Buffalo Wild Wings was founded in 1982 by friends Jim Disbrow and Scott Lowery, who had recently moved from Buffalo, New York, to Ohio. They were craving some authentic buffalo wings. Since its inception, the chain many know as B-Dubs has grown to encompass locations across the United States as well as in India, Mexico, Panama, the Philippines, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates.
In addition to being a haven for people who want to drink beer in public and watch sports on multiple giant television screens, Buffalo Wild Wings also offers an insane number of sauce options and dry rubs for their signature buffalo wings: 24, to be exact. They tend to get pretty, well, wild with their sauces at Buffalo Wild Wings, and some of the sauces are naturally better than others, though none of them are actively bad. We’ve ranked all 24 sauces and dry rubs from worst to first, so you can better decode the enormous menu next time you find yourself with a craving for the kind of wings that only two guys from Buffalo could have created.
Of course, the availability of these offerings differs by time and location, but you’ll still know to stick to your choices at the end of our list.
24. Buffalo seasoning
The Buffalo Wild Wings menu states that the Buffalo Seasoning combines a "classic heat and soothing buttery flavor." However, we’ve found that description isn’t necessarily true. Because this is a dry rub and not a sauce, there’s nothing really buttery about the flavor or the mouthfeel of these wings: They’re just dry. When it comes to heat, especially on the spectrum of the chain’s other flavor options, these wings just don’t deliver.
Instead, you’re left with the vague flavor of stale Old Bay seasoning with an extra helping of chili powder, as though someone had whispered the phrase "buffalo wings" in the general vicinity of this spice rub before it was added to some already-dry chicken wings. We would recommend skipping this one in the vast majority of scenarios unless you like the flavor of expired spice blends. Don’t worry, though — there are several better classic buffalo options on the Buffalo Wild Wings menu.
23. Blazin’ sauce
Blazin’ is the spiciest sauce on the Buffalo Wild Wings menu, and we’ve put it in the second-worst spot on our list because, unlike the worst option, it does have some flavor. That flavor, however, is not in any way pleasant. Blazin’ sauce is made with "the unrelenting heat of the ghost pepper," and if you’ve never tried a ghost pepper before, it is not for the faint of stomach or heart.
The ghost pepper, or Bhut Jolokia, is native to India and clocks in at an average of between 855,000 and 1,041,427 Scoville heat units. By comparison, a jalapeño pepper averages anywhere from 2,500 to 8,000, which means that Blazin’ sauce is at least one hundred times hotter than your average jalapeño. Blazin’ sauce is, as advertised, extremely hot, but it’s the kind of hot that actually hurts. Unless you’re in the mood for a side of serious, lingering pain along with your chicken wings, we recommend choosing one of the many other spicy sauces that will leave your tastebuds intact.
22. Teriyaki sauce
Teriyaki wings in general are a classic example of how the American palate has flattened the idea of Asian flavor into a one-note, overly-sweet umami bomb. Buffalo Wild Wings claims that its take on teriyaki is "savory and full-bodied," but it’s really just jazzed-up soy sauce. This sauce is on the sweet side — a single serving contains 24 grams of sugar — and this one has absolutely no heat.
Even takeout-style Americanized teriyaki sauce usually has hints of garlic and ginger, but both seem to be lacking in the Buffalo Wild Wings version. If you’re very averse to spicy foods and really enjoy the taste of sugar and soy, this could conceivably be an option. It does have a nice, sticky texture that works on chicken wings, and has the teri quality of a pleasing glossy finish on the food that teriyaki is known for, but there are better sauces on the menu that accomplish a lot of the same things
21. Hot BBQ sauce
The Hot BBQ sauce from Buffalo Wild Wings is fine. It’s not so hot that it will render you unable to taste anything else for the rest of the day, which is a big leg up on the Blazin’ sauce. It also has a hint of smokey flavor that gives this sauce just enough of a barbecue flavor to make the name feel legitimate. It’s not a bad sauce, per se, it just isn’t a good one either.
