One of the most common items on restaurant menus across Portland, Maine is chicken wings. But as any good connoisseur of wings will tell you, not all of them are created equal. Certain wings hit different at certain times. There may one night you’re looking for a more refined delivery and taste, another night you just want a wing slathered in sauce with a cold pint. So let us show you the ultimate guide to eating wings throughout Portland.
Grilled Wings – Coals Bayside
Despite being around for several years, the wings at Coals Bayside continue to be one of best kept secrets in the city. We’re calling them grilled wings, but they’re really the total package. Crispy and delicious up front, with a hint of grilled taste on the back end of your bite. Grab yourself a large order of classic buffalo, maple rosemary or spicy cilantro.
Extra Crispy – Crispy Gai
If some serious crisp on your wings, plan a trip to Crispy Gai on Exchange Street right now. Their Hat Yai wings ( served with fried shallots) deliver that extra crispy bite over and over again. They’ve also got a couple other options on their menu as well. Gaeng Pet wings (red curry) or Sichuan wings made with numbing spice. Yes, you read that right.
The Whole Damn Wing – Great Lost Bear
When you order a plate of wings from the majority of restaurants, you’re expecting to get flats and drumettes. At Great Lost Bear on Forest Avenue, you get the whole damn wing. GLB has been well known for a very long for their heaping pile of wings served with a soup cup of your favorite dressing. If you want to have a messy yet satisfying wing experience, you know where to go.
Late Night – Tomaso’s Canteen
We’re giving the spectacular wings found at Tomaso’s Canteen the ‘late night’ designation, but you can really grab these gems anytime you’d like. Just like many other places, there’s lot of ‘flavors’ to choose from, from garlic parm to honey simbal. Do yourself a favor and just go straight for the dirt wings at Tomaso’s, you can send us a thank you note later.
Award Winning – Liquid Riot
If you’ve got in your mind that Liquid Riot along Commercial Street is strictly a place to get great beer and spirits, think again. Liquid Riot has been victorious in wing challenges and have mastered the perfect combination of taste and presentation with their three wing options. You don’t even need to trust us, the awards speak for themselves.
Spicy – Po’ Boys and Pickles
While they’re known for their New Orleans style sandwiches that are out of this world, Po’ Boys and Pickles on Forest Avenue doesn’t skimp on the spice when it comes their chicken wings either. If you like them with a kick, grab yourself an order of the voodoo chicken wings and something to cool your month nearby.
Gameday – Binga’s
For almost two decades, sports fans crushed an insane amount of wings at Binga’s Stadium along Free Street. Despite the fact that Binga’s has moved to different part of the city, they’ll still be serving up the crowd pleasing, flash-fried wings they’ve becoming famous for. It’s difficult to beat the combo of a big game and Binga’s wingas.
Gameday – Rivalries
With an entirely different flavor profile and preparation than Binga’s, Rivalries on Cotton Street has also been making gameday crowds happy for years with their traditional and boneless wings. The secret is in the sauce, meaning that highly-addictive sweet Thai chili sauce that their wings are covered in. Try it once and you’ll dream about it forever.
Pub – Three Dollar Dewey’s
Since Three Dollar Dewey’s on Commercial Street has found a second life, they’ve been pumping out some really delicious food from their kitchen. That includes a perfect plate of pub wings. Wings don’t have to be fancy if they’re cooked just right and Dewey’s has got it down to a science.
Vegetarian – Copper Branch
Yes, there are vegetarian wings in Portland, Maine. You’ll often find some on the menu at Green Elephant along Congress Street or at Copper Branch in Canal Plaza. Copper Branch makes their vegetarian wings out of shredded tofu and then wraps them around a bone to mimic the entire feeling of crushing a chicken wing. Would you give it a try?
Dry Rub – Gritty McDuff’s
Maine’s original brew pub, Gritty McDuff’s, is still doing it along Fore Street in the Old Port. Gritty’s has a whole menu of pub favorites but if you’re keying in on wings, don’t sleep on their dry rub. Specifically, their salt n’ vinegar dry rub which is a wild burst of flavor with a nice crispy wing. Grab a side of tots and you’ve won the night.
Unique – The Honey Paw
One place to find some of the most unique and flavorful wings in Portland is at The Honey Paw on Middle Street. Their wing preparation includes fish sauce and the flavor profile has hints of lime, chili and coconut. Before you turn away from the idea, you’ll want to try them. The Honey Paw wings have done very well in competitions for a reason.
Dive Bar – Congress Bar & Grill
Sometimes you just want to go to a place where everyone knows your name. It’s possible at Congress Bar & Grill, where the concept feels a little dive bar plus eclectic. The wings are on point though, which makes CBG the perfect place to hide while still eating like a King or Queen.