We accidentally found the best wings in Phoenix not too long ago.
While Phoenix is littered with restaurants of all cuisines, it confounded my husband how hard it is to find good wings. Sure, there’s the chain restaurants like Buffalo Wild Wings. And just about every big chain has a boneless wing appetizer (Applebee’s, Chilis).
But my southern hubby needed real, bone-in, sauce-laden, finger-licking, traditional wings.
Now, I’m not always in the mood for chicken wings. In fact, I’m even a teensy bit picky about them. Besides the slimy chicken skin texture, sticky fingers all for a few bites of meat seems exhausting sometimes. I just never really craved them.
That is, until we discovered hole-in-the-wall Valley Wings.
I am officially a changed woman!
Voted Best Wings in Arizona by Yelp
I’d just recently seen the sign for this wings place when I had to detour north on 19th Ave past Greenway Rd. instead of my usual route.
I’m telling you, it was fate.
Once I’d read the raving Valley Wings Yelp reviews, I knew I had to get my husband there so we could taste these wings ourselves.
After a long and frustrating weekend of projects and errands, Andrew and I arrived starved and ready for a feast.
We hungrily eyed the menu on the wall and probed the cashier with questions.
Starving newlyweds: “What’s your favorite flavor?”
Cashier: “Honey Hot or Valley BBQ.”
Salivating newlyweds: “How spicy is the Mango Habanero?”
Cashier: “Just right.”
Indecisive newlyweds: “Can we split flavors?”
Cashier: “Two flavors per 20-piece order.”
Newlyweds with eyes-too-big-for-their-stomachs: “We’ll take two orders of twenty, four different flavors…oh and those Chicken Bacon Ranch Fries. We definitely need those.”
While we waited for our order, we sat in a red-leather retro booth and read the thousands of messages written on the wall. Customer graffiti art ranges from simple Instagram handles to jokes to silly drawings. But they’re all a testament that there’s something really cool going on here.
Long Story Short
We were lucky enough to meet one of the owners while we dined.
He was behind the counter, cooking and serving alongside his employees, when Andrew came up to ask for a side of ranch. In his opinion, there’s never enough ranch (or any sort of dip, for that matter).
Brothers Jerome and Q started their wing business in Tennessee before relocating to the Phoenix area a while back. It didn’t take long before news of their delicious wing recipes caught on. Now, they’re a community favorite in both locations!
Each restaurants’ hours are 11am-6pm T-Th, 11am-9am F-Sat, 11am-5pm Sun, and closed Mondays.
They’re not super active on social media, but follow their Instagram anyway for occasional updates on new menu offerings. See if you, too, can be deemed customer of the year!
Valley Wings also offers to-go order pickup and delivery through Door Dash, Postmates, and other popular services.
Valley Wings smokes their wings first before frying them.
Most of their traditional wings as well as some of the sauces are gluten free, like the garlic parmesan, buffalo, and honey hot. Although, it’s always best to check in case they’ve changed things!
If boneless wings are more your thing, they do serve them, judgment free. 😊
Pita bread is also a huge menu hit! We haven’t tried it, but, I mean, you really can’t go wrong with more carbs, right?
We both voted the dry-rub, garlic parmesan wings as 1stplace. Crispy but not dry, savory but not overly saturated, I could have eaten all 10 of these wings myself! The Korean BBQ came in second. While we liked both the mango habanero and Thai chili, they were also similar in taste and texture and a little on the sweet side for my preference.
Those fries, though. We were handed an entire takeout container of crinkle-cut fries, lathered in homemade ranch, and topped with a heap of shredded chicken and crispy bacon. This is also known as carb-coma.
Needless to say, we had leftovers. We may have finished them later that evening…
Update: Andrew has returned a few different times without me (boo) and now swears the honey hot really is the best wing flavor at Valley Wings.
Tell us your favorite flavor or combo once you’ve tried Valley Wings for yourself!
What’s for Dessert?
We are so glad you asked!
No matter how full you think you are after all those wings, you’ll still have cracks left to fill in with ice cream.
Located just a short walk down the same plaza at the 19thAve Valley Wings location, is Peace Cream.
As soon as you step inside, your eyes will swirl with perfect pastels. The sweetest aroma will wrap around you like a warm hug. You’ll also likely be heartily greeted by the shop owner, who somehow keeps a mental track of several orders at once while he scoops and slices and rushes behind the counter.
We’ve never seen this place empty. On any given evening, there are dads with their little girls, boyfriends and girlfriends, and parents satisfying their toddlers with baby scoop cones.
Whether it’s ice cream you are craving, a fluffy waffle, a crepe with all the toppings, or a milkshake, Peace Cream can make it happen, and always with style!
Follow their Instagram to stay on top of their special, weekly flavors. If you feel like mixing it up, maybe try the Cotton Candy, Matcha Green Tea, or Butter Pecan and Caramel.
Also, if you happen to be near Cave Creek, Peace Cream has a location there as well!
Small Business Week!
Is your mouth watering yet?
In honor of Small Business Week in Arizona, we wanted to give these shout-outs to two of our favorite small, locally-operated and minority-owned restaurants in North Phoenix.
We hope you follow your nose to these scrumptious spots in the near future! You will not be disappointed.
Until then, we’d love to hear about other family businesses or small restaurants we should visit and support! After all, this post-pandemic economy isn’t going to boost itself 😉