How bad is Buffalo Wild Wings for you?


Buffalo Wild Wings has a reputation for serving tasty, high-fat bar food, but the extensive and detailed menu includes some leafies, chicken dishes, and even burgers. Most of their mains, sides, and appetizers contain high fat, calories, saturated fat, and sodium content.

They are best known for their chicken wings, with more than 20 sauces to choose from. As for the bar food selection, it includes nachos, tacos, corn dogs, fries, and potato wedges.

For menus with higher calorie or sodium content, take note that portion sizes are large. You may share it with your friends to lessen your intake and still fit into your health goals.

But, if you order selectively and control your food, you can still eat something that will suit your diet. That’s why to help you make the best food selection, nutrition and allergen information is provided for every food item.

Vegetarians and people who do not eat pork or beef products should be cautious when eating fried menu items. At Buffalo Wild Wings, they use beef shortening in their oil so even items that look vegetarian or vegan like nacho chips taste like beef.

The Buffalo Wild Wings Menu

The Buffalo Wild Wings menu is divided into burgers, bar foods, sandwiches, wraps, sides, greens, desserts, kid’s menu, and their signature wings and tenders.

Here are the Healthiest Food Meals for every menu:

  • Traditional wings (Wings menu)
  • Naked Tenders (Tenders menu)
  • Chicken Street Tacos (Bar Food menu)
  • Southwestern Black Bean Burger (Burgers menu)
  • Grilled Chicken Buffalitos  (Sandwiches & Wraps menu)
  • Veggie Slaw (Sides menu)
  • Loaded Ice Cream (Desserts menu)
  • Garden Salad with White Wine Vinaigrette and Add-on Protein Grilled Chicken (Greens menu)
  • Water and Unsweetened Iced Tea Beverages (Beverages menu)
  • Desert Heat (Dry seasoning menu)
  • Traditional wings + Carrot Sticks or Mandarin Oranges + Water or Low-fat milk (Kid’s menu)

Meanwhile, here are the least nutritious items in the menu:

  • Boneless wings (Wings menu)
  • Hand-breaded Tenders (Tenders menu)
  • House Sampler (Bar Food menu)
  • Cheese Curd Bacon Burger (Burgers menu)
  • Pepper Jack Steak Wrap (Sandwiches and wraps menu)
  • Cheddar Cheese Curds with Southwestern ranch Dressing (Sides menu)
  • Macaroni and Cheese + French Fries + Soda (Kids’s menu)
  • Chocolate Fudge Cake (Desserts)
  • Thai Curry (Sauces menu)
  • Salt and Vinegar Seasoning (Dry seasoning menu)
  • Twisted Margarita (Beverages menu)
  • Santa Fe Grilled Chicken Salad with Cilantro Lime Ranch Dressing (Greens menu)

If you are looking for the healthiest meal, the grilled chicken Buffalito’s overall nutrition profile makes it the best and healthiest choice. However, note that it is still very high in sodium, containing 1600 mg.

Bar Food

This food item has the highest caloric items because the food in this section is meant for sharing. The food items in this section are high in sodium content, ranging from 1180mg to 7070mg.

While the street tacos contain the healthiest combination of ingredients, it still contains 2,000mg sodium. If you want to cut down on saturated fat and sodium, you can order without the cheese.

Healthiest Food Meal

  • The chicken street tacos have 570 calories, 36g fat, 7g saturated fat, 29g carbohydrate, 33g protein, and 2280mg sodium.

Unhealthy Food Meal

  • The house sampler contains 2620 calories, 156g fat, 59g saturated fat, 221g carbohydrate, 86g protein, and 6870mg sodium. (excluding the sauces served on the side)

Beverages

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Buffalo Wild Wings comes in a variety of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, such as fountain soda and Izze sparkling juices.

But, if you are on a strict diet, water is always the best choice. If you want some extra flavor, you may order unsweetened iced tea. No worries for Izze juices, because they are made from 100% fruit juice, so these can be a great alternative, which is a little healthier than soda.

Healthiest Food Meal

  • Water and unsweetened tea both contain healthy hydration with 0 calories.

Unhealthy Food Meal

  • The Twisted Margarita has 390 calories, 0g fat, 0g saturated fat, 66g carbohydrate, 1g protein, 0 mg sodium, and 60g sugar.

Burgers

This section contains the traditional cheeseburgers and signature burgers. This is where large portions of high-fat meat, high-calorie toppings, and sauces add up here.

In this section, you can also see some vegetarian food items like the Southwestern black bean burger. It’s also the most nutritious choice compared to the other burgers, although it is still high in calories, sodium, and saturated fat. Cut down the dressing and cheese to make this veggie burger healthier.

Healthiest Food Meal

  • The Southwestern black bean burger contains 700 calories, 40g fat, 10g saturated fat, 63g carbohydrate, 30g protein, and 1810mg sodium.

