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May 21, 2008 07:31 PM

Chowhounder visiting Buffalo.

Anyone have any recommendations for good places to eat in the city? I often go to Anchor Bar for their great wings, anything else I shouldn't miss trying?

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    1. Welcome To Buffalo/Niagara.

      Many people visiting Buffalo for the first time, visit the Anchor Bar, as they are the originator of Buffalo Style chicken wings. However, on your next trip, you may want to broaden your horizons, as our region has many fine restaurants.

      Here are some links to get you started.

      Enjoy your stay, and report back with your experiences!

      1. I shudder at the thought of people thinking Anchor Bar represents the Best of Buffalo for wings. Somewhere between the days of Frank and Theresa and now, they lost their way and unhappily now can be best described as a tourist trap. Please take this next visit as an opportunity, as Jerry suggests, to broaden your taste base of the epicurean delights in Buffalo.
        I notice you posted this in Toronto too. There's a lot of good food in TO so I suppose you may looking for something unique in Buffalo. If that's the case, try our Beef on Weck or maybe Ted's!

        1. Whenever we have visitors, we take them out to the Bar Bill in East Aurora for Beef on 'Weck and wings. It's a good 25 minutes from the city, but you can make an afternoon of it by strolling around the village (the east end of Main Street has a lot of little shops and Vidler's, which everyone loves), walking around the Knox estate (which is now a free state park only a couple blocks away from the Bar Bill) and/or having a drink on the porch of the Roycroft Inn before heading to dinner. I grew up in EA, so I'm a little biased, but everyone I know still thinks they have the best beef and wings in town.

          In the city, I'd recommend trying the wings (and German dishes) at Ulrich's Tavern on the corner of Ellicott and Virginia (adjacent to the Trico building). Some people also like the wings at Gabriel's Gate on Allen St., but I'm not a fan of anything else on their menu (or their beer list), so we usually skip it.

          If you're looking for places to go that aren't of the beef and wings style, I recommend checking out the reviews of Tempo or Nektar, or - if you want to eat outside on a beautiful patio - Left Bank.

          Like the other posters, I'm not a fan of Anchor Bar's wings, so if you've already had them, I'd definitely branch out on this trip.

          7 Replies
          1. re: bflocat

            Thanks for all the suggestions so far guys!! I have been to Anchor Bar many times and I am open to a different wing joint if it is considered better, problem is convincing my friend of this. Does Bar Bill have better wings than Anchor bar? I have also heard that Suzy Q's BBQ Shack and Zetti's Pizza and Pasta are good places. Has anyone tried these two places? Any dessert places that have really great ice cream and cakes?

            1. re: callitasicit

              I'd put BarBill at a 10 on a scale of 1-10 (10 being the best). Anchor Bar would be about a 4. And when you add on the best Beef on Weck at BarBill's, it's a no-brainer. (And you can visit Fisher Price's Factory Store too).
              BBQ? Kentucky Gregs!! But Suzy Q's is good too.
              Deserts - in a word - Butterwood!!

              1. re: houdini

                Bar Bill absolutely has better wings than Anchor Bar, Duff's, you name it. They really are the best. A word of warning though - do NOT order the HOT wings unless you like the absolutely extreme burn. Bar Bill's HOT is a lot hotter than the typical hot, and their Suicidal are a joke - really and truly. My cousin made the wings there for years, and almost all orders of Sudicidal wings went to drunk college kids during some sort of dare. Medium-hots are just right for people who love incredibly spicy foods, and mediums usually do most people fine.

                Also, the Bar Bill serves other flavors like Sicilian (with parm and parsley) and Honey BBQ. We always get 10 of medium hot and 10 other flavor, and it makes the perfect combo.

                I love Kentucky Greg's, but I think Suzy Q's is just as good, and it's closer to the city (just north).

