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Food Crush on Pensacola’s Best Chicken Wings

With the Super Bowl LVII kicking off this weekend, it’s the perfect time to take our Food Crush team on the search for Pensacola’s best chicken wing. When people think of Pensacola, most immediately think of fresh seafood and fish, but this city’s chicken wing game is not to be missed. 


Whether you’re throwing your own Super Bowl party or heading out to watch the game, these spots are sure to impress. We decided it was the perfect time to showcase and review some of our Local Pulse favorites and find out which local wing spot is the best. 

We brought our usual team which includes the award-winning Pensacola Eggfest Cook team, including Sean Norenberg, Luke Gipp, and two of Local Pulse’s owners Doug Jolly and Buck Hall to be judges. Our guest judge was none other than Chad Brilliante, Sports Broadcaster for Fox Sports & Blab TV and host of Spiked Sports.

Let’s dig in…

We picked up wings from Sidelines, The Reef, What the Cluck Chicken Truck, Smokey’s Real Pit BBQ, and WOW Wings and Deli. We let each restaurant choose their wing of choice for our team to sample and met at Wisteria for the ultimate wing showdown.

What the Cluck Chicken Truck — Luke’s pick

What the Cluck gave the team their jerk wings to sample with a pineapple jam to dip it in and they could agree on the flavor explosion. As Luke put it, “An absolute phenomenal bite, great texture and flavor for days.” The team was blown away by how well every flavor worked together.

WOW Wings and Deli — Buck’s pick

WOW Wings and Deli has a line wrapped around their drive-thru every day for good reason. They gave us their buffalo and lemon pepper wings to sample. Here’s what Buck had to say, “When I took my flat and I twisted it, bone came right out, one bite, beautiful flavor, don’t sleep on these guys!” The team all agreed their wings were cooked to perfection.

The Reef — Sean’s pick 

The Reef gave us their Old Bay seasoned wings and you hear the perfect crunch of the skin with every bite. Luke has a specific criteria he goes by when judging chicken wings and The Reef hit every spot. “I need a clean twist, I need bite-through skin, I need lemony grizzle and great flavor. The Reef ticked all those boxes!”

Sidelines — Chad’s pick

Everybody knows Sidelines and the many different flavors to choose from. They gave us their honey hot to sample and they did not disappoint, but Chad knows sometimes it’s about more than the chicken wing. “When it comes down to wings, we think football, embrace it and there’s no better place than Sideline’s on this list. The taste of wings with friends and family over a nice pitcher is always the best.”

Smokey’s — Doug’s pick

When you’re getting wings at Smokey’s their wings are their wings. No special flavors, just a nice plump wing that is smoked to perfection — crispy skin on the outside and juicy tender meat on the inside. Find the wings on the appetizer side of their menu and if you like some sauce, you can order buffalo, ranch, or one of their many BBQ sauces on the side for dipping.

Who did we miss Pensacola? Head to our Facebook page to drop your favorite local wing spots for Super Bowl Sunday.