Prague Wings: The Good, the Bad, the Saucy

Prague Wings: The Good, the Bad, the Saucy

Although the United States is more famous for burgers and hot dogs, I would argue that America is quickly turning into a chicken wing nation. Not everyone is into the spicy, crispy goodness of American-style chicken wings, but for others there is simply no substitute. So what is a Buffalo wing fan to do in Prague?

There are plenty of Czech restaurants around town that serve chicken wings, and it is no secret that Czechs know how to roast meat. But too often these restaurants coat their succulent wings in a generic, unexciting, likely store-bought chilli sauce. So for my review, I only chose small, local restaurants which put an emphasis on Buffalo wings, American-style, the hotter the better!



Akropolis

Prague Wings: The Good, the Bad, the Saucy

I didn’t realize for several years that Akopolis even had a restaurant. Their menu is pretty expansive and for the most part the food is quite good. However, wings are not their specialty. Akrop offers barbeque wings as well but I went straight for the spicy “Fenix” wings. For 145 CZK you receive a plate of 6 uncut wings (12 pieces total), a mini corn on the cob and a tiny vegetable garnish. I was not impressed. The hot wings did indeed bring a tear to my eye, but it was due to the lack of flavor as opposed to spiciness. There was hardly any sauce on the wings, which tasted more salty than anything.

Final Grade: Low on sauce AND I have to separate the wings myself? At least I like corn. F

Coolna

Prague Wings: The Good, the Bad, the Saucy

Billing itself as a “metropolitan restaurant,” Coolna is located about halfway between Pankrac and Budějovická. They also have wings of course! Bypassing the “Famous BBQ” and “Carolina Honey,” I went straight for the Buffalo style. Coolna´s portion is nine large wings along with vegetable sticks for 158 CZK, which seems just a tad pricey. Like other places I visited, these wings could have used a bit more sauce. There was a slight amount of heat, but certainly not as “devilishly hot” as the menu suggested. But at least the wings were well-prepared and the veggies were fresh and crispy. They were baked and seasoned, and the mango-chilli dipping sauce complimented the wings well. Overall the wings at Coolna were pretty tasty, but weren’t exactly the Buffalo wings I know and love from the States.

Final Grade: Not a great value, but at least they´re trying. More sauce please. C

Peter’s Burger Pub

Prague Wings: The Good, the Bad, the Saucy

Peter’s Pub in Karlín specializes in burgers but they also make three varieties of wings: spicy Louisiana, BBQ, and honey-garlic. Each serving (138 CZK) comes with 500 grams of wings, which in my case was 11 pieces, two dipping sauces and a whole heap of veggies. Since so many wing spots neglect vegetables it was nice to see Peter’s Pub serve enough to balance out the meat. The wings were quite juicy and baked rather than fried. However, the heat factor was pretty low. They probably sauce the wings up before cooking which means a lot of the good stuff evaporates off. The two dipping sauces wouldn’t have been necessary if they had just put enough sauce on the wings in the first place, although they compliment the bounty of veggies nicely.

Final Grade: Undersized, undersauced but well-cooked. Lots of veg! C+

Polo

Prague Wings: The Good, the Bad, the Saucy

Many locals are probably familiar with this restaurant at Biskupcova. It’s often quite crowded at peak times and they specialize in meat-centered dishes. Polo is more of a Czech restaurant, but to their credit they also have four kinds of wings, with the “O.P.” wings being the spiciest (meaning opravdu pálivá, or really hot). A 12-piece serving costs 139 CZK and doesn’t come with bread or any side. The wings were tender and well-cooked, but didn’t impress me in the heat department. However, they had a nice texture and the sauce was tasty, even if not so “o.p.” The wings looked kind of naked on the plate with no side veg, so I went Czech-style and ordered a basket of bread. 

