One fateful night, a woman named Teressa Bellissimo deep fried some chicken wings, slathered them in hot sauce and served them to a group of hungry young men when they'd come back from the bar. Or so the legend goes at Buffalo's Anchor Bar, which has been credited with inventing the bar staple Buffalo Chicken Wings.
These fiery fried flappers celebrate their 50th birthday today, and what better way to pay tribute than to eat some of your own. Traveling to Buffalo this late in the game would be tricky, but here are a few time-tested options to get your wing fix:
The Wing Bar: The name says it all, but more specifically: snag 10 mild, medium or hot wings for $9. 'Nuff said. 275 Smith Street, 718-237-2728
Lansdowne Road: Hell's Kitchen's large bar population means Buffalo wings on every corner, but Lansdowne wins hands down for their spicy, salty offerings. Wings run $10 for 10, $19 for 20 in traditional mild, medium and hot varieties. 599 10th Avenue, 212-239-8020
Rathbones Pub: For a bar with sawdust on the floor, this Upper East Side fixture turns out some ridiculous good pub grub. Namely, their popular Buffalo Wings, which come in large ($9.95) and small ($6.95) sizes depending on one's appetite. It won't help you for tonight, but swing by on Wednesdays when wings are just $.25 and cheap Coors Light flows freely. 1702 2nd Avenue, 212-369-7361
BonChon Chicken: They may not be the most "authentic," per se, but this Korean fried chicken chain makes some of the best hot wings in town. They offer both hot and soy garlic toppers but best of all: they let you pick your chicken part. Flappers only? No problem? Diehard for drumsticks? Let's do this. Multiple locations
Blondies: As a self-proclaimed Buffalo bar, this Upper West Side joint takes great pride in their wing offerings. A single order of 10 wings will set you back $12.95 with veggie sticks and blue cheese, but stop by on a Monday for all you can eat wings for just $18.95. 212 W 79th Street, 212-362-3311
Planet Wings: Folks on Staten Island rave about the succulent wings here, which come in 24 flavors from mild to "suicidal" to "Leapin' Lizard," whatever that means. Sauce variety ranks them high on our list but its their use of Bell & Evans organic, antibiotc-free chicken that makes them a cut above the average wing joint. Multiple locations
Atomic Wings: Sniff all you like about college kid fast food but this wing emporium satisfies our basest instincts when the craving strikes. Are they the best? Absolutely not. But they're all over the place and they deliver, which, let's be honest: sometimes it's best to gorge on wings in the privacy of your own apartment.
This list isn't comprehensive, but hopes to serve as inspiration for your own spicy wing journey. If Buffalo ain't your style, there are always other styles of wings available. Either way, just make sure you're eating them properly.