What to Eat at Buffalo Wild Wings: Healthy Menu Choices and Nutrition Facts

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Buffalo Wild Wings has a reputation for tasty, high-fat bar food, but its extensive menu includes some healthy salads, chicken dishes, and even a black-bean burger. While most of the mains, sides, and appetizers are high in calories, fat, saturated fat, and sodium if you order selectively and practice portion control, you can still find something to suit your dietary needs. Low-sodium choices, however, are in short supply—even desserts are high in sodium. The restaurant is designed to dine-in but take-out is also available.

The menu is divided into wings and tenders, burgers, sandwiches, wraps, greens, bar food, and a kids menu, and even a breakfast menu in select locations. Buffalo Wild Wings is best known for its wings and sauces, with more than 20 sauces and rubs to choose from. The bar food section includes shareable items like nachos, tacos, corn dogs, potato wedges, and fries.

Nutrition and allergen information is provided for every menu item so taking a look at this in advance is helpful when trying to make healthier choices. Lighter menu options include Naked Tenders, which are about one-third of the calories of Hand-Breaded Tenders, grilled chicken breast, and a vegetarian black-bean burger. For menu options with higher calorie or sodium counts, keep in mind the portion sizes are large. Consider sharing a dish with a friend to help it fit into your health goals.

Vegetarians and people who are avoiding beef should be cautious about eating fried menu items. Buffalo Wild Wings uses beef tallow in its frying oil. Even items that may seem vegetarian or vegan like nacho chips or french fries are not.

What Experts Say

“Buffalo Wild Wings specializes in fried foods, wings, burgers, and beer. It’s best not to consume these regularly as they are high in calories, fat, and sodium. Try lower calorie options on the menu like side salads and grilled chicken. When indulging in a less healthy option, consider sharing the food to lower the calorie and fat content.” 

—Barbie Cervoni, RD, CDE

Navigating the Menu

Most Nutritious Options

  • Naked Tenders with Carrots and Celery (Tenders)

  • Traditional Wings, Snack Size, with Carrots and Celery (Wings)

  • Buffalo Chips (Bar Food)

  • Southwestern Black Bean Burger, no dressing (Burgers)

  • Grilled Chicken Buffalitos (Sandwiches & Wraps)

  • Veggie Slaw (Sides)

  • Garden Salad with White Wine Vinaigrette + Add-On Protein Grilled Chicken (Greens)

  • Traditional Wings (no dry seasoning, no sauce) + Carrot Sticks or Mandarin Oranges + Water or Low-fat Milk (Kids Menu)

  • Mini Chocolate Fudge Cake where available (Desserts)

  • Water, Unsweetened Iced Tea (Beverages)

  • Desert Heat (Dry Seasoning)

Least Nutritious Options

  • Hand-Breaded Tenders (Tenders)

  • Boneless Wings (Wings)

  • House Sampler (Bar Food)

  • Cheese Curd Bacon Burger (Burgers)

  • Pepper Jack Steak Wrap (Sandwiches & Wraps)

  • Cheddar Cheese Curds with Southwestern Ranch Dressing (Sides)

  • Honey BBQ Chicken Salad with Honey BBQ Ranch Dressing (Greens)

  • Macaroni & Cheese + French Fries + Soda (Kids Menu)

  • Chocolate Fudge Cake (Desserts)

  • Twisted Margarita (Beverages)

  • Spicy Garlic (Sauces)

  • Salt & Vinegar Seasoning (Dry Seasoning)

If you’re looking for the healthiest meal at Buffalo Wild Wings, the Grilled Chicken Buffalito’s overall nutrition profile makes it the best choice however note that it is still very high in sodium (1,570mg).

If you are following a low sodium diet, keep in mind there are very few main menu items that contain less than 1,000 mg sodium without multiple modifications so this may present a challenge.

Wings & Tenders

Buffalo Wild Wings is known for its wings and tenders. Wings can be ordered traditional or boneless; tenders can be ordered naked or hand-breaded and diners can customize wings and tenders with more than 20 sauces and a variety of dry seasonings. Traditional wings without any additional seasoning are the lowest sodium choice and naked tenders are lowest in calories but still high in sodium because they are pre-seasoned with salt and pepper.

Most Nutritious Option

A small order of Naked Tenders (3 each) provides 160 calories, 1 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 0 g carbohydrate, 37 g protein, and 1140 mg sodium.

A snack-size order of Traditional Wings provides 360 calories, 20 g fat, 7 g saturated fat, 0 g carbohydrate, 0 g fiber, 44 g protein, and 135 mg sodium.

