A information to discovering the most effective vegan wings in Pittsburgh

The great plant-based wing taste test in Pittsburgh.

Posted on Wednesday, February 3, 2021

Super Bowl Sunday is a day of tough competition, goofy advertising, and lots of food.

And even if you’re not a football fan, we can all agree that game day food is … very special. There are plenty of cheeky, crispy, salty, sticky, fried, and droolable foods to be found before, during, and after the game.

But as a vegan or plant-based eater, it’s easy to feel left out of the extravagance of Game Day dining. You may feel like you have to hold on to the carrot and celery stalks while everyone else is diving face first into pizza, dips, and wings.

Friend, kick those vegetable sticks on the curb. There is certainly a time and a place for them, but it’s not Super Bowl Sunday.

Pittsburgh is a great hub for plant-based dishes these days, and there is certainly no shortage of the Game Day plant-based food section. You can find a lot of ooey-gooey, fried food fun to get you through the big game.

That said, today, in my opinion, we’re going to focus on the King of Game Day dining options: wings. In particular, plant-based wings.

I bought seitan wings at five different local restaurants to see which ones stand out. My friend (a meat eater) and I (a non-meat eater) tried to rate them 1-10 based on the following criteria:

  • texture
  • Overall taste
  • sauce
  • Dip

Let’s get to the review:

Mandy’s pizza

512 Perry Highway / Rt. 19, Westview, PA 15229

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First up is Mandy’s Pizza in the North Hills. They have a huge vegan menu of hoagies, pizza, starters, and calzones, but I got a 10-piece order of their “chicken thangs” with their vegan ranch on the side.

When I picked up my order they mentioned that they had made their vegan chicken thangs from scratch, but now they are buying them. Their vegan ranch is homemade.

I don’t buy plant-based “meat” very often at first, so I was still very excited to try them! This is what they immediately looked like:

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Seitan Wings from Mandy’s Pizza

  • texture –– 9
    This. Were. So good. I think it’s the Seven Grain Crispy Tenders from Gardein, and I was amazed that the breading stayed crispy on my way home. The inside was tender and juicy and they kind of blew me away. As you can see, they are more delicate than winged.
  • Overall taste — 8th
    The taste was nutty and a little sweet, but overall a really tasty fake meat!
  • sauce — N / A
    Little did I know Mandy’s chicken thangs wouldn’t come with wing sauce automatically, but that was my fault. If you order them yourself be sure to request a wing sauce if you want them to be naughty!
  • Dip –– 10
    Mandy’s vegan ranch is honestly one of my favorite vegan foods. It’s a perfect buttermilk farm … only vegan. I actually ran around my house looking for other things to immerse myself in after we finished the chicken thangs. Get two orders of this. Or three. Or how … 10. It’s fantastic.

I really like everything I’ve ever tried at Mandy’s (the vegan buffalo chicken pizza that comes with french fries is not to be missed!), And we were both impressed with Mandy’s Vegan Thangs and the ranch!

Industrial public house

140 Andrew Drive, Pittsburgh, PA 15275

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The Industry Public House has two locations, one in Lawrenceville and one in North Fayette. I ordered from the latter and got their seitan wings with their mild buffalo sauce.

I didn’t notice it before ordering, but the buffalo sauce is actually not vegan. Her two vegan wing options are the mesquite BBQ dry rub and the hot ginger teriyaki. So keep that in mind if you want to keep everything 100% vegan!

They have online orders and pick up was incredibly quick and easy. Here are our thoughts:

  • texture — 8th
    Tough, messy wing goodness right here! The “meat” was very juicy and definitely had a nice chew.
  • Overall taste –– 8.5
    This wing had a fairly traditional seitan flavor without tasting too much of vital wheat gluten (aka the main ingredient in traditional seitan). We liked it!
  • sauce –– 9
    Again, the sauce I ordered wasn’t vegan (vegetarian only) but it was delicious! It was just your typical buffalo sauce, and if you really want buffalo sauce with the wings of your industry public house, get it without the sauce and toss it with some of your favorite vegan butter sauce when you get home. Otherwise, a member of staff I spoke to over the phone about the vegan options said the teriyaki with hot ginger was his favorite!
  • Dip — N / A
    They have ranch and blue cheese options, none of which are vegan.

We definitely enjoyed these vegan wings and I think the Industry Public House would be a great place to host a group of omnivores and vegans alike!

Pizzeria Davide

1124 Park Manor Blvd., Pittsburgh, PA 15205

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The Pizzeria Davide, the sister restaurant of DiAnoia’s Eatery and Pane è Pronto, has two different locations, a third is on the way. I ordered from the store in Robinson and the whole process, from ordering online to collecting it, was straightforward, quick and easy.

