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 known for their chicken wings. And they’re not exactly known for the healthiest options.
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.
The Pros of Eating Healthy at Buffalo Wild Wings
- They have an allergen list online which is great for people with food sensitivities and allergies.
- They also have their Buffalo Wild Wings Nutrition Guide you can consult and plan ahead for picking the healthiest option for you! Always option to have the nutrition facts available and I would consult those on the menu as well!
- 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 Healthy Eating Cons
- 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.
- The portion sizes are large and because you may be in the restaurant for a long time (an entire ballgame!) it’s easy to keep eating even after you are full.
12 Healthy Option Ideas at Buffalo Wild Wings
- 5 Count Naked Chicken Tenders are 260 calories; the total fat is 6 grams and great for those who are doing a low-carb diet. You can add dry seasonings to these as well or one of the signature sauces. For a lighter option this is a definite winner! Plus you can get EVEN more wings with the naked tenders because these are basically a chicken breast sliced into pieces.
- 6 Count Boneless wings plain are 360 calories. Add mild, medium, hot, spicy garlic, sweet barbecue, wild, or Nashville Hot sauce for only another 70 calories.
- 6 Count Traditional wings are 430 calories and you can add a dry rub or one of the signature sauces above for a lighter options. Some of the sauce options are very high in calories (looking at you parmesan garlic!) so keep that in mind and don’t order willy-nilly.
- A small cauliflower wings is a great option at 550 calories for those who are gluten-free. These are also part of the vegan options and vegetarian option BWW offers.
- Mac and Cheese and Naked chicken tenders
Blue cheese dip is 280 calories for a serving and Ranch (Southwest or regular) is 320 calories a serving.
Nosh on celery sticks and carrot sticks! They normally bring you a big plate and don’t be afraid to ask for more to munch on!
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 600ish calories. Light dressing options include ranch and light balsamic.
- Classic chicken wrap with pulled chicken or boneless wings is 670 or 680 calories–totally reasonable and it is a fairly healthy choice with those extra veggies.
- Saucy Chicken Sandwich for 500 calories and 30 gram of protein. Top it with your preferred sauce, add blue cheese, cheddar cheese or American cheese or pepper jack for 80ish extra calories. Yes, please! Whenever I’m not sure what is a good restaurant choice you can hardly go wrong with a plain, grilled chicken sandwich.
- Street Tacos – A solid option for around 630 calories and 28 grams of protein.
- Brisket Tacos – Similar to the above these brisket tacos come in at 610 and 33 grams of protein.
Healthy Starter and Side Ideas
- Chips and Salsa — It will only run you 250 calories for a full order. I love chips and salsa!!
- Garden Salad — Add one of these is a great way to fill up and get in vegetables!
- Carrots and celery. Just eat them without ranch or blue cheese dip!
- Potato wedges are a lighter choice than french fries and still give you the “french fry” feel. Dip them in ketchup or buffalo sauce for more of a kick.
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. The portion sizes are also a factor here as well.
- 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!* Even though they include fresh vegetables watch out for the extra grams of fat that hide in these salad dressings.
- 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!
- 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!
- Cheese curds –These are so low in nutritional value. They’re tasty little morsels, but it’s hard to justify them in a healthy lifestyle.
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?
- Unsweetened iced tea
Bottom line: There are some healthier options at Buffalo Wild Wings, but not many.
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 classic game day meal that is very “sports bar” and “Buffalo Wild Wings” to me, but still a reasonably healthy option. There aren’t a ton of best choices at Buffalo Wild Wings but you can definitely find some options.
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!
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!