7 Spots for the Best Wings in San Francisco
Are you a chicken wing connoisseur like us? If so, you are in for a treat, we have curated the perfect list of restaurants to find the best wings in San Francisco. Saying we’re fans of wings is a bit of an understatement (the Stretchy team has a tradition of breakfast wings if that gives you an idea). It is safe to say the Stretchy team knows the best chicken wings in San Francisco since we have tried them all. Chicken wings as we know them today were invented in a bar in upstate New York in the 1960s, and they have since earned their place as a bar-food classic. However, the rest of the culinary world has caught on, so chicken wings can now be found outside of the bar scene, including on carefully curated menus and even restaurants dedicated entirely to the famous meat treat. We have scoured the city for the best chicken wings in San Francisco and bring you a list of the tastiest and most creative flavors out there. Now, don’t forget about chicken wings just because football season is over, get a group together and try them all!
Best Wings in San Francisco #1
Hot Sauce and Panko
Highlight: They’re all amazing!
1468 Hyde Street, San Francisco (Nob Hill)
Sometimes decision paralysis is fun, right? Number 6 on our list of the best wings in San Francisco is Hot Sauce and Panko, a chicken wing staple, and what it lacks in seating space (seriously, there’s one table), they make up for in variety. Outside of major chains (we still love you, Buffalo Wild Wings), we’ve never seen 21 flavors of wings on one menu! Rest assured, there’s a wing flavor for any kind of palate, from sweet and innocent (like bacon-wrapped bourbon and molasses) to depths of hell spicy (i.e. ghost pepper and Carolina reaper) and a creative assortment of flavors in between. Some flavors are also available as part of a chicken and waffles combo if that’s your thing. In case you needed extra convincing, Hot Sauce and Panko is also a one-stop-shop for your hot sauce needs, with an entire wall dedicated to hot sauces for sale. What else could you want? Browse the menu at http://hotsauceandpanko.com.
Best Wings in San Francisco #2
Trademark & Copyright
Highlight: Sinigang wings; Boozy ice cream (?!)
1123 Folsom Street, San Francisco CA 94103 (SOMA)
A visit to Trademark & Copyright lets you cherry-pick your favorite parts of childhood nostalgia while enjoying the perks of adulthood. Conveniently located on Folsom Street in SOMA, the establishment is split between the bright and fun sports-bar called Trademark (with its own Skeeball league!) and the hidden speakeasy-like bar called Copyright. Don’t worry, when Copyright is open, you can enjoy both menus wherever you sit! In addition to an artfully created cocktail list, you’ll find a menu filled with Japanese-Filipino-American fusion cuisine, designed by Alchemy SF, a collective of chefs that organize other events and pop-up restaurants throughout SF. Trademark offers a variety of wing flavors (all un-breaded): spicy umami, teriyaki, salt, and white pepper, and sinigang (an addictive Filipino sour/savory flavor). Cool your mouth down with an alcoholic milkshake- we love the Vietnamese Buena Vista (Jameson, frozen white coffee custard, cold brew coffee, condensed milk, and cocoa). They also offer a rotating selection of Frozen Khusterd, which is beautiful, ‘grammable, craft alcoholic ice cream (yes, really)! Wings are an obvious go-to on game days, but don’t forget to swing by for $0.50 wings at Trademark every Wednesday! We can safely say that this spot has some of the best wings in San Francisco. BONUS: join them for brunch – there’s a hidden gem of a patio out back, perfect for soaking up the SOMA sunshine. Browse the menu at https://trademarksfc.com.
Best Wings in San Francisco #3
Highlight: Chicken Wangs
2247 Market Street, San Francisco, CA 94114 (Castro)
How can you not love a slogan like “Cold Pitchers, Hot Catchers?” Hi-Tops is San Francisco’s first gay sports bar, and inside the locker-room themed bar and restaurant, you’ll find an entertaining mix of sports fans, Castro party-goers, and high-end bar food curated by Top Chef contestant, Jamie Lauren. The bar is well stocked with a variety of beers on tap and creative (and potent) cocktails. Try the Haterade if you’re up to it! There are no wrong choices on the food menu, but our favorites are the giant soft pretzel (sweet, sweet carbs) and, of course, the wings. Hi Tops wings are un-breaded, perfectly sauced in classic buffalo and sold by the half-dozen; just $5 on Mondays! Come early on game day, the place gets packed! Browse the menu at https://www.hitopsbar.com/hi-tops-sf.