Their vegan seitan wings are definitely the most unique of the bunch as you can see for sure in the photos:

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Seitan vegan wings from Pizzeria Davide

  • texture –– 6
    Right off the bat, they don’t have a traditional “wing” texture. Instead, the texture was very similar to the seitan I make at home, where I bake it in a block and cut it into slices. The texture of these seitan wings wasn’t bad in any way, but was much firmer than a traditional “wing”. I would say they were the “gourmet”!
  • Overall taste –– 7
    We liked the overall taste but it wasn’t our favorite. It tasted a little too much of vital wheat gluten for my taste, and I think that had something to do with the size of the pieces. I think it would work really well if sliced ​​thinly on a sandwich or pizza!
  • sauce — 8th
    I was hooked on the sauce. It was really herby, flavorful and thick, and I really liked the overall taste. That said, it was definitely the oiliest.
  • Dip –– 8.5
    I love that more and more pizzerias are offering vegan ranch options. Pizzeria Davide’s vegan ranch is a great choice! It reminds me of a classic, store-bought ranch.

Do these seitan wings remind you of traditional buffalo wings? Not as much.

Would I order them again? For sure. As I mentioned above, I’d like to cut each piece a little smaller and put it in a pizza, rice bowl, or sandwich.

Spak Brothers

5107 Penn Ave., Pittsburgh, PA 15224

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I actually first found out about Spak from my brother, who has been talking about his love for their seitan sandwiches and wings for years.

Still, I had never tried their vegan seitan wings before. And oh man, am I glad that has changed.

Your online order was a breeze and they have a little pick up window where you give them your name and they give you their order. Dead easy.

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Seitan wings from Spak Brothers

Let’s get to the wings:

  • texture –– 9
    They are perfectly tough with a nice rugged exterior. The uneven texture of the outside of each wing contains a lot of sauce. So if you’re a fan of particularly sassy wings, give this one a try!
  • Overall taste –– 9
    We loved the taste of these wings! They definitely gave us some boneless wing vibes and we loved dipping each piece in extra sauce. A big win from us!
  • sauce –– 10
    The sauce is so good, with just the right thickness and traditional buffalo flavor. Keep in mind that it is probably the hottest of the lot.
  • Dip –– 9
    They came with a vegan ranch that is super thick and creamy. That said, it’s very dill-forward, more than a traditional ranch, but the mix of it and the wings got an A + from my friend and me.

These were our favorites and my mouth is watering as I write this review and remember how good they were! I’m a Spak super fan now.

Mad Mex

220 South Highland Ave., Pittsburgh, PA 15206

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Max Mex, part of the Big Burrito Restaurant Group, has many different locations in the Burgh along with other Pittsburgh classics like Kaya and Casbah, but not all of them offer their seitan wings.

That said, if you’re anywhere near Shadyside on South Highland Avenue, you’ll be happy to know that you can order a small or large order of their seitan wings with a vegan chipotle ranch sauce.

We went with a small order, and it was quite a hefty serving:

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Seitan wings from Mad Mex

Here are our thoughts:

  • texture –– 9
    They are really nice and tough. The pieces are on the small side and I think they are breaded and fried. The breading was obviously a little damp when I got home, but I didn’t mind. It was very reminiscent of the boneless buffalo wings I enjoyed as a kid!
  • Overall taste –– 9
    A solid seitan wing! The “meat” was juicy and I found it to go very well with the sauce.
  • sauce –– 9
    I ended up ordering their buffalo sauce, and it was a really delicious traditional buffalo sauce. No fancy herbs or additional flavors here!
  • Dip –– 6
    If you want a vegan ranch dip sauce, there’s a vegan chipotle ranch. Even so, none of us loved the combination of the chipotle flavor with the buffalo wing sauce. The ranch is good on its own (I bet it’s great as a dressing!) But I’d skip it if you order the wings.

All in all, Mad Mex’s seitan wings are a great, traditional-tasting, plant-based wing option in town!

In summary, you can’t go wrong with these plant-based wings.

What a time to be a vegetable in Pittsburgh! There are so many incredible options for non-meat eaters these days, and all of those seitan wings were delicious. And to be honest, I really wasn’t expecting to like any of them, let alone really like all of them.

While Spak Brother’s seitan wings were our all-time favorite, I’d love to eat each one over and over again. I encourage you to support these local businesses and try each one for yourself!

More vegan options!

How to eat vegan at Noodlehead

Viridis – Vegan Cafe on Carson Street

Where to find vegan ice cream in Pittsburgh

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