All three should feature prominently in your enjoyment of Sunday's Super Bowl. Try an order or two from these essential fried chicken wing-tossers:
ChurchKey: Simplicity is the key to ChurchKey's wings, which we rate as the best Buffalo-style wings in D.C. The key is the tangy, fiery sauce, which consists of two ingredients: Frank's Anchor Bar Wing Sauce for heat, and plenty of butter, for richness and balance.
Bonchon: The South Korean chain's double-fried wings are brushed with a special sauce comprised of fermented pepper paste, imparting a flavor akin to a dry-aged rib-eye.
Boundary Stone: "Honey Hot Wings" sound like the kind of sticky-sweet wings you would find at a chain restaurant, but Boundary Stone's walk the line between too-spicy and just right.
Buffalo Wing Factory: The local chain, with four locations in Northern Virginia, is best known as the home of the Flatliner, an eating challenge with wings so spicy you need to sign a medical release before ordering them. Flatliners may pack too much heat for most people, but the Torrid Zone and 911 wings remain flavorful even though they're sweat-inducing.
Duffy's Irish Pub: Andy Duffy serves some of the area's best wings at his eponymous Irish pub. This isn't a secret: The unassuming watering hole's wings have topped Washington City Paper's readers' poll for four years running. Readers repeatedly praise the Chesapeake wings, which are dry rubbed with Old Bay and charbroiled.
Jimmy's Old Town Tavern: All Buffalo wings are chicken wings, but not all chicken wings are true Buffalo wings. The wings at Jimmy's, though, are the genuine article. Anchor Bar sauce. Homemade blue cheese. Fin.
Metro City Wing House: Owner Ricky Johnson, a native of Buffalo, is serious about his wings (which come in 14 flavors) and his football, as you can guess from the Buffalo Bills logo on the restaurant's exterior. The bar has flatscreen televisions showing games on Saturday and Sunday.
Quarry House Tavern: Silver Spring's favorite dive bar is known for its live music, beer selection, tater tots and dangerously low restroom ceilings, but it's also a great destination for wing lovers. The medium wings will leave your tongue tingling, but if you're insanely tolerant of spice, punish yourself with the Four Alarm wings.
Shelly's Back Room: Roasted rather than fried, the wings bear a char from their time in the oven and lend a slight smokiness to their light, sweet marinade. They are served with a dish of house-made honey Dijon mustard.
Smoke and Barrel: Though Smoke and Barrel's focus is house-smoked barbecue ribs and pork, the Adams Morgan restaurant serves exemplary vegan seitan wings, which are smoked over a wood fire and served with a dry house rub, the house barbecue sauce, or tossed with a spicy chipotle honey butter.
Urban BBQ: The Urban wings are coated in a peppery rub. Nearly blackened on the outside, they won't set your tongue on fire, but biting into one of the meaty wings reveals a zesty tang with a subtle heat.
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