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The Six: Chicken Wings

Whether it’s Wingettes, Tips, Drumettes or Flats, Columbus is a melting pot for different varieties of chicken wings. While some pay homage to traditional buffalo roots, others traverse wildly new paths unique to their own cooking style and flavors. Check it out, as we break down (and grub on) the Top Six Best Chicken Wing spots in the city.”

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Chicken Wings

Whether it’s Wingettes, Tips, Drumettes or Flats, Columbus is a melting pot for different varieties of chicken wings. While some pay homage to traditional buffalo roots, others traverse wildly new paths unique to their own cooking style and flavors. Check it out, as we break down (and grub on) the Top Six Best Chicken Wing spots in the city.

 #6  O’Reillys – “Best Hidden Wing”

It’s really difficult to have a breaded, fried wing that holds flavor and is still juicy as hell, but O’Reilly’s kitchen wizardry somehow pulls it all off.

O’Reilly’s is an extremely chill, hole-in-the-wall spot that serves as a casual neighborhood hangout for many locals. Seriously, their off the grid location sits quietly on the corner of Olentangy St. and High St. at the start of Clintonville. It’s literally a spot you’ve passed a thousand times, but never realized a restaurant sits there.

While their storefront may be a little quiet, their wing game is certainly not. It’s difficult to describe, but it’s a working class, blue-collar kinda wing – hearty in size, full of flavor, great for the price, and tastes good as hell. Not to be overlooked, they also feature the standard selection of sauces and execute each to perfection.

If you feel like stepping away from your standard restaurant selections, you can’t go wrong with a 12-spot of chicken wings from O’Reilly’s…and make sure you get a little “Scott’s Style” sauce on the side.

O’Reillys - “Best Hidden Wing”

2822 N High St,
Columbus, OH 43202
(614) 262-6343

 #5  Thurman’s “Most Underrated Wing”

We all know that when you decide to eat at Thurman’s, you’re headed there to order a monstrous burger and voluntarily send yourself into a beef-induced, food coma – but the real food OG’s know that it’s the wing game that really flips the script here.

The Thurman Café, located at 183 Thurman Ave has been a landmark in German Village since 1942, and has been dishing out delicious burgers and wings ever since.

As a Columbus-food staple point, this spot is known for pushing out huge portions, and the jumbo hot wings are par for the course – literally, these are giant, whole wings, complete with all the bells and whistles. You’re going to need like 72 napkins and a little bit of strength to break through these bad boys, but no pain is no gain.

The sauce selection is decent, and it elevates these chicken wings to a higher level too, but our recommendation is to nab some of that 151 sauce…it’s dumb good.

If you’re hitting up Thurman’s, make sure to pay homage to the burger, but don’t let the wings slip past you.

The Thurman Cafe “Most Underrated Wing”

183 Thurman Ave
Columbus, OH 43206
(614) 443-157

 #4  HCT “Most Craved Wings”

Since their crowd-funded inception back in 2014, Hot Chicken Takeover has come into the fold as a heavyweight contender in the Columbus, chicken wing realm – earning the award for “Best Food Truck in Columbus” in 2015 and 2016.

Specializing in the style of Nashville hot chicken, these wings are a disgustingly good combination of unique Tennessee flavors with the fast, casual dining experience many American’s have become accustomed to.

Their menu features fours distinct types of chicken: “Cold”, “Warm”, “Hot” and the insatiably scorching, “Holy” flavor(s) – each as insanely good as the last.

Simply put, if you love Tennessee hot chicken there is literally no better spot in town. Be warned though, the heat is real, and will bite you back, just as heavy as you bite into the chicken.

HCT “Most Craved Wings”

Easton, Clintonville, North Market

 #3  Roosters “Most Recognizable Wings”

While this restaurant may have the look and feel of other “typical” chicken franchises, the quality of wing and the range of insanely good sauces keep Rooster’s away from the fluff and stereotypes that are often associated with chain restaurants.

Rooster’s first opened its doors in 1988, and has secured a spot in Columbus as one of the go-to eateries around town, especially for those seeking good chicken wings.

On a daily basis, Rooster’s produces a damn good, traditional chicken wing that enthusiasts should not overlook. Combining this with the wide-variety of bangin’ sauces, eaters are spoiled for choice with every mouth-watering combo they seek out. Just make sure to keep “Carolina Gold” as a first-round pick in your personal sauce draft.

Nevertheless, you can have a clean conscious recommending this spot to out-of-towners and locals alike. The chicken wings are just that good.

Roosters “Most Recognizable Wing”

10+ Central Ohio Locations

 #2  Barley’s “Best Unconventional Wings”

We’re big fans of sipping local craft brew, and we’re even bigger fans of restaurants that can cook some bomb ass wings – fortunately for our stomachs, Barley’s is a top-shelf contender for both.

Posted up across from the Columbus Convention Center, this very chill spot has some of the best wings in the entire city. Char-grilled to perfection these chicken wings shy away from traditional buffalo roots in favor of their own unconventional style.

