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We couldn’t put together a Low Carb Guide to Eating Out and not include Chicken Wings! They’re the OG keto snack, appetizer, party, and game day food!
One of our absolute favorite things to order out is chicken wings because they’re naturally keto friendly. And they if they’re done right, they’re so good, especially paired with blue cheese dressing!
Faith is from Buffalo (the origin of Buffalo chicken wings!), and so she grew up with great wings. No soggy wings here – we’re going to show you where to find the best wings and how to order them to keep them as low carb as possible!
And check out our Super Easy Buffalo Chicken Dip Recipe. It’s another great way to get your wing fix!
How to Order Chicken Wings, Low Carb Style
One of the main things to be mindful of in terms of keeping wings low carb and keto is the sauce. Surprisingly, a lot of sauces out there have a ton of hidden sugar! BBQ sauce, mild sauce, medium sauce, and the list goes on. (But try our Sugar Free BBQ Sauce Recipe!)
Additionally, sometimes the wings are breaded or coated in a seasoned flour mixture before frying. Of course this adds carbs!
And last but not least, think about what you’re dipping those crispy, crunchy golden wings in! Blue cheese and ranch dressing are both usually very low in carbs.
Buffalo Wing Sauce
Classic Buffalo sauce for chicken wings is just Frank’s RedHot sauce (yup, it has to be this brand!) combined with melted butter. Combined in different ratios, you get hot, medium, and mild sauce. For example, more butter and less hot sauce is mild, and more hot sauce and less butter is hot. Sometimes they also add ketchup along with melted butter and hot sauce to make mild sauce. It tastes good, but the ketchup adds sugar.
Pro Tip: Ask your server what they put in their hot, medium, and mild sauces so you can avoid hidden sugar! As a general rule, the hotter the sauce, typically the less (if any) sugar-containing ingredients in it (such as ketchup).
Garlic Butter or Garlic Parmesan Butter
This is usually a great choice for wing sauce! They come out doused in garlic butter, somethings with Parmesan added too. Naturally low carb and keto, and sooooo good.
Dry Wings (aka No Sauce)
If you can’t find a sauce you like that’s low carb, just order your wings dry! You can always dip them in blue cheese or ranch dressing if you want more flavor.
Breaded Wings or Coated Wings
Sometimes the menu will say if the wings are breaded or coated, but sometimes the menu doesn’t say. And then the wings will come out breaded and it’s such a bummer! Classic Buffalo wings should never have a breading or flour coating – the wings just don’t need it.
Again, ask your server to double check that their wings aren’t breaded or coated with a flour mixture. The chicken wings should literally be just wings that are fried! This helps avoid added carbs.
Pro Tip: If fresh chicken wings are cooked properly (deep fried at 350F for about 10 to 12 minutes), they will be crispy outside and juicy inside.
It’s really not necessary to have a dipping sauce if you have a wing that’s cooked perfectly crispy outside and juicy inside. Especially if the chicken wings are tossed in a low carb sauce, such as hot sauce or garlic butter! But sometimes a girl just wants to dip, right?
Blue cheese dressing is the classic choice if you’re from Buffalo, New York (the birthplace of wings!). However, ranch dressing is also a delicious pairing.
And go ahead and grab a stick or two of celery to dip!
Pro Tip: To keep it keto, go for full-fat dressing and make sure it’s low enough in carbs to fit into your macros! (Also, be mindful of your portion size.)
Where to Get Great Wings
Now that you know what to look for when you’re ordering chicken wings, we’re going to show you that you can get great wings all over the country! For the best wings (aka, crispy outside and juicy inside), make sure that the restaurant deep fries them. (Side Note: We also like grilled chicken wings, but they won’t be crispy outside!)
We went to a few different restaurants in various areas of the USA. Here are some of our favorite chicken wings spots:
Anchor Bar, Buffalo, New York
This is where the iconic Buffalo chicken wing got started. We aren’t kidding, this is literally the birthplace of the infamous Buffalo wing! So you know they do it right.
These are crispy inside and juicy inside, the way Buffalo wings should be cooked! The wing sauce is fairly thin, which is the way wing sauce should be (no one needs a thick, gloopy wing sauce). And lastly, just like they should be, the wings are shaken in the sauce to ensure even coating. YUM.
Anchor Bar: 1047 Main Street, Buffalo, New York 14209
Duff’s Famous Wings, Buffalo, New York
As much as we love Anchor Bar (because the OG deserves respect), we love Duff’s even more. Just like Anchor Bar, Duff’s Famous Wings has a deliciously crisp outside + juicy inside wing. They also have a flavorful sauce with a great consistency that’s evenly coating their wings.
However, what sets them apart ever so slightly (making them the best, in our humble opinions) is that these wings are just a touch crispier. Not crispy enough to make them dry, just crispy enough to hold up ever-so-slightly better once they’re sauce.
Duff’s truly has the best wings of our lives.
Duff’s Famous Wings: 3090 Orchard Park Drive. Buffalo, New York 14224 (and several other locations in the Buffalo area)
Franks for the Memories, Mundelein, Illinois
It is truly a challenge to find great Buffalo wings outside Buffalo, New York. The key is to ask the locals (or do a Google search), and find a chicken wing restaurant that’s run by a Buffalonian!
That’s the case with Franks for the Memories, which is in a little town called Mundelein in the Chicago metro area.
Franks wings are crispy outside, and juicy inside. However, here instead of classic wing sauce (the Franks RedHot sauce + butter combination, we much prefer their garlic butter wings! They are truly something special.
Insider Tip: When you’re looking for a great chicken wing restaurant outside Buffalo, look for a restaurant that’s run by Buffalonians!
Franks for the Memories: 645 E Hawley Street, Mundelein, Illinois 60060
Dick’s Wings and Grill, Jacksonville, Florida
We’ve tried soooo many wings in Florida and hands-down, Dick’s Wings and Grill in the Jacksonville area is our favorite in the state.
We aren’t saying that Dick’s is on-par with Anchor Bar, Duff’s, or Franks, but in the South (where a true Buffalo wing is a pretty rare commodity), Dick’s does a really great job!
At Dick’s, Lara prefers the garlic butter wings and Faith prefers the classic Buffalo sauce!
Dick’s Wings and Grill: 6055 Youngerman Circle, Jacksonville, Florida 32244 (and several other locations in the Jacksonville area)
Daily Grind Burgers, Port Orange, Florida
As far as good Buffalo style chicken wings in Florida, Daily Grind Burgers is a good contender (and better than most options!). However, the wings could be a touch crispier and the sauce is way too thick. One last issue is that the sauce is literally dumped on top of the wings instead of being shaken with the wings, and so the wings aren’t evenly coated.
Daily Grind Burgers: 1665 Dunlawton Avenue #104, Port Orange, Florida 32127
Check out our other Low Carb Eating Out Guides
Where’s your favorite place to get chicken wings? And how do you order them to keep them keto? Share with us in the comments below!
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