The Best Chicken Wings in Dayton 2018

BY: Lisa Seibert
last updated 07/15/2018
The Best Chicken Wings in Dayton 2018

Temperatures soared into the 90's at the 8th Kickin Chicken Wingfest at Fraze Pavilion. After a 4 year streak, find out who "upset" Pies & Pints for "Best Wing".

The Best Chicken Wings in Dayton 2018

Kickin' Chicken Wingfest Turns Up The Heat

Thousands braved the July heat and blazing sun to taste a variety of wings and vote for their choice of Best Damn Wing Saturday. Long lines of eager festival-goers flowed in as Wingfest opened. It’s smart to come early since it’s likely that booths will sell out of their most popular items later in the day. WingFest is clearly a favorite festival among Dayton locals. The 24Seven Party Band and The North 41 belted out covers of popular tunes, each luring people to the sun-filled dance floor. Lt. Dan’s New Legs took the stage as the sun began to set and had nearly everyone on their feet. 

Fourteen local competitors came to compete in up to eight categories. Five judges tasted, rated, and voted on 53 total items in 7 categories (not all restaurants enter all the contests, thankfully). Those with the most votes in each category were then declared “Best”. The People’s Choice winner is voted on and determined by the public.

THE UPSET - BEST WING (pictured above): Giovanni's Fairborn 
The best wing is all about the wing without sauce. Giovanni's Italian Wing is a winner. Not since 2013 has a fried wing won the best wing honor. Pies & Pints grilled wings took this prize for the previous 4 years. Giovanni’s won best sauce honors last year for their Creamy Lemon Pepper.

Nick's - Best SauceBEST SAUCE (pictured right): Nick's Restaurant 
Nick’s has competed in all eight Kickin’ Chicken WingFest events. They won with Sweet Hot Damn Sauce in 2012 and are the only repeat winners in the sauce category. Sometimes new isn’t better. 

HONORABLE MENTION: Amber Rose's Sweet & Spicy Thai BBQ sauce was incredible. Thick and tangy it complemented the wing perfectly. 2 of the judges gave it a top nod.

BEST SIDE: Dewberry 1850
Dewberry 1850 is also new to Wingfest this year. Their collard greens, though not “photogenic”, were outstanding. Word is it takes special skill to prepare collards, evidently, the team at Dewberry 1850 have special skills.  

DEG's - Best BonelessBEST BONELESS (pictured right): DEG's Chicken
DEG’s is a newcomer to the competition and earned best boneless for their moist tender flame grilled chunk. DEG’s marinates their chicken for 24 hours before grilling leading to a well seasoned tasty result.

HOTTEST WING: Nick's Restaurant
Fire in the Hole should be reserved for those with a high tolerance for heat. Kudos to judge Dave Ball for bringing ice cream to squelch the fire for the faint of tongue.

BEST DECORATED BOOTH: The Dock Food & Spirits
The Dock’s team spends time “primping” before the event and it shows!

BEST DESSERT: Amber Rose Restaurant and Catering
The Fresh Strawberry Topped Fried Twinkie. I’ve wondered for years how you can deep fry a Twinkie without it disintegrating. Now I have an idea. I imagine it’s a very quick trip in and out of the fryer to slightly caramelize the exterior of the sweet treat before they add the strawberry topping. 

Nick’s has inspired the most people to vote in the people’s choice category for eight straight years. Congrats on consistently delivering what your fans want!


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