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Nov 28, 2010 03:14 PM

Heading to Buffalo from Toronto for a couple days and need advice

My girlfriend and I are going to be heading down to Buffalo for two days and one night in the middle of December to do some shopping. The two places we are sure we would like to shop are Prime Outlets and The Walden Galleria. We are also foodies and would like to experience some of the best Buffalo has to offer. We were thinking of getting a hotel downtown.

Some advice about the best pubs, pizza, and casual restaurants would be greatly appreciated. We want to have a night out with good food and a relaxing atmosphere not necessarily in the same place but it would be nice. In close proximity to downtown or the aformentioned shopping destinations would be best but if there is something that absolutely cannot be missed we will travel a bit.

If anyone knows of a good hotel, that would be great too.


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  1. Hit Anchor Bar for wings
    Beef on Weck @ Ulrich's Tavern
    Parkside Candies and step thru a time warp

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

    1. Good idea to stay downtown, versus at the Galleria or near the NF Outlets. You don't mention your budget, but good places to stay are The Mansion on Delaware, Hampton Inn (Chippewa at Delaware), Embassy Suites (in the new Avant Building), or the Hyatt Regency (Main at Huron) - probably in that order. If you're looking for cheaper, but in same vicinity, try the Best Western or Holiday Inn on Delaware near Allen Street. There's also a good B&B on St. James Place off Elmwood Ave, up in the Elmwood Village (EV) neighborhood (BTW: Elmwood Village has a bunch of cute, independent shops that sell unique items at surprisingly reasonable prices...might be worth checking out after a day at the malls. If you're foodies, you might want to check out Penzey's Spice Store and D'Avolio Olive Oils and Vinegars, both on Elmwood right there).

      On to the food: Blue Monk just opened on Elmwood at Breckenridge in EV. They have 30 or so taps of mostly Belgian beers and pretty great food (mussels, duck-fat fries, braised short ribs sandwich, beef on 'weck) in a lively pub atmosphere. It gets crowded. Right around there are all those shops I mentioned above, plus two local chocolate shops (Watson's and Fowler's), a nice coffee shop complete with couches and armchairs for lounging (Spot Coffee), and a couple nice bakeries (Dolci and Delish) for dessert.

      Ulrich's is a good rec, but I'd go there for wings, not the beef. It's a got an ol' time tavern feel, and they are known for their German fare, like potato pancakes. It's a little off the beaten path, but there's a nice wine bar on the corner of Main and Virginia that you might be able to tie into your beer-drinking evening at Ulrich's.

      Allentown is the other part of town that would offer a string of places to visit within walking distance of each other. Gabriel's Gate has better wings than Anchor Bar in a far less touristy atmosphere. Allen St. Hardware is a relaxing bar with live music, good wines and beers, and a nice cheese plate. Sample has small plates, most of which are excellent , plus it's got an upscale atmosphere for not so upscale prices. Colter Bay or K. Gallaghers might fit your definition of good pubs.

      5 Replies
      1. re: RosemaryHoney

        I am sure Ulrich's has lots of good offerings. Being from downstate I never even heard of Beef on Weck until our daughter, who lives in Buffalo, brought us there.
        If I am not mistaken it is unique to the area. Probably not available in Toronto.

        1. re: Motosport

          Yes, Beef on 'Weck is a Buffalo specialty, and not available in Toronto. Ulrich's just doesn't have a great example of one. They don't slice off the roast to order, as they do at some of the better spots. If you want to try a great beef on 'weck, the most highly recommended spots are Bar Bill (in East Aurora, a quaint little town about 25 minutes from downtown) or Schwabl's (in West Seneca, about 15 minutes from downtown). In the city, I'd go to Blue Monk and have their version. Anderson's and Charlie the Butcher also do beef on 'weck in more of a fast-food style - there's an Anderson's close to the Galleria Mall that would be a better choice for lunch than anything in the food court.

          Charlie the Butcher
          495 Main St, East Aurora, NY 14052

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

          1. re: RosemaryHoney

            I've only been to Ulrich's and liked the place but I am always up for trying new places. Next time I visit my daughter we'll do a Beef on Weck tour.

        2. re: RosemaryHoney

          Thanks very much for all of the detailed recommendations. It sounds like we are going to be hanging out in Allentown. I think we will check out Gabriel's Gate for some wings like you suggested.

          Where do you recommend for Pizza? I know Buffalo has a number of good places but I'm not sure where to go. I was thinking Pizza Junction maybe before or after shopping at Prime Outlets. Would that be a good choice or is there something better?

          Pizza Junction
          1269 Erie Ave, North Tonawanda, NY 14120

          1. re: stonegenie

            I'm not originally from Buffalo, so I have don't have loyalties like some other Buffalonians have. A lot of my recommendations are outside of where you'll be, like Zetti's and Bocci's, and I don't know that they are really worth the journey. La Nova is in the city, and they have great wings too, so you might want to check them out, but more as a snack. I don't find anything wonderful about Pizza Junction, but I also don't know that there are any better options for anything up near the Outlet malls...Dicamillo's Bakery is good choice but otherwise I find that area to be somewhat of a wasteland. Maybe others have rec's for Niagara Falls?

            Pizza Junction
            1269 Erie Ave, North Tonawanda, NY 14120

        3. Best Buffalo Wings are at Duff's (Sheridan Drive/Amherst, Best Pizza: Zetti's (multiple locations) - also, please make sure you try Stuffed Banana Peppers while in town - they are a Buffalo classic.

          1. Elmos is a great bar with amazing wings. The wings are not as good as Duffs but they are better than anywhere else in the state. The Cajun is phenomenal.

            Best NY style pizza is Zettis by far (Thin Crust)

            Best Buffalo style is La Nova (Bready but not Chicago style)

            Also treat yourself to some sponge candy at Parkside candies on Main st. They make amazing chocolate and candies in there.

            Parkside Cafe
            2479 Adler Ct, Seaford, NY 11783