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seeking good local eats in Buffalo, NY

Hello! My apologies for the last minute request. I'm going to visiting relatives in Buffalo for a week and am seeking any recommendations for locally specific eats. Inexpensive is most preferrable.

Is there anything that stands out for you as a local that brings you comfort/joy? That's what I'm seeking. Ideas:
Hole in the walls places; homegrown; microbrews (not necessary but seeking locally made if any of note); great dessert/dish made by said person who's been doing it for ? years, etc.

I have already made note of Zetti's pizza, which is not too far from Clarence, where my relatives are.

Any thoughts are greatly appreciated. Thank you.

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  1. Since Buffalo is such a small area, I won't worry about exactly where you are located, with a few exceptions; you can get most anywhere in Western New York w/o long drives. Several of what I will mention have been listed numerous times on this site, but it’s been a while so a search may not reveal all of them.

    The traditionals are chicken wings and Beef on Weck. Some will probably mention Frank and Theresa's as the birth place of the former. Personally I've never tried it because the reviews are mixed and I would send you to Elmo's instead. It's on Millersport Hwy. south of the 990 and north of “new” SUNY campus. You can Google this place or send me an E-mail and I'll give you the details on how to locate. As are most of the good wing places, it’s just a bar and they have good meaty wings. The selection also includes BBQ wings, which are quite tasty.

    For Beef on Weck most folks will send you to Charley the Butchers at the corner of Wherle and Cayuga, but I prefer Mr. Bills, about a block south of Cayuga near where it intersects with Cleveland Dr. Both are right near the airport, I believe the former is more famous and has gotten more press, but the latter I feel serves a leaner, but still juicy sandwich. Charley the Butcher is more a lunch spot and I'm not even sure if they serve beer while Mr. Bills is a bar, a local family place with a nice little dinning room. It's a place where the locals go to for comfort style food. They usually have a bit of a line.

    Another place of the same vain as Mr. Bills, but not necessarily for Beef on Weck is about a half mile west of Charley the Butchers at the intersection of Wherle and S. Forest. The name escapes me but they are popular for their Friday fish fries. Most Fridays you will have to wait in line to get a table.

    For Q I like two places. The first is probably closer to Clarence and is called Kentucky Greg’s. They have the real deal at this place and on top of that some of the best gumbo I’ve ever had outside of S. Louisiana. I’m also told their Brunswick stew is good. The other place is out Transit Road, almost to Lockport called One Eyed Jacks. It’s across Transit from the Hearthstone Manor and is worth the drive. I’m also told there’s a good Q spot in Clarence center, but I’ve never been and can’t even begin to tell you the location.

    If you want some good sandwich joints, hit any of the John and Mary’s sub places for one of their great subs, they have several sandwiches, so I won’t go into detail here, but you can find your fave on their menu. There are several of these around the area and anyone can direct you to the closest.

    Ted’s is also well known for the famous char grilled hot dogs. Again, there are several in the area and any local can get you to the nearest.

    For upscale dinning I like Le Metro. I’ve only been to the one on Main St. in a shopping center just west of the intersection with N. Forest, and just east of the 290.

    Lastly for beer I like Buffalo Brew Pub on Main just west of the intersection with Transit Rd. on the south side of the street. They have a selection of beers on tap to rival those I’ve seen in many places in the northwest. I believe I counted them one time, but seem to remember something like 20 beers. There are some local brews as well as some perennial favorites. They even carried some Great Lakes beers at one time. The wings at this place are not bad and if you can’t get out to Elmo’s you can try them there. I haven’t had much else except the always free and always available peanuts in the shell and popcorn. They make some really nice popcorn in the machine at the back, just stroll back, grab a basket and help yourself.

    There are many more, but this has already been quite long and you’ll want inputs from others as well covering different areas of WNY. Good luck and enjoy.

    1. That's a pretty good overview of the biggies as far as Buffalo traditions go. I would add a Friday fish fry if possible (but don't know of any place in particular) and, since you'll be in Clarence, stop at Alethea's Chocolates for Sponge Candy, a local specialty.

      PS: Make sure to get the beef on weck with horseradish.

      1 Reply
      1. re: sbp

        Ditto Charlie the Butchers for Beef on Weck/Wick.

        A new place that does the local favorite "Friday Night Fish Fry" is the Dockside Inn in Tonawanda... right on the canal. HUGE portions of fish!! Throughout the summer there are concerts at nearby Gateway Park and Canal Fest starts Sunday July 16 (runs through the week).

        Just want to suggest MY favorite sponge candy... Watson's! They have about 1/2 dozen area shops. http://www.watsonschocolates.com/stor...

        Believe it or not, the supermarket Wegmans is known as a destination as well. If you're into food (and being here, you just might be!), Wegmans is a food shopper's/cook's mecca. Many of them have great take-out fare as well- sandwiches, salads, sushi, etc.

      2. Zetti's is the best for real NYC style pizza. Actually, the only really good pizza I have had since moving here from Long Island. If you are from the NYC area, Zetti's will not be a 'treat', just normal pizza.

        I have posted about Grover's before. It is really close to Clarence on Transit Rd between Klein and N French. They have super cheap HUGE burgers in a kitchy setting. I do not eat beef and opt for the tuna melt, which is quite tasty.

        I totally agree with the post about One Eyed Jacks. Their ribs are to die for!

        I have never been, but I hear that Butterwood on Main Street in Williamsville is THE place to go for desserts. NOT cheap but I have heard nothing but good things!

