Best of Small Bites: Chicken Wings


Super Bowl, the biggest wing weekend of the year, is nearly upon us. So what better time than now to award prizes for the best chicken wings in the Lower Hudson Valley. Without further ado, here are my first Best of Small Bites Awards.

For Best Chicken Wings, Westchester: the Candlelight Inn in Greenburgh.

Seth Harrison/TJN

For Best Chicken Wings, Rockland: the Olde Village Inne in Nyack.


What they both share in common — and why I love them so: crispy on the outside, juicy on the inside. Plenty of meat. Delicious sauce. (OVI gest the nudge for having a better sauce-to-wing ratio; next time I’m at Candlelight I will ask them to go light on the sauce.) They’re not flabby, they’re not skimpy and they’re not stringy or dry. Ever.

On the other post here, where Michael suggested I start a Best Of awards, someone mentioned that Liberty’s in Tappan should be in the running. Here’s a photo of their chipotle-ranch wings:


Angela Gaul/TJN

Not bad. Maybe good enough for a runner’s-up nod.

But OVI and Candlelight take the cake. Or the wing, as it were.

The 411 on Olde Village Inne.
The 411 on Candlelight Inn.
The 411 on Liberty’s American Bar & Grill.

Please vote below. I’ll accept other nominations, too.

I will put the top vote-getters in a poll on the right (like the one for tipping now) and after the voting period is over, we’ll announce the winners of Best of Small Bites Chicken Wings.

Let the games begin!


About Author

Liz Johnson is content strategist for The Journal News and, and the founding editor of lohudfood, formerly know as Small Bites. As food editor, she won awards from the New York News Publishers Association, the Association of Food Journalists and the Associated Press. She lives in Nyack with her husband and daughter on a tiny suburban lot they call their farm — with fruit trees, an herb garden, and a yardful of lettuce, tomatoes, onions, shallots, cucumbers, zucchini, radishes, cabbage, peppers, Brussels sprouts and carrots and four big blueberry bushes.


  1. BTW, pardon the pun, but I’m kind of winging it here.

    These are my two favorite plates of wings in the region, so I’m giving them MY Small Bites Award. But if enough people vote, I think we could have a reader’s choice award, too. Right?

    So please let me know what your favorite wings are in the comments below, and let me know other categories that you’d like to see Best of Small Bites awards for. Thanks!

  2. Hi!

    Its great to be considered to be in the top choices! Thanks to everyone that put our name forward.

    However as biased as i may be i would like to put an event together at my restaurant to find out who truly is the King of wings!

    This is an open invitation to all of the local wing restaurants.

    I believe my wings are the best around, we have 21 different types of sauces and i’m willing to stand behind them and go head to head with any other restaurant.

    So what do you guys think? Are you in or are you……CHICKEN???? 🙂


    Alan Walsh
    Owner of Liberty’s American Bar & Grill

    Ps.Every Tuesday we have a wing night, 30c all wings all day and night!

  3. I lived with a hardcore hotwing fanatic and we try the hotwings everywhere we go. At the moment, we’re a strictly Candlelight family, despite living in Nyack. That being said, I need to mention the non-Buffalo style (but perhaps most mind-blowing) hotwings at Holy Smoke in Mahopac. I realize that it’s Putnam county and all, but they are definitely worth a trip to try. I’m salivating just thinking about them – and it’s 5:50 in the morning.

  4. Billy Everinghim on

    I’ve eaten the wings at all three mentioned establishments and they are all EXCELLENT options. So much so that I don’t think it’s really possible to choose which restaurant has the “BEST WINGS.” However, I’d just like to add one more restaurant to the list, Bailey’s Smokehouse, which is on 136 Erie St. E in Blauvelt, NY. I’d say I spend about eight Sunday’s every football season watching the games there and munching on their fantastic wings & pizza.

  5. Having searched high and low around lower Westchester, I have found that the best wings in my experience are at Demeter’s in Tarrytown. They are unbelievable. I would put them up against anyone’s in the county. Have been going there for over 7 years now. The place isn’t always the best, but the wings are second to none. Seriously.

  6. I’d also like to see Bailey’s on the list. Great screaming chicken sauce! Wings are small, but I prefer them that way. Meaty wings are ok, but for buffalo style, I find the smaller the wing, the crispier they are.

  7. I have to agree with all three being great options. BUT….watching games at Liberty’s on those flat screens with your friends and a plate full of those wings, there ain’t nothing better.

  8. There’s a tiny little place in Thornwood called Charchaels-
    the wings are amazing and they have a pretty good following who tell them so. I would love for you to come in and try them as well as our hot dogs with our homemade toppings and our made fresh everyday angus hamburgers. We also have wraps and salads. It’s kind of hidden and alot of people still don’t even know we’re there but the ones that do keep on coming back for more. We’re at 802 Commerce Street – hope you’ll come and decide for yourself!

  9. If this is just the nominations part of the election season, I clearly Re-Nominate Olde Village Inn of Nyack, for Best Chicken Wings of Rockland County. (and Im not getting paid to say this).

    Their wings are large, juicy, succulent, flavorful, homemade (the process, not the actual chicken), and always fresh – never frozen. The sauce has a great kick without being overpowering or overbearing. Now im hungry. OVI this weekend will be a must.

  10. So no takers for my challenge yet!

    But in the meantime I would like to offer every reader of smallbites a free portion of my wings!

    Email me at for a coupon

    No catches, no blackout times, come and try the best wings around for free!

    I truly believe my fresh never frozen wings are the best around, I use the freshest oils, and offer more sauces than anyone! (21 flavors and counting)

    visit for more details on what Liberty’s has to offer.

    Bok Bok Bok!


  11. This just in from a reader who emailed me:

    Norm’s on Main Street in Brewster makes the best I have tried this side of Buffalo.

    Especially mild which is not soggy due to sauce.

  12. charcheals best wings hand down….. candlelight cant hold a candle to charchaels wings. hot dogs are no questions asked the best around.. i command you to eat a dog or wings at charchaels and dare you to find a better bite.

  13. OVI’s Buffalo wings are the Best I have ever tasted in the NY/NJ area. I love wings and get them all over place (even in Florida when I know they wont compare). Just to make a comparision I have eaten at the CandleLight Inn and there wings are good (though there waffle fries are better) but they don’t beat out the wings of this little Irish Pub. Unlike the Candlelight, OVI’s take debit/credit cards. I would say there the best out there but realistically I can’t until I try some of Buffalo’s establishments. What we should do is set up a Buffalo wing challenge for Rockland and Westchester (I’ll go to that!!), go with 5 judges and let the people decide which Three Places get to compete for the title.

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