Seriously, the char on these wings will smack your taste buds so hard that you’ll start to question all those other wing joints you once loved. Couple this with their unique sauce selection, and you’ve got a recipe for a full stomach and a long nap.

If you’re looking to get away from tradition, the unconventional route is the only way to go… and Barley’s is leading that charge.

Barley’s “Best Unconventional Wing”

467 N High St
Columbus, OH 43215
(614) 228-2537

 #1  Press Grill “Best Traditional Wings”

When it comes to a chicken wing true to its heritage, there is simply no better spot in Columbus than the Short North’s Press Grill. Period.

A, sort-of, reigning champ of chicken wings sitting quietly at the top, looking down upon all others who stake their claim as the “best in town”.

This traditional wing holds all the key components of a great hot wing: the sauce, the crunch, the consistency, and the chew. With no glitter or gold, no quirky catchy-phrases or over-zealous hype, the Press silently leads all others in the chicken wing arena.

A champion-caliber wing designed for wing enthusiasts, by wing enthusiasts. The Press Grill should be a go-to in your chicken wing Rolodex. Do not make the mistake of overlooking this spot.

Press Grill “Best Traditional Wing”

741 N High St
Columbus, OH 43215
(614) 298-1014

Tastebuds614 is a purely, scientific algorithm forged from a mixture of stale craft beer, cold pizza crust, dad jokes, and heavy naps on the couch. When we find time away from our normal 9 to 5 jobs, we often leave the house in droves, storming nearby restaurants and liquidating them of their chicken wings and blue cheese dressing. We often find ourselves in comatose while watching Chopped and Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives for hours on end - not knowing how we got there. We can hurl pizza crusts at small moving objects with deadly accuracy, and while on vacation in Canada, we successfully negotiated with a group of burglars who had seized a small bakery.

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Food & Drink

Katalina’s owner leading charge for independent restaurant owners

614Now

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Known for her famous Pancake Balls (ridiculously delish, BTW), Katalina Day, the namesake behind Katalina's, is urging Gov. DeWine to consider emergency financial lifelines for her industry.

Restaurants were among the first and most devastated industries impacted by the coronavirus. Many notable local brands, such as Cameron Mitchell Restaurants, have closed most operations. According to Day, the industry needs immediate government intervention to survive.

Day started a Change.org petition which articulates the unique and specific challenges faced by the industry and the people who rely on it for their livelihood.

Addressing Gov. Dewine for relief, the petition is closing in on 1,000 signatures

"We have followed orders to close our doors to protect our communities, knowing what it would mean for our businesses, and we are grateful as citizens that you were one of the first to foresee that necessity. We did so without protest, and those of us who remain open are providing a valuable service through delivery, despite it being increasingly less profitable (as delivery services infringe on any profit)." said Day in the petition.

The petition closes with: "Bottom line: From our employees to our vendors and landlords to the burden on the healthcare industry and government, there is not a part of society that will not be touched by this crisis. "

Given these unprecedented challenges, please immediately consider:

  • Emergency grants for immediate business needs such as payroll and crucial operating expenses including food orders and utilities. 
  • Commercial and residential rent abatement and a moratorium on evictions both for owners and employees. 
  • Immediate cash relief for current and laid-off employees.
  • Abatement of payroll and sales tax.
  • Temporary commercial and government loan payment relief.
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Food & Drink

Carry Out Guide to help support local restaurants

614Now

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Local restaurants provide more than just nourishment - they're where we get together with friends, celebrate our special moments and provide a cultural window to the world through food. They've added to your life experience in ways you may have never thought about until now. They are an integral part of our way of life.

Right now, they need you more than ever. Please do everything you can to support our neighbors and friends by calling in to order pick-up or online delivery.

We've put together the Carry Out Guide to help you find quick ideas for your next meal along with updated hours of service and easy ways to contact them. The Guide features six of each restaurants top to-go items and we provide links to their full carry-out menus.

Please open the Daily (614) email for new restaurant additions for the Guide.

Stay safe and thank you for stepping up for the people who need you most right now.


View the Guide

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Food & Drink

Too Good To Eat: Watershed Distillery’s Short Rib

@findyourfork

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Innovative. Sophisticated. Illuminating.

Those are the words I would use to describe the wondrous attraction that is Watershed Distillery Kitchen and Bar. Aptly named “Watershed,” this local distillery-meets-restaurant is the gathering place for cocktail aficionados, snack enthusiasts, and secret adventurers. Take a step inside and you will be immediately transported away from the comforts of the Ohio Midwest and into a atmosphere fitting of the elegance of an east coast eatery.

Watershed boasts semiannual drink menus that draw the eye of the beholder with unique themes that bring a whole new meaning to flair. But one of the lesser known attractions found in this kitchen is the braised beef short rib.

https://www.instagram.com/p/B7L9aNfA84j/?igshid=1wwmf5j0tsv1y

Perfectly tender and beautifully seasoned, this dish is one that leaves the masses yearning for more. One bite in and the meat falls smoothly off the bone, leaving the opportunity for bone-licking and lip smacking to commence. Within seconds, you'll find yourself with an empty plate and a full belly.

Welcome to Watershed.

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