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Dec 22, 2011 02:04 PM

Torontonian heading to Buffalo for the 1st time - suggestions, please?

My wife and I are coming to Buffalo for a full day visit in January. We're stopping at Premier Gourmet to do some shopping and then will be shopping and looking for lunch and dinner locations.

I've read about beef on weck and chicken wings and am totally fine with those options if they are indeed worth the visit. Anything else that you think is casual and a great Buffalo spot would be appreciated.

We're coming in for the hockey game, so eating would be an early bird dinner (5, likely, since I assume there isn't anything memorable near HSBC Arena). Lunch can be on the way from Premier Gourmet (i.e. Kenmore). A nice tap selection would be a bonus.

So please, your guidance would be appreciated.
Thanks in advance!

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  1. The Delaware (maybe100yds from Premier) has excellent pub food and a decent beer selection. For one of the bast beer selections I have found try McGreggors Grill and Tap room. Marginal food but 80+ rotating taps.

    1. Near HSBC you might try Pearl Street Grill and Brewery. Food is pretty good, and it's (obviously) a brew pub. Will be crowded and noisy before a hockey game.

      There are other downtown options, as well. City Grill on Main Street is one, still close to the arena. A bit farther are Cabaret, Bambinos, and Laughlins. They are all in the theater district, a bit farther from the arena--but you can right the subway/light rail free, so parking near the arena, then taking the train to dinner and back, would be practical.

      Not as familiar with Kenmore, but there will be multiple lunch places there, ranging from pub-like to Italian to Indian and Chinese.

      Depending on where you plan to do your shopping, you might want to work in a visit to Blue Monk on Elmwood. It's probably the best beer option, and good food too, for dinner or lunch. Quite close to lots of little shops.

      1. I agree that the Pearl Street Grill is a great option, and close to the arena. Another great casual option is Pizza Plant. This is NOT just a pizza place, but a great bar & restaurant with a 25-year reputation. If you like beer, you'll like it, as they have a lot of great local brews, according to my husband. Or if you're not a beer drinker (I'm not) you'll still like the food. Their signature dish is the "pod," similar to a calzone, I guess. It's meat/cheese/sauce baked inside football-shaped dough, in assorted flavors. They have 2 locations: Main Street in Williamsville, and Transit Road in Amherst.

        I'm not much of a roast beef eater, but I'm told that some of the best Beef on Weck is at Schwabl's in West Seneca.

        6 Replies
        1. re: JaclynM

          think we'll hit the Pizza PLant due to the beer list.

          So which location makes more sense: Williamsville or Amherst?
          and should we park near the arena or near the restaurant?


          1. re: atomeyes

            Personally, I like the beer at Pizza Plant, but not so much the food or atmosphere. My choice for good taps would be Cole's on Elmwood. OK bar food (e.g. wings and weck) and nice old bar atmosphere, best tap list in Buffalo. Take Elmwood south from Cole's for a couple miles and you are downtown for the game.

            If you are going to hit Premier in Kenmore, then Cole's is about half way between.

            P.S. The Sabres have been crap lately - if you are coming to watch the Leafs you may be happy this year (we had your number in the past).

            1. re: atomeyes

              I would probably say Williamsville, just because that location has been around much longer. The Amherst one was closed for a while and recently opened at a new address in December, so they might still be working out the kinks.

              Leaving the car parked at Pizza Plant might be more trouble than it's worth. There is a bus stop right nearby, but you would need to take the bus to the Metro Rail at the University at Buffalo South Campus, and then go downtown from there. On the other hand, downtown parking can get expensive whenever there's a game or event at the arena, but personally I'd rather pay a few bucks and save some time. Or, if you're willing to walk a bit, you can sometimes find street parking several blocks away, and not pay anything because the meters only run until 5pm.

              1. re: atomeyes

                Williamsville is somewhat closer to HSBC, and very close to the highway if you're looking to get downtown fairly quickly. You're probably looking at a 15 minute drive from Williamsville to HSBC.

                If you want to park only once, you'll need to eat downtown within walking distance of HSBC, or possibly close to a subway station. There are quite a few restaurants downtown, and there's also a cluster near University Station, which is the end of the subway line. I'm not sure which would have the most extensive beer list, though.

                1. re: Cliocooks

                  Shango is on Main St. up near the UB south campus and has excellent food and beer. You could take the subway from the south campus stop right downtown to the arena.

                  1. re: jmoryl

                    Shango is a great choice--I would make a reservation, especially if you're here on a weekend.

            2. As you mentioned wings, I assume you gave thought to a pilgrimage to the Anchor Bar, birthplace of the Buffalo wing?

              2 Replies
              1. re: porker

                debating about it.
                not sure if its more hype than anything.

                1. re: atomeyes

                  Lots of bars in Buffalo have great wings. No need to endure the Anchor Bar just because it was first.

              2. This place, Lagehouse 95... just recently opened right next to the arena. Have not tried it, but it is the closest option. Btw...arena is now called the First Niagara Center (or Centre! ;-)