California · Food

It’s official: Buffalo Wings are no longer a meal in California

As Gov. Gavin Newsom and the State of California attempt to establish rules of operations for a bevy of industries during the coronavirus pandemic, one particular set of rules may ruffle a few feathers.

We regret to share that buffalo chicken wings do not constitute a meal, per the State of California.

As part of clarifying the definition of a meal for purposes of allowing bars to remain open or closed under Newsom’s shutdown orders, the state’s Alcoholic and Beverage Control announced a litany of items that are disqualifying as a “meal.”

They include, according to the guidelines:

  • Snacks such as pretzels, nuts, popcorn, pickles, and chips
  • Food ordinarily served as appetizers or first courses such as cheese sticks, fried calamari, chicken wings, pizza bites (as opposed to a pizza), egg rolls, pot stickers, flautas, cups of soup, and any small portion of a dish that may constitute a main course when it is not served in a full portion or when it is intended for sharing in small portions
  • Side dishes such as bread, rolls, French fries, onion rings, small salads (green, potato, macaroni, fruit), rice, mashed potatoes, and small portions of vegetables
  • Reheated refrigerated or frozen entrees
  • Desserts

In a post to Facebook late Monday night, Senate Republican Leader Shannon Grove (R–Bakersfield) decried the state’s attempt to define a meal.

“The Governor of California now puts in writing what constitutes a meal where you can order alcohol – yep – he’s going to tell you what you can and cannot eat for a meal. No more salad and wine – no more beer and wings!

Alex Tavlian is the Executive Editor of The San Joaquin Valley Sun and Executive Director of Valley Future Foundation. You can reach Alex at