginger, tea, and salt to maximize flavor and juiciness. Then he smokes them over peach wood before finishing on the wood grill. This all makes for one complex and delicious wing. They’re served alongside two house-made sauces: a piquant hot sauce made with cayenne, vinegar, and garlic and a tangy Alabama-style white sauce.

Palmsugar Thai Kitchen

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Check yourself before digging into chef Kate Petibas tantalizing chicken wings (available at her Westwood and South L.A. branches): Spice levels range from mild (“little kick”) to very spicy (“are you insane”). She double-batters drumettes and flats, then hits them with her Muay Thai sauce, a sweet-tangy tribute to Thailand’s popular combat sport. For the basil wings, she mixes them in soy sauce, palm sugar, and fish sauce and tops with crispy fried basil leaves.

Gus's World Famous Fried Chicken

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Gus’s original location in Mason, Tennessee, has spawned a fried chicken empire that now has two L.A. locations in Burbank and Mid City. And the hype is real. You get three whole wings (as in wing, tip, and drumette all attached) that are moderately spiced and coated in a thin, crackly skin. Wings arrive on a raft of white bread with sweet baked beans and crunchy coleslaw.

Firehouse BBQ

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Owner Haykaram Meliksetyan and his team are the skilled grillers behind this Glendale Armenian restaurant. You can see it in the wings, which are seasoned with black pepper, paprika, and a “secret sauce,” then grilled. After you’ve licked the bones clean, dig into a refreshing Armenian salad starring tomato and cucumber, grilled tomato, and your choice of French fries or rice.

TENKATORI WEST LA

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In Sawtelle’s Japantown, proprietor Masa Fuku carries on a fried chicken tradition dating back to Japan in 1955. The restaurant marinates wings in soy sauce, garlic, ginger, and apple before covering them with potato starch to produce a delicate coat. (Hot tip: You can order them as specifically tebanaka, or flats.) Whatever you do, try them with curry powder for an earthy, mildly spicy flavor, and pair with sauces like yuzu aioli, spicy mayo, or sweet and sour.

Wings 2 Go

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This Inglewood strip mall spot near LAX and SoFi Stadium specializes in “ATLanta style wings infused with flavors from around the world.” That means lemon pepper, a preparation popular in Atlanta and immortalized in the TV show “Atlanta.” The ATL Special features flats and drumettes seasoned with hot sauce and sprinkled with lemon pepper seasoning, while the Wings 2 Go Special flips the script, drizzling lemon pepper wings with hot sauce.

Loaded Wings & Deli

At this chicken wing, taco, and sandwich shop in South L.A., go with the namesake wings, a.k.a. fully loaded. Owners Oren Howard and Daveen Gilmore toss deep-fried drumettes and flats in a one-two-three punch of barbecue, hot, and lemon pepper sauces. It’s spicy and tangy in all the right ways.