Everyone has their go-to chicken wings. Foodland’s addictive salt-and-vinegar wings. Breaded, deep-fried wings with blue cheese dressing from J. Dolan’s. Classic Buffalo style from Dirty Lickins. The Pig & The Lady’s LFC wings with peanuts, pickled red onions and money sauce. Ultra-crispy fried shoyu wings from Von’s.
The summer before COVID, staffers at our sister publication HONOLULU Magazine pitted O‘ahu’s eight best chicken wings against each other and declared a winner. All those old favorites are still there, but new spots have emerged that may be contenders. If you’re planning your Super Bowl menu, you might want to bet on these newbies.
Where: 1273 S. King St., Tuesday to Sunday 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
What’s popular: Sweet and soy garlic chicken
More: There are crispy (plain) and sweet and spicy flavors, but sweet and soy garlic rules. Each order contains 7 meaty, sweet, slightly spicy wings, all liberally coated. Wing packs cost $9.90 to $10.90.
Order: Call (808) 593-2122
Aloha Beer Co.
Where: 700 Queen St., Monday to Thursday 4 to 9 p.m., Friday to Sunday 12 to 10 p.m.
What’s popular: Aloha Buffalo or Red Zeppelin BBQ
More deets: Orders include a quarter-pound of wings with creamy house-made ranch. You can get them in plain and salt and pepper dry rub flavors, or go with the crowd favorites: Aloha Beer’s spicy take on Buffalo wings or its version of barbecue wings. There’s also a featured weekly special. On a recent visit it was honey mustard wings, which were too spicy for me but so delicious that I kept eating. All wings cost $14, no matter what flavor you choose.
Order: Call (808) 544-1605 or order online
Left Wing Chicken
Where: Inside H Mart, 458 Keawe St., Sunday to Thursday 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Friday and Saturday 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
What’s popular: Chile soy garlic wings
More deets: A boneless option is available, and other sauce choices include original and sweet & spicy. Orders come in small ($13.95), medium ($24.95) and large ($34.95) sizes.
How to order: Online
SEE ALSO: Our Go-To: Fried Chicken
Where: 1221 Pi‘ikoi St. in the parking lot of Young’s Wine & Spirits Convenience Store (next to Safeway Beretania), Wednesday to Monday from 12 to 8:30 p.m.
What’s popular: Jumbo Hawaiian wings
More deets: This food truck opened in November with a menu of jumbo wings. I asked “how jumbo” and was told 6 Moa wings are the equivalent of 10 WingStop wings. There are two other flavors—buffalo and barbecue—but 70% of customers order the shoyu-based, garlicky Hawaiian wings. Orders come with rice, celery, carrots and your choice of ranch or blue cheese dipping sauce. Wings come in packs of 6, 10, 15, and 20 for $10.75, $17.75, $25.75 and $33.75, respectively.
How to order: Walk up or call (808) 597-0797
Redfish Poke Bar
Where: Salt Kaka‘ako, 685 Auahi St., daily from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
What’s popular: Hoisin-glazed sticky wings with sesame seeds and green onions
More deets: These are $6 for 4 pieces on the dine-in-only happy hour menu (2 to 6 p.m.). A different version, 8 crispy wings fried in tapioca flour with barbecue honey Dijon sauce, is on the regular menu for $10.
How to order: Call (808) 532-6420 or order online
SEE ALSO: Checking Out Redfish Poke Bar’s New Happy Hour
WingZ by Zippy’s
Where: Online for delivery
What’s popular: Zippy’s Korean Fried Chicken Sauce, Chinese Five Spice BBQ
More deets: WingZ by Zippy’s launched last October as a virtual concept only available for online ordering and delivery via Bite Squad and Uber Eats. Wings come in packs of 10, 20, 30, 40 or 50, ranging from $14.50 to $68.95, and in 7 flavors: Plain, Aloha Shoyu Pineapple Guava Teri Glaze, Chinese Five Spice BBQ, Orange Mustard, Savory Li Hing, Zippy’s Korean Fried Chicken Sauce and Lava Kim Chee. If you love spice, that Lava Kim Chee packs a good heat, according to workers at Zippy’s Makiki.
How to order: Uber Eats or Bite Squad