JGTV: Sweetwater Tavern – Downtown, Detroit

The main foodie highlight from my Michigan trip was getting to try the legendary wings from Sweetwater Tavern located in Downtown, Detroit within walking distance of the Renaissance Center, Hart Plaza, Ford Field and Comerica Park. Dubbed “Michigan’s Best Wings” by MLive.com, “The best wings in the world” by Annarbor.com and made Thrillist.com’s “The 21 Best Chicken Wings In America” list, just to name a few of their many accolades. As you can see their reputation proceeded them, and I for one couldn’t have been more excited to try them. Chris loved Jay’s wings when he finally got to try them and said this is his go to when he is in the mood to throw down on some breaded, sauced, delicious poultry. That was all that he needed to say.

We hopped in the whip and headed downtown and pulled up on Sweewater. It’s located on the corner and honestly I probably wouldn’t have thought twice about stopping there if I was the casual tourist. That’s how I knew I was in for something special, everyone knows some of the best grub comes from discreet small establishments and bars. I got handed a menu as soon as I sat down at the bar even though that wasn’t even necessary, they knew why I was there. Here’s the description of the wings from the menu:

Jeff used to snicker when his grandmother said that the wing was the best part of the chicken. This house specialty, marinated 24 hours, dredged in spices and fried, confirms her thesis though. We get our wings packed in ice, delivered fresh every morning from the Eastern Market and sell 15 forty-pound cases daily. Quite frankly, chicken wings are what we do! The flavor is so unique and delicious that once you try Sweetwater Wings, you’ll be hooked for life – enjoy. Our award winning wings (best in Detroit” – Detroit Free Press) are served with celery sticks and bleu cheese

I’m going to make this short and sweet, they aren’t lying. These are some of the best wings I’ve ever had, I don’t want to say their the best after only having them once but woo shit do they have a case to be numero uno. One of the first things you’ll notice when you look at the menu, there isn’t any sauce choices or even different servings. They specialize in one sauce that they have perfected to go a long with their signature spices and you’re getting 10 wings. I got a draft beer and before I could even get to my third sip my wings were out in front of me looking sexier than a motherfucker. Yes I said sexy because I don’t know how else to describe what they did with these wings. Every single bite of the wing was robust with so much flavor that I was literally smiling and dancing a little bit in my seat. I have no idea what seasonings they use or even what’s in the sauce but they certainly have the science perfected. The actual wings aren’t even all that saucy either, just mouthwatering flavor and fall of the bone meat.

I’m not even gonna lie, I almost ordered another 10 but me and Chris had some family obligations to tend to. They were so good that the next day I woke up and they were the first thing on my mind, I almost ubered Downtown just to scratch the itch. Basically what i’m saying is….if you’re a wing lover, go try Sweetwater Tavern. There’s a reason their being dubbed the best in the world.


If you enjoyed this, check out more posts from the Just Grubbin team here! Also make sure to listen to The Just Grubbin podcast to hear us go into further detail about this and to hear all of our random irreverent takes on food, drink and whatever else.

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