Food and Drink

It’s Super Bowl time. Here are some of Anchorage’s best takeout wing options, from classic to eclectic.

The Super Bowl is upon us, and I’m almost as excited as the people who actually know who’s playing. Because while football fans were building their fantasy football teams, I was dreaming up my fantasy snack tray. And of course, no Super Bowl platter is complete without wings. Salty, saucy, sticky and/or spicy, a good chicken wing is reason enough for a get-together and, in the case of the Super Bowl, can deliciously help to fill the time between commercials. And while I admit to being a complete know-nothing about the game itself (insert “sports-ball” joke here), when it comes to Anchorage’s best chicken wings — trust me — I know the major players and I know the score.

As an East Coast expat, I have a permanent place in my heart for the classic bar-style Buffalo wing and will cheerfully go down any dark-web rabbit hole to argue about the origin of this American icon, or the virtues of ranch versus blue cheese. But I’m not afraid of change and in a quest to expand my horizons (spread my wings, as it were), I not only visited some classic party-wing go-tos, I also checked out some less mainstream, more multicultural wing purveyors. In other words, I’ve eaten a lot of wings. I’m a martyr to my craft.

Let’s start with my MVP top-three list of “traditional” spots, some of which come from places bold enough to put “wings” in their name. For me, the gold standard is 907 Wingman in Spenard. These wings are … perfect. Plump and meaty, they have a definite size advantage over many of their competitors. The tangy sauce is bright and assertive with an ever-so-slightly buttery finish. But the real magic to these wings is the way that the crispy skin stays that way underneath the blanket of sauce. And while I’m a Buffalo sauce loyalist, don’t sleep on the lemongrass variety, which is sweet, savory and full of flavor. Side note: I’m deducting half a point for the baby carrots (ew) that came on the side of my order but adding it back in for the sweet and creamy Vietnamese tea you can buy to cool down your palate.

Coming in a close second is good old Winky’s Wings in South Anchorage. This friendly hole-in-the-wall has been confidently slinging wings for well over a decade and they are reliably delectable. With a variety of heat levels from mild to “inferno,” these wings are assertively kicky, unapologetically buttery and nicely crunchy with a sauce that clings but doesn’t drown the wings underneath.

My second runner-up for best classic wing is from Straight Out of Philly, and while I love their gooey cheesesteaks, I’m a sucker for their wings. These are the old-school wings that make me nostalgic for a dark bar and a pitcher of cheap beer. On the smaller side, and with a thicker sauce that gets cooked into the skin, these wings straddle the two camps between dry and saucy. The result is neat to eat but still moist and full of flavor. Some might prefer a saucier wing, but I like a wing that is wearing its sauce and not swimming in it.

There’s a reason why chicken wings — with their ideal skin-to-meat ratio, perfect for frying and saucing — pop up on all kinds of menus. So, if you want to beat the crowds at the big wing slingers, or stand out from the crowd with a different flavor profile, there are lots of places where you can think outside of the Styrofoam to-go box. Ordering wings from a less-trafficked wing spot can be a good choice if the total invite list to your Super Bowl party is just you and your dog. Sometimes you don’t need to feed a whole football team. I’ve “researched” a few good options here — wings that check the all-important boxes of succulent, spicy, salty and easy to eat with your hands.

[Dig these dumplings: Pelmeni mania is running wild through Anchorage]


If you haven’t yet visited Gia Dinh Pho and Vietnamese Cuisine, then you’ve been missing out on some of the best soup in town. But they also make a simple and satisfying plate of crispy, spicy chicken wings. Described on the menu as deep-fried wings with “Dad’s special seasoning,” they were only a little coy about what, exactly, that consists of. When pressed, one of the owners revealed that Dad dry rubs the wings simply in salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, garlic and a “special blend.” I dearly love a culinary mystery. These are unbattered, so the crispy, crackly finish is all about the skin, and these wings make a strong argument to be made for the fact that sometimes the best coating for a chicken wing is itself. These wings come with a side of seasoned fries that you can either use to fill out your snack tray or eat in the car on your way home and feign ignorance about later.

Thai Orchid serves up a similarly mysterious wing. Years ago, when I asked what was in the sweet and savory sauce, my server was elusive. “It’s house made,” I was told firmly. “With chili.” Vague, but I respect it, and culinary espionage is not my strong suit, so I left it at that. But there is no mystery to their addictive quality. Deep fried, crispy and blanketed in a sticky, sweet sauce, with a hint of heat, these are decadent little nuggets that I would happily bring to a tailgating party where they would not, I suspect, last long.

The newest entry in our ever-growing roster of good Indian food in Anchorage is Everest Restaurant. And while Indian cuisine might not be the most intuitive choice for Super Bowl snacks, their “chicken lollipops” most definitely fit the bill. Different from — but sharing DNA with — a traditional wing, these little morsels are full of flavor but low on sauce. The savoriness comes from an herb and spice marinade and while they are deep-fried, they’re remarkably un-greasy. The wings have been “flipped inside out” according to the menu (though I don’t really understand the technique behind this chicken mobius strip) making for little chicken batons that are easy to grip and tidy to eat. These wings would be an excellent choice if you were enjoying the game in a white linen suit (though you’d have to give the tomato sesame chutney sauce a miss, so I don’t recommend it). I loved these charred little bites, and these were the only wings on the list that were tasty cold out of the fridge the next day (important information for chronic over-orderers like myself).

Equally delicious but much messier is their Gobi Manchurian — deep fried cauliflower in a spicy, sticky chili garlic soy vinaigrette sauce that would make an excellent faux-wing so your vegetarian and vegan friends don’t feel left out of the party.

Last but by no means least on my list of wings with a twist are the sensational K-Town wings from Seoul Casa, which now have a permanent place in my takeout rotation. These are among the meatiest wings out there, with a crispy, battered skin and spicy sticky coating. I’m partial to the Korean Fire sauce but do not be put off by the name; the sauce is smoky but not at all too hot to keep you from eating a pile of them with gusto.

Of course, chicken wings are not a seasonal food. A snowy day and a re-watch of “Friday Night Lights” is a good enough reason for me to tuck into a plate of finger-licking goodness. But if you do invite me to your Super Bowl party, I promise, despite my profound indifference to the football, I’m an excellent guest. I will cheerfully refill glasses and chip bowls at even the most exciting moments of the game. Plus, I bring the best wings.


907 Wingman

3505 Spenard Road


Winky’s Wings

9191 Old Seward Highway


Straight Out of Philly

210 E. Fireweed Lane


Gia Dinh

549 W. International Airport Road, Suite A1


Thai Orchid

5905 Lake Otis Parkway



Everest Restaurant

3637 Old Seward Highway


Seoul Casa

601 E. Dimond Blvd. No. 6


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Mara Severin | Eating out

Mara Severin is a food writer who writes about restaurants in Southcentral Alaska. Want to respond to a column or suggest a restaurant for review? Reach her at