These values can be lowered if you cut down on dressing and cheese. The patty alone already has 190 calories, 7g fat, 1g saturated fat, 22g carbohydrate, 17g protein, and 540mg sodium.

Unhealthy Food Meal

  • The BWW’s cheese curd bacon burger contains 1210 calories, 83g fat, 35g saturated fat, 50g carbohydrate, 68g protein, and 2790mg sodium.

Desserts

Desserts are sweet, so expect that the standard portions of desserts are very high in caloric content, saturated fat, and sodium. If you get dessert, share it with a friend to trim down on calories.

Healthiest Food Meal

  • A cup of ice cream contains 490 calories, 21g fat, 11g saturated fat, 71g carbohydrate, 6g protein, and 410mg sodium.

Unhealthy Food Meal

  • Chocolate fudge cake has 780 calories, 33g fat, 15g saturated fat, 115g carbohydrate, 11g protein, and 740mg sodium.

Greens

As a starter, ordering Entrée salads are a great way to get greens in your meal; however, toppings and dressings can make your salad a pitfall.

To keep up with the number of calories, fats, etc, check the restaurant’s Nutrition Guide to make the best choices. In general, opting for vinaigrettes or some light dressings can keep calories well-maintained.

For a low sodium option, you can remove the dressing and ask for oil and lemon or vinegar, if available. Mostly, all salads come with garlic toast and croutons, removing  these also cuts down on sodium and carbs, if you are on a low-carb diet.

Healthiest Food Meal

  • The garden salad with white wine vinaigrette and grilled chicken contains 510 calories, 29g fat, 5g saturated fat, 30g carbohydrate, 30g protein, and 1800mg sodium.

Unhealthy Food Meal

  • The Santa Fe grilled chicken salad with cilantro lime ranch dressing has 1000 calories, 61g fat, 14g saturated fat, 75g carbohydrate, 39g protein, and 2200mg sodium.

Kid’s Menu

The kids’ menu includes smaller portions of regular menu items, wherein each meal comes with a side and beverage.

You can expect that calories are moderate since portions are designed smaller. However, sodium is still very high for most items, except for the traditional wings, (because it does not have any added salt).

To create the healthiest possible, opt for a side of carrot sticks or mandarin oranges and either water, low-fat milk, or 100% fruit juice, instead of munching in fries and gulping on soda.

Healthiest Food Meal

  • Traditional wings (with no dry seasoning and no sauce) contains 290 calories, 16g fat, 5g saturated fat, 0g carbohydrate, 35g protein, and 105g sodium.
  • A side of carrot sticks contains 20 calories, 0g fat, 0g saturated fat, 5g carbohydrate, 0g protein, and 35mg sodium.
  • A side of mandarin oranges gives 40 calories, 0g fat, 0g saturated fat, 9g carbohydrate, 0g protein, and 0mg sodium.

Unhealthy Food Meal

  • Macaroni and cheese have 540 calories, 28g fat, 17g saturated fat, 52g carbohydrate, 19g protein, and 1130mg sodium.
  • A side of French fries contains 420 calories, 11g fat, 4.5g saturated fat, 78g carbohydrate, 4g protein, and 730mg sodium.

Sandwiches and Wraps

This section of the menu offers a variety of sandwiches and wraps. All items contain chicken or beef. Most items contain 500 to 800 calories, but all food items are high in sodium. If possible, order grilled chicken, and ask for sauces to put it on the side to trim down sodium.

Healthiest Food Meal

  • An order of grilled chicken Buffalitos have 490 calories, 20g fat, 10g saturated fat, 37g carbohydrate, 41g protein, and 1600mg sodium.

Unhealthy Food Meal

  • An order of the pepper jack steak wrap contains 1080 calories, 69g fat, 21g saturated fat, 60g carbohydrate, 56g protein, and 2780mg sodium.

Sauces/Seasonings

Buffalo Wild Wings comes with more than 20 signature sauces and dry seasonings.

This is where you can make your order much healthier. Most of the sauces contain high calories with sugar, and sodium. You may check the nutrition guide of the menu to make the best calculation, depending on what you are trying to limit, such as the calories, sugar, sodium.

When it comes to sauces, portion control is important. The nutrition information below is based on the amount you get if you order 6 traditional wings.

Healthiest Food Meal

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

Unhealthy Food Meal

The Thai Curry sauce contains 150 calories, 14g fat, 2.5g saturated fat, 4g carbohydrate, 1g protein, and 900mg sodium.

The Salt and Vinegar seasoning has 5 calories, 0g fat, 0g saturated fat, 1g carbohydrate, 0g protein, and 540mg sodium. All dry seasonings provide about 5 calories per serving, but this one has the highest sodium count.

Sides

For this item, you can order a mix of fried items such as French fries and onion rings and vegetable-based sides like veggie slaw and side salad. This is a good opportunity to add some greens to your meal.