                As for desserts? I'd actually avoid Butterwood! Though they are located in a cool old Victorian house, it's in the 'burbs and a pain to get to from downtown. Plus, I think their desserts look beautiful, but they sometimes lack flavor and are very expensive. If you'd prefer to stay in the city, you can go to Watson's Chocolates on Elmwood Ave - they serve Anderson's (locally produced) ice cream in a variety of special flavors. [Or head to Anderson's itself - although I can't think of one that's convenient to the city]. Dolce - a small shop on the corner of Elmwood and Breckenridge - serves excellent homemade desserts and gelato. Both of these spots have only benches and tiny tables outside, but they are in a nice walking district. If you want to sit and eat your desserts at a restaurant, I'd recommend Trattoria Aroma on the corner of Ashland and Bryant, which has a nice patio walking distance from the Elmwood strip.

              2. re: callitasicit

                Zetti's is my FAVE pizza in Buffalo. But there is a catch---I am originally from Long Island and Zetti's is the only place in the area where I can real NY style pizza. It is not "typical" Buffalo pizza at all.

                For desserts, I do like Butterwoods, which I believe is also served at the Chocolate Bar downtown. Most of the other dessert places I go to are in the 'burbs and I am not sure if you are looking for downtown, proper. For example, I like Sweet Jenny's ice cream in WIlliamsville.

                BBQ---I am a BIG fan of Kentucky Greg's but I have not hit Suzy Q's yet....sounds like I should!

                1. re: L_W

                  You guys are awesome!! Thanks for the tips. I am going to convince my friend to got to Bar Bills instead of Anchor Bar. Also going to try Zettis and Suzy Q's. I can't wait!!!

                  1. re: callitasicit

                    Hi Guys, I just came back from a brief visit from Buffalo and wanted to thank you all once again for your great suggestions. Bar Bill was the star of the show, incredible wings crispy and really juicy. My friend and I ordered 20 spicy bbq and 20 medium. We both preferred the medium hot wings as they provided just the right amount of heat. Also went to Zettis and enjoyed the pizza, ordered an extra large and was so shocked at how large the pizza was. We ordered the Big Daddy and it didn't disappoint. Unfortunately, we Suzy Q's was closed on Monday so we didn't have the chance to eat there. Overall, a very good food experience!

                    1. re: callitasicit

                      I too just got back from Buffalo and went to both Anchor Bar (where I've been before) and Bar Bill.

                      Anchor Bar seems to really have hit the skids since my last visit. I got the wings hot and they were barely spiced -- plus they were small and overcooked.

                      Bar Bill was EXCELLENT.

                      We had 20 medium-hot wings and a Beef on Weck. The wings were perfect; meaty, crispy and juicy. I tend to like them a bit saucier so asked for some extra suace on the side and that worked out great. (Can you asked for them saucy/wet?)

                      This was my first Beef on Weck and it was fantastic. The beef was so tender and the au jus wasn't excessively salty or canned tasting. I'm a convert.

                      Add a Stella on tap and it was a great meal.

            2. Thanks for the "After Action Report" - both of you!

              Yeah, BarBill is the best but you keep hearing from the college crowd (the non-natives) that Duff's is great or that some other joint has good wings. I guess that they like spots near campus and never go far afield. But as you just proved to yourself, both the wings and the beef on weck shine at BarBills. Glad you liked it!!
              The roll makes the difference - it's authentic - not like Charley's. And the beef? Ambrosia. It used to be that good at lots of places around town but regretfully, most are now gone. I hope you had some of their great horseradish on it.
              When you order wings "hot" at BarBills, they ask if you've had their 'hot' before and tell you if you haven't - order the medium. Now you know why!
              Again, I'm glad you enjoyed it. Next time, try Susie's.

              12 Replies
              1. re: houdini

                I tried to go to Duff's a few trips ago and the wait was too long. As far as I can remember too, there was nowhere to sit and have a drink while waiting? The Bar Bill atmosphere was much better anyway. I tend to be an "eat wings at the bar" kinda gal so Bar Bill worked nicely for me.