Final grade: More like a Czech take on hot wings. Decent, but needs something more. B

Prague Wings: The Good, the Bad, the Saucy

This American-style restaurant isn’t new to many Prague expats, but it was my first visit. The menu features burgers and ribs, but of course I had wings on my mind. As I sat down I noticed a Yuengling sign attached to the bar. Nice touch. Bejzment serves wings four different ways: BBQ, Honey, Buffalo, and “Hubopal,” or “Hell” according to the English menu. Needless to say I ordered 10 pieces of Hell for 129 CZK (Bejzment also offers a 20-piece plate for 199 CZK). These wings were hot enough to make my nose run with plenty of sauce to go around. Luckily, they bring provide some wet wipes to clean yourself off afterward. The side order of celery was a bit brown and limp, but the blue cheese dip helped to balance the hellish flavor. My only complaints are that the wings were somewhat small and that it’s tough to eat while being eyeballed by a cutout of Ron Jeremy next to the door!

Final Grade: Well-sauced, well-crisped, and a strong, spicy flavor. Solid all around. A-

Merlin

Prague Wings: The Good, the Bad, the Saucy

Now we´re talking! Merlin is an Irish pub/restaurant which seems to specialize in all things meat. In addition to many other carnivorous delights, they have three kinds of wings. The 14-piece (155 CZK) serving of hot wings are coated with corn flakes, while their BBQ and honey-lemon wings are not breaded. The hot wings were quite crunchy and heavily breaded, and the pieces were huge! It was terrifying to imagine what mutant chickens produced such monster limbs. My one nitpick is that there were no drumsticks to be found…what gives?! I am somewhat ashamed to admit that I only finished 10 of the 14 wings due to the enormous portion size. It was somewhat disappointing that I had to pay extra just for a few veggies on the side.

Final Grade: Very satisfying, somewhat gluttonous, but who stole my drumsticks? A-

Planeta Žižkov

Prague Wings: The Good, the Bad, the Saucy

If you consider yourself a wing buff, allow me to introduce you to Planeta Žižkov. In the interest of full disclosure, I admit that I have been to Planeta many times so my review could be somewhat biased. However, there is a reason I have been back so often …the wings are great! In terms of value, it can’t be beat: 20 pieces (approx. 900 grams) of either BBQ or hot wings for 153 CZK. They’re tender, juicy, and served on a wooden cutting board to bring out your inner caveman. I only have two minor gripes. The first is that Planeta is somewhat inconsistent as the quality of the wings varies from visit to visit. Secondly, aside from a slice of lettuce there are no veggies to be found. But if you don’t mind washing down your wings with bread, Planeta just might be the place for you.

Final Grade: Massive portion, legit wings, good service. Just a bit unpredictable. A

True Blue

Prague Wings: The Good, the Bad, the Saucy

A friend tipped me off to this nifty little place in Vršovice. According to the menu, True Blue is an American-Czech restaurant inspired by the time the owners spent in the States. They feature burgers, ribs, Tex-Mex, and wings including 3 levels of spiciness, plus BBQ and sesame, which sounded intriguing. One plus at True Blue is that you can order either 6, 9, or 12 pieces (89, 109, 139 Kč) depending on your appetite. I ordered the “atomic” wings and I must say these were the most authentic and delicious wings of all. They were crispy but not overcooked, with plenty of sauce, plenty of celery and carrot sticks and the blue cheese dip provided just the right balance. And they are definitely hot enough to activate your sinuses. I was so impressed that I had to resist belting out the Star Spangled Banner right there in the restaurant! 

Final Grade: This is how wings should be made. Very tasty and great value, too. A+

**

Where do you go for a fiery taste of American wings?


Nathaniel Patton

Nathaniel comes from a Midwestern U.S. city with a really big arch, but he's called Prague home since arriving here in 2005. Not knowing what to expect, he soon got sucked in by Prague's mystique, rich culture, neverending surprises and historical pubs. Feel free to ask him about Czech beer, if you've got an hour or two to spare.

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