Best Wings in Dayton: 2023 Kickin' Chicken Wingfest

BY: Lisa Seibert
last updated 07/10/2023
Best Wings in Dayton: 2023 Kickin' Chicken Wingfest

Which team reclaimed the title of 'Best Wings in Dayton' following a 4-year 'dry spell'? Who upset an 11-year win streak in People's Choice? Which fiery wing lingered longest on the lips?

Scorching Triumph: 2023 Kickin' Chicken Wingfest

Scorching Triumph: Meet the Victors of 2023 Kickin' Chicken Wingfest

The Miami Valley Restaurant Association’s Kickin' Chicken Wingfest is the organization's longest-running annual special event, now in its twelfth year. Director, Amy Zahora has been at MVRA’s helm since 2003 working tirelessly to plan and execute events in support of locally owned independent restaurants and food vendors. Congratulations on twenty years Amy and thank you for the fantastic foodie festivals!

Wingfest offers free admission, live bands, cold drinks, plenty of food, and fabulous people-watching. This year, seventeen competitors brought a variety of flavors, styles, rubs, sauces, sides, and desserts. Who won? 

Pies N Pints - Winner - Best Wing

BEST WING: Pies & Pints Char-Grilled Hot Wings

"With a flavor medley of sriracha, cilantro, garlic, spices, and lie char-grilled to perfection" - see main photo (above)
Pies & Pints had a 4-year streak of Best Wing wins from 2014 to 2017 and the entire team cheered when Amy delivered the news of their victory. 

Best Sauce - Nick's Restaurant

BEST SAUCE: Nick's Restaurant Sweet Hot Damn
Nick’s has attended each of the twelve events. Their Sweet Hot Damn Sauce won in 2012, 2018, and 2023. They are the only repeat winners in the sauce category. 

Best boneless wings - Romers

BEST BONELESS: Romer’s Tender Fried with Garlic Buffalo Sauce
Romer’s picked up the best boneless award in 2015 and 2022 with their Asian Persuasion sauce. No matter which sauce you choose, their bite-sized boneless tenders are tasty. 

Amber Rose Mexican Sweet Corn

BEST SIDE: Amber Rose Mexican Street Corn 
Grilled sweet corn, topped with a creamy sauce containing cotija cheese, and garnished with a sprinkle of chili powder and fresh cilantro was a perfect complement to wings. This team sold out, packed up, and went home before we could get their photo.

Best Hot Wing in Dayton

HOTTEST WING: Buffalo’s Best 
This team came all the way from Northern KY and supplied a “Hot Wing” that lingered on my lips and tongue for a while. The judges with a lower tolerance found them to be absolutely fiery. My visit to their Facebook page the day after found three recommendations from Wingfest customers.

Archers at Wing Fest
Dan Apolito’s team came bearing trophies from their successful showing at the National Buffalo Wing Festival.
PEOPLE’S CHOICE: Archer's Tavern
Archer’s halted Nick’s eleven-year winning streak. In 2015 Nick’s and Romer’s tied for People’s Choice.

If you missed Wingfest, the Miami Valley Restaurant Association has 3 more fabulous foodie fests coming up in the next 6 weeks!  Check out the first Pineapple Fest July 15, Sneak Peek to Summer Restaurant Week July 19, and/or Baconfest August 19.

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