Ranking Buffalo Wild Wings Sauces From Worst To First

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 its signature Buffalo wings: 26 choices, to be exact. The chain tends to get pretty, well, wild with the sauces, and some of them are naturally better than others, though none of them are actively bad. We've ranked all 26 sauces and dry rubs at Buffalo Wild Wings 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.

26. Buffalo Dry Rub

The Buffalo Wild Wings menu states that the Buffalo Dry Rub combines a "classic heat with a buttery finish." 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 this seasoning on the 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. 

25. 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 "bold and savory," but it's really just jazzed-up soy sauce. This sauce is on the sweet side — a single serving contains 18 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 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.

24. 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. That should theoretically create a gut-punch of pure flavor. Desert Heat is supposedly smoky, 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.

23. Honey Sriracha sauce

Some of B-Dubs' sauces are fairly self-explanatory when it comes to the flavor profile. Honey Sriracha is one such example, combining honey and sriracha into a sweet and spicy sauce. Unfortunately, the pairing is too unbalanced to make the description fit. The flaming red sauce should immediately smack our taste buds from the first hint that crosses our tongues. Instead, any trace of the spice is smothered by the honey, and the syrupy mouthfeel, while pleasant, doesn't make room for the fiery heat to truly flourish. Sweet-meets-scorch varieties do work when executed correctly (just look at how well the Thai Curry sauce performed), but in this case, the sugar oversteps its boundaries and stumbles head-first into saccharineville. 

Much like the Honey BBQ, the Honey Sriracha has a sugary smoothness that will form a sticky gloss over your boneless or bone-in chicken wings (you do you). But that's basically it. Diners who are spice-curious may appreciate this option; the gentler notes can ease their palates into hotter territory later on. It just won't make much of an impression. 

22. 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.

21. Orange Chicken sauce

Any orange chicken recipe, whether from the stove or your local Chinese joint, sticks to a similarly delicious script: meaty chunks tossed in a sauce that's mainly tangy with a touch of zip. So what do we make of the Orange Chicken sauce from Buffalo Wild Wings? Once again, we find the chain simmers an Asian glaze that's nondescript. Going down the hatch it's quite bland, and it's a fact that can't simply be reduced to the mild chili peppers percolating in the sauce. All around, the ingredients are muddled into a homogenous coating you can call Szechuan so long as you squint really hard or make air-quotes with your fingers. 

Arguably, the sticky sauce commits to the takeout beat with much better results than the teriyaki. Still, you'll probably regret not swiping the Asian Zing sauce instead, as it's a far superior alternative. Since new sauce varieties are constantly funneling through the menu, don't feel too badly if you skip out on this one. If it's orange chicken you're after, we can think of a couple other places to go instead. 

20. 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.

19. Honey Garlic sauce

Compared to Honey Sriracha, Honey Garlic is a bit more successful as a hybrid sauce. Potent garlic, infused in an extra-sticky honey and soy glaze, is a no-brainer for gliding over chicken wings. There isn't much in the way of spice (at least the tongue-obliterating variety), but if you can accept it for what it is — salty, rather than sensationally fiery — it's a suitable enhancement that may please certain diners. Also a plus, it benefits by not being just another orange Buffalo or Barbecue sauce that you can get any time (its availability is temporary). 

In some circles, the garlic doesn't simply pop in as a hint of flavor — it dominates, working two-fold in stomping out the sweetness and doubling down on the sodium. Others might land a batch that strikes the proper notes, but it's still a game of chance (or chicken) whether you'll taste more honey or more garlic. We'd rank it higher if the profile was more honey-forward. As it stands, bring a lot of breath mints if you decide to dig in with this sauce. 

18. 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 Buffalo 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.

17. 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 the Honey BBQ variety 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, smoky 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.

16. 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 smoky 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.

15. 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 in a news release 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. 

14. 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 a classic wing sauce with "comfortable heat," and it isn'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.

13. 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 blur 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.

12. Blazin' Knockout sauce

Blazin' Knockout, a descendent of the original Blazin' variant, contains nine, yes, nine different hot peppers, with each racking up thousands (or really, millions) of units on the Scoville scale. This list of peppers in this sauce might induce burning, perspiring, or a fair bit of drooling: Devil's Breath, Carolina Reaper, habanero, ghost, scorpion, cayenne, both red and green jalapeños, and finally, chile de arbol. Whew, we need a breather (or some milk). 

Seriously, though the heat-load sounds scary, we give props to Buffalo Wild Wings for concocting a sauce that's really hot. It satisfies in the breaking-a-sweat department, but what surprises us the most is that it maintains an interesting tableaux of seasonings that holds up with every bite. The fiery sensation is there, but it doesn't stay too long, and due to the bountiful peppers you get a multitude of undertones — woodsy, savory, even umami. 

Though tasting slightly like it has a synthetic feel, this sauce as a whole is solid, especially when it comes to the heat factor. Just grab plenty of celery sticks, and you're gold. 

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 smoky 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. Golden Fire sauce

Wing sauces can contain a punishing amount of high-octane seasonings, so we welcome any option out there that makes the burn a pleasurable experience. This is the case for the Golden Fire sauce, which Buffalo Wild Wings sells only through the GO offshoot (and for a limited time). It's reminiscent of Carolina-style barbecue sauce, except the piquant, mustard-y base gets spiked with a heap of crushed chili peppers for what the chain calls "the perfect blend of sting and zing." 

In our opinion, Golden Fire is in a league of its own, even if other sauces from the chain's lineup performed better in our ranking. The spicier approach will make many a brow-line glisten, but the heat's build is measured, gradually washing over the tongue while aligning the hints of vinegar and mustard. It has depth, it has flavor, and it has a strong sense of character. And it is not as sweet as some of the other choices on our list — the franchise notes it has 17 grams of sugar per serving — which provides a stable balance with the meat. 

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 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 blue cheese since the Nashville Hot sauce practically begs for a rich and creamy counterpart.

3. Parmesan Garlic sauce

The creamy, cheesy Parmesan 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 No. 2 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 and 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 you ordering another round even though your lips are buzzing and you're already full.