Pull up a stool, roll up your sleeves, and sink your teeth into the sauced and tossed fried chicken wings that made these Greater Cincinnati joints famous.
With booths along one wall, an L-shaped bar, and roll-up windows in front, By Golly’s looks like a typical neighborhood bar. And this Milford spot does have chatty regulars, sassy waitresses, and all your bar food favorites—including hefty, crisp wings. You’ll be satisfied with the traditional hot, but don’t be scared by the chili peanut butter. It’s a sweet chili sauce with just a hint of nutty flavor.
714 Lila Ave., Milford, (513) 248-4444
Combine the Korean words for fried chicken and beer and you get “chimaek,” which nicely covers the menu at this Covington pub. Bruce and Yujin Kim, who also own Riverside Korean and Mr. Bulgogi, opened it in November 2022, and now serve a menu of pub bites and wings with Asian-inspired flavors: the orange mango habanero delivers a creepy heat with a touch of sweetness, while the General Tso is more tangy than hot.
405 Scott St., Covington, (859) 261-0716
For more than 25 years, Knuck’s has been serving up “schWINGzzz” in Taylor Mill. With 14 wet sauces, four dry rubs, and six heat levels, there’s a flavor profile for everyone. Mango-Z-Tango is a fruity way to satisfy a sweet tooth, Karolina Gold brings a mustardy zing, and Kajun Ranch Boom mixes blackened spices into a cool ranch base. Only true hot heads should order the Solar Flare heat level—it’s definitely not for tender tongues.
5468 Taylor Mill Rd., Taylor Mill, (859) 261-9464
The original O’Bryon’s has paid homage to the Irish family that gave the neighborhood its name since 1994. In 2018, a second location opened in Newport. At both, the wings are fresh, never frozen, and crisped perfectly to order, delivered with housemade ranch and blue cheese that’s heavy on the blue. The sauces are straightforward but not boring—prime examples of everything you want in a chicken wing.
1998 Madison Rd., O’Bryonville, (513) 321-5525; 736 Washington Ave., Newport, (859) 291-7600
PeeWee’s Place in Crescent Springs feels like a hometown diner, with large parties gathered around tables, and regulars chatting across the room. The wings are solid, but the sauces stand out, especially the garlic parmesan and the gold rush, a spicy-sweet barbecue. PeeWee himself recommended the chicken bites, hand cut from the tender and tossed in sauce, far better than your average boneless wing.
2325 Anderson Rd., Crescent Springs, (859) 341-4977
While this probably isn’t the first place you’d think to order wings, the Korean fried chicken wings (KFC, get it?) deliver a creeping heat that’s sweetly tangy on a twice-cooked wing that packs a punch of crunch. (Chef Anthony Bach told us the vodka in the batter helps it stay crispy.) The happy hour menu features wings in a honey sriracha sauce, a buttery slick of sweet heat, but the KFC are our faves, hands down.
1331 Vine St., Over-the-Rhine, (513) 421-7826
If you need a place to watch the game—any game—Shooters is it. The wings are fresh and on the larger side, cooked to crisp perfection. Dry rub wings have a delightful crackle, and the balance of brown sugar sweet and cumin smoke pairs especially well with the tangy housemade ranch. Hot wings will make your lips tingle without making you sweat, and the specialty parmesean garlic sauce takes basic up a notch.
780 Loveland-Miamiville Rd., Loveland, (513) 744-7007; 4981 Winners Circle Dr., Liberty Twp., (513) 204-0401; 6352 S. State Rte. 48, Maineville, (513) 697-3000
A west side mainstay, this three-location chain is known for meaty wings, flavorful sauces, and a housemade blue cheese dressing that will become your next food obsession (order the large and thank us later). Mix and match your favorite sauce with an appropriate heat level to customize your perfect wing experience. And if you can’t decide, there’s always the Mike’s Mix, a blend of all the sauces that brings a surprising zing to the table. Literally.
5043 Delhi Pke., Delhi Twp., (513) 451-9464; 7587 Bridgetown Rd., Miami Heights, (513) 467-9464; 4498 Harrison Ave., Green Twp., (513) 598-1616