Best Wings in Long Beach (ThrowDown)

Football season is looming.  Meaning that it’s time for Jets and Giants fans across the Island to be disappointed by the performance of their respective teams.  Also, wing consumption will reach annual highs.  Long Beach has so many places that claim to be bars, pubs, restaurants, and other kinds of casual eateries.  With each offering a wing of their own it can be daunting to sort through all of them and their claims of superiority.

I’ve had many, many wings and think I have a good tasting system down.  I’m only going to consider Buffalo Wings – i.e., “Spicy” wings.  None of that teriyaki, Caribbean jerk, sweet & sour, BBQ shenanigans.  Sure, we can give some honorable mentions, but Buffalo is the only true flavoring.  Baked or fried?  Not even a question.  Most baked wings are soggy and gross.  Deep fried and done right is a work of art.   Another component that needs to be considered is the meatiness.  If there is too much meat, it tastes more like eating a chicken leg.  Too little and its all bone and skin.  Of course then, the sauce itself is critical.  Is it just painfully spicy or is it hot with good balance?

I’ve been to Sutton Place, I’m tasted Beach House’s offerings.  I’ve had a dozen at The Inn.  I’ve done Minnesota’s.  Billy’s Beach Cafe – been there.  And there’s more of course that are even less memorable.

Recently, I had the best wing I’ve ever consumed in Long Beach.  I went on a suggestion, and wow, they were right.  Where?  The low-key John Henry’s on Park Ave.

I ordered John Henry’s plate of Buffalo wings, hot of course, and was served a heaping plater of goodness, with all the sides one could want (carrots, celery, blue cheese).  The wing – perfectly fried crispy without being dry and tough.  The sauce – spicy without being overwhelming.  The wing, meaty for sure, some may think a little too meaty, but I believe it to be the perfect balance.  Through and through a perfect wing experience.  Afterwards, no feeling of severe grease overload death.

I was a skeptic.  I didn’t believe this understated pub would have such a strong wing offering.  I scoffed.  Well, like me, try this and then comment.  Yes, many will protest and say that _______ has a better wing.  Eat John Henry’s wing and explain why ______ has a better one.  I’ve probably already had that one and considered it.  If you offer up a place with a better wing, I will of course be obligated to try it – I’d consider it my duty.

And just for fun, I’m going to include a recipe if you want to make wings at home that I’ve had great results with.  Yes, these are baked, but technically “oven-fried.”  Try them at your own peril because you’ll soon be hooked.

Let the wing throwdown begin.

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17 thoughts on “Best Wings in Long Beach (ThrowDown)”

  1. YES! We love the wings at John Henry’s AND the low key, quiet atmosphere. They dont have a giant bar there so you don’t have all screaming and yelling like you get at some of the West End places while your trying to enjoy your meal. Nice size portion too. You didnt mention Wing It on Park-I think they opened last year toward the end of football season-then it seemed liked they closed. But they still have a website http://justwingit.org/–I plan on trying them at some point!

    Oh! and thanks for the “hurricane distraction” article!

  2. Glad you enjoyed John Henry’s– they have the best wings in all of long beach, hands down!!!! Their sweet n tangy wings are also ridiculously awesome. I agree- the best part is that there is rarely ever a wait. I’ve also heard that the Beach House has awesome wings too, but I havent tried theirs yet!
    as for Just Wing It- I’ve tried it once, but I wasn’t really feeling the baked wing, it was kind of nauseatingly soggy, but I”m willing to give it another go.

  3. Just Wing It should move to a ‘fried’ option and forget all this healthy non-sense.

    One evening when I had guests we decided to try it out and ordered 4 or so different types of wings. The flavors were alright, but they were crappy baked wings, so pretty much worthless.

    This was quite a while ago, so they may have changed for the better, but as long as they are baked, I will not be a customer.

    As far as GOOD wings in LB, I will throw in my lot with Beach House; they serve a decent wing. Also, tons of TV’s for a full Sunday of football viewing. Swingbellys “swings” are pretty diesel, but very legit.

  4. Yea it’s silly to me when a place claims to make something healthy by cutting it from a 2000 calorie meal to a 1500 calorie meal. If its fried right its not the death of you and I’m not eating them every day!

  5. They were healthier under the old owner and they had the BEST wraps in LB. The new owner came in and added all the fried items to the menu (including Oreos!)… I didn’t know they still promoted it as healthy, maybe they just didn’t want to change the sign.

  6. Glad to see John Henrys getting props. We felt this way for years. the teriyaki is great. All the food at John Henrys is great. Its our number one option for a burger and a beer. cant beat it in long beach. they even have a great meatloaf. cmon now you know you want some moms style meatloaf! best steak tidbits around (long beach staple dish) and they come with waffle fries unlike sutton place which is not as good and comes with nothing and cost more. John Henrys are really Good guys too, support your local pub!

  7. Been wanting to try John Henry’s for a while and, Shaun, your description of their wings makes me want to go ASAP! Just Wing it? Eh. Not a fan. Haven’t had wings anywhere else yet.

    For the record, Swingbelly’s has some of the best mac and cheese on the planet.

  8. Thank you for your comment, Mario! We too love our wings and everything else on the menu. For 10 years we have been consistent and have welcomed happy and satisfied customers just like you! See you soon…

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