Katie Brown photo
Chicken wings have been evolving since the Anchor Bar in Buffalo, N.Y., made them famous in 1964. The traditional Buffalo wing, consisting of chicken, butter, hot sauce and garlic, is still the standard bearer. However, the classic formula garners strong competition as various cooking traditions adapt chicken wings. In Richmond, the versions are closely tied to the city's Southern roots, which include a strong barbecue influence, as well as a love for fried chicken.
Ronnie's Ribs ( pictured )
Ronnie Logan keeps the wings whole and marinates them overnight in an herb dressing. After a few hours in the smoker, these wings are caramelized on the outside and smoky on the inside. 2097 New Market Rd., 507-1575
Carena's Jamaican Grille
These wings are slow-cooked in a jerk seasoning and then grilled for texture. The spice is subtle at first but builds up quickly. 7102 Midlothian Turnpike, 422-5375
This traditional Buffalo wing is best when ordered "hot" and extra crispy with extra sauce. (Other options include mild, teriyaki, spicy garlic or honey bourbon.) It's the perfect balance of richness and tanginess. 733 W. Cary St., 644-6676
These jumbo wings are floured and then sauced, which forces one to reconsider the rules on Buffalo wings. The coating is what allows the pungent sauce to perfectly bind to the wing. Not in the mood for sauce? The plain fried chicken wing's simplicity will rival anyone's complex secret seasoning. 5310 Chamberlayne Ave., 515-8890.
Barbecued wings never tasted so good. Smoked for flavor and fried for texture, they are finished with some of Q's mild sauce. 2077 Walmart Way, 897-9007.