Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > New York State (exc. NYC) >
Jun 2, 2010 03:39 AM

Buffalo NY - Only visiting for 3 days

I'm only going to be in town for three days and have a pretty tight work schedule but a want a taste of the local food. I hate chains and love authentic mom-n-pop type places.

So where do the Chowhounds take their friends?

I'm staying at hotel just north of Univ of Buffalo North Campus,near 990 & 290. I will be doing some driving so a destination is not out of the question. Also, I'd like to make a drive to Niagara Falls so somewhere along the route would be a double bonus.

Price range...a $50 max for dinner but I would prefer casual restaurants.
Types of food....really anything especially local fare. I'd like to steer away from Mexican and Tex-Mex food since I live in the SW.

Big question....where do I go for wings?? Anything better the Anchor Bar. (I'm shocked when searched for a post and didn't find one.)

These sound good to me...

You help would be appreciated

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Make sure you eat in NYS and not on the Canadian side if you decide to cross the boarder.

    I still like the Anchor Bar but I will admit it's not what it was. When I first went there Frank and Tina were still there all the time. They're long gone now and while I think the wings are still fine, things like the pizza have certainly gone down hill.

    Buffalonians will tell you where to get the best stuff but as a visitor, I look for wings, pizza and beef on weck. While pizza is universal, it's fantastic in Buffalo. The other two items are local specialties. BOW especially.


    1. Local food?

      In very broad generalizations,

      Buffalo is...
      beef-on-weck, roast beef and horseradish on a salty bun
      pizza, the style is thicker, with a sweeter tomato sauce
      sponge candy, caramelized sponge dipped in chocolate
      loganberry drink
      beer and NY wines (Riesling is particularly good)
      local ingredients

      Buffalo is NOT...
      big chains
      classic cocktails

      My personal favorites...

      Fine Dining:

      Left Bank

      Wings, Weck, and Local Favorites:
      Elmo's - wings
      Schwabl's - beef on weck
      Ted's - charcoal grilled hot dogs

      Original Pancake House - apple pancake or dutch baby
      Towne Restaurant - soulvaki & rice pudding
      Pizza Plant - pizza & pods
      La Nova - BBQ wings


      Ulrich's - buffalo's oldest tavern
      Buffalo Brewpub
      some chowhound threads you could read...

      best beef-on-weck:

      buffalo style pizza:

      staying near UB north:

      staying near Allen St:

      where to eat in Buffalo:

      more Buffalo "must-try"...

      Bill Rapaport's Restaurant Guide:

      Schwabl's Restaurant
      789 Center Rd, Buffalo, NY 14224

      Ulrich's Tavern
      674 Ellicott St, Buffalo, NY 14203

      2349 Millersport Hwy, Getzville, NY 14068

      Towne Restaurant
      186 Allen St, Buffalo, NY 14201

      Tempo Restaurant
      581 Delaware Avenue, Buffalo, NY 14202

      Left Bank
      511 Rhode Island St, Buffalo, NY 14213

      Buffalo Brew Pub
      6861 Main St, Williamsville, NY 14221

      Pizza Plant
      5110 Main St Ste 105, Williamsville, NY 14221

      Original Pancake House
      5479 Main St, Williamsville, NY 14221

      La Nova Pizzeria
      5151 Main St, Williamsville, NY 14221

      3260 Main St, Buffalo, NY 14214

      226 Lexington Ave, Buffalo, NY 14222

      Original Pancake House
      2075 Niagara Falls Blvd, Buffalo, NY 14228

      Ted's Jumbo Red Hots
      2312 Sheridan Dr, Tonawanda, NY 14150

      2 Replies
      1. re: jerryc123

        I don't live in Buffalo anymore, but go back enough to tell you that Jerry's list is on the money. Elmo's is near UB North Campus, and has great wings. Duff's is also nearby, almost as well known as Anchor Bar. Personally, I think their wings are a bit too small and oversauced, but flavor is great. There have been many wing threads on CH, but some are on the now defunct Tristate board.

        Unless you live in Tempe, don't miss Ted's Hot Dogs. Charcoal grilled - tell them to "burn it" and get it with the works. With a loganberry.

        Schwabl's is very highly regarded for beef on weck. You should try it with some horseradish on it (I use ketchup also).

        Sponge candy is a must-have, since if you live in the SW, it's probably not available (doesn't hold up in the heat). Parkside Candy, Aletheas or Condrells, if I recall correctly. And I've heard that Wegmans (world's greatest supermarket) makes a very good version.

        Schwabl's Restaurant
        789 Center Rd, Buffalo, NY 14224

        1. re: sbp

          Thanks for suggesting Wegman's, the upscale grocery chain that is a mix of food store and gourmet shop.
          When I leave NY, and see the sorry state of grocery stores elsewhere, I remember who good we have it here.

          If you have time, try to get into a Wegman's for a look around.

          Wegmans Food Pharmacy
          5275 Sheridan Dr, Buffalo, NY 14221

      2. We had a really good time at Toro. Near Buff State

        Toro Restaurant
        150 Main St, Fishkill, NY 12524

        2 Replies
        1. re: adobocaster

          I agree that Toro can be fun, especially with a large group in the summer time.
          It is an attractive space, and when they open the sliding front doors it can feel like alfresco dining. It can be loud and convivial with wine flowing, and with good friends you can have a fun time.

