Don’t wing it: Where to eat wings like a true Memphian


Keyarash Hatamzadeh/The White Station Scroll

Bosses’ honey-hot wing combination takeout order with a side of ranch dipping sauce.

Ten piece honey-hot wing combo with ranch. That is what my regular order looks like at any authentic Memphis wing establishment.

For an outsider without any exposure to Memphis culture, it might seem like barbecue is the only regional speciality the city has to offer. That assumption, however, ignores the city’s reputation in providing some of the best chicken wings the south has to offer.

“The large abundance of flavors due to the unique seasonings really set apart Memphis wings from any other wings in the country,” Steven Snyder (12) said.  

With the wide variety of local wing establishments in the Memphis area, it can be difficult for some to find the absolute right fit for them. No two restaurants are exactly alike as the style of the wings served can vary immensely depending on where you go and what you may be used to. Bosses, Ching’s Hot Wings, The Wing Guru and Central BBQ are just four of the many places that serve quality Memphis wings.

Bosses, rated in the “Top 15 Wing Spots in the U.S.” by Men’s Journal magazine, has been serving White Station students with Memphis-style wings since 2010. Although the wings served at Bosses are not served whole, the house-made ranch served on the side makes the experience well worth it.

“Getting wings is a common activity with my friends,” Grace Balsam (12) said. “We love the atmosphere and food at Bosses.”

Opened in 2016 by former Memphis Tiger basketball player Billy Richmond, The Wing Guru stays true to its Memphis roots with a menu full of delicious honey-based wing sauces.

Ching’s Hot Wings and The Wing Guru serve a similar style of wing as Bosses. Both establishments put a heavy emphasis on seasoning their fries to perfection, giving them an edge over restaurants that skimp on flavor.

“I’m willing to try other places if I hear that they’re good,” Ian McMillin (9) said. “Chings’ honey- gold and honey-hot sets them apart.”

Although many would not expect Central BBQ to produce quality chicken wings, the taste and style of wing at Central is anything but ordinary. Central BBQ first smokes their chicken, then allows for the wings to marinate in sauce before serving to the customer. Unlike the other restaurants, Central strictly serves whole wings that are much bigger than what is usually expected.

It is truly unfair to say that any chicken wing establishment in the Memphis area is better than the other. Each restaurant has put their own spin and trademark on the regional cuisine. Whether it is the signature honey sauce flavor or the impeccably-flavored fries on the side, Memphis has and always will be a titan in the chicken wing space.