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Searching for place to stop to eat between NNJ and Toronto

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Hi all--we will be traveling Friday, 9/23, between Summit, NJ and Toronto for a wedding. I'm looking for any advice about a nice, charming place to stop for a bite between, say, Binghamton and Syracuse along I-81 on the way. We can pack snacks and hold out until Syracuse if there is something worth trying there. I've eaten out a fair bit in NYC, but have very little experience with upstate NY. Road trips can make me a little queasy, so I'd prefer something that isn't very spicy, with fresh, seasonal preparations. Also, we were wondering if the Niagara Falls area is full of tourist traps, or are there any nice restaurants in that area? For lunch-style food, we'll spend 10-15, and for dinner 20-25. Is that reasonable, or should we wait until we get to Toronto for dinner? I've never been to Toronto, and I'm looking forward to checking out the food scene there. Thanks in advance!

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  1. Coming up 81 skip Syracuse and take the short cut. Route 41 at Homer to Skaneateles. Have lunch there then west on Rt.20 to Rt.281 to the Thruway.

    1. We just returned from a similar trip to yours (but started a bit north of you). Warning: food in Niagara Falls, ON is ****EXPENSIVE*****!!!!!!

      We had a great dinner in East Aurora at Tantalus and a really nice lunch in Buffalo at Lake Effect Diner. The latter we learned about through Chowhound, although it turned out to be a long-time favorite of local friends who joined us for lunch. The latter looks like a diner (and sure, it is one), but it's a locovore, very fresh food one.

      You will not get dinner in the price range you stated in Niagara Falls, and I think you'd be hard pressed in that price range anywhere that's an actual restaurant in Ontario. I say that based on one trip and not a whole lot of Chowhounding, so you should definitely ask your question on the Ontario board.

      One place I liked, very reasonable, in Toronto is an Ontario chain, called Wraps To Go. Actually I had lunch there every day we were in town.

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      Lake Effect Diner
      3165 Main St, Buffalo, NY 14214