The Carrots and Celery side adds 20 calories, 0 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 4 g carbohydrate, 1 g protein, and 55 mg sodium.

Least Nutritious Option

An order of Hand-Breaded Tenders (3 each) provides 510 calories, 25 g fat, 11 g saturated fat, 36 g carbohydrate, 36 g protein, and 1,230 mg sodium. This does not include french fries.

A snack-size order of Boneless Wings provides 730 calories, 38 g fat, 15 g saturated fat, 60 g carbohydrate, 38 g protein, and 1,990 mg sodium.

Sauces/Seasonings

Buffalo Wild Wings has more than 20 signature sauces and dry seasonings. This is where you can customize your order to make it healthier. Most of the sauces are high in calories, added sugar, and sodium. Check the nutrition guide to make the best choice depending on what you are trying to limit (i.e. calories, sugar, sodium). Portion control is especially important with sauces. The nutrition information below is based on snack-size servings of sauces and seasoning.

Most Nutritious Option

The Desert Heat seasoning provides 5 calories, 0 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 1 g carbohydrate, 0 g protein, and 250 mg sodium.

Least Nutritious Option

The Spicy Garlic sauce provides 45 calories, 4 g fat, 0.5 g saturated fat, 2 g carbohydrate, 0 g protein, and 1,170 mg sodium.

The Salt & Vinegar seasoning provides 5 calories, 0 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 1 g carbohydrate, 0 g protein, and 540 mg sodium.

The Caribbean Jerk sauce provides 110 calories, 4 g fat, 0.5 g saturated fat, 19 g carbohydrate, 0 g protein, and 490 mg sodium.

Bar Food

This is where the highest caloric items are because the food in this section of the menu is designed to be shared. Other than the Buffalo Chips, which are moderate in calories, fat, and sodium if shared among several people, the rest of the items in this section are excessively high in sodium (ranging from 1,180 mg to 7,070 mg). The Street Tacos contain the healthiest combination of ingredients but are still over 2,000 mg sodium; order without cheese to cut down on saturated fat and sodium.

Most Nutritious Option

The Buffalo Chips provide 580 calories, 27 g fat, 12 g saturated fat, 76 g carbohydrate, 8 g protein, and 1,180 mg sodium.

Least Nutritious Option

The House Sampler provides 2,810 calories, 166 g fat, 63 g saturated fat, 245 g carbohydrate, 86 g protein, and 7,070 mg sodium. This does not include sauces served on the side.

Burgers

This section contains traditional cheeseburgers as well as signature burgers. The large portions of high-fat meat, caloric toppings, and sauces can really add up here. This section is where you will find the menu's only vegetarian main item, the Southwestern Black Bean Burger, which is also the most nutritious choice relative to the other burgers, but it's still high in calories, sodium, and saturated fat. Omit the dressing and cheese to make this healthier.

Most Nutritious Option

The Southwestern Black Bean Burger provides 740 calories, 44 g fat, 11 g saturated fat, 65 g carbohydrate, 30 g protein, and 1,810 mg sodium.

These values will be lower if you omit the dressing and cheese.

Least Nutritious Option

Cheese Curd Bacon Burger provides 1,520 calories, 116 g fat, 40 g saturated fat, 53 g carbohydrate, 69 g protein, and 2,880mg sodium.

Nutritional information for burgers does not include french fries.

Sandwiches & Wraps

This section includes a variety of sandwiches and wraps as well as tacos; all contain chicken or beef. Calories range but sodium is high for all of them. Opt for grilled chicken if possible and ask for sauces on the side to cut down on calories.

Most Nutritious Option

An order of Grilled Chicken Buffalitos provides 490 calories, 20 g fat, 10 g saturated fat, 37 g carbohydrate, 41 g protein, and 1,600 mg sodium.

Least Nutritious Option

An order of the Pepper Jack Steak Wrap provides 1,080 calories, 69 g fat, 21 g saturated fat, 60 g carbohydrate, 56 g protein, and 2,780 mg sodium.

Sides

This section includes a mix of fried items such as french fries and onion rings as well as vegetable-based sides such as the veggie slaw and side salad. This is a good opportunity to add some vegetables to your order but it is best to avoid the battered and fried sides that are very high in calories, unhealthy fat, and sodium. Portion control is also key here; these sides are meant to be shared.

Most Nutritious Option

An order of Veggie Slaw provides 170 calories, 13 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 10 g carbohydrate, 2 g protein, and 320mg sodium.

