There are countless reasons on why you should start planning a trip to one of America’s funnest and historic cities. We had the pleasure of having access to an annual event that has grown into one of the best festivals in the city and they have the chicken bones to prove it. Chickens did fly at Credit Union 1 Arena, last weekend, and you don’t even need the whole bird to prove it. Chicago’s Best WingFest earned its wings years ago and its racked up the miles with their huge fan base!
Wasn’t there a famous Chicago star that said, you lose every wing you don’t eat? Or was it something about shooting a basketball? I used to know, but that’s not important right now. I scooped up The Iowa Gallivant’s resident expert in the art of chicken wing consumption, my teenage son, and made the trip to the UIC campus and dove right in. More like a belly flop now that I think of it.
Are you seeing this! From traditional Buffalo style to BBQ, dry rubbed, and many, many, many more. Restaurants from all over the metro area put their chicken on the line and showed the masses how proud they were of their recipes. Wings with chocolate mole, peanut butter and jelly, Korean BBQ, blackberry glazed… and I’m not even close to naming all the countless selections offered at this event year after year. All these ranged from sweet to someone show me where the nearest fish tank is cuz that’s hot! And would you look at the goat cheese up there! That was one of our favorites and we have Estrella Negra to thank for that.
There’s a lot of hard work that goes into preparing your best wings and there were plenty of hard workers making it happen while representing their enthusiastic establishments here at WingFest. They spun, tossed, lathered and served wings for hours on this day and gave hungry festival goers a lot of saucy smiles. Let’s just say the whole day was gravy. I mean what I say.
Coming at you from Bolingbrook and bringing the gravy fountain is the squad from McWethy’s Sports Bar and they know how this chicken wing thing works. We put down their pickle juice brined-and-breaded wings and helped ourselves to turkey gravy for one of the most memorable chicken experiences ever. I nearly gave the fountain a hug and I was told that it would not be a good idea and had to make a grownup decision.
Events like Chicago’s Best WingFest don’t happen without sponsors and folks working the arena and making the good times happen. Sure, we came for the greatest cut of the most famous bird, but we like to be entertained as well. The band played on, the beer flowed with ease, apparel was flying off the tables, and the teams from those precious sponsors all gathered to keep that chicken eatin’ grin happening at every turn.
The true MVPs of this festival is and always will be the Chicagoland faithful, and some out-of-towners like yours truly, who pour into this venue with pure excitement for now 20 years. There was one goal by all here and that was to make their weekend wing dreams come true many times over. They keep coming back and bringing their crews with them to make this WingFest greater with every tender and juicy bite. We drove 3 hours for this festival and you’ll want to consider making this April Chicago tradition your own. And you can ride a train too! See you again, WingFest!
Let’s here it for the winners!
Best Dressed: McWethy’s Sports Bar-730 North Bolingbrook
Best BBQ Wings: Son of a Butcher-2934 West Diversey
Best Exotic: Granero-2529 North Milwaukee
Best Hot Wings: South Branch Tavern & Grill-100 South Wacker