If you listen regularly to my Moran-Alytics Podcast, read my blog wing reviews here or follow me on Twitter (@PatMoranTweets) I’m sure you’re aware of my fondness for chicken wings.

In fact, perhaps the only thing I enjoy more than eating wings is power ranking them.

This cliff notes version is I was born and raised in Buffalo and spent most of the first 45 years in the 716. While living Buffalo, quite possibly like many of you I had a tiny handful of go-to spots for wings and rarely ventured anywhere else. I moved to Florida in the summer of 2016 and after trying wings at a half dozen or so spots and detesting each, it hit me how badly I took great wings back home for granted.

In large part because of my job and to a smaller extent my podcast I’m afforded the opportunity to get back to Buffalo semi-regularly.  Admittedly to a huge fault I know use each opportunity to try new places while occasionally go back to some a second or third time. I started writing up small reviews on each spot and comparing that place’s wings to a former or current NFL quarterback for fun. Lastly, I power ranked each from one down to however many I had. Before my latest trip I power ranked all 40 places I’ve tried.

Incredibly this series kind of took off. My last Power Rankings was read by nearly 50,000 people. In the process I realized these reviews and rankings went from being able to do it for laughs among my friends to at least semi-serious, because at this point people are actually going to places (or not) based in part on my reviews.

My criteria is unscientific. I judge each spot on one but never more than two flavors, with traditional medium (or hot) mandatory. In addition friendly service, price and overall vibe plays at least some role in my rankings.  Like I said, some spots I end up at more than once and they subsequently may go up or down in the rankings based on that but I’m prioritizing getting to as many first time joints as possible.

I just spent 20 days in Buffalo and had wings 25 times, including 20 first-time spots. Obviously there’s many more places to go and if you don’t see your favorite spot on this list, they’ll be there at some point.

Last thing: These are nothing more than my person opinions and I don’t fancy myself the leading authority on all things Buffalo wings. I don’t take myself too seriously and neither should you.

On that note, here’s my Summer/Fall 2019 Chicken Wing Power Rankings, 1 through 60.  Most are linked to a review I did while some have either yet to be written or need to be redone.

Rankings #1-10

  1. Nine Eleven Tavern
  2. Elmo’s Bar
  3. Bar Bill
  4. Dalmatia Hotel
  5. Macy’s Place Pizzeria
  6. The Audubon North
  7. Sonny Red’s
  8. O’Neill’s Stadium Inn
  9. Amherst Ale House
  10. Gabriel’s Gate

Notes: Of the 20 new spots I tried during my Buffalo summer trip, Macy’s Place Pizzeria is the lone debut checking into my top 10.  Sonny Red’s moved up a handful after having them twice and thoroughly enjoying them, not to mention ringing endorsements from my eating buddies there Eric Wood and Joe Buscaglia. The Audubon North slipped a few spots from my last rankings after the wings I had with Tim Graham were not quite up to the insane expectations I’ve perhaps unfairly put on them. They’re still one of the best hidden wing gems in all of Western New York and belong in the top half dozen.

♦♦♦♦♦

#11-20

  1. Snyder Bar & Grill
  2. Mooney’s (Military Road)
  3. La Nova’s
  4. Mammosers
  5. Klimek’s Tavern
  6. Ebenezer Ale House
  7. Wingnutz
  8. Potter’s Field
  9. The Lenox Grill
  10. Wales Center Hotel

Notes: Snyder Bar & Grill was basically a coin flip away from debuting in the top 10 as both their medium and Cajun wings were amazing. Klimek’s Tavern was an unexpected delight that I think blows neighboring and more popular Dwyer’s away. Ebenezer Ale House was originally in my top 10 but a second time having them was incredibly disappointing. Wingnutz may be my biggest conundrum of this entire list (read the review)—they have the potential to literally be the best but their non-traditional style of wing is puzzling.

♦♦♦♦♦

#21-30

  1. Kelly’s Korner
  2. Coles
  3. Night Cappe
  4. Duffs
  5. Gene McCarthy’s
  6. The Wellington Pub
  7. The Big Tree
  8. Sal’s Lounge
  9. KO Bar & Grill
  10. Biergarten

Notes: Coles, Gene McCarthy’s and Wellington Pub were all first-timers during my summer trip and each were fantastic, with only being ranked in the 20’s illustrating how many great spots in WNY there are. If any of the three were in another state they’d probably be in the top five.  KO Bar & Grill had some of the most deliciously spicy flavored wings anywhere but their ranking suffers because their regular medium were abysmally mediocre. If I ever get around to doing a “signature flavor” wings power rankings it’d be a whole new ballgame for KO.

♦♦♦♦♦

#31-40

  1. Blackthorn Pub
  2. Strikers
  3. Bases Loaded
  4. Murphs
  5. Anchor Bar
  6. Bella Pizza
  7. Vinny’s
  8. Rusty Buffalo
  9. Adolf’s First Ward Tavern
  10. Geckos

Notes: First timers Blackthorn Pub and Adolf’s were above average but lacked that extra gear in their sauce to bump them up further. None of the places in 31-40 are bad—again it’s more attributed to the  Buffalo wing competition for greatness being fierce.

♦♦♦♦♦

#41-50

  1. Connor’s Restaurant
  2. Goodbar
  3. Steel City Pub
  4. Essex Street Pub
  5. Brick Oven Bar & Bistro
  6. M.T. Pockets
  7. Pour House
  8. Jokers
  9. Doc Sullivan’s
  10. Buffalo Tap House

Notes: Goodbar was my first stop on my latest summer tour and quite frankly, I expected a lot more. Connor’s was a safe but unspectacular final stop. Another new debut was Essex Street Pub, which in fairness is far more known and popular for things other than their wings. Lastly was Buffalo Tap House, a spot I found to be well below Buffalo wing standards.

♦♦♦♦♦

#51-60

  1. Dwyer’s Irish Pub
  2. Guzzo’s Hot Spot
  3. Lovejoy Pizza
  4. Wiechec’s
  5. Pappas
  6. Kodiak Jack’s
  7. Nino’s Pizza
  8. Blasdell Pizza
  9. Danny’s South
  10. Glen Park Tavern

Notes: Three debuts here and obviously all were extremely disappointing.  I found Dwyer’s Irish Pub incredibly overrated in every way.  I had high hopes for Wiechec’s on the strength of outstanding roast beef and fish fry’s but their wings were borderline terrible, and Glen Park Tavern unfortunately had the worst wings, especially when you factor in value I’ve had in Western New York during this journey so far.

Til next time….