This sauce tastes mostly like someone just poured hot sauce and a dab of liquid smoke over some chicken wings, which is fine! However, it’s not the kind of thing that would make you want to order another round in the same style. If you want something that’s one-note hot without being overwhelming, Hot BBQ might be your thing, but if you want any actual barbecue flavor, go with the Honey or Sweet BBQ flavors, both of which are decidedly better.
20. Desert Heat sauce
Desert Heat is another one of Buffalo Wild Wings’ signature dry rubs, so when you order your wings in this style, don’t expect them to be dripping with sauce. Instead, the dry-rubbed wings are tossed in a spice rub before serving, which should theoretically create a gut-punch of pure flavor. Desert Heat is supposedly smokey, sweet, and chili-infused, but it’s really just seasoning salt — emphasis on the salt.
If you prefer your wings dry-rubbed, this isn’t a terrible choice, but know that you are taking a calculated risk. As is the case with all of the chain’s dry rub wings, you’re very much at the mercy of the person preparing your batch of wings. If they’re generous with the seasoning and toss them well, you might have a decent experience. If you end up with a batch that’s not evenly coated, however, you’re bound to have a disappointing experience.
19. Honey BBQ sauce
The Honey BBQ sauce from Buffalo Wild Wings is your typical entry-level barbecue sauce. The most prominent flavor here is honey, with the tiniest hints of smoke and spice to justify calling it a barbecue sauce. One of the best things about this sauce is its viscosity: It coats the wings nicely and leaves ample pools for extra dipping. For a truly unadventurous experience, try ordering the Honey BBQ sauce on boneless wings. It’s a not-bad experience reminiscent of dipping chicken nuggets in honey and ketchup, and there is a time and a place for that kind of thing.
But as a standalone barbecue sauce, we find this one to be lacking when it comes to depth of flavor. It’s a little too heavy on the honey, and it isn’t bold or savory enough to satisfy a true craving for barbecue. This is more barbecue-lite, the kind of thing that a child might like.
18. Jammin’ Jalapeño sauce
Every once in a while, Buffalo Wild Wings comes out with a limited-edition wing sauce. Jammin’ Jalapeño was one such sauce, and when it was taken off the menu, fans responded with a Change.org petition over 1,400 signatures strong. The fans won, and the sauce was named as a permanent addition to the Buffalo Wild Wings menu in 2019. The sauce seems like a riff on pepper jelly, with supposed notes of tequila and lime that give it a sort of southwestern vibe.
Although this sauce has a rabid fan following, we found the flavor profile to be pretty unbalanced. The tartness of the lime takes center stage here, and it’s more like a lime-jalapeño glaze than a proper wing sauce. The tequila is entirely lost in the shuffle — we couldn’t taste it at all. There is a good bit of heat, so it makes sense that fans of the sweet heat flavor have rallied around this sauce.
17. Salt & Vinegar seasoning
If you like the taste of salt and vinegar potato chips, then you will probably enjoy Buffalo Wild Wings’ Salt & Vinegar seasoning. While this isn’t strictly speaking a dry rub, it’s similar in that this isn’t a sauce but a dry mixture that the wings are tossed in. The vinegar really comes to the forefront here, and there also seems to be some black pepper and a bit of garlic powder in the mix. It’s tangy, bold, and overall a pretty pleasant seasoning blend.
If you want a classic buffalo wing experience, however, you should look elsewhere on the menu. Salt & Vinegar seasoning is a serious departure from most of Buffalow Wild Wings’ other options. Our biggest qualm with this one is that it actually tastes better on fries than it does on chicken wings. While that isn’t strictly speaking a bad thing, it does knock this wing down significantly in our rankings.
16. Sweet BBQ sauce
Sweet BBQ is our favorite of the three barbecue sauce options on the Buffalo Wild Wings menu. It’s less one-note than either the Hot or Honey BBQ varieties and has a flavor profile that most closely approximates a proper barbecue sauce, though it will miss the mark for those who like their barbecue on the tangy, smokey side. This one is rich and definitely sweet, but a tomato-forward flavor and perceptible garlic and spices help Sweet BBQ achieve a better sense of balance than some others.