Least Nutritious Option

An order of Cheddar Cheese Curds with Southwestern Ranch Dressing provides 920 calories, 78 g fat, 30 g saturated fat, 22 g carbohydrate, 32 g protein, and 2,080 mg sodium

Greens

Entrée salads are a great way to get vegetables in your meal but toppings and dressings can often be a pitfall. Use the restaurant's Nutrition Guide to make the best choices, but in general, opting for vinaigrettes or light dressings will keep calories in check. For a low sodium option, omit the dressing and ask for oil and lemon or vinegar, if available. All salads come with garlic toast and croutons; leaving these out also cuts down on sodium and carbs, if that is a priority for you.

Most Nutritious Option

The Garden Salad with White Wine Vinaigrette and Grilled Chicken provides 690 calories, 38 g fat, 8 g saturated fat, 53 g carbohydrate, 34 g protein, 2,450mg sodium.

Least Nutritious Option

The Honey BBQ Chicken Salad with Honey BBQ Dressing provides 980 calories, 58 g fat, 16 g saturated fat, 71 g carbohydrate, 42 g protein, and 3,320mg sodium.

Kids Menu

The kid's menu includes smaller portions of regular menu items and comes with a side and beverage. Calories are moderate because portions are smaller but sodium is still very high for most items, except for the Traditional Wings which don't have any added salt. Choose a side of carrot sticks or mandarin oranges and either water, low-fat milk, or 100% fruit juice for the healthiest meal instead of french fries and sugary sodas.

Most Nutritious Option

Traditional Wings (no dry seasoning, no sauce) provides 290 calories, 16 g fat, 5 g saturated fat, 0 g carbohydrate, 35 g protein, and 105 g sodium.

A side of Carrot Sticks provides 20 calories, 0 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 5 g carbohydrate, 0 g protein, and 35 mg sodium.

A side of Mandarin Oranges provides 40 calories, 0 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 9 g carbohydrate, 0 g protein, and 0 mg sodium.

Least Nutritious Option

Macaroni and Cheese provides 540 calories, 28 g fat, 17 g saturated fat, 52 g carbohydrate, 19 g protein, and, 1,130 mg sodium.

A side of French Fries provides 420 calories, 11 g fat, 4.5 g saturated fat, 78 g carbohydrate, 4 g protein, and 730 mg sodium.

Desserts

The standard portions of desserts are very high in calories, saturated fat and sodium, however, some locations offer a mini chocolate fudge cake which is the healthiest choice. Otherwise, if you get dessert, share it with a friend!

Most Nutritious Option

The Mini-Chocolate Fudge Cake provides 370 calories, 13 g fat, 5 g saturated fat, 62 g carbohydrate, 4 g protein, and 370 mg sodium.

Least Nutritious Option

The regular portion of Chocolate Fudge Cake provides 780 calories, 33 g fat, 15 g saturated fat, 115 g carbohydrate, 11 g protein, and 740 mg sodium.

Drinks

Buffalo Wild Wings offers a variety of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages including fountain soda, a line of Red Bull offerings and Izze Sparkling Juice. Water is always the best choice but if you want some extra flavor, Izze juices are made from 100% fruit juice so it can be another healthy option.

Most Nutritious Option

Water and Unsweetened Tea both provide 0 calories.

Least Nutritious Option

The Twisted Margarita contains 390 calories, 0 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 66 g carbohydrate, 1 g protein, and 10 mg sodium.

Diet-Specific Options

The information below is based on the allergen information provided by Buffalo Wild Wings from March 2019.

Gluten-Free

  • Traditional Wings with Carrots and Celery + All Dry Seasonings or All Sauces EXCEPT Asian Zing, Teriyaki, and Thai Curry
  • Naked Chicken Tenders
  • Buffalo Chips or French Fries
  • Hatch Chile con Queso with Chips, Chips and Salsa, Ultimate Nachos
  • Salads without croutons and garlic toast + any salad dressing + All-Beef Hamburger Patty (add-on protein) or Grilled Chicken Breast (add-on protein)

Avoid any crispy battered items or wraps/sandwiches.

If you have celiac disease, there is potential for cross-contamination for any of these items even if the ingredients themselves do not contain gluten.

Low-Carb

  • Traditional Wings + any dry seasoning or any of the following sauces (Blazin', Hot, Mild, Medium, Spicy Garlic, Parmesan Garlic, Wild, Thai Curry)
  • Naked Tenders with same seasoning and sauces as Traditional Wings
  • Salads without croutons and garlic toast + Add-On Protein (All-Beef Hamburger Patty or Grilled Chicken Breast) + any of the following dressings (Ranch, Blue Cheese, Cilantro Lime, Light Caesar, White Wine Vinaigrette)
  • Veggie Slaw
  • Street Tacos (Half-Portion)

Low FODMAP

  • Traditional or Boneless Wings with salt + vinegar dry seasoning, no sauce 
  • Naked Tenders with salt + vinegar dry seasoning, no sauce

The majority of the menu items contain garlic/onion or multiple high FODMAP ingredients within a dish so they are difficult to modify.