                The roll was awesome. Since this was my first, I had no point of comparison but I loved the coarse salt and caraway.

                I did get a side of the hot wing sauce just to try and it's pretty dang hot. The med-hot seems to be the perfect balance.

                So I have to part of my Buffalo "trifecta of food" day, I made a stop (after Bar Bill) at Anderson's to try the custard. It was good but not mind blowing. I guess I was really expecting something more "custardy" than soft-serve style ice cream (although admittedly, much creamier and richer than the average soft serve).

                To top off the day, I had a fun time at Dunn Park -- a great place to watch a game! How's the beer at that brewpub nearby?

                Oh also, since I was staying downtown, I checked out Duo (on Franklin) for dinner one evening. The upstairs rooftop room is very charming and was perfect since it was warm out. The food was decent: we split a pizza with sopressetta, the Caesar salad, and the gnocchi with meatballs. Service was great and they made me a very tasty Manhattan.

                1. re: HungryGrayCat

                  Duffs is not just for students, natives always go back! Andersons has pretty good beef on weck- next time try parkside candy for sponge candy and Louies ( my fave or Teds) for hot dogs.

                  1. re: rkaene

                    This local sure didn't go back to Duff's! Anderson's RB is good - if you like it well done. Yumm for sponge candy - at Antoinette's and dogs at Ted's. (and great onion rings, too)

                    1. re: houdini

                      Do not miss the whipped cream at anoinettes- or the cinnamon ice cream (warning- both are extremley rich).Shwables for roast beef is really great also- it is near the antionettes in west seneca ( I hope both are there- it has been a while-) when shwables used to get busy we used to go to antionettes first for reverse meals.

                  2. re: HungryGrayCat

                    I assume you mean Pearl Street Brewery? I don't like their beers, which is so disappointing because the atmosphere is pretty good, and their back balconey can be nice (if you ignore the noise of the I-190). The beers all have a suspiciously similar taste, as if they were made from the same, low-quality malt extract or something. Last time, I ordered their Cherry Wheat, which had an overwhelming scent of cough medicine and maraschino cherry in it...

                    I generally like Anderson's custard, but if you're looking for something more substantial and creamy, you should check out Abbott's Frozen Custard. Yumm!

                    1. re: RosemaryHoney

                      There are so many Ted's Hot Dog's around Buffalo, is it really worth trying? Is there an Abbott's Frozen Custard in Buffalo?

                      1. re: callitasicit

                        You can get Abbott's at Bill Grey's at Main/Tranist in Williamsville. The location in Amherst closed about 2 years ago.

                        Ted's is pretty good. They char-broil their dogs, which makes them a bit unique. Their onion rings (more like onion strings) are good. I guess it's a matter of taste. When I lived downstate, ppl swore by Nathan's. I think it's a love or hate it, based on how you like your dogs prepared.

                        1. re: L_W

                          I'd stick with Anderson's - the best of Buffalo.
                          There are , to the best of my recollection, only two Ted's in buffalo. And yes, it's worth it!!
                          Nathan's isn't even the best of of NYC!

                          1. re: houdini

                            I always liked Louies- they have the best fries!

                            1. re: houdini

                              There are 8 Ted's (more or less) in and around Buffalo, and one in Tempe Arizona. Charcoal grilled Sahlen's hot dogs. Absolute hot dog perfection -- grilling, boiling, steaming, frying will forever be "ehh" after you have one charcoaled. It is worth the trip -- one of the unique Buffalo specialties.

                          2. re: callitasicit

                            I'm not a native Buffalonian or a hot dog fan, but I do think Ted's Hot Dogs are worth trying. As sbp points out, they are chargrilled, which is probably how you cook them in your backyard, but much harder to find in public. They'll make them to order, so you can go the full range from just browned to entirely charred. Get them with the chili sauce - they are delicious. Their curly fries are also great.

                            1. re: RosemaryHoney

                              Damn I am so hungry now! I gotta go to Buffalo soon and get my eat on;)