It’s not the best thing you could order, but it’s also not the worst. If you feel like having something barbecue-flavored, this is one of the better choices you could make. However, it is, as we’ve said, an approximation of barbecue and not the real thing. If you want a really good barbecue, we recommend going somewhere that doesn’t specialize in buffalo sauce.
15. Wild sauce
Wild is the second-hottest sauce on the Buffalo Wild Wings menu. Compared to the mouth-searing Blazin’ sauce, the chain’s namesake Wild sauce is actually significantly less spicy. It is possible to actually enjoy your dining experience when you order your wings Wild, which cannot be said for all of Buffalo Wild Wings’ sauces, all the time. Wild wings will be hot but not painfully so. There are some other flavors beyond pure heat going on here, in particular a pleasant smokey flavor.
However, you’re still getting something that leans on heat when you order this sauce. It lacks true nuance and is bested by the more traditional variations on buffalo sauce when it comes to achieving true wild wing perfection. Unfortunately, there’s not enough going on here other than a tolerably high heat level to give Buffalo Wild Wings’ Wild sauce a higher place on our list. If you do want to maximize heat, though (without going into a ghost pepper meltdown), this is your best bet.
14. Original Buffalo sauce
Considering the fact that the chain is literally called Buffalo Wild Wings, you might be surprised to learn that Original Buffalo Sauce was not introduced until 2019. The sauce was rolled out alongside the re-release of the brand’s improved, juicier boneless wings, and VP of Brand Menu and Culinary Jamie Carawan said that he was trying to create the type of buffalo sauce he had once tried "before it was mainstream."
Buffalo sauce only really requires three ingredients: a good, classic hot sauce, butter, and garlic powder. Vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, and cayenne pepper are also often added to create the signature zippy tang that’s a hallmark of this New York-based wing style. The B-Dubs take on classic Buffalo sauce is pretty good, but it has a slightly artificial flavor that knocks it down a peg from the best versions. It doesn’t taste like there’s quite enough real butter in it, so the sauce is a little stickier than would be ideal.
13. Medium sauce
Medium wings sit squarely in the middle of our ranking of Buffalo Wild Wings sauces, which makes them very true to their name. The chain claims that this is "classic wing sauce, comfortably hot," and they aren’t wrong. However, like the Original Buffalo flavor, this lacks the velvety mouthfeel we expect from a really good classic wing sauce. It does, however, have a good amount of heat for someone who is looking neither for blistering nor mild, it coats the wings well, and it lends a pleasing sheen to both bone-in and boneless wing varieties.
If you want a wing sauce that isn’t too exciting and is squarely in the middle of the road, this is the sauce for you. We think it is a little better than the Original Buffalo, but not by much. In fact, there is surprisingly little difference between them. Medium is a little bit less tangy than Original Buffalo and therefore has a slightly more well-rounded flavor profile.
12. Asian Zing sauce
The Asian Zing wing sauce accomplishes a lot of what the Teriyaki sauce was trying to do, but this sauce does it better. Did you really want Chinese takeout of the greasy Americanized variety, perhaps some General Tso’s Chicken, but you somehow ended up at a Buffalo Wild Wings location instead? Asian Zing is the sauce for you. It does perhaps the best job of combining sweet and spicy flavors within the middle tier of heat levels. It’s hot enough to make you feel something but not so hot that it has you reaching for the bleu cheese dip after every bite.
The sweetness is present, but not overpoweringly so. You can actually taste some garlic, some ginger, a hint of soy applied with a cautious hand. These wings are about as good as the best mediocre takeout, which is to say, they’re pretty good. If you’re looking to deviate from more standard buffalo-style wings, it’s worth giving Asian Zing a try.
11. Chipotle BBQ seasoning
The Chipotle BBQ seasoning from Buffalo Wild Wings is another dry rub option, and it’s arguably the most successful seasoning if you are looking for something that tastes pretty much like a standard hot wing, minus the sauce. It arguably has the most authentic barbecue flavor, even more than any of the actual barbecue sauce options. The natural smokey flavor of roasted chipotle peppers really comes through, and it has a good amount of heat without drowning out the rest of the flavors.
