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A pile of Palomar chicken wings.
Chicken wings from Palomar.
Carla J. Peña/Eater Portland

Mind-Blowing Chicken Wings in Portland and Beyond

Whether they’re in tangy lemon-pepper, sports bar Buffalo-style, or searingly hot pepper sauces, Portland has wings for days

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Chicken wings from Palomar.
| Carla J. Peña/Eater Portland

For a city that’s nowhere near New York, Atlanta, or Seoul, Portland is still infatuated with chicken wings. Whether it’s traditional Buffalo-style, Southern Thai, or mojo-braised, Portland restaurants, bars, and food carts have found a multitude of ways to take the most humble part of the bird and turn it into a standout snack. Below, find some killer wings of various styles all over Rip City. Those craving something more substantial should check out Eater’s fried chicken map for even more golden poultry, or to the Korean fried chicken map for yangnyeom goodness.

Note: Health experts consider dining out to be a high-risk activity for the unvaccinated; it may pose a risk for the vaccinated, especially in areas with substantial COVID transmission.

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Eater maps are curated by editors and aim to reflect a diversity of neighborhoods, cuisines, and prices. Learn more about our editorial process.

Hat Yai

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At either location of Akkapong Earl Ninsom’s casual counter-service restaurant Hat Yai, Southern Thai fried chicken is a glorious mix of dripping-juicy meat and a crunchy, cumin-and-coriander-scented crust. Combination sets come with standard Malay-style curry, flaky roti, drumsticks, and thighs, but wings can be added for $3 each. Two wings on their own, plus sticky rice are also available; customers can order them to-go or gnaw away at one of the blue-and-white-checkered tables.

Alberta Market

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Served at the convenience store long known as Jack’s, these no-frills fried chicken wings are lightly-breaded, super juicy, and served with jojos. Locals have been ordering these well-seasoned wings at this Alberta convenience store for years, with good reason: It’s a delicious bargain, served fresh and hot in a bag to go.

View this post on Instagram

Chicken Wings #seasonings #broastedchicken

A post shared by Portland Epicurean (@motoman55) on

Sandy Hot Wings Cafe

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Well-deserved props go to the PDX Wing Guys for singling out this Argay neighborhood gem, which, despite the name, is more of a teriyaki sub shop that happens to have an extensive selection of wings and sauces. Plump party wings get a seriously crunchy exterior, which holds up when slathered with a generous dose of sauces like Buffalo, mango-habanero, or sweet chile. Those who like acidity in their wings will be happy here, whether they opt for any of the saucy Buffalo variations or the dry-seasoned lemon pepper.

North Williams’ Lúa serves a robust selection of Vietnamese food, from house-made woven rice noodles to street food snacks. Fried wings tossed in a balanced-yet-flavorful fish sauce glaze are a surefire pick from the latter category. It brings the light, crisp crust of Korean fried chicken and hints at the glory of Pok Pok’s famous Vietnamese wings. They’re served with banh mi-style shredded pickled daikon and carrots for tartness and crunch.

Lorell's Chicken Shack

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Based in the Rose City Food Park pod, LoRell’s self-identifies as a “Chicago-style” wing cart; in this case, that means crunchy-fried, colossal chicken wings arrive with a dusting of savory seasoning powder and squiggle of hot honey or “G sauce,” which lands somewhere between a smoky barbecue and a vinegar-based hot sauce. For a while, LoRell’s was a hidden gem, but now, the secret is out.

Fire on the Mountain

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With three locations and a fervent following, the ultra-popular, wing-centric, brewpub-vibed Fire on the Mountain is a mandatory inclusion on a list like this. There are roughly a dozen different sauces to choose from which range in spice level, like a zesty lime-cilantro, smoky-sweet Jamaican jerk, and the peppery-sweet raspberry habanero. Vegan wings are also an option here, for non meat-eaters who want to try their hand (and tastebuds) at the masochistic levels of spice in El Jefe.

Fire On The Mountain
Fire On The Mountain.
Emily Hutto

Erica’s Soul Food

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This bright yellow cart, now parked at union hangout Worker’s Tap, has become a go-to for chicken wings, specifically the Atlanta-style lemon-pepper, a rarity in Portland. For the uninitiated, ATL-style wings are from the more-is-more school, a hybrid of hot Buffalo wings and zesty lemon-pepper glaze, served “extra wet” with fries and ranch or blue cheese for dipping. This popular style is just one of the five wing varieties on offer, so feel free to branch out with peach sriracha or maple barbecue; plus, the cart offers soy-protein-based wings for vegans or vegetarians. Order them directly from the cart to eat inside or outside the bar with a beer.

FOMO Chicken

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A food cart in Pod 28, just off of East Burnside, FOMO was ahead of the curve delivering knockout KFC (Korean Fried Chicken) in Portland. The wings here are served bone-in or boneless, and come with a few options: a sticky-sweet Korean garlic sauce, a spicy Korean sauce, and a dry, Southern fried chicken style. Those who cannot choose, however, don’t have to, as diners can order them half-and-half. Even on their own the spicy wings aren’t overly hot, but a lovely level of heat to balance the gently sweet notes.