Best Wings in San Francisco #4
Highlight: Dry Fried Chicken Wings (AKA “crack wings”)
1031 Irving St, San Francisco, CA 94122 (Inner Sunset)
Unless this is your first stop (yay), you’ve probably already seen San Tung on everyone’s list of the best chicken wings in San Francisco. They’ve earned it. San Tung is a Chinese restaurant in the Outer Richmond that has earned cult status among locals. It’s a no frills, family run restaurant, serving family-style Chinese dishes imbued with hints of Korean influence. Over the years, San Tung has become famous for its dry fried wings: lightly breaded wings that are fried with garlic, ginger and roasted red chiles. They’re sweet, savory, just a tiny bit spicy, and commonly referred to as “crack.” In addition to their now flagship wing, San Tung also has “wet” wings (sauteed in a spicy veggie medley) and “hot braised chicken” wings (breaded and fried with garlic and jalapenos) – also absolutely delicious. Like we said, San Tung is no longer a secret, so either call in your order for pick-up or be ready for a (worthwhile) wait. Browse the menu at http://www.santung.net/#menu.
Best Wings in San Francisco #5
The Hotel Utah Saloon
Highlights: Spicy Buffalo Wings
500 4th Street, San Francisco, CA (SOMA)
Every family has someone that’s been around the block a few times, is a little eccentric, and if you ask them about it, has lived one hell of a life. In the SF food scene family, that’s the Hotel Utah in SOMA. Arguably the best wings in San Francisco for the traditional buffalo style lovers out there, it is a pretty special place. The bar was around before, during and after Prohibition. It’s been called home by miscreants in its early days, blue-collar workers after the Bay Bridge was built in 1936, and the “cocktail generation” of the ’50s, including patrons like Bing Crosby and Marilyn Monroe. In 1977, a new owner purchased the establishment, renamed it the Utah, and transformed it into a local haven for creatives, including the likes of Robin Williams and Whoopi Goldberg. Today, the Utah hosts live performances and serve a variety of local beers on tap, a full bar (with skilled bartenders), and an assortment of delicious but unpretentious fare. The garlic parmesan fries are cooked to perfection and their homemade hummus has a following of its own, but the real star of the show is their spicy buffalo wings. Their unbreaded wings are fried golden, slathered in homemade buffalo sauce with the perfect amount of kick, and served with real bleu cheese, which helped them make this list of best wings in San Francisco! Plus, if you order just right, you’ll get a side of sass and an interesting story about the joint, too. Browse the menu at https://www.hotelutah.com/menu.
Best Wings in San Francisco #6
Ted’s Sports Bar & Grill
Highlight: Grill-fried Wings
312 Harriet St., San Francisco (Mission Bay)
Ted’s is as close to a hidden gem as you’ll find in San Francisco. Inconspicuously tucked between Brannan & Bryant Street in Mission Bay, Ted’s is a beautiful, albeit dimly lit sports bar and restaurant with big comfy booths, plenty of TVs and a gorgeous, dark wood bar. It’s rarely packed, meaning the owner (you guessed it, Ted) enjoys taking his time to interact with his customers and make sure everything is perfect. Ted’s is a great place to belly up to the bar to watch the game, be sure to order the nachos (they seriously come in a giant tower) and, of course, Ted’s wings. While we love this style of cooking, Ted’s is the only place on this list that serves grill-fried wings. This means Ted deep fries the wings, then grills them, then slathers them in sauce. THEY ARE TO. DIE. FOR. ….so are Ted’s bloody marys. Browse the menu at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Ted-Sports-Bar-Grill/109067042459537.
Best Wings in San Francisco #7
Highlight: Soy Garlic Wings and Ddeokebokki (spicy rice cakes)
3801 17th Street, San Francisco (Castro)
Saucy Asian self-identifies as “authentically inauthentic,” which roughly translates to “freaking amazing multicultural riffs on traditional Korean food.” Saucy Asian is a small, order-at-the-counter spot, offering fascinating fusion dishes like kimchi burritos and Korean poké. They currently offer two flavors of wings: soy garlic and sweet and spicy – both come unbreaded and generously sauced (which seems appropriate). Both are worth writing home about. We literally can’t make a stop at Saucy Asian without also picking up an order (or 4) of their ddeokebokki, which is a spicy rice cake that looks a bit like a Cheeto, has a delightfully chewy texture, and tastes like pure sweet and spicy magic. If you’ve never tried them, do it. They’re gonna rock your world. Browse the menu at https://www.saucyasian.com/menu.
Written by Ruby Bielik
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If you love wings, be sure to make time to try some of these fabulous spots. If you enjoyed this list of the best wings in San Francisco, you might be interested in one of our awesome experiences! For more SF food tips and tricks check out the Stretchy Pants Food Walks. We also offer cooking classes and custom events for your next office or holiday party.
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