Atlanta doesn’t have one dish that defines its culinary scene. It’s actually what the city has become now known for in food. Instead, people will find a melding of food cultures from people who come to live here from all over the world, offering a dining scene that ranges from serving Southern and soul food to Korean, Colombian, and Ethiopian fare.
But, in 2016, the hit FX series Atlanta introduced the world – and now Atlantans – to lemon pepper wet wings (aka “Fester” wings.) Little did Atlanta know back then, this one scene from the show would bring the city its first singular culinary claim to fame in a dish (or rather saucey seasoning) now considered quintessentially ATL. It’s hard to find a wing joint, sports bar, or pub in Atlanta not serving some version of lemon pepper wet wings on the menu.
A little zesty, a bit tangy, and with hints of citrus, lemon pepper wet is a combination of lemon pepper seasoning and Buffalo sauce, with some Atlanta wing joints and restaurants creating their own seasoning blends and sauces to dress up drums and flats. And while wings are typically the top choice for lemon pepper wet seasoning in Atlanta, there are restaurants and pop-ups putting a spin on the city’s most famous wing flavor in dishes ranging from pizza to pierogies.
The Old Atlanta loaded fries from Puncho’s Late-Night Fry Trap
Owned by Brandon Williams and Ebony Blanding, this East Atlanta French fry takeout and delivery operation serves all continents of loaded fried potato combinations, including the Old Atlanta topped with Buffalo sauce seasoned chicken bites sprinkled with lemon pepper flakes and drizzled in ranch dressing. There’s also an Old Atlanta chicken wrap on the menu. Try the Bluff loaded fries, too, topped with hot honey lemon pepper chicken Nuggets. Follow on Instagram for Weekly fry menus and ordering instructions.
Lemon pepper wet pizza from Phew’s Pies
Located on Atlanta’s west side, this pizza pop-up from Matthew “Phew” Foster slings handmade pies, including Foster’s popular lemon pepper wet pizza. A pizza made with butter sauce, chopped chicken, and mozzarella cheese, the pie is then topped with a choice of either lemon pepper wet chicken or hot lemon pepper wet chicken wings. Follow on Instagram for menu updates, pop-up locations, and to order.
Smoked lemon pepper vegan wiingz from Grass VBQ Joint
For people in search of vegan wings, there’s no better place to order those than from Grass VBQ Joint. Owned by Terry Sargent, the menu at Grass VBQ Joint serves vegan versions of Southern barbecue dishes smoked to perfection. This includes Sargent’s smoked, gluten-free soy wings flavored in either hot lemon pepper or regular lemon pepper sauce. Grass VBQ is currently operating out of the Oak Street Eats kitchen facility in the West End. Order online for takeout and delivery.
LPW fried chicken sandwich – How Crispy Express
Backed by Ticonderoga Club‘s Greg Best and Bart Sasso, Chef William Silbernagel (The Bookhouse Pub, Argosy), and Atlanta architect Luke Wilkinson, How Crispy Express in Summerhill centers its entire menu around the fried chicken sandwich. There’s even a nod to the Quintessential Atlanta wing flavor – lemon pepper wet – on the menu. The sandwich includes fried chicken thigh meat seasoned with lemon pepper and topped with buffalo sauce, ranch, and bread and butter pickles. Outdoor seating available. Takeout available.
Lemon pepper wet chicken pierogies – Brave Wojtek
Founder Matt Reeves has been cooking Polish food his entire life. His mother’s family is from Poland and he wanted to share his love of Polish and eastern European fare with Atlantans through his comfort food pop-up Brave Wotjek. Named for a World War II Polish folk hero, a Syrian brown bear called Wojtek, this pop-up serves everything from flat bread pizzas called zapiekanka and barszcz (borscht) to a decidedly Atlanta take on pierogies, stuffing the Polish dumpling with lemon pepper wet chicken. Follow Brave Wojtek on Instagram for pop-up dates and menu drops.