You may be surprised to learn that Orange County is home to some of the best food in all of California. Once a suburban wasteland of strip malls and chain restaurants, the OC is now booming with tons of top-notch eateries ranging from fast-casual to gourmet fine dining. Whenever you’re in the mood for food that’s laid back and packed with flavor, there is nothing more satisfying than a hot, saucy plate of wings.
Buffalo hot wings, as we know them today, are actually a surprisingly young culinary invention. These iconic American wings were invented in 1964 by Teressa Bellissimo, the owner of Anchor Bar in Buffalo, New York. Like many great foods, the invention of hot wings was born out of a mistake. When Teressa’s husband made an error on their chicken order, the bar was suddenly overstocked in a cut of chicken that they didn’t quite know what to do with: wings.
A few days after this order mishap, Teressa’s son and some of his friends stumbled back to the bar after a drunken night, desperate for fried food. That’s when Teressa got the bright idea to fry up some of the surplus chicken wings and toss them in a tasty buffalo sauce–the rest is history. Now just 57 years later, wings are a staple of any good bar menu, a must-have at any Superbowl party, and a general favorite of hungry drunk people.
In Orange County, good wings are all around and come in an array of flavors. That’s why we have created this master guide to the best wings in Orange County. We found the best of the best, from buffalo hot wings to BBQ wings. So, look no further and get ready to have all your wing dreams come true!
Best Italian Style Wings: Neapolitan Pizzeria and Birreria
If you are a fan of herbs and cheese, these are the wings for you. Neapolitan Pizzeria and Birreria are serving up some of the biggest, juiciest wings in the OC. Their wings are prepared with caramelized onions, bread crumbs, garlic, parmesan, rosemary, and lemon juice. These wings are bursting with flavor and dripping with juices.
These wings are a bit on the milder side, but they are prepared with great expertise. The flavor is herby and well balanced. While they are not your typical finger-staining buffalo wings, they are some of the tastiest wings in town.
Best Asian Style Wings: Wing Dynasty
Wing Dynasty is an Asian fusion wing delivery spot in Orange County. They are serving gourmet, Asian style wings that will satisfy any foodie. Their real standout dish is their Spicy Orange Wings. These crispy chicken wings are heavenly with their sweet heat and savory crunch.
They also have curry wings that are battered and fried for extra crunch. You should definitely double down and order two orders of these perfect, Asian style wings. No matter what wings you decide to order from Wing Dynasty, you are in for a treat.
Best Classic Wings: Firebelly Wings
Planning a game day party? Why not get your wings delivered? Firebelly Wings is an Orange County delivery spot that’s doing everything right when it comes to good ol’ classic wings. Firebelly has eight different wing options sure to satisfy any spice preference.
As a wing only joint, Firebelly sticks to what they know best–juicy, saucy wings. They have Cajun wings, BBQ wings, garlic parmesan wings, lemon pepper, honey hot, Nashville hot, Carolina reaper, and of course, classic wings. Every last one of their wing flavors is well-balanced and packed with flavor. Order one of each to fuel your epic Superbowl party, and your guests will be screaming touchdown before the game even starts.
Firebelly also has some outstanding sides that deserve some love. Their fries, tots, and onion rings are golden, crispy, and perfect for cooling down a spicy wing mouth. Craving more spice? Try their ghost pepper fries–if you dare.
Best Fancy Wing: Vine
If you want something a little less game-day and a little more upscale, the Vine’s crispy Meyer lemon and honey duck wings are the OC wings for you. These fancy duck wings aren’t your traditional chicken wing, but we can’t get enough of them. These duck wings are marinated and practically fall right off the bone. The sticky Meyer lemon sauce is like an upgraded sweet and spicy sauce that’s sticky, tangy, and just a tad bit spicy.
The serene atmosphere of the restaurant certainly makes this a nice place to sit back, relax, and enjoy your juicy duck wings. While these wings are on the pricier side, they are well worth the cash if you can swing their 17 dollar price point. Whether you are looking to treat yourself or you just gotta know what a duck wing tastes like, Vine’s duck wings are a real culinary treat.
Best Buffalo Wing: Anchor Bar
Yes, this is the same Anchor Bar that originated the buffalo wing. This bar has expanded and opened locations across the United States, including their newest location in Orange County. This wing spot lives up to its reputation as the inventor of the buffalo wing, serving juicy, tender wings that are dripping with spicy buffalo sauce. If you are looking for the classic wing experience, you can’t go wrong with Anchor Bar.
Best Overall Wing Joint: Wild Wild Wings
Wild Wild Wings is the place to beat when it comes to all things wings. They have, by far, the most extensive wing options with 15 different flavors that can be either bone-in or boneless. Their wings are tender, juicy, and dripping with sauces that will have you licking your fingers because you won’t want to waste a drop.
Wild Wild Wings is king when it comes to variety, and they deliver, making them your perfect go-to wing spot. They have all the classics, buffalo wings, garlic parmesan wings, lemon pepper wings, BBQ wings, honey hot wings, and teriyaki wings. They don’t just stick to the American classics. They also have battered curry wings, Korean BBQ wings, sriracha mango wings, spicy Asian wings, and so much more.
At Wild Wild Wings, you will never run out of juicy, tender options (unless you try all 15 varieties in one go–then more power to ya). If you’re a real wing fanatic, you simply can’t go wrong with the mouth-watering wings they’re slinging at Wild Wild Wings.
Best Breaded Wing: KoKo Chicken & BBQ
If you are craving something fast, easy, and super crispy, this is the wing for you. KoKo’s a Korean style fried chicken shop that serves crunchy, breaded, fried wings that will knock your socks off. Their best flavor is their BBQ wings, but you also can’t go wrong with the plain. At KoKo’s, it’s all about that crispy-crunch factor.
KoKo Chicken & BBQ also sells a soy version of their famous crispy wings. So, if you have a vegetarian friend, then this place could be a good option for both of you. Their soy wings are just as crispy, delicious, and sauce covered as their real chicken wings. Good for vegetarians and meatless Mondays.
Chicken wings are an incredibly versatile food. They come in all different types of flavors, each with its own flavor profile. Whether you like classic buffalo wings, sweet and spicy BBQ wings, or the milder lemon pepper wing, you are sure to find some delicious wings in Orange County. The OC is home to some seriously top-notch restaurants, each serving up their own take on wings.
If you can’t decide where to order from, we recommend that you try Wild Wild Wings. Out of all our favorite spots, they have the largest variety of wings. With so many perfectly prepared flavors to choose from, you simply can’t go wrong–or hungry. They also have some of our favorite fries out of the bunch, and who doesn’t love their wings with some golden crispy fries.
The wing has come a long way since its origins as the “throw-away” part of the chicken, becoming a sought after treat after their accidental invention. Nowadays, the wing is a treasured sports bar food that is a tasty addition to any party food spread. So, go ahead and order up some juicy wings to share with your friends. No matter where you decide to get your wing on in Orange County, you are certain to have a meal so tasty, you’ll be wishing you ordered extra.
The 10 best places to find great chicken wings in Orange County | OC Register
A Brief History of Buffalo Wings | Time
The Accidental Invention of Chicken Wings, America’s Favorite Bar Food | History Daily