          But, I have eaten there a number of times and was consistently disappointed.
          As a chowhound, I really can't recommend the restaurant for the food.

          Toro claims to be "the city's first Spanish Tapa's bar," but they only have two items, paella, and meatballs, that are Spanish dishes. Where is the tortilla espanola, the boquerones, the octopus, the garlic shrimp, and several other staples that most Tapas places include?
          Instead, Toro's menu is a crazy fusion-mix of traditional American dishes, Tex-Mex, and Asian. Items like corn dogs, cheese pierogi, chicken spring rolls, and Tangerine BBQ Pulled Pork with corn bread, sour cream & pico de gallo.

          And the execution of the small plates they serve is not very good. I have had overcooked lamb chops, commercial american cheeses on the cheese plate, and duck breast so small and overdone it could have been pigeon.

          So for me, I would rather go to another restaurant that does small plates well. If I want Spanish-style food, I will either make it at home, or visit a real tapas place when I am out of town.

          Toro Tapas Bar
          492 Elmwood Ave, Buffalo, NY 14222

          1. re: jerryc123

            Jerry C among others assisted me on my latest trip to Buffalo. I really enjoyed Mulberry Cafe, really good italian food there. For wings, I would recommend Bar Bill but that is outside of Buffalo in East Aurora NY about a 25 minute drive. I didn't care for Ted's much but I loved their loganberry shake. I also had a great brunch at the Lake Effect Diner, fantastic pancakes with maple butter.

            Bar Bill Tavern
            185 Main St, East Aurora, NY 14052

            Mulberry Cafe
            64 Jackson Ave, Buffalo, NY 14218

            Lake Effect Diner
            3165 Main St, Buffalo, NY 14214

        2. Don't miss
          Andersons- many locations, the best frozen custard( I like cinnamon)
          Bocce Pizza- ( bailey ave location is my favorite.- good wings too. They may deliver to your hotel

          2 Replies
          1. re: rkaene

            Just went on the website for Bocce Pizza, man this place looks like the real deal!

            1. re: rkaene

              There are several 'original' Bocce locations - all family members competing against one another I think. The Bailey location is still my favorite.

              For different pizza, 800 Maple has wood-fired flat pizza and a nice wine list. You can sit at the bar and enjoy pizza with a glass of wine.

              There is a Zetti's pizza just opposite the university for NYC style pizza.

              Anderson's is good for soft custard ice cream , but don't bother with their beef on weck.
              Schwabl's has a good beef on weck.

              Schwabl's Restaurant
              789 Center Rd, Buffalo, NY 14224

            2. You've got lots of great advice, so there's not much to add, but it sounds like you will be here solo for business, rather than personal, travel. I do tons of that sort of travel and I'm always looking for a way to design my evenings so that I get a glimpse of a particular neighborhood, rather than just hitting one individual spot that comes recommended. In case you have a similar outlook, here's a couple of ideas, heavy on walking, eating, and drinking in some of the nicer parts of WNY:

              Allentown: Drive downtown and park on Virginia Place (always free, almost always available), between Virginia Street and Allen. You can get dinner on Mother's patio (their bar is generally too crowded and raucus for eating) or have wings at Gabriel's Gate (great patio, nice bar, good wings) and some small plates at Sample (good atmosphere for solo diners and lots of interesting small plates). Then head to Sweet Tooth for a delicious dessert, and then over to Hardware for a drink and perhaps live music.

              East Aurora: There are of course tons of places to get Beef on Weck and great wings, but Bar Bill in EA has both, and a sweet patio to eat them on (or a huge bar with several TVs, if that's your thing). The drive out to EA from where you're staying will be 30-35 minutes, so as long as you're out there, drive up Main Street and get dessert/coffee/after-dinner drink at the historic Roycroft Inn (which has live music on the huge wrap-around porch a few nights a week), and do a little shopping at Vidler's 5&10 shop. Fisher-Price Toy Company headquarters is on Girard Ave, one block off Main Street, and has an interesting display that you can drive by on your way out of town. EA is a great little town, and worth taking the drive to if you're serious about wings and beef, and the weather is nice enough to take a stroll around.

              Lexington/Elmwood Village: You can park for free on Ashland, anywhere between Lexington and Breckenridge, and stroll over to Kuni's for amazingly affordable, fresh, and plain (re: authentic) sushi or to Left Bank, which has one of the best patios in town. From there, you can head over to Elmwood and get housemade gelato at Dolci or coffee at Spot. If you're in the mood for a drink, Cecelia's has a decent patio and great drink specials. And there's a Belgian-themed bar slated to open on the corner of Elmwood and Breckenridge in early June, which will supposedly have an extensive list of Belgian taps and bottles.

              Left Bank
              511 Rhode Island St, Buffalo, NY 14213

              226 Lexington Ave, Buffalo, NY 14222

              Roycroft Inn
              40 South Grove Street, East Aurora, NY 14052