Toki Restaurant

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During the heyday of Han Oak, the gargantuan chicken wings, tossed in a salty-sweet “essence of instant ramen” dust, often stole the show; devotees dreamed of taking buckets of those wings home. When sibling restaurant Toki opened, that fantasy became a reality, with a bonus: Not only does Toki pack up takeout versions of the dry-dusted wings, it also sells three other versions, ranging from gochujang-tamarind to chile-oil-dunked “Korean hot chicken.” All are spectacular.

Frybaby

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The Korean American chicken wings at this Lil’ America food cart are perhaps the city’s crunchiest, thanks to owner Sunny Hatch’s thorough recipe. A combination of rice, tapioca, and potato flour provides maximum crunch, while vodka helps draw out moisture from the exterior. Makgeolli behaves almost like buttermilk, tenderizing the meat and giving it an extra touch of juiciness once diners bite through to the center. Wings are double-fried to withstand saucy gochujang or soy garlic glaze, though the wings can also be ordered with a powdering of snow cheese or simply fried. On cold days, eat your wings in the neighboring Fracture Brewing, accompanied by a beer.

Fried chicken at Frybaby.
Wings at Frybaby.
Carter Hiyama/Eater Portland

Mama Chow's Kitchen

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This Southeast Portland food cart off Division is known for its lollipop wings, but don’t picture tiny bite-sized morsels; these are hulking wings, with a convenient “handle” for (somewhat) less messy dining. The wings themselves have a nice, crisp exterior, doused in a well-balanced honey-soy-garlic sauce. Mama Chow’s serves its lollipop wings with tangles of garlicky noodles or rice, though they’re also available a la carte.

Palomar

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In terms of certified flavor-bomb status, Palomar’s mojo-braised wings end up at the top of the leaderboard in Portland. Citrusy and garlicky, the chicken wings start with a braise in the bar’s knockout mojo before they land in the fryer. They’re finished with a toss in even more mojo, this time mounted with butter for extra lusciousness. They’re unlike any other wings in town.

A hand with a jalapeño tattoo drops a plate of wings at a table at Palomar.
Chicken wings at Palomar
Carla J. Peña/Eater Portland

1st Street Pocha

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Beaverton’s Korean destination Du Kuh Bee closed without fanfare in the height of the pandemic, a devastating loss to the city. It’s a relief, then, that 1st Street Pocha, the Korean restaurant that took its place, is as good as it is — especially its fried chicken. The rice flour dredge gives these thick wings a satisfying crispness, one that stands up to its sticky-spicy glaze. The restaurant’s soy garlic wings are a better fit for those afraid of spice.

Buffalo Gap Saloon & Eatery: Restaurant & Bar

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This Macadam watering hole makes a very strong Buffalo wing: Large in size but still trimmed, these baked, deep-fried, and sauce-tossed wings are fall-apart tender. The GapDaddy Winger sauce, however, is really what makes them special, a Buffalo-esque base with a hint of barbecue smokiness. Other flavors include habanero plum and garlic Parmesan.

Hat Yai

At either location of Akkapong Earl Ninsom’s casual counter-service restaurant Hat Yai, Southern Thai fried chicken is a glorious mix of dripping-juicy meat and a crunchy, cumin-and-coriander-scented crust. Combination sets come with standard Malay-style curry, flaky roti, drumsticks, and thighs, but wings can be added for $3 each. Two wings on their own, plus sticky rice are also available; customers can order them to-go or gnaw away at one of the blue-and-white-checkered tables.

Alberta Market

Served at the convenience store long known as Jack’s, these no-frills fried chicken wings are lightly-breaded, super juicy, and served with jojos. Locals have been ordering these well-seasoned wings at this Alberta convenience store for years, with good reason: It’s a delicious bargain, served fresh and hot in a bag to go.

View this post on Instagram

Chicken Wings #seasonings #broastedchicken

A post shared by Portland Epicurean (@motoman55) on

Sandy Hot Wings Cafe

Well-deserved props go to the PDX Wing Guys for singling out this Argay neighborhood gem, which, despite the name, is more of a teriyaki sub shop that happens to have an extensive selection of wings and sauces. Plump party wings get a seriously crunchy exterior, which holds up when slathered with a generous dose of sauces like Buffalo, mango-habanero, or sweet chile. Those who like acidity in their wings will be happy here, whether they opt for any of the saucy Buffalo variations or the dry-seasoned lemon pepper.

Lúa

North Williams’ Lúa serves a robust selection of Vietnamese food, from house-made woven rice noodles to street food snacks. Fried wings tossed in a balanced-yet-flavorful fish sauce glaze are a surefire pick from the latter category. It brings the light, crisp crust of Korean fried chicken and hints at the glory of Pok Pok’s famous Vietnamese wings. They’re served with banh mi-style shredded pickled daikon and carrots for tartness and crunch.

