Cluckin’ Chuck Presents: The 26 Best (and Worst) Hot Wings in Charleston, SC

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    Cluckin’ Chuck Presents: The 26 Best (and Worst) Hot Wings in Charleston, SC
    Published: February 7, 2023

    Hello, my name is Cluckin’ Chuck. I’m a self-described wing connoisseur with the goal to find the best wing in the Charleston area.

    I began rating wings back in August 2022 as a way to remember where to go to satisfy my cravings. I then decided to turn my hobby into a guide for others who want the comfort of a great wing.

    My ideal wing is crispy, fall off the bone, with a great unique flavor, and tasty homemade ranch and blue cheese. Over the past few months I have visited over 25 local wing spots. Here is my honest review.

    From me, Cluckin’ Chuck, to you, I hope you enjoy! 

    My criteria is ordering buffalo style hot wings, or the closest thing to it that is provided. I always order both ranch and bleu cheese. Each review takes into account the cost per wing, a description of the style (either from the menu or otherwise), and my personal thoughts on the wing.

    For direct comment or recommendations for other great wing spots in Charleston, please reach out to Stretch Robinson on Twitter.

    26. Mellow Mushroom (West Ashley)

    Mellow Mushroom (West Ashley)

    Cost

    10 wings for $15 ($1.50 per wing)

    Menu Description

    Double-baked for a crispy and flavorful wing without the use of a fryer or added oils.

    Ranch / Bleu Cheese

    Standard ranch and bleu cheese.

    Thoughts

    Mine weren’t good. Fatty wings. I didn’t get the crispiness of the double baked method. Get the pizza.

    Grade: F

    25. 1st Place (Downtown)

    1st Place (Downtown)

    Cost (PPW)

    12 wings for $19 ($1.58 per wing)

    Menu Description

    Spiced Chicken Wing.

    Ranch / Bleu Cheese

    Standard bleu cheese.

    Thoughts

    The wings are bad. A lot of flabby ones in the batch. Decent buffalo sauce and all, just the wings weren’t very good. Five of us couldn’t finish all 12  wings – that says a lot. Great place to watch sports.

    Grade: F

    24. Charleston Sports Pub (James Island)

    Charleston Sports Pub (James Island)

    Cost (PPW)

    12 wings for $18 ($1.50 per wing)

    Wing Description

    Fried.

    Ranch / Bleu Cheese

    Solid bleu cheese and ranch. Good, healthy carrots and celery.

    Thoughts

    Sorry, wings are disappointing. They’re too fatty or the flats got the grizzle to them. Too pumped up. The sauces are solid. Recommend ordered well done or double fried.

    Grade: D

    23. Wings and Hibachi R Us (West Ashley)

    Wings and Hibachi R Us (West Ashley)

    Cost (PPW)

    6 for $6.25 ($1.04 per wing)

    Wing Description

    Fried.

    Ranch / Bleu Cheese

    Standard ranch.

    Thoughts

    Wings from a Chinese restaurant. Small wings. Solid buffalo sauce. Wings were a little suspect. Maybe it was the breading. A little too grizzly for my liking. Piping hot. I’m giving it the benefit of the doubt of Chinese-style chicken wing.

    Grade: C

    22. Minero (Johns Island)

    Minero (Johns Island)

    Cost (PPW)

    8 for $16 ($2 per wing)

    Menu Description

    Charcoal grilled. Tossed in Valentina.

    Ranch / Bleu Cheese

    Good dressing.

    Thoughts

    I was really excited to try these wings, and was impressed when they hit the table. Unfortunately, my batch had a bunch of fatty wings that lacked crisp.

    Grade: C

    21. The Roost (West Ashley)

    The Roost (West Ashley)

    Cost (PPW)

    8 for $14 ($1.75 per wing)

    Wing Description

    Fried.

    Ranch / Bleu Cheese

    Standard ranch and bleu cheese.

    Thoughts

    Taste like they just poured a thing of Frank’s Red Hot over top. Nothing special.

    Grade: C

    20. Niko’s Gyros & Wings (West Ashley)

    Niko’s Gyros & Wings (West Ashley)

    Cost (PPW)

    5 wings for $6 ($1.20 per wing)

    Wing Description

    Fried.

    Ranch / Bleu Cheese

    Packaged ranch.

    Thoughts

    Decent wing. Heavy on the sauce, but a good tangy buffalo. Needed them to be a little crispier.

    Grade: C

    19. The Bounty Bar (Folly Beach)

    The Bounty Bar (Folly Beach)

    Cost (PPW): 8 for $14 ($1.75)

    Menu Description

    Dave’s crispy wings.

    Ranch / Bleu Cheese

    Standard bleu cheese.

    Thoughts

    Alright bar wing. Kind of fatty. Good celery. Standard buffalo sauce.

    Grade: C

    18. The Hideout (James Island)

    The Hideout (James Island)

    Cost (PPW)

    12 wings for $16 ($1.33 per wing)

    Wing Description

    Fried.

    Ranch / Bleu Cheese

    Standard ranch and bleu cheese.