This is overall one of the most well-balanced offerings on the menu, and the dry rub coats the wings pretty well. However, it doesn’t have the most pleasant texture. If they could figure out a way to combine the melt-in-your-mouth qualities of the Salt & Vinegar seasoning with the flavor profile of Chipotle BBQ, that would be a serious contender for one of the top spots on our list.
10. Lemon Pepper seasoning
Out of the five dry rub and seasoning options offered by Buffalo Wild Wings, the Lemon Pepper seasoning is, in our opinion, the best of that bunch. It isn’t a classic hot wing flavor and the only hint of spice comes from the cracked black pepper, which is to say, this seasoning isn’t by any stretch of the imagination spicy. That being said, the Lemon Pepper seasoning is a solid option for those who want crisp, flavorful wings without the heat.
Like with the Salt & Vinegar seasoning, you would be remiss not to order an extra side of the spice blend to put on your fries (or onion rings, if you want to get really crazy). But unlike Salt & Vinegar seasoning, this seasoning blend is actually best on the bone-in chicken wings. It’s bright and pleasantly lemony, not too salty, and as an added bonus, you can still dip it in a sauce if you want to kick things up a notch.
9. Hot sauce
It should come as no surprise to anyone that a chain that specializes in serving up classic hot wings does a pretty solid job with its classic Hot sauce. It’s one of the best of the buffalo sauces offered at Buffalo Wild Wings, with a completely reasonable amount of heat balanced out by a hint of sweetness, a little bit of vinegary zing, and just the right amount of salt and pepper. It has a better texture than most (but not all!) of the other traditional sauces, and it works equally well on both boneless and bone-in wings. It’s also good on naked tenders, fries, onion rings — we can confirm that it’s even good on salad on the rare, bizarre occasions when one orders at salad at Buffalo Wild Wings. This is a versatile sauce, and that’s why we give the classic Hot sauce such high marks on our list.
8. Thai Curry sauce
Let’s get one thing out of the way right off the bat: the Thai Curry sauce at Buffalo Wild Wings does not taste like authentic Thai curry. This is more like a wing sauce that has been heavily inspired by Thai Curry, and it combines the best of both worlds to create something that is truly unique. There is a solid amount of heat, but it isn’t the kind that’s going to leave your lips buzzing long after you’re finished eating.
Coconut milk lends both sweetness and a rich mouthfeel that helps to balance out the heavy spices that give this curry its signature flavor. On the downside, the texture is a little bit too thick, and can sometimes be a bit gritty, but it’s still one of the most interesting options on the menu at B-Dubs. Thai Curry wings are definitely not for everyone, but if you like curries in general, you will probably enjoy these.
7. Spicy Garlic sauce
The Spicy Garlic sauce on the menu at Buffalo Wild Wings is exactly what it claims to be: spicy and garlicky. This sauce is heavier on the spice than it is on the garlic, and since garlic is itself a spicy food, what you get when you order this option is layers of heat that end up working really well together.
On the front end, you get a tart, sharp heat with all of the qualities of a good standard hot wing sauce. After that initial bite, you’re hit with the lingering, steady heat from the bold garlic that paints the backdrop of this sauce. It isn’t the best garlic-forward option on the menu — we like the Parmesan Garlic sauce a bit better — but if you can’t decide between hot and pungent, then you won’t go wrong by ordering this sauce.
Pro tip: This is another sauce that’s also great to pour on top of fries and onion rings.
6. Mild sauce
In an unexpected turn of events, Mild is our favorite of the classic Buffalo-style sauces on the menu at Buffalo Wild Wings. If you happen to be dining with picky children or adults who are convinced that they don’t like spicy foods, order some mild wings and let the magic begin. This sauce is delightfully creamy and has a rich, velvety mouthfeel that plays well with the tomato-forward flavor profile. While this sauce is, as the name suggests, mild, it is not completely devoid of heat like the Teriyaki or Honey BBQ. There is the gentlest suggestion of spice, the kind that will have even the most cautious eaters curious to see if they might, in fact, want a little more — but you don’t need it. Even those who generally order on the wilder end of the spectrum are likely to find themselves surprised by how good Mild sauce is.