Lorell's Chicken Shack

Based in the Rose City Food Park pod, LoRell’s self-identifies as a “Chicago-style” wing cart; in this case, that means crunchy-fried, colossal chicken wings arrive with a dusting of savory seasoning powder and squiggle of hot honey or “G sauce,” which lands somewhere between a smoky barbecue and a vinegar-based hot sauce. For a while, LoRell’s was a hidden gem, but now, the secret is out.

Fire on the Mountain

With three locations and a fervent following, the ultra-popular, wing-centric, brewpub-vibed Fire on the Mountain is a mandatory inclusion on a list like this. There are roughly a dozen different sauces to choose from which range in spice level, like a zesty lime-cilantro, smoky-sweet Jamaican jerk, and the peppery-sweet raspberry habanero. Vegan wings are also an option here, for non meat-eaters who want to try their hand (and tastebuds) at the masochistic levels of spice in El Jefe.

Fire On The Mountain
Fire On The Mountain.
Emily Hutto

Erica’s Soul Food

This bright yellow cart, now parked at union hangout Worker’s Tap, has become a go-to for chicken wings, specifically the Atlanta-style lemon-pepper, a rarity in Portland. For the uninitiated, ATL-style wings are from the more-is-more school, a hybrid of hot Buffalo wings and zesty lemon-pepper glaze, served “extra wet” with fries and ranch or blue cheese for dipping. This popular style is just one of the five wing varieties on offer, so feel free to branch out with peach sriracha or maple barbecue; plus, the cart offers soy-protein-based wings for vegans or vegetarians. Order them directly from the cart to eat inside or outside the bar with a beer.

FOMO Chicken

A food cart in Pod 28, just off of East Burnside, FOMO was ahead of the curve delivering knockout KFC (Korean Fried Chicken) in Portland. The wings here are served bone-in or boneless, and come with a few options: a sticky-sweet Korean garlic sauce, a spicy Korean sauce, and a dry, Southern fried chicken style. Those who cannot choose, however, don’t have to, as diners can order them half-and-half. Even on their own the spicy wings aren’t overly hot, but a lovely level of heat to balance the gently sweet notes.

Toki Restaurant

During the heyday of Han Oak, the gargantuan chicken wings, tossed in a salty-sweet “essence of instant ramen” dust, often stole the show; devotees dreamed of taking buckets of those wings home. When sibling restaurant Toki opened, that fantasy became a reality, with a bonus: Not only does Toki pack up takeout versions of the dry-dusted wings, it also sells three other versions, ranging from gochujang-tamarind to chile-oil-dunked “Korean hot chicken.” All are spectacular.

Frybaby

The Korean American chicken wings at this Lil’ America food cart are perhaps the city’s crunchiest, thanks to owner Sunny Hatch’s thorough recipe. A combination of rice, tapioca, and potato flour provides maximum crunch, while vodka helps draw out moisture from the exterior. Makgeolli behaves almost like buttermilk, tenderizing the meat and giving it an extra touch of juiciness once diners bite through to the center. Wings are double-fried to withstand saucy gochujang or soy garlic glaze, though the wings can also be ordered with a powdering of snow cheese or simply fried. On cold days, eat your wings in the neighboring Fracture Brewing, accompanied by a beer.

Fried chicken at Frybaby.
Wings at Frybaby.
Carter Hiyama/Eater Portland

Mama Chow's Kitchen

This Southeast Portland food cart off Division is known for its lollipop wings, but don’t picture tiny bite-sized morsels; these are hulking wings, with a convenient “handle” for (somewhat) less messy dining. The wings themselves have a nice, crisp exterior, doused in a well-balanced honey-soy-garlic sauce. Mama Chow’s serves its lollipop wings with tangles of garlicky noodles or rice, though they’re also available a la carte.

Palomar

In terms of certified flavor-bomb status, Palomar’s mojo-braised wings end up at the top of the leaderboard in Portland. Citrusy and garlicky, the chicken wings start with a braise in the bar’s knockout mojo before they land in the fryer. They’re finished with a toss in even more mojo, this time mounted with butter for extra lusciousness. They’re unlike any other wings in town.

A hand with a jalapeño tattoo drops a plate of wings at a table at Palomar.
Chicken wings at Palomar
Carla J. Peña/Eater Portland

1st Street Pocha

Beaverton’s Korean destination Du Kuh Bee closed without fanfare in the height of the pandemic, a devastating loss to the city. It’s a relief, then, that 1st Street Pocha, the Korean restaurant that took its place, is as good as it is — especially its fried chicken. The rice flour dredge gives these thick wings a satisfying crispness, one that stands up to its sticky-spicy glaze. The restaurant’s soy garlic wings are a better fit for those afraid of spice.

Buffalo Gap Saloon & Eatery: Restaurant & Bar

This Macadam watering hole makes a very strong Buffalo wing: Large in size but still trimmed, these baked, deep-fried, and sauce-tossed wings are fall-apart tender. The GapDaddy Winger sauce, however, is really what makes them special, a Buffalo-esque base with a hint of barbecue smokiness. Other flavors include habanero plum and garlic Parmesan.

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