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Best Wings: The Esso Club

Jackson Copeland // Asst. Art Editor
Teriyaki wings at The Esso Club.

Are you looking to dine at an iconic spot in Clemson? Are you a fan of Clemson sports history? And, most importantly, do you enjoy a good wing?

Nestled right between the lively campus and bustling downtown, you will find one of Clemson’s most cherished businesses — The Esso Club. Since 1933, The Esso Club has continued to deliver delicious food, outstanding service, a family atmosphere and — thanks to this year’s Best of Clemson — award-winning wings to Tigertown.

That’s right; for the second year in a row, The Esso Club reigns supreme over its competitors for the best wings in Clemson. Going strong as the first sports bar in Clemson, it’s no surprise The Esso Club continues to deliver amazing wings year after year.

“Our variety of made-to-order wings are what makes Esso Club the perfect game day destination,” according to Hannah, a waitress at The Esso Club. 

Hannah is not wrong — you’ll be delighted to know that The Esso Club offers many unique flavors — hot, mild, teriyaki, medium, sweet red chili, spicy honey, red BBQ, gold BBQ, mango habanero, garlic parmesan and Ranchagotcha. And, if you’re more of a dry-rub fan, their selection also includes red rub, yegge (ranch) or lemon pepper. Furthermore, you have the option of getting your wings deep-fried, grilled or breaded. It’s safe to say that with all of these choices, the award is well-deserved.

So, what is it that makes these wings so delicious? Is it the twelve different sauce options, the three dry-rub choices or the ability to get the wings cooked three different ways? Is it the restaurant’s family atmosphere that’s been home to Clemson fans for generations? Is it a combination of all of the above?

“Our wings are the best because our fryers are at the perfect temperature to make them delicious,” according to Eddie, a cook in The Esso Club’s kitchen. 

Maybe you aren’t in the mood for wings! Don’t worry! The Esso Club’s got you covered. 

Their menu has lots of variety, including hamburgers, chicken tenders, wraps, sandwiches, salads and their iconic Bird Dog — a hotdog with chicken tenders instead of a wiener, topped with shredded cheese, honey mustard and bacon.

Another key aspect of The Esso Club is its atmosphere. 

While you enjoy your award-winning wings, you’ll be delighted by the family feel of the restaurant. If you choose to sit inside, you can watch different sporting events on one of the many large televisions or sit in awe of the hundreds of Clemson sports paraphernalia The Esso Club has collected over the years. One minute you’re watching a game; the next, you’re learning about the 1988 men’s basketball lineup!

If an outside spot is more your speed, you can enjoy The Esso Club’s scenic patio that offers almost as much seating as they do inside. The outside boasts a panoramic view of both Death Valley and Littlejohn, emphasizing the same love for Clemson sports that’s seen within the restaurant. The patio area is a bustling space, especially on game days, as Clemson fans, young and old, gather to eat meals before a short walk up to Death Valley.

It seems that there really is no wrong answer. A plethora of things contributed to this award, all important things that make The Esso Club an iconic place in Tigertown and a lasting Clemson tradition.

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