CHEAP CHICAGO CHICKEN WINGS: High Dive, Burger Bar, Butch McGuires, Cans and Kellys Pub

CHEAP CHICAGO CHICKEN WINGS:  High Dive, Burger Bar, Butch McGuires, Cans and Kellys Pub

Hello friends.

There are only a couple of things that go better with a deep fried chicken wing than a good blue cheese dressing.  Those are ice-cold beer and a low price tag.

Since most guys are inherently cheap, I recently went on a quest to find some of Chicago best and most underrated cheap chicken wings.  There are countless places that serve good wings but I was looking for places that might not have been found by the self-anointed food critics who would not be caught dead in a place with common folks and finally, joints that have a pretty solid weekly special.  I want places where you can get your fill without having to hit the ATM more than once or get an increase in your credit limit…establishments that don’t take themselves too seriously and everyone can have a good time.

I have also added that night’s beer special and a list of sauces available.  Here are a few places you might want check out some night:

High Dive
1938 W Chicago Ave (Damen and Chicago)
Chicago, IL 60622
(773) 235-3483
Neighborhood: Ukrainian Village
Closest CTA Stop:
Chicago (Blue Line) then the #66 Bus to Chicago and Damen

Wing Night — Tuesday:  .35 Cent Wings and $4 Crafts
Sauces — Medium, Hot, BBQ and Spicy BBQ

A small trendy, faux hipster bar at the corner of Damen and Chicago, High Dive serves a nice selection of crafts and has perhaps my favorite wings in the city.  My favorite thing about High Dive is after tossing the wings in sauce they finish them on the char-griller.  My recommendation is the spicy BBQ.  Both the ranch and blue cheese dressings are house made…with the blue cheese my favorite.  This is a place that never seems to make wing lists but it is worth the effort to get there some Tuesday night.  High Dive is a pretty small place, so get there early.  Also, the amount of wings served on Tuesday is limited and they have been known to run out early.  Parking is also difficult since it is so far from the nearest CTA station and many folks tend to drive.

Burger Bar
1578 N Clybourn Ave (Across from Lincoln Park Apple Store)
Chicago, IL 60642
(312) 255-0055
Neighborhood: Lincoln Park
Closest CTA Stop:
North Clybourn (Red Line)

Wing Night — Monday:  20 Wings for $5 with purchase of $25 You Pick’Em Craft Bucket
Sauces — BBQ and Sassy

It was during my recent Burger Bar Chicago review of this establishment that I stumbled upon these great wings.  We just so happened to make ourselves available on a Monday night during their special so we ordered them as one of our appetizers.  Like High Dive, the wings are finished on the grill and the sassy sauce is the way to go.  Some slaps might say that having to order a $25 bucket to get the $5 wings special is bait-and-switch.  I say it is a match made in heaven.  Take a large group and order three or four buckets I always say.

Butch McGuires Tavern & Grill Chicago
20 W Division St
Chicago, IL 60610
(312) 337-9080
Neighborhood: Near North Side
Closest CTA Stop:
Clark/Division (Red Line)

Wing Night — Wednesday:  .40 Cent Wings and $5 Bells and Bells Seasonal Drafts
Sauces — Medium, Spicy, BBQ, Spicy BBQ, Spicy Garlic, Honey Teriyaki, Sweet Chili and Jamaican Jerk

This is a place I would never have just stumbled in off the street to have wings.  Most of the bars in this area are full of the D-Bag crowd and that is not an area I frequent…unless it is after 2:00 am and we are at The Lodge.  I am glad I did walk in on a recent Wednesday afternoon.  The Bells $5 drafts were flowing just fine and they are served in a 22-ounce mug.    Our bartender Jen recommended the wings.  GF NOTE:  Jen’s regular gig is as kitchen manager but she is a joy behind the bar.  Most of the sauces are house made and she recommended the spicy BBQ.  The wings were large and meaty, the sauce excellent and the house made blue cheese was amazing.

Cans Bar and Canteen
1640 N Damen Ave
Chicago, IL 60647
(773) 227-2277
Neighborhood: Wicker Park
Closest CTA Stop:
Damen (Blue Line)

Wing Night — Monday:  .50 Cent Wings and $3 PBR Big Kid Cans
Sauces — Mango Habanero, Honey Sriracha, Buffalo, Green Tabasco, Chinese Spicy Sweet, Spicy Beer BBQ, Teriyaki and Sweet BBQ

Cans Bar and Canteen is one of those places that people all seem to have strong opinions about.  There is a real love/hate dynamic.  Honestly, I have only been there on Monday night so I have never seen the crazy nights where power drinking is the norm and people stumble out to the street and throw up on their shoes.  This mini-review is only about the Monday wing special.  Cans is more of an artsy wing joint with chef-inspired sauces.  Also, they offer a “Cans Cut” of wings where the wing meat is butter flied…making the wing look like a lollipop.  Also they offer traditional and will flash grill the wings on request.  The wings are large and very tasty but the ranch and blue cheese are very average.  I would also suggest that you sit at the bar instead of a table.  My service has been hit-or-miss when not at the bar.


Kelly’s Pub
949 W Webster Ave
Chicago, IL 60614
(773) 281-0656
Neighborhood: Lincoln Park
Closest CTA Stop:
Fullerton (Red Line, Brown Line and Purple Line)

Wing Night — Wednesday:  .25-Cent Wings and $2 Coors Light Drafts
Sauces — Hot

On occasion, Virgil Cain will send Kelly’s Pub a limited supply of his famous wing sauce.  If you can get that sauce on your wings, Kelly’s is a must try on a Wednesday night.  This is the sauce that made Virgil famous and is some of the best I have ever tried.  Virgil will also send along some of his homemade jalapeno blue cheese dressing which is a literal symphony in your mouth.  Virgil’s sauce is not on the menu so you will have to ask the staff if they have some available.  Even if the Virgil’s is not, Kelly’s is a great place to drink and the regular wings are fine…just order them extra well done with sauce on the side.

Well…bye.  Stay Classy

QUOTE OF THE WEEK:  “Bacon tastes gooood. Pork chops taste gooood.”

COMING UP:  Lagniappe

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