    Thoughts

    I didn’t find anything special about the wings. They were good, but nothing that I’d be rushing back to eat. Need more crisping in the fryer.

    Grade: B-

    17. The Alley (Downtown)

    The Alley (Downtown)

    Cost (PPW)

    12 wings for $16 ($1.30 per wing)

    Wing Description

    Fried.

    Ranch / Bleu Cheese

    Good bleu cheese and ranch.

    Thoughts

    The Alley is one of the greatest places in Charleston. Their wings are a solid bar wing. Love the thin green onion topper. Good sauce, standard bleu cheese/ ranch but nothing to write home to mother about. When the body craves a standard bar wing, The Alley offers one the best of them.

    Grade: B

    16. Swig and Swine (West Ashley)

    Swig and Swine (West Ashley)

    Cost (PPW)

    12 wings for $19 ($1.58 per wing)

    Menu Description

    Smoked chicken wings.

    Ranch / Bleu Cheese

    Waitress recommended the local secret of mixing their white sauce with the jalapeño bbq sauce. Incredible.

    Thoughts

    This wing and the  sauce are phenomenal… The white hot sauce is a perfect sauce that keeps your mouth watering. My hold up with the wing is that the flats were a little soft. They still had some grizzle when breaking into them. Two of my drums broke.

    Grade: B

    15. Hunley’s Neighborhood Bar (West Ashley)

    Hunley’s Neighborhood Bar (West Ashley)

    Cost (PPW)

    10 wings for $14 ($1.40 per wing)

    Wing Description

    Fried.

    Ranch / Bleu Cheese

    A+ bleu cheese. Some of the best. Good celery.

    Thoughts

    Double fried hot buffalo. Pretty good. Medium size. One wing still had feathers which is unfortunate. Great bleu cheese. Definitely homemade. Very good buffalo flavor. Good healthy celery.

    Grade: B

    14. My Father’s Mustache (James Island)

    My Father’s Mustache (James Island)

    Cost (PPW)

    8 wings for $13 ($1.62 per wing)

    Wing Description

    Fried.

    Ranch / Bleu Cheese

    Good ranch and bleu cheese.

    Thoughts

    Good gourmet bar wing. Really crispy. Great buffalo sauce.

    Grade: B

    13. Gene’s Haufbrau (West Ashley)

    Gene’s Haufbrau (West Ashley)

    Cost (PPW)

    12 wings for $16 ($1.33 per wing)

    Wing Description

    Fried.

    Ranch / Bleu Cheese

    Very good.

    Thoughts

    Deceivingly crispy given their  large size. The sauce was just a standard buffalo, making these a very good dive bar wing.

    Grade: B+

    12. Edmund’s Oast Brewery (Downtown)

    Edmund’s Oast Brewery (Downtown)

    Cost (PPW)

    12 wings for $18 ($1.50 per wing)

    Wing Description

    Fried.

    Ranch / Bleu Cheese

    Solid ranch and bleu cheese.

    Thoughts

    Great wing. The wings come with the drum and flat intact. I’ve eaten these wings twice and they scored very differently even though there were no changes to the menu. The lack in consistency gives these wings a B+ average.

    Grade: B+

    11. Moe’s Crosstown Tavern (Downtown)

    Moe’s Crosstown Tavern (Downtown)

    Cost (PPW)

    12 wings for $18 ($1.50 per wing)

    Wing Description

    Fried.

    Ranch / Bleu Cheese

    Solid ranch and bleu cheese.

    Thoughts

    Good crisp to the wings, but nothing really makes these stand out in the crowd. Great standard bar wing.

    Grade: B+

    10. Bedford Falls (Downtown)

    Bedford Falls (Downtown)

    Cost (PPW)

    7 wings for $13 ($1.85 per wing)

    Wing Description

    Rum-barbeque sauce.

    Ranch / Bleu Cheese

    Great ranch dressing.

    Thoughts

    One of the tastiest wings I’ve ever had. Very good bbq taste. Like how they’re finished with fresh parsley. A little more crispiness would have landed these with an A+.

    Grade: A-

    9. The Royal American (Downtown)

    The Royal American (Downtown)

    Cost (PPW)

    12 wings for $16 ($1.33 per wing)

    Menu Description

    Chicken magic, scallions, lime.

    Ranch / Bleu Cheese

    Lime wedge.

    Thoughts

    Crispy wing with  a great citrus and  zest flavor. Royal  garnishes these  wings by slapping lime and scallions on top. There is no sauce, so they can be a little dry. Overall it’s a solid wing; crispy, unique, and all the meat comes off the bone.

    Grade: A

    8. Rodney Scott’s BBQ (Downtown)

    Rodney Scott’s BBQ (Downtown)

    Cost (PPW)

    6 wings for $12 ($2 per wing)

    Menu Description

    Smoked over coals, fried until crispy and tossed in a special rub.

    Ranch / Bleu Cheese

    Good celery, creamy ranch.

