During football season — and at just about every other happy-hour outing, really — the wing is king. Nothing is more popular, nor cheaper.
Though you shouldn’t assume your order has to be Buffalo wings, with a side of blue cheese or Ranch dressing. They’re dressed up every conceivable way, the wings today — from harissa to fish sauce. They are baked, smoked or pressure-fried.
If you bar-hop or search the Web, you’ll find at least a dozen regional spins. Or maybe you don’t want to work that hard. That’s what we’re here for. Here are the five best happy-hour wings in Seattle.
Ba Bar, 550 12th Ave. Because you want Pok Pok wings but don’t want to drive to Portland. These trendy wings are associated with the famous Thai joint in Oregon, but they’re actually a Vietnamese classic: fish-sauce wings. Ba Bar makes the best local variation of these umami bombs with their garlicky, salty and sugary-caramelized glaze. On Tuesdays, they’re 50 cents from 3 p.m.-1:30 a.m.
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Chan, 86 Pine St. Because Korean chicken wings, popular on the East Coast, may finally have their moment in Seattle. This Korean-fusion bistro at Pike Place Market makes the best. The double-fried wings are covered in a fermented chili paste with soy sauce, salt, chili powder, ketchup and Tabasco sauce. It’s sticky, sweet and spicy — best downed with a $4 Hite beer. $6 for four wings during happy hour, 5-6:30 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday. (The folks behind Chan will also feature Korean fried chicken at their new restaurant, Tray Kitchen, 4012 Leary Way N.W., starting Nov. 1.)
Golden Beetle,1744 N.W. Market St. Because it’s the most underrated wing in North Seattle. Sprinkled peanuts stick to the Mediterranean-flavored wings for texture, while lime cuts into a rich base of harissa, tomato paste, ginger and honey. It’s a finger-licking, citrusy, sweet and spicy wing. $7 for six wings during happy hour, 4:30-6:30 p.m. daily.
King’s Hardware,5225 Ballard Ave. N.W. Because when two dozen wings aren’t enough. Linda Derschang’s Ballard dive features 27-cent Buffalo-wing Mondays. This gets ugly and messy. The best of the dirt-cheap wings. You can start rolling up your sleeves at 3 p.m. and chow down until they are sold out.
Marco Polo Bar & Grill,5613 Fourth Ave. S. Because it’s one of the best wings in Seattle regardless of price. But since we’re talking price, these cost 50 cents on Monday with $3 Manny’s to wash them down with. Your Monday Night Football haven here. They’re crispy with the buffalo sauce served on the side to preserve the crunchiness. The wing deal starts at 5 p.m.