The Best Chicken Wings in Dayton 2019

BY: Lisa Seibert
last updated 07/15/2019
The Best Chicken Wings in Dayton 2019

The 9th Annual Kickin' Chicken Wingfest is in the books. Temperatures reached 90° Saturday as thousands of wing loving fans made their way to Fraze Pavilion.

The Best Chicken Wings in Dayton 2019

2019 Kickin' Chicken Wingfest Results

The festival opened at 3p and the crowd arrived early and stayed late. Three live bands: The Magnums, Rock This Way, and Southbound played a wide variety of popular covers to entertain us throughout the event.

Best Wings in Dayton 2019

Twelve contenders brought various interesting flavors to please the crowd and attempt to win one or more of seven categories. A steady breeze helped us all stay calm and cool, though the folks cooking and serving probably didn’t notice it. 

Thank you to Miami Valley Restaurant Association and Fraze Pavilion for hosting the event. MVRA Director Amy Zahora is in charge of gathering restaurants to participate as well as coordinating much of the behind the scenes work required to pull the event off. This year Amy and volunteer Julie spent hours navigating through the crowd to gather samples and cold beverages for the judges. Thank you both! 

At the judge's table this year were 9-year veteran Dave Ball, Dayton Art Institute’s Alexis Larsen, Dave S., WTUE’s “B-Man” John Beaulieu, and me. As always, we tasted blindly. Not with blindfolds (wink). Each item is numbered. We taste them and make notes, decide which items we like best and ultimately submit the numbers of our favorites. We then consult the restaurant key to find out who submitted which items and tally all the favorites to come up with winners in each category. As you might imagine, it’s grueling work. Ha Ha

Most of the restaurants offer several options, though each restaurant is allowed to submit only one entry in each category. If you're wondering why your favorite didn't win, it's possible that the restaurant submitted an alternate item. 

2019 Kickin’ Chicken Wingfest Winners:

Best Wing: Giovanni’s Fairborn – That’s 2 years in a row. Clearly, this Italian restaurant is as comfortable with wings as they are with pasta and pizza. 

Best Sauce: Archers – Archers won the hottest wing in 2011, 2012, 2013, & 2014 – but this is their first Best Sauce trophy.

Best Boneless: Giovanni’s Fairborn – Giovanni’s put forth a dry rubbed piece of boneless chicken that won 4 out of 5 votes. This category has only existed since 2013. Basil’s on Market won best boneless in 2016 and 2017 with a dry rub. 

Best Side: Romer’s - Turkey Ball, a.k.a. Thanksgiving on the side. Made of turkey and dressing topped with gravy. The Turkey Ball is presented annually and finally had its day! 

Best Dessert: Giovanni’s Fairborn – Strawberry Cannoli Cone When I saw the waffle cone I wondered who brought ice cream that doesn’t melt. I was pleasantly surprised to find a creamy cannoli filling topped with strawberry, then found chocolate chips near the bottom. Way to bring your “A” game Giovanni’s.

Hottest Wing: Romer’s – For the second time in eight years Romer’s brought a tear to my eye (2015). The hot oil in the sauce continued to burn on my lips and in my mouth for several minutes. 

People's Choice for Best Damn Wing: Nick's Restaurant for the 9th straight year (in 2015 Romer’s & Nick’s tied). 

Congrats to all the winners! What were your favorites?

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