For some people, chicken wings are reserved for game days - and with the Super Bowl upon us, now’s the time to act upon that impulse. But whether you’re planning a picnic, heading to the park for the afternoon, or just looking to curl up on the couch and binge-watch TV all night, chicken wings always fit the bill. From fish sauce-marinated wings to ones slathered in gochujang, there is no shortage of great versions all around town. Here are five that we especially love.
There’s a reason why San Tung’s dry-fried chicken wings are some of the city’s best: they’re battered, deep-fried, and then covered in a caramel-like garlic, ginger, and red pepper sauce. To put it more plainly - their sticky wings are amazing, and you will probably lick each finger after every bite. The Inner Sunset spot usually attracts long wait times, but luckily you can place an order by phone (415-242-0828). And while you’re at it, also get some of their excellent potstickers and black bean sauce noodles.
The Guamanian restaurant in the Mission serves up sweet rolls, beef empanadas, handmade egg noodles with coconut beef, and other Chamorro dishes, the indigenous foods of Guam and the Marianas Islands. But you’re here for the wings, so get their ko’ko wings. They’re tender and juicy and spiced with a secret house blend, and they taste even better after dipped in a tangy lemon fina’denne sauce. You’ll most likely end up having dreams about these wings, so do yourself a favor and order this six-ounce jar of ko’ko spice, to put on everything, of course. Prubechu is open for outdoor dining, takeout, and delivery.
Halal Wings Plus
This Tenderloin spot specializes in halal chicken wings and is great for big orders ($34.99 will get you 50 wings). If your chicken wing goals are less ambitious, opt for the 12-piece order for $8.99. The menu also has a ton of different sauces and dry rubs, but there isn’t a wrong choice. When in doubt, get the honey garlic, which has the right amount of sweetness and some heat from the chili flakes. For minimalist sauce people, lemon pepper all the way. Everything comes with a side of ranch. Call 415-440-7786 to place an order.
Hot Sauce and Panko in Russian Hill runs a tight chicken wing takeout operation and we’re grateful for it. Their wings are incredible. One order here comes with five pieces for $6.99 (the $11.99 special includes a sweet Belgian waffle). They also have a ton of flavors to choose from, but some of our favorites include salt and pepper; the “green” with cilantro, jalapeño, and ginger; and Korean-style wings slathered in gochujang. They also have a Super Bowl special - 40 wings for $55. And heads up, sauces are 50 cents extra.
We love Kin Khao for their khao soi, a dish that should always be at the top of your When I Need Soup Now list, but don’t overlook their Pretty Hot Wings. They’re marinated in a garlicky fish sauce and coated in a tamarind-sriracha glaze with red chilies. They’re salty, sweet, crispy, and, true to the name, have a nice mouth-tingling kick - so maybe consider ordering a house-made popsicle to go along with them. Kin Khao’s Union Square location has been on hiatus during the pandemic, so look to their new outpost in the Dogpatch for takeout and delivery.