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Over the past month or so, lists featuring a couple of regional comfort food items have been posted here (bar pizza and steak tips), and while chicken wings are certainly not a regional dish--Buffalo would have something to say about that--they are a popular comfort food option and one that, like bar pizza and steak tips, seems to be one of those dishes that you generally want to try at neighborhood watering holes. Below you will find some of the better versions in the local area, and while so many people consider Buff's Pub in Newton to be the best of the best (and they do have excellent wings), we've decided to focus on other top places for wings that you may not know about.
1) Lazy Dog Sport Bar, Lynn
You'll hear some locals talk about how the Lazy Dog has some of the best steak tips in the region, and while this is definitely true, their wings are also pretty memorable as well. The wings at this slightly rough-looking spot (and looks can be deceiving as it's actually very friendly) can be ordered with Buffalo sauce or duck sauce, and the Buffalo-style wings are something special, so much so that you'd be hard-pressed to find wings better than this in Lynn or anywhere else in the Boston area for that matter.
2) Joe Sent Me, Cambridge (and Waltham)
A true neighborhood bar that's a great place to hang out and watch a local game, Joe Sent Me actually has some pretty great food options including excellent burgers, fries, and yes, wings that come pretty close to the best of the best. Options here include Buffalo-style, BBQ, and teriyaki, all of which are worth getting, and if you are a sucker for heat, they also have something called "Diablo," which, as you can guess, is something that may cause some damage if you eat too many of them.
3) Tennessee's, Braintree
As mentioned earlier, many if not most of the good places for wings in the region come from the little dive bars and local joints that regulars go to for cheap drinks and pub grub (not including Korean and other Asian-style wings which will definitely need to be covered at another time). But good wings can also be found at BBQ spots as well, including this longtime fave south of Boston. Here you will find slow-smoked wings that can be ordered BBQ style as well as regular or extra hot, and you can also get a "wing platter" with three sides as well.
4) Pearl Street Station Restaurant, Malden
The area known to some as "steak tip country" (Malden, Everett, Chelsea, East Boston) is also wing country in a way, with countless old-school restaurants and bars serving them up, including this sprawling spot that's hidden away on the outskirts of downtown. Pearl Street is indeed known in part for its steak tips, but its Buffalo-style and sweet and spicy wings are one of several terrific appetizers here, along with its equally-good chicken fingers that have the same marinade options.
5) Wendell's Pub, Norton
While the aforementioned Buff's Pub seems to get so much of the press when you're talking the best of the best, this tired-looking roadside bar well southwest of Boston is considered by some to have the best wings not only in Eastern Massachusetts, but possibly in New England. If you like your wings to be buttery and garlicky, this is the place to go, and there are actually six heat levels, with the mildest having the butter and garlic tastes fully come through while the hottest are not for the squeamish.
6) Silvertone, Boston
Perhaps the only place on this list that caters to a (slightly) more upscale clientele, Silvertone still seems to have at least some of its roots in everyday comfort food rather than some of its competitors who go more toward inventive New American fare. Much of the comfort food here is off the charts, including some of the best mac and cheese and steak tips you'll find, and the wings are also a big hit, with options being a spicy Buffalo sauce and a Rochester sauce, the latter of which features a mix of sweet and spicy flavors.
7) Costello's Tavern, Jamaica Plain
As dive bars and neighborhood joints continue to disappear from Boston neighborhoods, it's becoming a bit harder to find excellent wings within the Boston city limits, but some old-fashioned watering holes do still exist and many feature wings that are well worth getting, including from this friendly drinking spot in the heart of JP. And while Costello's is known in part for its sublime burgers, the deep-fried wings here (which can be ordered with Buffalo or a sweet honey BBQ) should definitely not be overlooked.
8) The Squires, Hanover
Before anyone jokes about the name of the place, this is not the infamous spot a few miles north of Boston, but is instead a roadhouse-style restaurant and bar just off Route 3 on the South Shore. The Squires is a great place to get classic American fare at low prices, including wings that are served with a variety of dipping sauces including Buffalo, garlic parmesan, bourbon, BBQ, and teriyaki, with diners being able to order them in batches of 6, 12, 18, or 24.
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