Anchor vs Duff’s

Through time there have been many great competing restaurants that keep their loyal customers battling it out to prove which one has the best product. In Philly if you are looking for a great cheesesteak there is either Geno’s or Pat’s, for a real Chicago deep dish pizza in Chicago it will be Pizzeria Uno or Lou Malnati’s, and if you find yourself in Buffalo chasing after some great wings there are only two names that stand in the forefront: Anchor Bar and Duff’s Famous Wings.

There is no debate as to which wing eatery started serving the Buffalo sensation first, as it was Anchor Bar’s own Teressa Bellissimo that created the hot chicken limb back in 1964 while working late one Friday night. Teressa’s son, Dominic, was tending bar when a couple of friends came in later that evening craving something new and different. Teressa remembered having some wings in the back that she normally used for chicken stock. So she threw them in the deep fryer, married them with a little hot sauce and VOILÀ…. the Buffalo wing was born!

Shortly thereafter in ’65, Duff’s, located slightly north in Amherst, started serving Buffalo wings in its restaurant and began building a name for themselves as having the best wings in the area. So much so that they changed their name to Duff’s Famous Wings in 1985 to represent how well known their wings had become by taking a great idea and improving upon it.

When visiting Buffalo seeking out great tasting wings, you will be asked the age-old question: “Anchor or Duff’s?” Many argue that Anchor Bar created perfection and you cannot improve upon that, while others claim that it’s the multiple flavors of Duff’s that keep their taste buds jumping for joy. I’ve had the pleasure of visiting both places a couple of times and can tell you that each place has something different to offer. In the world of the Buffalo wing, Anchor and Duff’s were there from the beginning, and for that they get my greatest respect. This is why I will not review either restaurant nor tell you which wing I rank as supreme. Instead, I take this time to pay tribute to the two greats by offering a look inside both restaurants and leaving that choice up to you… my loyal readers and fellow wing lovers.

So enjoy a quick glimpse into the wonderful world of the two wing places that started it all. And for those of you who have tried both and feel that there is a clear cut winner, please feel free to comment below to let the world know who you think has the best wings: Anchor Bar or Duff’s Famous Wings!

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5 Responses to “Anchor vs Duff’s”

  1. John W. says:

    My vote is for Duff’s. I think that Anchor’s wings are crispy but the flavors are very one note. I also liked how well the sauce sticks to the Duff wing better.

  2. Ana C. says:

    Duff’s, definitely! I’ve been to Buffalo many, many times, and tried both the Anchor Bar wings and Duff’s, and Duff’s are by far the best! Whenever I return to the Buffalo area, I make it a point to stop at Duff’s – and I take a jar of their hot sauce back home with me, too!

  3. Joe Schmoe says:

    I like both, but the last time I was at Duff’s, I asked for a beer and the bartender punched me in the face. It hurt bad.

  4. RobM1981 says:

    I prefer Anchor Bar’s, but they are both very good.

    Duff’s has a vinegar back-note that builds as you eat more wings. This is neither bad nor good – it’s just a difference.

    Duff’s certainly brings the heat, which I love, but I prefer less vinegar back-notes.

    Either way, you really can’t go wrong.

    One other thing: Duff’s is suburban. Easier parking, etc.

  5. Kenny L says:

    I will be back in Buffalo later this month and plan on hitting both places. Been to Anchor Bar a couple times in the past but want to do my own taste test this time between them and Duff’s.

    For anyone reading this, there’s another well-kept wing secret tucked away in little Middleport, about 35 miles or so NE of Buffalo. If you want the absolute best wings you’ve ever had (yes, much better than Anchor Bar), you need to visit “Ponies” on Main St. in Middleport. I haven’t been able to find any place that can compare to their wings. It’s a little hole-in-the-wall bar and it doesn’t look like much but you’ll love their wings. It used to be called “Mr. Ed’s” until they sold it and the new owner paid (reportedly) $25,000 for the recipe! Check it out.

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