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Recs for downtown Buffalo?

I'm going to be visiting Buffalo fairly regularly and would love to get some recommendations for downtown Buffalo. Ideally, I'd love some places that are walking distance from the Hyatt Regency and M&T Plaza. I've done a search and I only found a couple of threads that focus on downtown. Should I take that as a sign? :) I saw a rec for Bacchus -- still valid?

I will have a car, though, so if you tell me to hop in my car and drive someplace for better food, I'm all ears.

Open to all cuisines at all price points. I'm from Toronto (duh) where I love everything from hole in the wall dumpling joints to small funky chef-driven spots to silly expensive fine dining. It seems a lot of people would say to try beef on weck, pizza and wings, but I'm open to all suggestions.

Thanks for any input. I'm happy to return the favor if any of you are ever in Toronto!

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  1. Any recent thoughts on Seabar?

    1 Reply
    1. re: TorontoJo

      Seabar and Bacchus are good places close to where you are staying. Other places like Rue Franklin and anywhere in Allentown are walkable (at least by me). Maybe someone from the area can give you more up to date info, as it has been awhile since in was in Buffalo.

    2. I would agree with the recs for Seabar, Bacchus, and Rue Franklin. For something simpler and cheaper, we have liked Cabaret which is on Franklin St, and Bambino is pretty good, rather quirky Italian. If you want a "local color" kind of place you might try Ulrichs which claims to be the oldest restaurant/tavern in Buffalo. It's at the corner of Ellicott and Virginia--German food.

      Allentown is definitely within walking distance of downtown and I would recommend Allentown Hardware. There are other places in Allentown as well.

      The local paper recently recommended the Banh-mi at Nickel City Cheese, 423 Elmwood. Haven't tried it but plan to.

      There are some good places accessible by subway, as well. Hutch's is always good. It's at the corner of Delaware and Elmwood--get off at the Delavan/College stop and walk up Delavan. Or Shango, which is on Main Street fairly near the university stop.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Cliocooks

        Thank you, both! I will definitely check out some of these recs and report back. Much appreciated.

      2. Had dinner at Seabar last night. Very nice. Interesting mix of dishes on the menu which made for a fun dinner with my colleagues, as we just ordered a bunch of the apps and salads and just grazed. The standout for me were the fish tacos -- really great fresh flavors, set off really nicely by the crunch of the crisp shell. Colleagues loved the pork enchiladas -- I liked the flavors, but thought the pork was cooked too mushy. Also ordered the meatballs, the Japanese salad, the cucumber salad (what's with the giant mound of rice underneath to make it look like there was more cucumber?! cheap, not impressed), udon noodle soup, and a bunch of rolls. I didn't have the rolls, so can't comment on the quality of the shari.

        Washed it all down with a good junmai sake. All in all, an enjoyable meal and I would definitely return on future trips.

        1. I used to have a project in Buffalo. Only stayed overnight a few times once the plane schedule changed as I have an 11 yo. However, I was taken to Mother's Restaurant on my first trip by my colleagues and enjoyed it. Another time I went to Chef's and had the spaghetti parmesean. It is definitely a Buffalo thing. You have to try that at least once. I loved the extra sauce they gave me. I never made it to Anchor Bar and don't see the appeal of beef on weck but I tried it at the airport so maybe it is good somewhere else.

          1 Reply
          1. re: rolise

            I think Chefs is definitely a Buffalo thing. We have lived in Buffalo for 22 years and have been to Chefs twice. Seemed pretty ordinary both times, but people here love it.

          2. No trip to Buffalo is complete for me without dinner at the Left Bank--I love their hot banana peppers with tomatoes and asiago appetizer. \

            1. You mentioned "funky chef-driven spot", and so I feel compelled to mention Steven Gedra's Bistro Europa. Also, Jim Gaurino's Shango. Both places have terribly accomplished and creative chef/owners who feature a lot of local ingredients and push the envelope.

              1. Washington market has some nice sandwhiches and wraps if you are looking for something light....skip any salad they try to give you tho, they lack any flavor. Some of the food trucks are pretty good too, some not so much. Lloyds taco truck is supposed to be great, but I haven't tried them. The Cheesey Chick is good. Here's a website to track them down http://www.buffalofoodtruck.com/......We just moved down to the medical Corridor and the selection in that part of down town is limited. I disagree with the suggestion of Ulrichs....the ambiance is nice......the food....not so much. We found it to be pretty mediocre and greasy, but only tried it twice, perhaps we missed something? Betty's on Virginia, you would have to drive to, but we love them for lunch. I hear dinners are good, and that they have an outstanding brunch on the weekend's, but have never partaken of either. We recently had sushi at Kuni's (http://kunisbuffalo.com/) with a Japanese friend, who says it's the best in Buffalo, and he has lived here 5 years and tried them all. I second Left Bank and Shengo as well! I have lived here my whole life and definately do NOT get the thing with Chefs....it's ok, but I wouldn't pick it over many other places, but I do know lots of people who think its' fantastic....I make WAY better pasta, at home, from scratch LOL. I haven't tried out Nickel City cheese yet, but I am anxious to. I have heard good things.........I am just excited that there is now a cheesemonger in Buffalo! LOL.......and Penzeys........now if we could just get a Trader Joes, I would be a truly happy woman!

                1. Thanks for the additional recs! I'm going to be there on Monday and thought I'd check out Bistro Europa, but sadly they are closed for the week.

                  I'll go through all your other places and pick something else.


                  3 Replies
                  1. re: TorontoJo

                    Torontojo, just wondering if you tried any other places in Buffalo besides Seabar and what you thought?


                    TF :)

                    1. re: TeacherFoodie

                      It's been a while, but I enjoyed my dinner at Black Rock Kitchen. Didn't end up eating out often, as my trips ended up generally being just days trips instead. But both Black Rock and Seabar were enjoyable.