It's a battle as old as time.  Well, at least as old as the Buffalo-style chicken wing here in Western New York.  For the last 55 years or so, there have been bars and restaurants that have laid claim to having the "Best Wings in Buffalo".  And there are plenty of good wings to be found for sure.

But as I was walking around downtown the other day, I noticed a sign that I had not noticed before.  I was walking down Washington Street, on my way from Lafayette Square to the Casino.  When I got to the corner of Washington and Swan streets, I stopped for a red light and looked to my left, and in white letters, on a black background, a sign declared "Best Wings in Buffalo" on the Side of The Union Pub.

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Now, this is quite the brazen claim to make.  With historically good wings at spots like Bar-Bill, Duffs, Gabriels Gate, and Anchor Bar, how could this unassuming bar housed in a brick building across from Sahlen Field claim to have the "Best Wings in Buffalo"?

It was my job to find out.

My friend Chacho and I strolled in on a Friday afternoon.  The place was immediately familiar, as I had been there before during its previous incarnation as "Irish Times".  It now has that perfect Dive Bar/Sports bar vibe when you walk in the door. According to their website, The Union Pub;

"dates back to 1864.  Originally a livery stable, Buffalo Ironworkers used the building for a union hall.  After the completion of the neighboring Ellicott Square Building, 38 Swan Street became a local pub-- and never looked back!"

The Union Pub

The Union Pub - 38 Swan St, Buffalo, NY 14203

The jukebox cranked out 70's classic rock as we sat down and ordered a couple of beers from their generous on-tap list. I asked the bartender Jay, "Are the wings really the best in Buffalo?"  To which he replied, "Didn't you see the sign?"  Touche.  So after looking through the numerous varieties of wings they had to offer, we decided to try a single order of hot.  I look at it this way, if a place can't master the basics, the other fancy varieties aren't worth trying.  I feel this way about pizza, burgers, donuts, and yes wings.

The Union Pub - Menus

The Union Pub - 38 Swan St, Buffalo, NY 14203

Jay told us it would be a minute, as they cook the wings up fresh, and the kitchen staff takes great pride in their wings.  After about a 15 minute wait, the basket of wings came out from the kitchen.  The 10 sizeable wings were accompanied by celery, carrots, and bleu cheese.  There was the perfect amount of sauce on them.  Enough so that they were nice and damp, but not so much that they were dripping and soggy.  The sauce itself had a nice flavor, along with a bit of afterburn heat.  The wings were cooked to perfection, with just the right amount of crispiness, while still nice and moist inside.

The Union Pub - The Wings

The Union Pub - 38 Swan St, Buffalo, NY 14203

At the end of the day, do I think they were the "Best Wings in Buffalo"?  No.  But they were pretty damn tasty, I would say a solid 7.5/10.

Breaking them down, on a scale of 1 to 10:

- Wing Size: 7

- Sauce: 8

- Cooking: 9

-Presentation: 8

So, if you ever find yourself downtown, in search of a good wing before a Bisons Game, or a concert, or a Sabres game, I recommend that you stop into the Union Pub (38 Swan St, Buffalo, NY 14203)   Are they the "Best Wings in Buffalo"?  Well, the sign outside says yes.

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