However, it’s best to avoid the battered and fried sides. It is because they are very high in calories, unhealthy fat, and sodium. Portion control is also key here, so if you want to trim down unhealthy fats, you can share it with friends.

Healthiest Food Meal

  • An order of veggie slaw contains 100 calories, 8g fat, 1g saturated fat, 4g carbohydrate, 1g protein, and 320mg sodium.

Unhealthy Food Meal

  • An order of cheddar cheese curds with Southwestern ranch dressing have 920 calories, 78g fat, 30g saturated fat, 22g carbohydrate, 32g protein, and 2080mg sodium.

Wings and Tenders

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Buffalo Wild Wings is best known for its chicken wings and tenders. You can order the wings as  traditional or boneless.

On the other hand, tenders are available as naked or hand-breaded. Moreover, you can customize the wings and tenders with more than 20 sauces and a variety of dry seasonings to choose from. Obviously, the traditional wings without any additional seasoning have the lowest sodium choice.

For the tenders, those that are naked have the lowest caloric content, yet still high in sodium because they are pre-seasoned with salt and pepper.

Healthiest Food Meals

  • A small order of traditional wings (6 wings) has 430 calories, 24g fat, 8g saturated fat, 0g carbohydrate, 0g fiber, 53 g protein, and 160mg sodium. Take note that it does not include any sauce or rub.
  • A small order of Naked tenders (3 pieces) has 160 calories, 1g fat, 0g saturated fat, 0g carbohydrate, 37g protein, and 1140mg sodium.

Unhealthy Food Meal

  • A small order of boneless wings (6 wings) provides 360 calories, 19g fat, 7g saturated fat, 20g carbohydrate, 29g protein, and 1260mg sodium.
  • A small order of hand-breaded tenders (3 pieces) has 490 calories, 24g fat, 9g saturated fat, 34g carbohydrate, 35g protein, and 1490mg sodium. This does not include French fries.

Diet-Specific Options in Buffalo Wild Wings

The information below is according to the allergen information published by Buffalo Wild Wings, which you can read more for reference.

If you are looking for gluten-free menu items, here are the best choices:

  • Traditional wings + all dry seasonings and sauces except Asian Zing, Teriyaki, and Thai Curry
  • Naked chicken tenders
  • French fries, veggie slaw, and tater tots
  • Chili con queso with chips, Hatch queso with chips, chips and salsa, Dirty Dubs Tots,
  • Ultimate Nachos
  • Salads without croutons and garlic toast + any salad dressing + hamburger patty (add-on protein) or grilled chicken breast (add-on protein)

Just avoid any crispy battered items or wraps/sandwiches, because they contain ingredients that are not gluten-free safe.

Or, if you have celiac disease, there could be a potential for cross-contamination on any of these food items even if the ingredients stated that they do not contain gluten.

Low-Carb Diet

For Low-Carb diet, here are food items you can order on the menu:

  • 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 (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)

If you are looking for Low-FODMAP, which stands for fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides and polyols, here is a good food item you can order:

  • Traditional or boneless wings with salt + vinegar dry seasoning, no sauce
  • Naked tenders with salt + vinegar dry seasoning, no sauce

Well, the majority of the menu items in the Buffalo Wild Wings contain garlic and/or onion or multiple high FODMAP ingredients in a meal, making them difficult to modify.

Diabetes Friendly

For the Diabetes-Friendly menu, here are the items you can order because they contain minimal calories within (400 to 500 calories)

  • 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 (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 Diet

If you are on a low fat diet, you can still enjoy the food by ordering the following food items:

  • 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
  • House salad with fat-free ranch dressing or light Caesar dressing

Low Sodium Diet

For Low-Sodium food items, you may try ordering any of these:

  • Traditional wings (small size, without sauce or dry seasoning). Sauces and dry seasonings add a lot of sodium, even in small amounts.
  • Veggie Slaw

Vegetarian and Vegan Diet

If you are a Vegetarian, these menu will surely help you narrow down your choices:

  • Big twist pretzel with Hatch chile con queso
  • Mac and cheese
  • House salad with white wine vinaigrette
  • Veggie slaw
  • Southwestern black bean burger

If you are a Vegan, then look for food that are free from vegan-based ingredients, such as the following:

  • House salad with white wine vinaigrette
  • Carrots and celery with white wine vinaigrette

Food items that you may think are vegetarian or vegan safe, including nachos, cheese curds, chips, tater tots, fried pickles. Onion rings, or French fries are fried in a beef tallow, so make sure to consider these foods on your diet.

Food Allergies and Safety

Buffalo Wild Wings menu is excellent for offering extensive nutrition and allergen information for every food item in the menu. What’s so good is it includes all of the dry rubs and sauces for the wings and tenders. However, keep in mind that there is still a high possibility for cross-contamination  because of its kitchen operations.

Nonetheless, you may refer to the allergen guide, or it is best to inform your server if you have a certain food allergy. This is to make sure that you are safe from any food you are eating.

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