We’ve shared the classic “Buffalo” dishes that titillate tourists’ tastebuds when they come to visit, but for locals, choosing a place to dine is just as much about the atmosphere as it is about the eats. Read on to check out our top restaurant choices that satisfy both your appetite
and your craving for a good vibe. (Warning: Do not read on an empty stomach)
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life. While we continue to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, please take proper precautions or add them to your bucket list to see at a later date. If you know of a local business that could use some extra support during these times, please nominate them here:
1. Expo Market (617 Main Street, Buffalo)
Expo Market is a "locally-inspired food hall" that's definitely worth checking out. This modern-day take on a food court offers a wide variety of options: grab a juice from Crush Juicery for breakfast, nosh on Newbury Salads and Burmese cuisine from Sun Roll for lunch, and head back for happy hour at Gypsy Bohemian Grove Bar and Italian dishes by Mercato for dinner. Whatever time of day, Expo has a little something for everyone to enjoy!
2. West Side Bazaar (25 Grant Street)
West Side Bazaar has more than just great food options. It also provides opportunities for its vendors by supporting immigrant, refugee, and low-income individuals to become small business owners. The Bazaar offers cuisine from around the globe – Thai, Ethiopian, and Laotian – to name a few! Eat good. Do good. What could be more fulfilling?
3. Breadhive (402 Connecticut Street)
Breadhive Cafe and Bakery is home to delicious handmade breads, sandwiches crafted with locally sourced produce, and cold brew, coffee, and kombucha to wash it all down! Breadhive is a worker-owned cooperative open Wednesday-Sunday from 8-3 and Tuesdays from 8-6, but you can also enjoy their products at several local eateries, breweries, and cafes.
4. Lloyd Taco Factory (1503 Hertel Avenue)
"Where's Lloyd?" If you can't find their taco trucks roaming the streets downtown, head to Hertel to enjoy street meat OFF the street at Lloyd Taco Factory. The Taco Factory offers a truly unique dining experience: watch fresh tortillas being made before your eyes while you enjoy a bite to eat, a brew, or a specialty Snozzberry cocktail at Lloyd's bold new digs.
5. Allen Burger Venture (175 Allen Street)
Beer. Bourbon. Burgers. (Bonus points if you read that in your best Dwight Schrute voice.) Allen Burger Venture combines great food and a great bar all in one ultra-hip location. Come for the food – do not leave without trying the tots – and stay for the whiskey wall and impressive craft beer selection on draft. Not a meat eater? Herbivores can indulge here, too with ABV's alternative burger choices!
6. Marble + Rye (112 Genesee Street)
If you're searching for a carefully curated dining experience, this is it. Marble + Rye crafts their cocktails and dishes with quality ingredients and their attention to detail is noticeable in everything, even down to the restaurant's decor. Whether you're in the mood for a small plate, a dish to share, or wood-fired specialties, Marble + Rye offers a little bit of everything – and a drink menu that's seriously impressive, to say the least!
7. Ru's Pierogi (295 Niagara Street)
R-U ready to experience pierogis like never before? Ru's Pierogi is the latest restaurant to hit Niagara Street and their "plump little dough pillows" are reason enough to keep you coming back! Ru's menu ranges from traditional cheddar and potato and specialty pierogi options (think: pulled pork and chicken wing), burgers and sandwiches, and fresh salads - topped with pierogi, of course. Their bar features twelve locally crafted brews and ciders on rotation and a selection of wine to quench your thirst, all served up in a modern, fast causal setting.
8. Deep South Taco (291 Ellicott Street)
You don't have to head south of the border to enjoy the vibe of this authentic taqueria and bar! Try Deep South's specialty tacos, small plates, and guac (of course), while you sip on a drink from their extensive bar menu. For the full experience, enjoy Deep South in the summer months for dining al fresco on the patio and bar and be sure to mark your calendar for their Cinco De Mayo celebration!
9. Shango (3260 Main Street, Buffalo)
Geaux over to Shango for good, old-fashioned soul food in a modern setting. This bistro and wine bar claims to have "a light, fun atmosphere paired with serious food and drink," and we couldn't have said it better ourselves! Shango also offers a unique brunch experience on Sundays from 11-3, featuring award-winning gumbo, stuffed french toast and breakfast classics, and more New Orleans-inspired egg dishes than you can imagine!
10. The Dapper Goose (491 Amherst Street)
The Dapper Goose is another great spot for Sunday brunch, but they also offer an impressive dinner menu for those looking for a fresh take on American fare. Start out with a selection from the cheese menu and move along to perfectly-prepared vegetables and unique small plate offerings. Sink your teeth into the Confit Duck or Pork Shoulder (or anything, really) from the "Larger Plates" menu, and you'll fully understand why the #GooseMafia exists!
11. SATO (739 Elmwood Avenue)
The owner of SATO comes from a long line of chefs who made their claim to fame with Fukui-style ramen in Tokyo. Today, SATO's executive chef brings her own spin on classic ramen bowls through her use of seasonal menus, local ingredients, and the blending of both traditional and unique Japanese-inspired flavors.
Hungry yet? Head to one of these unique restaurants or recommend your favorites so we can add them to our list of must-eats!