Featured photo courtesy of Candlelight Inn
From Buffalo to dry rubs to heat off the Scoville rating, here’s your guide to winging it in Westchester.
Born in a dimly lit buffalo bar, the classic wing as we know it has taken on a new life: a favorite of Super Bowl parties, food-eating contests, and a menu item restaurants will go to war for having the best of. The Buffalo wing has a culture all to itself, the ideal amount of sauce, spice, and snap rolled together for one glorious, albeit not so graceful, meal. We have broken down the top places in the county to conquer your cravings, Capsaicin or otherwise.
Saucy, spicy, and probably sloppy, why change a good thing? Celery and carrots optional.
Spectator’s Sports Pub
227 North Ave, New Rochelle
Fried to perfection and drenched in Spec’s famous Buffalo sauce, the only dive here is your headfirst one into this pile of wings. A hometown favorite and one of the best places to catch the game, sitting at the bar enjoying a cold beer, the ideal traditional Buffalo wing, and talking shop with whoever is on the barstool next to you is what local pub dreams are made of.
94 N Broadway, Tarrytown
A favorite local haunt (literally), these wings are crispy skin top to bottom and not overly saturated in Buffalo sauce. Owner Julie McCue is walking a brilliant balancing act of keeping the stories, traditions, and vibes of Horsefeathers alive, but with new twists like a refreshed bar menu to wash your wings down with.
105 Somerstown Tpk, Katonah
Serving the northern part of the county since the Roaring 20’s, this little red house is slinging food that sticks to your ribs (and in this case, fingers). Available in hot, mild, barbecue, or Parmesan garlic, and dished out with the perfect char, a few wings in and you’ll be the one roaring.
Pizzeria La Rosa
12 Russell Ave, New Rochelle
Yes, you read that correctly — some of the best traditional wings the county has to offer comes out of a tiny brick-fronted pizza joint tucked behind an AutoZone. The organic wings are paired with either blue cheese or ranch dip, but honestly, the flavors stand tall without any extra dippings. And how could we leave out the 75¢ wings and $6 draft beers on Tuesdays?
519 Central Ave, Scarsdale; 914.472.9706
You cannot talk about wings in Westchester without bringing up the institution that is Candlelight Inn, the log cabin synonymous with wings for over half a century. Served as a full wing (none of this flats and drums discord), the luscious Buffalo sauce is as nostalgia-evoking as it is delicious. “We wouldn’t be here for 68 years without the hard work and sacrifice of the employees,” says manager Will Tracy. “Good hospitality and quality food is what everyone deserves, and we try our hardest to make sure everyone here has that experience.” Mix in a basket of broccoli poppers and call us in the morning.
Darn Good Dry Rubs
Sometimes, a saucy wing is just not the vibe. These picks pack on the punch without the need for wet wipes galore.
70 Main St, Peekskill; birdsallhouse.net
These expertly smoked wings are delectable on their own, but the real power play to enjoy like a local is getting them with the house-made barbecue sauce, a welcome complement to the subtle smokiness of the meat (and drinkable in its own right). Another pro tip: Riding tandem to your meal should be the crispy fries with a side of malt vinegar mayo. Love that journey for you.
154 Mamaroneck Ave, Mamaroneck; 914.315.6020
While not technically a dry rub, we won’t hold it against these wings, whose audible crunch you can hear from a few towns over. Gene Lum channels his father’s Johnnie Lum wings of Lum Yen fame with these massive potato starch-floured beauties. Finished with oyster sauce and scallions, we wouldn’t blame you if you skipped the hard-to-resist ramen for a second order.
Game Day Grille
1927 Commerce St, Yorktown Heights; 914.302.6390
Game Day Grille is not playing around, with ten dry rubs to choose from, everyone from mild sticklers to spice worshipers has their needs covered. Our recommendation: the Louisiana Cajun for an enthralling soiree of red pepper, garlic, paprika, and a kick of spice. For a whole lot of seasoning and none of the mess, in a family-friendly environment, it’s an easy score.
Three Little Pigs BBQ
481 Commerce St, Hawthorne; 914.747.2480
This local barbecue joint is bringing it back to basics with its simple but flavorful smoked wings with a house-created rub layered on. This Buffalo mix will keep your tastebuds guessing (but never disappointed!) with notes of brown sugar, chili pepper, and cumin. Just simplicity — no bells, whistles, or bleu cheese required.
8 W Main St, Elmsford; 914.592.9849; petessaloon.com
There are very few joys in life that rival eating crispy, cooked to perfection wings in a hometown bar with live music playing in the background. At Pete’s, you can have it all — piquant, tender wings, cold beer, and an excellent backdrop for a night out where everybody knows your name.
If you’ve ever wondered what it was like to be on fire from the inside out, we dare you to take on one of these spice challenges.
