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

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In This Article

Buffalo Wild Wings has an extensive menu with a variety of mains, sides and shareable items. Most of the food on the menu is high in calories, fat, saturated fat and sodium but if you order selectively and practice portion control, you can still find something to suit your dietary needs. Still, low sodium choices are very limited (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 & tenders, burgers, sandwiches, wraps, greens, a bar food section, and kids menu. The bar food section is where most of the shareable items are including nachos, tacos, corn dogs, potato wedges and fries. Select locations also offer a breakfast menu. Because the restaurant is known for its wings and sauces, there are over 20 different sauces and rubs to choose from as a way to customize your order. 

Nutrition and allergen information is provided for every menu item so taking a look at this in advance is helpful when trying to make the healthiest choices. Even if an item is high in calories or sodium, portion sizes are on the large side so consider sharing a dish to help it fit into your health goals. Although most items are deep fried, there are also some lighter options like the Naked Tenders which are about one-third of the calories of Hand-Breaded Tenders or opting for grilled chicken breast instead of crispy chicken breast as a protein option for a salad or sandwich. There is also a black bean burger as a vegetarian option. (Because of the use of beef tallow in their frying oil, even some 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)

  • Caribbean Jerk (Sauces)

  • 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 (1570mg).

If you are following a low sodium diet, keep in mind there is only one main menu item that contains less than 1,000mg sodium without multiple modifications so this may present a challenge.

Wings & Tenders

Buffalo Wild Wings is known for their 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 over 20 different signature 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 ea) provides 160 calories, 1g fat, 0g saturated fat, 0g carbohydrate, 37g protein, and 1140mg sodium.

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

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

Least Nutritious Option

An order of Hand-Breaded Tenders (3 ea) provides 510 calories, 25g fat, 11g saturated fat, 36g carbohydrate, 36g protein and 1230mg sodium. This does not include the french fries.

A snack-size order of Boneless Wings provides 730 calories, 38g fat, 15g saturated fat, 60g carbohydrate, 38g protein and 1990mg sodium.

Sauces/Seasonings

Buffalo Wild Wings has over 20 different signature sauces and dry seasonings. This is where diners can really customize their orders but also where calories, added sugar, and sodium can quickly add up. Because there is a big range, it is best to check the nutrition guide to make the best choice depending on what you are trying to limit (i.e. calories, sugar, sodium). No matter what portion control is key here. Nutrition information below is based on portions to accompany snack-size portions of food.

Most Nutritious Option

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

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

Least Nutritious Option

The Spicy Garlic sauce provides 45 calories, 4g fat, 0.5g saturated fat, 2g carbohydrate, 0g protein and 1170mg sodium.

The Salt & Vinegar seasoning provides 5 calories, 0g fat, 0g saturated fat, 1g carbohydrate, 0g protein, and 540mg 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 1180mg to 7070mg). The Street Tacos contain the healthiest combination of ingredients but is still over 2000mg sodium; order without cheese to cut down on saturated fat and sodium.

Most Nutritious Option

The Buffalo Chips provide 580 calories, 27g fat, 12g saturated fat, 76g carbohydrate, 8g protein and 1180mg sodium.

Least Nutritious Option

The House Sampler provides 2810 calories, 166g fat, 63g saturated fat, 245g carbohydrate, 86g protein and 7070mg 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 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 (although still high in calories, sodium, and saturated fat so omit the dressing and cheese to make this healthier).

Most Nutritious Option

The Southwestern Black Bean Burger provides 740 calories, 44g fat, 11g saturated fat, 65g carbohydrate, 30g protein and 1810mg sodium.

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

Least Nutritious Option

Cheese Curd Bacon Burger provides 1520 calories, 116g fat, 40g saturated fat, 53g carbohydrate, 69g protein and 2880mg 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, 20g fat, 10g saturated fat, 37g carbohydrate, 41g protein and 1600mg sodium.

Least Nutritious Option

An order of the Pepper Jack Steak Wrap provides 1080 calories, 69g fat, 21g saturated fat, 60g carbohydrate, 56g protein and 2780mg 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 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 the Veggie Slaw provides 170 calories, 13g fat, 2g saturated fat, 10g carbohydrate, 2g protein, and 320mg sodium.

Least Nutritious Option

An order of Cheddar Cheese Curds with Southwestern Ranch Dressing provides 920 calories, 78g fat, 30g saturated fat, 22g carbohydrate, 32g protein and 2080mg sodium

Greens

Entree salads are a great way to get vegetables in your meal but toppings and dressings can often be a pitfall. Use the Nutrition Guide to make the best choices but opting for vinaigrettes or light dressings will keep calories in check. For a low sodium option, you will need to omit the dressing and just ask for oil and lemon or vinegar if available. All salads come with garlic toast and croutons so 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, 38g fat, 8g saturated fat, 53g carbohydrate, 34g protein, 2450mg sodium.

Least Nutritious Option

The Honey BBQ Chicken Salad with Honey BBQ Dressing provides 980 calories, 58g fat, 16g saturated fat, 71g carbohydrate, 42g protein and 3320mg 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 these 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, 16g fat, 5g saturated fat, 0g carbohydrate, 35g protein and 105g sodium.

A side of Carrot Sticks provides 20 calories, 0g fat, 0g saturated fat, 5g carbohydrate, 0g protein, and 35mg sodium and a side of Mandarin Oranges provides 40 calories, 0g fat, 0g saturated fat, 9g carbohydrate, 0g protein and 0mg sodium so either side is a healthy choice.

Least Nutritious Option

Macaroni and Cheese provides 540 calories, 28g fat, 17g saturated fat, 52g carbohydrate, 19g protein and 1130mg sodium.

A side of French Fries provides 420 calories, 11g fat, 4.5g saturated fat, 78g carbohydrate, 4g protein, and 730mg 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 with a friend!

Most Nutritious Option

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

Least Nutritious Option

The regular portion of Chocolate Fudge Cake provides 780 calories, 33g fat, 15g saturated fat, 115g carbohydrate, 11g protein, and 740mg 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 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, 0g fat, 0g saturated fat, 66g carbohydrate, 1g protein, and 10mg 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 Sauces EXCEPT Asian Zing, Teriyaki and Thai Curry + All Dry Seasonings
  • 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 + 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 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 Jalapeno, 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 single 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 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 generally has a very high calorie, very high sodium menu however there are a handful of dishes that are somewhat in line with 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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