San Francisco 49ers fans are looking forward to February 3 for a Super Bowl Sunday afternoon of football, chicken wings, and a trophy. Pre-order the best chicken wings around the city from your neighborhood wings place or from one of these top five favorites. Have another great suggestion? Chime in via the comments section.
1545 Clement St. (at 17th Avenue), San Francisco
This friendly Richmond District wing joint that's been open for 15 months has already been awarded "Best Wings 2012" by SF Weekly. Proud owner/chef Terence, who trained in Japan, explains the multi-step process a wing goes through before it lands on your plate, and it's quite a journey. "We emphasize quality over quantity, so only the juiciest jumbo wings make it that far. Don't worry, if there are any smaller wings in an order, we add more. No party wings here," Terence assures.
Regulars began placing their Super Bowl orders right after the playoff win, but a few pre-order slots remain until cut-off on Saturday evening at 6:30 p.m.
Choose from four styles for takeaway. Korean Fried Chicken (KFC) is a triple-fried signature dish with a crispy exterior made from a home recipe that Terence learned from two Korean moms he befriended years ago in L.A. Honey BBQ sauce is the second choice. Green relies on a house blend of spices, including cilantro, ginger, and jalapeno, with sesame oil on a dry wing. And the original buffalo comes with sauce in four stages of fiery or not: mild, medium, hot, and hot sweet, as you like. Minimum order for takeaway is 24 wings with two sauces, $25 including tax.
422 Haight St., San Francisco
With the 2012 Super Bowl under their belts as a dry run, Wing Wings co-owners are excited about Super Bowl Sunday this year. Midwest and East Coast transplants who "grew up with good wings," they are pleased to see how this city has gotten into great wings. Putting a San Francisco twist into recipes from home, they've built a dedicated local fan base using fresh California free-range chickens. Fresh house-made sauces on seven wing choices are made from scratch, says Lisa, including an "incredibly popular Angry Korean made with spices and scallions."
Super Bowl Sunday is, predictably, their busiest day. However, Wing Wings will strive to take as many orders as possible and to deliver from their Lower Haight location to surrounding neighborhoods using a bicycle service. Add $5 for some areas beyond the free delivery zone, or collect yourself. A jumbo takeaway order of 25 wings and one or two sauces is $23 with tax included. Party packs of 50 wings for $55 or 100 wings for $110 include two or four sides, like cole slaw, potato salad, or macaroni salad.
1031 Irving St. (between 11th and 12th avenues), San Francisco
Some say San Tung rates among the top five for chicken wings in all of America. They received national attention from Food & Wine, with a shoutout for the dry wings in particular. That same dish makes the most recent list of "100 Things to Eat Before You Die" from 7x7SF. Original dry chicken wings are deep-fried in batter with garlic, ginger, and roasted red peppers, priced at $9.50. There's no delivery, but compared to Chinatown, parking in the Inner Sunset is a breeze. Credit cards are accepted.
1010 Bryant St. (between Converse and Eighth Street), San Francisco
Crispy is the key word. Dangerously delicious is the verdict. Keeping it in the family, the ex-Sunset San Tung sister place gets rave reviews. Look carefully -- from the exterior, SO looks more like a hole in the wall than a small but cozy Asian fusion restaurant with some of the best $6 chicken wings on the planet. It's just near Nordstrom Rack, Trader Joe's, and Bed Bath & Beyond, which has a parking lot (be careful), and there's some metered parking on the street. It's one-way, so if you need to circle around, be careful not to get onto the freeway ramp by mistake.
Capital Restaurant839 Clay St., San Francisco
Capital has been a no-frills Chinatown fixture for 30 years, and it wins a place on this list for value for money. Salt and pepper chicken wings for takeaway are attractively priced at $7.90 for 12 pieces, including tax, and get rave reviews. Party trays up to 130 pieces for $80 can be ordered at least 30 minutes in advance for pickup. However, parking in Chinatown is notoriously challenging, to put it nicely. Cash only, no website.
No matter where you get your wings for the big game on Sunday, order as early as possible. Go Niners!
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