NY Firehouse Grille
63 Welcher Ave, Peekskill; newyorkfirehousegrille.com
Boasting over fifty flavors of sauces and dry rubs, NY Firehouse Grille has earned its stripes in becoming an authority on wings. Names like Ninja Warrior (wasabi, honey mustard, teriyaki) and Spicy Meatball (hot sauce with chopped garlic) may be scary, but there is another final boss to be had — the Waiver Wings. The hottest available, you do literally need to sign a waiver to eat them. Dine at your own risk.
519 Central Ave, Scarsdale; 914.472.9706
The Chernobyl wings at Candlelight are the upper echelon of peppery heaven (but feels like hell, just saying). While exceedingly spicy, the sauce has developed a fan club over the past years, with patrons asking for a cup on the side to dip anything from their French fries to broccoli cheddar poppers. No word yet on if any of those people can still feel the roof of their mouth.
Hot Spot & Toxic Wings
854 N Broadway, White Plains; whiteplains.toxicwingstogo.com
There is something insidious about a place’s second hottest wings being the ones named “Toxic.” Take on the terrifying-sounding, tasty inferno that is the Ghost Pepper wings. Make sure you’ve got a gallon of milk at your disposal.
Take a walk on the wild (wing) side with these flavor combinations that stray from the norm.
Lazy Boy Saloon
154 Mamaroneck Ave, White Plains
3 p.m. or 3 a.m., these wings are the move. While the ingredients sound a lot like what led you up to this point (tequila, lime, salt), the satisfying crunch and delicate tang are addicting. And at 10 wings for $13, they serve as the ultimate meal for lunch or late night.
Thai Sweet Chili
Pik Nik BBQ
45 Main St, Tarrytown
These cherrywood-smoked noshes are full of fall-off-the-bone flavor. The sweetness of the sauce melding with the heat of the Thai chilis will convert even the staunchest of Buffalo purists. Cooked low and slow with a whole lotta love, these wings give layers of bite and tanginess you can sink your teeth into repeatedly.
Krave: A New York Eatery
8 S Division St, New Rochelle
Well seasoned by veteran chef Edwin “Chrissy” Crisp, you can feel the full-flavor powers of the Caribbean in each bite of these wings. Delicately dressed without being too overpowering or sticky, there is no holding back on the nuances of jerk spices to create a dish that is both authentic and innovative.
Smokehouse Tailgate Grill
320 Mamaroneck Ave, Mamaroneck
587 North Ave, New Rochelle
Not only are these wings smoked, but they’re finished over fire and then based with an agave butter glaze that adds a luscious moisture to the meat. Served with either the tangy Alabama white sauce or the smokey, spicy Nashville hot, you’ll be too busy licking your fingers clean to think of anything else beyond that.
Rooster’s Wings and Brew
1 Baker St, Mohegan Lake; 914.743.1797
With over 40 sauces and rubs, there’s no wrong way to eat a wing at Rooster’s. Our favorite flavor is reminiscent of another bar snack favorite, the jalapeno cheddar popper (truly making this a multiple-birds-one-stone-type of situation). Rich cheddar flavor packed with generous portions of diced jalapeno; you’ll be a mess in the best possible way.
Chicken Scarpariello Wings
90 Yonkers Ave, Tuckahoe
This Italian classic is now having a moment as a bar food twist. (Also available in boneless form if you’re a heathen.) Jumbo in size and decadence, this slightly spicy, vinegary, homage to Sunday dinners is a welcome iteration of the norm. To sweeten (since ‘to savory’ isn’t a term) the deal, every Wednesday is unlimited beer and wings from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., running you a fantastically reasonable $30.
Drums vs. Flats
Perhaps a topic more contentious than a game of Monopoly (with the ability to tear families apart just as quickly) we polled our Instagram readers: What’s your favorite part of the wing? The race was closer than you’d think.
Will Walk 4 Wings
Each Spring, typically the end of April, the downtown White Plains Business Improvement District (wpbid.com) puts together a stroll anyone would be willing to take of the city’s best wings. Snag a ticket to the White Plains Wing Walk and go for a turnabout downtown to sample dozens of wings (two from each participating restaurant). Cast your vote for best in the biz in what always turns out to be a fierce competition. The most recent champion? Two-time winner, Alex Lounge Bar and Grill’s cilantro lime wings.
Wings on Wheels
No, you’re not daydreaming — there really is a truck that supplies stellar wings in a flash. The Wing King truck (wingkingtruck.com) is the brainchild of none other than infamous wing purveyor New Rochelle’s Beechmont Tavern. Be it delivery or takeout, Wing King is ready to sling some hot and ready home cooking at the push of a button (on your phone, natch). While you’re devouring the same wings of your forefathers, don’t forget to check out the other novelty items the truck is excelling at as well. Pimento mac and cheese fritters, anyone?