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Tips for Eating Healthy at Buffalo Wild Wings

One of my husband and my favorite eating out spots is Buffalo Wild Wings aka BWW aka B-dubs!  We like to chill there and watch football, especially since we are too cheap for cable, so it’s how we see all the good games! Eating healthy at Buffalo Wild Wings is challenging. Perhaps one of the most challenging spots because well, it’s a sports bar. And they’re not exactly known for the healthiest options.

Healthy eating at buffalo wild wings - great tips!

 

But no challenge is to great to help you, my dear readers, (and goodness myself—that place is always a death trap for my diet!).

Disclaimer: I recognize that fast food even “upscale” fast food is what it is—lots of sodium, processed food, probably GMOs, animals raised in factory farms—my point is NOT to laud fast food as the healthiest choice, but to help you discover some of the healthiest fast food options out there.Eating Healthy at Buffalo Wild Wings is possible! Use these tips to make healthier choices while out with your friends at BWW!

Buffalo Wild Wings Pros

  • They have an allergen list online which is great for people with food sensitivities and allergies.
  • They have beautiful food photos online!
  • You can watch your favorite sports teams on a bunch of t.v.s while you eat!
  • The atmosphere is relaxed and fun. No one there is taking things too seriously—well, besides the games!

RELATED: HEALTHY OPTIONS AT CHICK-FIL-A

Buffalo Wild Wings Cons

  • B-dubs doesn’t have nutritional information on their website. I actually had to look up most of it by comparing various nutrition calculators feedback. They could definitely make it easier for customers to find their dietary information. Update May 2016: BWW now has it’s calorie information online here!
  • There aren’t many healthy options. At all. I know their target demographic is probably not the “health nut” crowd, but I think Americans are generally getting more informed about their health and BWW seems woefully behind.

buffalo wild wings website

Eating Healthy at Buffalo Wild Wings

WINGS FOREVER!

  • Naked Tenders are 260 calories; the total fat is 6 grams. Seriously good, nutritional info!
  • Boneless wings snack size plain are 500 calories, add Buffalo, Chipotle BBQ or Lemon Pepper sauce for only another 10 calories.
  • Regular wings snack size range from 330 (plain) to 460 (Thai Curry). Not too shabby.

It’s a good idea to skip the dip or go very light on it. Blue cheese dip is 280 calories for a serving and Ranch (Southwest or regular) is 320 calories a serving.

Nosh on celery sticks! They normally bring you a big plate and don’t be afraid to ask for more to munch on! There are also two side salads available that will help you fill up and get in some healthy vegetables.

Healthy eating at Buffalo Wild Wings CAN be done! You just have to be intentional.

Classic Healthy Choices

You can’t go wrong with these choices, but they don’t really scream “B-dubs!” to me.

  • Garden Chicken Salad with grilled chicken for 450 calories. Their Chicken Caesar salad is also a not a bad choice at 600 calories. Light ranch and light balsamic are available for dressings.
  • Classic chicken wrap with grilled chicken is 600 calories–not awesome, but not bad considering it is a fairly healthy choice and has extra veggies.
  • BBQ Chicken Sandwich for 610 calories. This sandwich even has cheese and bacon on it! Yes, please! Whenever I’m not sure what is a good restaurant choice you can hardly go wrong with a plain, grilled chicken sandwich.

Definitely Avoid at Buffalo Wild Wings

  • Ribs. They’re just plain not good for you. Anything paired with ribs, is standard to avoid—ribs and wings, ribs and chicken, ribs and more ribs—all weigh in with over 1500 calories.
  • Big Jack Daddy Burger—Oh my! This burger weighs in at over 1000 calories and is topped with pulled pork and onion rings! It’s completely crazy.
  • There is a lot of “green-washing” happening in the salads. The Buffalo Chicken, Honey BBQ chicken, and Santa Fe salad all have over 1000 calories! *insert gasping emoji!*
  • Excessive amounts of anything. I think one of the dangers of BWW is that you can down 10 wings, 2 mozzarella sticks, some queso and dip, and a few beers and not even realize it over the course of a game!

drinkatbww

Healthy Starter Ideas

Anything with the word “queso” is going to be unhealthy. Eat your queso on your birthday or when you get a promotion at work. An order of Chili Cheese dip is 920 without the chips. Wowza!

Swap it instead for Chips and salsa, it will only run you 250 calories. I love chips and salsa!!

Lighter Drink Options

Here are some good choices for lighter drinks.