5. Smoky Adobo sauce
Considering the fact that it was initially rolled out as part of a chicken-free appetizer, it might come as somewhat of a surprise that this relative newcomer to the menu is so high on our list — but trust us on this one, it’s good. Buffalo Wild Wings released their new Smoky Adobo sauce in March 2020 as a component of its Dirty Dubs Tots, an order of tater tots loaded with smoked pulled brisket, grilled onions, hatch chili queso, pickled jalapeños, and a host of other toppings — including the sauce.
We love this one because it proves that B-Dubs is capable of making a really good barbecue sauce. It has a perfect balance of smoky, sweet, and spicy flavors that pair particularly well with the brand’s boneless wings but is honestly delicious added to everything on the menu from burgers to bone-in wings. If you’re a barbecue lover, we definitely recommend giving this sauce a try.
4. Nashville Hot sauce
On the tail of the epic fast food chicken sandwich battles of summer 2019, Buffalo Wild Wings released its Nashville Hot sauce along with a fried chicken sandwich designed to rival the cult favorite sandwiches from Chick-fil-A and Popeyes. While the B-Dubs sandwich, which included beer-battered chicken topped with Napa slaw, chilis, pickles, and ranch on a challah roll, didn’t make headlines, the resulting sauce remains one of the best new additions to the Buffalo Wild Wings menu.
It has just the right amount of heat to make it hot rather than spicy, with just a touch of sweetness and a less vinegar-forward flavor profile than the Buffalo-inspired line of sauces. While the sandwich is good, Nashville Hot wings are the way to go. You’ll probably want to order an extra side of ranch or bleu cheese since the Nashville Hot sauce practically begs for a rich and creamy counterpart.
3. Parmesan Garlic sauce
The creamy, cheesy Parmsean Garlic sauce from Buffalo Wild Wings is beloved by many for a reason — it’s delicious. A real diversion from the spice-heavy options on the menu, Parmesan Garlic is what it says it is: a buttery parmesan cheese sauce infused with garlic and black pepper. The sauce is both very garlicky and very parmesan-forward without one flavor dominating the other, which is a true feat of culinary strength when you’re dealing with two such strong flavors. The texture is creamy and rich, but not goopy.
It’s delicious on everything you can get at B-Dubs, but wings especially (and in second place? Onion rings). You’re not looking for heat when you order these — you’re looking for an umami bomb of cheesy deliciousness. Even if you’re skeptical about this sauce, we recommend that you try it at least once. It’s a little better on traditional wings than it is on boneless, but choose whatever sounds best to you.
2. Caribbean Jerk sauce
The Caribbean Jerk sauce at Buffalo Wild Wings doesn’t pack the same mouth-numbing punch as some authentic jerk chicken does, but it’s still an extremely good sauce, especially on the boneless wings. It’s not a particularly spicy option — it’s only the seventh-spiciest sauce on the chain’s heat scale — but the complexity of flavor earns this sauce the number two spot on our list.
The heat that is present comes primarily from the ginger, which packs a serious punch and is offset by the sauce’s sticky sweetness bright background notes. Of all of the sweet wing sauces that B-Dubs serves up, this one is hands-down the best option. It’s also a good option if you’re dining with kids or teens who are just starting to get a little bit more adventurous with their eating, and since it is not totally devoid of heat, there is a strong chance that everyone at your table will get some enjoyment out of an order of Caribbean Jerk wings.
1. Mango Habanero sauce
Most of the sauces on the menu are either good at being very spicy or good at being sweet, and it’s pretty rare to find one that hits a perfect equilibrium between the two. Buffalo Wild Wings’ Mango Habanero is that uncommon sauce that perfectly blends the two flavors to create what is unquestionably the best sauce to order on the menu at B-Dubs.
There are the sweet and tart notes from the mango that create a subtle background for the heady kick of habanero peppers that gives this sauce enough heat to make it the third spiciest sauce on the menu. It’s hot, and you might even break a sweat while you’re eating Mango Habanero wings, but it won’t be unpleasant. You’ll reach for your creamy sauce of choice more often than not, and the veggie sticks that accompany your wings will be a welcome respite from the addictive heat that will have your ordering another round even though your lips are buzzing and you’re already full.