Eat at the New York Restaurant that Created Buffalo Wings

While in Toronto I went to a place that had 180 different types of chicken wings. Even though the sweet chili with ranch version there was quite tasty, the vast selection was a bit of an overkill. Especially since, as a former Buffalonian, I knew that there are only three types of Buffalo wings; mild, medium or hot. And so does Anchor Bar.

Anchor Bar in downtown Buffalo, New York is the joint where the original chicken wing was created in 1964.

Even though I had spent most of my time on this trip to Toronto/Buffalo indulging in fatty deep-fried foods, I didn’t want to miss out on eating at this East coast delicacy on the way to the airport, one of the few things on my Buffalo bucket list. So what if I will be burping up hot sauce for the entire 7 hour flight home. 

Stepping into this dimly lit restaurant you are immediately struck with license plates from every state. Why? That question still lingers, but it may be an indicator of where all the tourist have come from just to get a taste of these Buffalo wings.

We sat at one of the last tables, in a simple dining room and glanced at the eclectic newspaper style menu. Raviolis? Nope. We ordered a single order of Buffalo wings medium ($13.00) and a Beef on Weck sandwich ($7.50), another Buffalo tradition.

The server immediately gave us our sodas in jumbo plastic cups and a whopping thirteen napkins. 13! That is more than one napkin per wing.

As a Restaurateur the potential waste of napkins made me cringe. I spent the next five minutes calculating how much money I could save this restaurant by giving 6 napkins less, to the hundreds of tables they serve each day. This would be for naught if I actually needed to use them all for these juicy Buffalo wings.

The plate of chicken wings arrived looking just like I remember from my younger days, golden brown with a side of celery and blue cheese. Blue cheese…sigh. So much better than the ranch accompaniments sometimes served with this dish on the West coast.

Buffalo Wings at Anchor Bar

Napkin number one went into my lap, to catch any drippings, napkin two also went in my lap to be used for my hands and I placed a third one, on the sidelines, next to my plate ready for action if need be.

The wings were crispy with tender center meat and the medium sauce just spicy enough, a hint of burn on the tongue. My entire family still residing in the Buffalo area claims that there are much better wings elsewhere. If they are right, I can’t imagine just how good the others must be.

The beef on weck was a dry roast beef sandwich served with a side of straight horseradish. The big deal about this thinly sliced meat sandwich is the Weck, a kummelweck bread topped with kosher salt and caraway.

The two of us finished our meal using only six napkins total. Not bad for some West coast rookies.

16 thoughts on “Eat at the New York Restaurant that Created Buffalo Wings”

  1. I almost made a trip to Buffalo a couple of years ago and was really looking forward to having the original. I love wings and am determined to have them here!

  2. I went to the Anchor Bar on my first trip to Buffalo to visit one of my best friends. I’m not a big wing fan, but I think we ate our fair share — you have to in a place like that!

    My friend no longer lives there, but I assume I’ll make it back one day because I plan to take Gav to Niagara Falls.

    Kudos on the napkin victory, by the way — I’m not sure I would be so successful.

  3. This makes me so happy to see that you had this on your list and you got to experience real wings! I grew up in Buffalo and Anchor Bar and Duff’s are the two best wing spots in town. Now I’m craving some and think I may be due back for a visit soon. Mmmmm! Nice job only using about half of the napkins ;)

  4. Wow, I am so looking forward to going to Anchor Bar and eating a plate FULL of their awesome Buffalo wings! I’m sure I will be using the entire napkin supply but congrats to you for your extreme neatness!! :)

  5. I only spent 2.5 years in Buffalo (for grad school), but that city…she stole my heart, and in return I adopted her as my “home town.” I loved it there and would move back in a heartbeat (I’d have to convince the other half, but I don’t think it would be that hard). I totally get the Buffalo pride, and I defend her with all that I have, and I always will.

  6. I am from Buffalo and Duff’s is definetly a hidden gem. Buffalo wings (no one from Buffalo actually calls them that haha just chicken wings) may have orginated from Anchorbar but everyone knows Duff’s perfected them. It is a must try!!

  7. I’m sure that picture doesn’t even do the meal justice. And I totally agree – blue cheese pairs so much better with spicy wings than ranch does. I think I need to stop by Buffalo now next time I’m in New York!


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