Four spots for buffalo wings
It beats four places for celery sticks.
Buffalo Joe’s Who would have guessed that pure nirvana comes in three varieties: mild, hot and suicide? Hardcore types go for either the hot sauce or the vinegary jalapeño suicide version, which packs a hint of sweetness with its heat. Newbies may scoff at the ranch dressing served for dipping instead of blue cheese, but we think it cools the palate just enough to ready us for the next round. 812 Clark St, Evanston (847-328-5525).
Jake Melnick’s Corner Tap This laid-back River North pub boasts 150 beers, kegged cocktails, wine on tap, two big patios and “Seriously. Ridiculously. Over-the-Top Hot Wings,” available medium, spicy, super-hot, XXX (made with ghost peppers, the hottest raw chili in the world), or “Poncho’s” style, marinated in garlic and cayenne. 41 E Superior St (312-266-0400).
Monti’s Chef James Gottwald and his wife, Jennifer Monti, are sharing the brotherly love with Chicagoans: Their restaurant features Philly cheese steaks on Amoroso rolls shipped from Philadelphia and regional touches like Tastykakes (wrapped, Philly-made cakes) for dessert. The vibe is more sports bar than restaurant, and Gottwald makes ridiculously meaty, spicy buffalo wings to prove it. 4757 N Talman Ave (773-942-6012).
Toon’s Bar & Grill This sleeper hit on the edge of Wrigleyville draws neighbors for billiards and shuffleboard, televised sports with a cheering crowd, pulled-pork sandwiches and juicy wings, and a dose of Kansas City–style hospitality. A good beer selection on tap and sunny sidewalk tables make it even more natural to stop in. 3857 N Southport Ave (773-935-1919).