        And definitely check out Wegmans's if you have never been.

        Please post a report back if you can!

        1. Hello! I grew up in Clarence!! Charlie the Butchers is good for beef on weck and I also LOVE Anderson's. Brennen's at Main and Transit is good as well as the Buffalo Brew Pub also at Main and Transit. Mighty Taco is good if you want fast food Mexican one day!

          1. I'd go to the Anchor Bar for wings. It's the birthplace and is still the best in my opinion. We just about always go there when in town.
            I've never been but I just saw that Fat Bob's Smokehouse was just voted Buffalo's best BBQ.
            There is also supposedly a great hot dog place in the shadow of the peace bridge.
            If you make it across the river to the Niagara region of Ontario, make your way to Niagara On The Lake. Eat at the Angel Inn. Nice British fare with a good ghost story in a cool building.


            1. duff's wings on sheridan near millersport in amherst. their wings are generally considered superior to those at the anchor bar:

              3651 sheridan dr
              716 834-6234

              1. Ditto the Duff's recommendation... as someone born and raised in Buffalo, this was my all-time favorite spot for wings. Don't get me wrong, Anchor Bar wings are great, too, but if I could only eat wings at once place for the rest of my life, it would be Duff's!

                Also, as for the aforementioned hot dog place... could it be Ted's Charcoal Broiled Hot Dogs? They have several locations in the area and they are AWESOME!! LOVE their curly fries and a good ol' foot long with chili sauce. Mmmmmm. http://www.tedsonline.com/

                1 Reply
                1. re: AndreaU

                  That would be the place.
                  They looked great on whatever food show I was watching a few weeks ago.


                2. I just got back from Buffalo myself. After going to Duff's (both locations), I was very disappointed. Wings at the original location on Sheridan were better than the Orchard Park location, but both were over-sauced and got soggy in a hurry. They weren't awful, but they weren't great, either. Some of my local dining companions agreed that Duff's has gone downhill over the last two years. I wouldn't know as this has been my first visit.

                  I really wanted to like them a lot, that's why I went to both locations. Sad to say, I give them 5/10.

                  Anchor Bar was better. Crispier wings, a little bit less sauce and less pasty than Duff's. 7/10.

                  Best by far were the wings from Casa di Pizza. Perfectly sauced, perfectly crispy, absolutely everything I imagined the Buffalo wing to be. 10/10. The suprise at Casa di Pizza, though, was the BBQ wings. Normally, I'm not a fan of those, but these were unfreakingbelievable. I still dream about them. They had nice grill marks, a definite cooked-over-open-fire taste, and a sauce that was neither too sweet nor too vinegary.
                  Both the Buffalo style and BBQ wings I could keep on eating without stop.

                  Casa di Pizza
                  477 Elmwood Ave
                  Buffalo, Ny

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: pulykamell

                    A chowfriend who crosses the border to Buffalo just about every other Sunday for football highly recommends Casa di Pizza for the grilled wings. He prefers them over Anchor. I can't wait to try them!

                    Duff's in Toronto didn't warrant a second visit.

                    I don't recommend Valley Inn in Clarence for BBQ. Looking forward to trying Kentucky Greg's and One Eyed Jack's.

                    Are there any pizza places with delicious heavy, greasy, cheesy pizza near the Canadian border? When I'm hungry, wood-fired thin crust just doesn't satisfy the craving!

                    1. Well, having grown up in Buffalo and living here, I - of course - have a different perception of local cuisine.

                      Beef on Kimmelweck - Most places don't have the original roll -IMHO - integral to the sandwich. Charlie the Butcher's is POOR. Ditto most other places mentioned. Schwabel's still does it right - but it's pricey. On the other hand, they also have good German potato salad to go with it. And a good fish fry on Friday. My favorite is BarBill in East Aurora. Great rare (also missing at other places), slow roasted beef and a good roll. As an added benefit, their wings are great as well (ask about degrees of heat first!). Much, much better than Duff's AND Anchor Bar. And they have Flying Bison (local microbrewery) on tap. Running in the next few is Eckl's and maybe Mr. Bills (eratic).

                      Wings – BarBill’s “hot’ wings. Anchor Bar is where it all started – but they’ve slipped.

                      BBQ – Buffalo Smokehouse and Kentucky Greg’s.

                      Dogs – Ted’s and Ted’s – and maybe Ted’s.

                      Pizza – Brick Oven - Romeo’s on Hertel. But good regular pizza can be had at Milano’s Pizza and 2-4-1 Pizza or Just Pizza.

                      If you want to see what locals actually say about dining in Buffalo, try this link : http://www.cse.buffalo.edu/restaurant...

                      1. Thanks for the great comments. As a result of opinions on this post I have tried Bar Bill and really like the place. The best thing is they are open at lunch time, which is when I'm usually looking for a good Beef on Weck. So I'll be back. Also, due to your suggestion I have to try Romeo's during the Christmas holiday. Looking forward to their pizza.

                        1. Any updates to this list or are they pretty much the same? Going shopping for the day and want some good food, maybe wings, not sure!

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: itryalot

                            If you like mexican food a good place would be any Mighty Taco. As for a sinful dessert you can try Antionette's Palace of Sweets on Transit Road for homemade ice cream. (P.S. Bring your appetite the're HUGE!)

                          2. I have just read all the posts and no one mentioned Bocce Club Pizza. There are two locations: the original on Bailey and the newer one on Hopkins and Dodge in Williamville. I grew up around the corner from the Hopkins location. The hot peppers are a must!