Downtown Buffalo - Evening Recs
I agree with the Mother's recommendation, which is easy walking distance from the Allen St metro stop. That same stop will also put you near Fiddleheads (Allen St), which I've never tried, but it is supposed to be good. And there are plenty of other options around there too.
Ulrich's is also a great recommendation, if you're looking for traditional tavern fare (go on a Friday for a fish fry). Unfortunately, there is literally nothing else around it (except a hospital and a lot of derelict-looking buildings), so getting there without a car might test your nerve.
You might also take the Metro up to the last stop ("University," IIRC) and walk across Main Street to Shango, which does a really nice cajun-inspired menu. And they have an interesting beer list, if that sort of thing interests you.
Delivery options downtown might be kind of limited. There was a decent pho place on Niagara Street (Pho 66? 99?) that might provide an option outside of pizza/wings/subs - but the govt was planning on forcing them out to make room for a new courthouse, so the restaurant may be gone now.
I disagree with the Pearl Street Brewery recommendations. While they were once a fun place with decent food, their current beers pale in comparison to what they used to brew, and the kitchen is now putting out glorified fast food at extortionate prices. I'm not sure if the "original" frozen pizza logs are still on the menu or not, but that should give you a sense of what's in store there.
Yeah, the downtown Pho 99 was great but had to close; they did tell us that they were looking for another downtown location. They have a second location on Bailey up near the UB south campus and the quality is similar.
Fiddleheads was better under the original ownership, but I hear it isn't very good these days. A better choice nearby might be Tempo on Deleware, which is run by the people from Hutch's. Lots of other new places around Allen that I haven't tried yet. Colter Bay isn't bad for watching sports/drinking microbrews....
I agree on the beer at Pearl St., but haven't had the food for some time.
To add a few more:
Bacchus: on Chippewa near Franklin (or maybe Pearl), a good place to dine at the bar. Good wines by the glass.
Papaya: a few blocks west of Bacchus on Chippewa, decent Asian fusion/sushi. Next door is the Chocolate Bar for cocktails and desert. Spot Coffee is also nearby and open late, etc.
Rue Franklin: if you want a nice French meal in a calm, adult setting walk north on Franklin (maybe 1/2 mile from Chippewa) .
From Rue Franklin north you have the Allentown district and you can find some decent places to eat or drink, e.g. Mothers, great if you need a late meal.
I wish you told us where you were staying downtown.
Anyway.. here are a few picks...
City Grill, downtown, food is always of good quality
Pearl Street, downtown, a brewpub with good beer and very decent food.
Ulrich's Tavern, downtown, German/Irish, serves lunch daily, and dinner on Friday & Saturday
Century Grill, on Pearl, across from the Hyatt, nice old-wood tavern with large dining hall and good food.
Not downtown, but close by, and it's easy to take the MetroRail subway train.
Gabriel's Gate, on Allen Street, in Allentown.
Laughlin's Beef & Barrel, Chippewa district, very upscale Gastro-Pub
I agree with houdini, be sure to check out Bill Rappaports site at
Lots of information on that site.
Take a swing by
Me, I'd recommend Papaya, Buffalo Chop House, Pearl Street Brewing, and taking a walk over to the Elmwood Strip where there's all kinds of restaurants. Depending on where you're staying, a short bus ride might work for you. Depending on whether you like the bar scene, the Chippewa area has some night life.
Since you won't have a car a lot depends on where you are staying. The subway runs on Main Street, the above ground portions are free (this is also the only area of town you are going to want to be after dark). If you're downtown (by HSBC Arena/Dunn Tire Park) Chef's (italian place on Seneca St) is walking distance on a nice afternoon. Pearl Street Bar and Grill has some really good microbrews and some decent sandwhiches. I've heard good things about City Grill on Main Street. Chippewa Street is the bar district, and a part of Main Street is the Theatre District so you should be able to find a few good restaurants there. All the places I've listed besides for Chef's are at most a 5 minute walk from a subway stop. There's also the Main Street Mall that has a food court for lunch.