10 Hot Spots for Hot Wings


Tim Alexander, Guest Writer


Winging It:  Ten of the Best Restaurants in Greater Peoria for Chicken Wings

Be they buffalo, barbeque, spicy Asian or other popular flavor varieties, Central Illinois loves their chicken wings! Once a ubiquitous bar food, deep fried buffalo chicken wings have come a long way since Teressa Bellissimo, proprietor of the Anchor Bar in Buffalo, New York, invented the dish in 1964 as a way to dispose of the “least desirable” parts of a chicken. Today, many restaurants and bars offer chicken wings in a variety of flavors on their menus, including dozens of eateries in the Greater Peoria area. 


With apologies to the many other restaurants, mom-and-pop diners, and taverns serving up delicious crispy wings to their faithful clientele, here is a list of ten places to cure your wing fix in Greater Peoria:

1. The Blue Duck Barbecue Tavern  {Peoria}  //  The Blue Duck is widely praised for their smoked-then-fried whole chicken wings in varieties such as Asian barbeque and buffalo, the Duck has earned a 4.8 rating out of 5 from over 400 reviewers on Facebook. “Big wings with big zing,” says wing connoisseur Ron Panek of Peoria.

2. Crusens  {2 Peoria Locations + Creve Coeur}  //  A longtime Peoria bar staple, Crusens deep fried, award-winning wings offer a true flavor of the city. Here’s a local exclusive: come in on Wednesdays when a bucket of cold longnecks and ten boneless wings will run you just $10! 

3. The Fifth Quarter Sports Bar  {East Peoria}  //  Known as a sports-centric hangout with daily food and drink specials, lots of TVs and local live music on weekends, the Fifth Quarter is known by Tazewell County diners as a go-to destination for delicious wings and their famous Buffalo chicken wrap.

4. Kouri’s Pub  {Peoria + Germantown Hills + Pekin}  //  Kouri’s saucy bone-in wings have been pleasing their customers for decades. Try a pound of their famous “Zingers” boneless wings or traditional hot wings with a side of bleu cheese or ranch dressing– and don’t forget the napkins!

5. Country Saloon  {East Peoria}  //  Also easily accessible from nearby Morton, the Country Saloon is highly regarded for its bone-in wings slathered in homemade sauces including mild, hot, BBQ, sweet chili, lemon pepper, teriyaki and garlic parmesan. “These wings are really delicious for the price and the rest of their food is great, too,” notes Troy Mitchell, a “wings fan” from Chillicothe.

6. Schooner’s  {Peoria Heights}  //  The Gebhardt family’s restaurant has been serving delicious bar fare to Heights residents for decades from their family-friendly bistro, which features a large outdoor patio with televisions and plenty of local conviviality. What’s so special about Schooner’s chicken wings? The way they prepare them. Try them with the mild Sauce and your mouth will water, or try them with the spicy sauce and your eyes will water! Either way, your taste buds will never be the same. “Schooner’s wings are classic,” says Amanda Larimore of Washington.  

7. Donnelly’s Irish Pub  {Peoria}  //  Though an Irish-themed pub may be one of the last places you might look for chicken wings, Donnelly’s huge, battered and deep-fried wings covered with homemade hot, mild or special “Alabama” sauces have won over Peoria-area wing lovers. “These wings are perfectly sized and the flavor is what separates them from the flock,” says wing aficionado Jeff Taylor of Washington.


8. Full Throttle Bar and Grill  {East Peoria}  //  The Throttle‘s traditional bone-in wings are served with a variety of scrumptious sauces, including Carolina barbecue and garlic parmesan. “Nothing fancy, just big and juicy fried chicken wings,” says Tom Bryan, a wing lover from East Peoria. “No sauce needed, though I douse mine with ranch and hot sauce.”

9. Kenny’s Westside Pub  {Peoria}  //  Just a two-minute walk from the Peoria Civic CenterKenny’s juicy, whole wings are among Peoria’s best. Voted Peoria’s Best Live Entertainment Venue in 2018, Kenny’s is the place to be when a late-night wing ding is in order.

10. Country Club BBQ  {Peoria}  //  Golf fans can shoot for par at Country Club BBQ’s simulated golf game while sampling some of the city’s favorite wings. “Their wings are smoked for an hour and then deep fried, and their sauces are OUT OF BOUNDS!” exclaims Doug Greene, who pursues the perfect chicken wing from his home in West Peoria.

Tim Alexander, Guest Writer

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