Diabetes-Friendly

  • Traditional Wings + any dry seasoning + any of the following sauces (Hot BBQ, Mild, Nashville Hot, Thai Curry, Wild)
  • Naked Tenders with same seasoning and sauces as Traditional Wings
  • Garden Salad + Add-On Protein (All Beef Hamburger Patty, Grilled Chicken Breast, Hand-Breaded Chicken Breast or Black Bean Patty) + any of the following dressings (Ranch, Blue Cheese, Cilantro Lime, Light Caesar, White Wine Vinaigrette)
  • Veggie Slaw
  • Street Tacos

Low-Fat

  • Black Bean Burger Patty
  • Grilled Chicken Breast
  • Naked Tenders + any dry seasoning + any of the following sauces (Asian Zing, Bourbon Honey Mustard, Honey BBQ, Jammin Jalapeño, Mango Habanero, Sweet BBQ, Teriyaki)
  • Veggie Boat with Fat-Free Ranch Dressing or Light Caesar Dressing
  • House Salad with Fat-Free Ranch Dressing or Light Caesar Dressing

Low-Sodium

  • Traditional Wings (Snack Size or Small Size without sauce or dry seasoning) *Sauces and dry seasonings add a lot of sodium even in small amounts.
  • Veggie Slaw

Vegetarian

  • Big Twist Pretzel with Hatch Chile con Queso
  • Mac and Cheese
  • House Salad with White Wine Vinaigrette
  • Veggie Slaw
  • Southwestern Black Bean Burger

Vegan

  • House Salad with White Wine Vinaigrette
  • Veggie Boat with White Wine Vinaigrette

Items that you may think are vegetarian or vegan such as nachos, onion rings, french fries, or Buffalo Chips are not because they are fried in beef tallow.

Food Allergies and Safety

Buffalo Wild Wings offers extensive nutrition and allergen information for every menu item, including all of the dry rubs and sauces for the wings and tenders however there is a high potential for cross-contamination due to their kitchen operations. The allergen guide is updated periodically but it is best to inform your server of any allergens to make sure there have not been any changes since the guide's last update.

Buffalo Wild Wings' Allergen Statements

"Because of our reliance on suppliers for accurate information, shared cooking and preparation areas in our kitchens, and cooking procedures, we cannot eliminate the risk of cross-contact or guarantee that any item is free of any allergen and no items are certified as gluten-free, vegetarian or vegan.

"Normal kitchen operations often involve shared cooking and/or preparation areas, therefore the possibility exists for allergen-containing food items to come in contact with other food products.

FOR EXAMPLE:

• We do not use separate fryers; due to this use of shared fryers, there is the potential for allergen cross-contact between fried foods.

• Our Traditional Wings and Boneless Wings are fried then sauced or seasoned in the same bowls.

• We grill many items that contain allergens, therefore cross-contact may occur during the grilling process.

"Buffalo Wild Wings® has received allergen information from our approved manufacturers and does not guarantee its accuracy other than as compiled. It is possible that ingredient changes and substitutions may occur due to the differences in regional suppliers, recipe revisions and/or preparation techniques.

"Some menu offerings may vary by restaurant and may not be available at all locations; test products, test recipes, limited time offers, or regional items may not be included.

"Beef shortening is used to fry products. Refer to the FRIED column under PREPARATION for the indication of what products are fried in beef shortening.

"The soybean oil used in some of the Buffalo Wild Wing® sauces, dressings and products is a highly refined oil unless otherwise specified. Highly refined soybean oil does not demonstrate a significant hazard to allergic individuals and therefore it is not listed as an allergen. This is confirmed by the FDA and USDA in their allergen specifications. Please note that although soybean oil is listed as an ingredient in these products, highly refined oil is not considered an allergen."

A Word From Verywell

Buffalo Wild Wings menu items tend to be high in calories and sodium. However, there are a handful of dishes that are somewhat in line with a following a healthy diet, especially if you stick to snack-size portions and order items that are easy to share. If you are following a low-sodium diet, steer clear of any additional seasonings, sauces, and dressings since these will quickly add up in small portions. If you are looking for low-carb choices, you will find more options because of the number of high protein menu items.

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