  • Diet coke and rum. (My personal drink of choice for BWW)
  • Vodka cranberry
  • Skinny margarita (Second favorite drink)
  • Light beer—not a beer person so I’m not going to make a personal recommendation for a type. Ask your beer connoisseur friends—everyone has one or two of those, right?

Bottom line: There are some healthier options at Buffalo Wild Wings, but not many. 

Healthy Restaurant Cheat Sheet on ipad on top of white plate against a gray background

Get my Healthy Restaurant Cheat Sheets with the top healthy choices at all my favorite fast food and casual dining places!!

 

So there you have my healthy eating at Buffalo Wild Wings tips! Next time I go to BWW I will be ordering a snack pack of boneless wings with chipotle BBQ sauce, a caesar side salad, lots of celery, and a diet coke.

This is a smart meal that is very “sports bar” and “Buffalo Wild Wings” to me, but still a reasonably healthy option.

Do you have any tips for healthy eating at Buffalo Wild Wings or at a sports bar in general? I’d love to hear them in the comments!

Don’t forget to pin this post so you can reference it when you eat out! 

Healthy Eating at Buffalo Wild Wings with these tips and meal ideas!

If you liked this, you may like my Healthy Boneless Buffalo Wings recipe! Delicious, boneless buffalo “wings” you can make and enjoy at home! No wild crowds at home!

Boneless Buffalo Wings made healthier! Perfect for game night!

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20 Comments

    1. Yeah, I definitely have to go in with a “plan” otherwise it becomes a free for all. haha! Their desserts are pretty good too. I think that’s bad is you sit there for two hours watching a game and get hungry again! Lol!

  1. i personally don’t eat at buffalo wild wings because places like that just don’t do healthy food very well. however if i ever was stuck going there because someone else got to pick the place, i’d probably get those naked wings and a brew!

  2. My safe go-to is a piece of grilled fish or chicken, where ever I go. And every place always has some lettuce leaves, even if salads are not on the menu, so I just order A LA CARTE if I can 🙂 There is no harm in asking – after all, you ARE the one paying!

  3. My husband and I used to ALWAYS go to BWW for football before we got NFL Sunday Ticket. But then we realized that we spent more at the bar than we would on the ticket going week after week!

    My healthy go-to is one miller lite (I feel like beer is necessary there, and this is not a bad one…) and a 6 piece naked tender with a side salad. no sauce for the tenders. I am full, I got a good amount of protein, and I enjoyed ONE adult beverage. 🙂

    1. I think my husband wished we went enough to justify Sunday ticket! haha! Sounds like you’ve got your meal keyed in–that’s awesome!

  4. Thanks so much for this post! My hubby and I go to B-Dubs a couple of times a week, and it’s hard on a diet! I love their salads. Just keep the dressing on the side and I usually skip the croutons!

  5. Kate,
    Thank you for taking the time to do this. I’m currently on this NutriMost “life change”..as I won’t call it a diet. Unfortunately, for the first 20 days my caloric intake is VERY minimal and have to stay clear of carbs if possible. I’m a sports guy like most, so I do LOVE hitting greasy sports bars for beer, wings, burgers, and greasy fries! Tonight, I’m going to BWW with my girlfriend and I’m going to be tortured as she will be crushing ALL sorts of greasy, tasty things and washing then down with micro beers. I will just have 4-6 dry wings and dip them slightly into a hit sauce. I’ll have some cole slaw or a small salad with no dressing, and I’ll get to wash that down with a lemon water! Haha! I can’t wait for this 1st 20 days to end. Thank you once again for helping those that don’t have a clue of what we’re able to eat and be healthy.
    Regards,
    Gary

  6. Their nutritional information is currently available as a PDF online:
    https://www.buffalowildwings.com/Documents/BWW_Nutritional_Info.pdf

    The statistics in this article could use an update as it understated the caloric content of the menu by a very wide margin. For quick perspective, large twenty piece wing orders with most sauces contain about 286 grams of fat, 112 grams of which are saturated (the recommended daily saturated fat intake is only 16 grams). Furthermore they pack 10,000+ milligrams of sodium! Also, almost every appetizer on the menu that’s fried has over 60 grams of fat.

    1. Thanks for the info, Andy! Hopefully a 20 piece wing order wouldn’t be consumed by just one person, but yes, there are a lot of calories, fat, and sodium in the typical BWW meal.

  7. Think your calorie count is wrong as BWW staltes a snack size wing is 890 calories. Gotta take into accountability they FRY them. No wings are considered low in calorie unless they are baked ir grilled.

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