What is the best Wingstop flavor? All chicken wing flavors ranked worst to best

Maddy Kinkead
Wingstop logo and chicken wings

Whether you’re grabbing some wings for the big game, or just need your chicken fix – the flavor you pick for your chicken wings can make or break a meal.

Wingstop boasts 14 different sauces and rubs, but only one comes out on top as the best Wingstop flavor – which one are you betting on?

Wingstop is a relatively new fast-food chain that has been making waves with foodies across the US and has recently branched out with worldwide stores. They opened their first stores in 1994, but recently have been becoming more and more popular across social media, and for good reason.


What is Wingstop?

Inside a Wingstop restaurant.
Wingstop has 1935 restaurants across the US.

Wingstop serves up chicken wings made fresh to order, and they specialize in various different sauces and spices to toss your wings in so that your wings taste exactly how you want them every time. They also serve up fries, corn, mac and cheese, and all the other sides you’d expect to find at a fried chicken place.

Wingstop stores are franchised, and Grammy-nominated rapper Rick Ross owns several locations across the US, which could explain why they always have a great playlist blasting. He recommends the lemon pepper rub, and it does rank fairly high on our list, too.

Wingstop flavors ranked worst to best

Wingstop has 14 flavors on their standard menu. These are a mix of rubs, spice mixes, and sauces all tossed together to create a unique flavor for each. Note that they do sometimes add new flavors, but these are usually only available for a limited time, so they won’t be on this list.

14. Plain

wingstop plain chicken wings
Plain chicken wings are a waste of a Wingstop trip.

If you’re going to Wingstop and just ordering plain chicken wings, or worse, plain boneless chicken wings (which are just basically nuggets) you need to take a long, hard look at yourself. The chicken tastes fine on its own, but it’s not in the spirit of Wingstop.

13. Mild

mild wingstop chicken wings
These mild chicken wings are a little too bland.

This is like your usual buffalo chicken wing flavor, but a little milder for those who find buffalo too hot. There is nothing wrong with this flavor, it’s delicious. The only reason it comes so low in our ranking is simply because it’s kind of basic and Wingstop has many more exciting flavors to choose from.

12. Atomic

atomic wingstop chicken wings
The name says it all.

As the name suggests, this is what Wingstop say is their hottest flavor, although the mango habanero is arguably hotter. The sauce on this one is spicy but still maintains an actual flavor similar to the original hot. The only downside is that it’s so hot, you’ll lose your ability to taste after a few bites.

11. Mango habanero

mango chicken wings from wingstop
These could be a little sweeter, but the spice is delicious.

This flavor is kind of a disappointment. Habanero peppers have a really earthy, peppery taste – as well as providing that all-important spice, but you expect the sweet stickiness of the mango to cut through that. However, the pepper is too overpowering and the mango doesn’t really come through. That being said, this one provides the perfect level of heat.

10. Hawaiian

Wingstop Hawaiian wings
A tropical flavor explosion.

This one tastes really good. Wingstop describes it as being a blend of ‘citrus fruits and Asian flavors’ and there is definitely a hint of pineapple, soy, and ginger in there. The only problem with this sauce is that it is kind of overpowering, and is crazy salty to balance out the sweetness. It’s great, but definitely an order to share because it’s pretty intense.

9. Louisiana rub

lousiana rub from wingstop
A nice dash of Louisiana heat.

This is like all the flavors of a good shrimp hot pot on fried chicken. It’s essentially a mix of the cajun, original hot, and lemon pepper flavors together, giving it a mildly grainy texture. The flavor is really good, but it’s so loaded with seasoning that there is an unpleasant aftertaste in the form of too much salt. Still, it’s a good one to pair with some ranch.

8. Garlic parmesan

garlic parmesan wings
Garlic, cheese, and butter – the holy trinity.

Garlicy, buttery, and cheesy – what’s not to love? The only criticism of this flavor is that the parmesan flavor could be a little stronger so that the garlic butter is not so overpowering. Maybe the parmesan could be melted in some way so that it’s crispy, because it can end up being soggy when you’re eating it with breaded chicken covered in butter. That being said though, this flavor will have you begging for just one more wing.

7. Hickory smoked BBQ

bbq wings
This BBQ sauce packs a punch.

Barbecue sauce is a classic flavor to pair with fried chicken, and when it’s hickory smoked, you know you’re going to get that blend of sweetness, smokiness and a mild layer of heat. This sauce provides all that, but could do with a little tweaking. It’s flavor is a little too dark, which can make it taste like soy sauce. Dip this with some honey mustard though, and the sweetness from that sauce brings it to whole new levels of tasty.

6. Cajun

cajun chicken wings
These have a nice heat.

This one really seems like it should be nicer than it is. It’s essentially the original hot with cajun spices added, but the spices are too loud to allow the hot sauce to shine through, and the hot sauce simultaneously buries the spices. All in all, it’s spicy and salty, but doesn’t go much deeper than that. It’s like classic chicken wing flavor, but amplified, so it will definitely satisfy that craving.

5. Original hot

original hot chicken wings
A classic buffalo chicken wing.

This is probably Wingstop’s most popular flavor, and for good reason. It has the same buffalo flavors as the mild one, but the spice is heightened to create a great classic buffalo sauce. It’s tangy, spicy, a little sweet, and goes perfectly with ranch – what more could you ask for?

4. Lemon pepper

lemon pepper chicken wings
Peppery and tangy goodness.

This is Rick Ross’ favorite flavor, and for good reason. It has that peppery taste that works so well with crispy chicken, all of which is carried by that tangy lemon sourness. This cuts through the greasiness of it all and makes this flavor choice both refreshing and indulgent.

3. Carolina gold BBQ

golden BBQ
Sweet and mild without the richness of other BBQ sauces.

This is a honey mustard rub that works beautifully with the humble chicken wing. It kind of tastes like Chinese honey chicken fingers (which is a compliment) and has a sweet flavor without being as dark and complex as the hickory smoked BBQ or Korean one. A good solid choice that won’t disappoint.

2. Spicy Korean Q

Korean chicken wings
A classic gochujang flavor that marries beautifully with fried chicken.

This is made with ginger, garlic, Sriracha, and crushed red pepper – so is essentially a gochujang rub. Like all good Asian flavors, it’s a little spicy, a little sweet, and has a deliciously umami flavor. It hits all those sweet spots that you would expect, and does it without being too much. A great choice at Wingstop.

1. Hot honey rub

hot honey rub chicken wings
This one is worth all the hype.

It’s buttery, it’s sweet, and it has a nice heat to carry you all the way through your eating experience. Hot honey anything has been blowing up lately, and this flavor from Wingstop is no exception. It tastes exactly as you’d expect, but somehow better. With a butteriness that goes so well with the crispy chicken, and a undertone of spice that is hard to pinpoint exactly what it’s made from, but is utterly delicious.

It’s all in the dipping sauce

Whatever chicken type you choose (wings, boneless wings, tenders, or burger) and whatever flavor you choose, it’s essential to get the dipping sauce right. Although blue cheese is the classic pick for chicken wings, it can come off a little sickly with some of the sweeter flavors listed above. With most of these, the classic ranch sauce from Wingstop will make those flavors even better. Oh, and don’t forget to order churros for dessert.

If you still need something to cool your tastebuds down with after those chicken wings, why not consult the Refreshers from Starbucks ranking? Or, if you’re still peckish, see how all the items on the McDonald’s dollar menu compare.

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