    Thoughts

    The wing has an intense smokiness that rivals to none. Mr. Scott’s dry rub is one of the better dry rubs I’ve ever had. The wings had a certain crispiness that you don’t generally find in a smoked wing. My one criticism of the wing is once you get past the first few bites, the meat gets tough and doesn’t slide off the bone like you would expect.

    Grade: A

    7. Home Team BBQ (West Ashley)

    Home Team BBQ (West Ashley)

    Cost (PPW)

    12 wings for $19.50 ($1.65 per wing)

    Wing Description

    Dry rubbed.

    Ranch / Bleu Cheese

    Alabama white sauce.

    Thoughts

    Home Team has always had solid wings. I’ve had these wings dozens of times, and they always deliver. These wings come with one of the best dry rubs in Charleston and the Alabama white sauce has always slapped. There were no drums in the half dozen I ordered, but the flats were all amazing.

    Grade: A

    6. Holy City Brewery (North Charleston)

    Holy City Brewery (North Charleston)

    Cost (PPW)

    8 wings for $15 ($1.87 per wing)

    Wing Description

    Smoked then fried.

    Ranch / Bleu Cheese

    Very good bleu cheese. Probably drinkable.

    Thoughts

    Fantastic wing in a fantastic buffalo sauce. You can taste the flavor of the smoker, which is complimented by a crispiness from the fryer. Buffalo sauce had a good kick, maybe a little peppercorn in there. Great wing all around. Finger licking good. The only thing keeping them from receiving an A+ is one drum was jacked up, leaving pieces of bone you had to eat around….Still delicious. Need consistency across the board.

    Grade: A

    5. Kwei Fei (James Island)

    Kwei Fei (James Island)

    Cost (PPW)

    4 wings for $9 ($2.25 per wing)

    Wing Description

    Fried.

    Ranch / Bleu Cheese

    None.

    Thoughts

    They’re called the  Four Rivers Wings, or 四江之 翼. Very tasty and unique wing (as is fitting for a restaurant beside the Pour House). Made with a drunken marinade, dry rub and fried garlic. They sit on a bed of cilantro. Good crisp, clean wing. Really moist for a dry rub! Definitely a gourmet wing. Highest price per wing.

    Grade: A

    4. Heavy’s Barburger (Downtown)

    Heavy’s Barburger (Downtown)

    Cost (PPW)

    1 pound of wings for $10 ($1 per wing, on average)

    Wing Description

    Over a pound of crispy wings tossed in sauce.

    Ranch / Bleu Cheese

    Solid bleu cheese and ranch. Good celery.

    Thoughts

    Great wing without a heavy price tag. Great bang for your buck.

    Grade: A

    3. Dog and Duck (Summerville)

    Dog and Duck (Summerville)

    Cost (PPW)

    10 wings for $14 ($1.40 per wing)

    Wing Description

    Double dunked.

    Ranch / Bleu Cheese

    Both pretty good. Solid celery.

    Thoughts

    Awesome wing. Dunked in the fryer twice. Great taste. Moist and juicy.

    Grade: A+

    2. Blue’s House of Wings (Mt. Pleasant)

    Blue’s House of Wings (Mt. Pleasant)

    Cost (PPW)

    20 wings for $27.50 ($1.37 per wing)

    Menu Description

    Wings are double fried then chargrilled after  the sauce is applied. Wings will have a char mark on them which provides extra flavor.

    Ranch / Bleu Cheese

    Solid bleu cheese.

    Thoughts

    This is just your solid, reliable wing. Good to the last one. Double fried for nice crisp. If you’re going to a Super Bowl party, you want these wings to be there.

    Grade: A+

    1. Nigel’s Good Food (North Charleston)

    Nigel’s Good Food (North Charleston)

    Cost (PPW)

    8 wings for $14 ($1.75 per wing)

    Menu Description

    *Geechie Wings – Often imitated but  never duplicated. Originated by Chef Nigel Drayton, Charleston, SC- he got tired of naked fried wings tossed in hot sauce. So at Nigels you get “his” Wings: 8 crispy fried drumettes sticky with Chefs Flavor filled techie sauce and of course he whipped up a vinaigrette with blue cheese crumbles to dip it.

    Ranch / Bleu Cheese

    Vinaigrette with bleu cheese crumbles. Bomb.

    Thoughts

    Very crispy. Each bite was like the first bite of the best part of a piece of fried chicken. Nothing to leave on the bone because it’s so crisp and fried. This wing shows off the Geechie heritage in a modern way. The sauce was very good. Would love to see Nigel make a buffalo sauce. Great bleu cheese. That’s an A+ wing!

    Grade: A+

    The Best Wings in Charleston – Award Categories

    Super Bowl MVP Party Wing – Blue’s House of Wings

    Best Bar Wings – Holy City Brewery  

    Best Wing Overall – Nigel’s Good Food 

    Worst Wing Overall – Mellow Mushroom

    Best Smoked Wing – Rodney Scott’s 

    Best Value Wing – Heavy’s Barburger  

    Tastiest – Swig and Swine 

    Honorable Mention – Kwei Fei / Royal American

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