Until recently, dining on the waterfront in Buffalo meant finding a nice quiet area and packing a picnic. However, with the recent restaurant and Downtown resurgence, the waterfront has really started to explode with life. Restaurants are popping up on the Lake, River and Erie Canal and there’s never been a better time to grab a drink or beer while watching the sunset. Here are our choices for the best places to go if you want to hangout with an awesome waterfront view…
William K’s (329 Erie St)
There are plenty of restaurants opening up Downtown near the water, but only a few of them are focusing on a higher level of cuisine and service. William K’s is located right next to the Hatch and is offering a culinary creations that would satisfy any diner out before a show at Shea’s or in search of a nice night on the town. Chef Todd Lesakowski’s menu highlights include house made charcuterie, wood oven pizzas and, if you want go all out, a 36 ounce Fire Roasted Porterhouse.
The Ward at RiverWorks (359 Ganson St)
Who knew that one of the hottest places to be this summer would be located off Ohio Street in the First Ward? The entire RiverWorks complex has been the place to be this summer. With tons of spots to dock your boat or kayak and a large patio with plenty of bar seats… it’s all that you’ve been hoping for on a warm, sunny weekend. Add live music, the occasional roller derby match and some pub food from the folks behind Pearl Street and you’ve got yourself the ideal summer outing.
Charlie’s Boat Yard (1111 Fuhrmann Blvd)
Taking over the former Dug Dive’s as of this summer, Charlie’s Boat Yard is doing the heavy lifting of being the sole dining option on the Outer Harbor. With a menu that features Buffalo comfort food, including wings and stuffed peppers, they are also offering a seafood focused menu of clams, chowder, crab cakes and seared tuna along with American classics like burgers and yes, brunch. Their patio offers arguably the best-unobstructed view of Lake Erie and boat enthusiasts can watch them come and go at the nearby marina.
Maybe you’re looking for a little live music to accompany your meal and your view. Well the brand new Tewksbury Lodge at Buffalo River Fest Park offers a full menu including salads, sandwiches and juicy burgers along with fresh, local beers. As a bonus, if you visit on a Wednesday evening during the summer you’ll be greeted by live music from the River Fest Concert Series. Down along the Outer Harbor at Wilkeson Pointe, the new beer garden loving named The Pointe is your go-to for an evening drink, stunning sunset over the Lake Erie breakwall and live music ranging from smooth jazz to bluegrass.
If the weather is a little overcast and you’d like to still hang out near the waterfront, the relatively new Pizza Plant (125 Main St) located in the first floor of the Courtyard Marriot building. Like their other locations, you can expect their signature pods (AKA, a fancier calzone) with a variety of toppings and an excellent selection of craft beer. A more upscale option is Panorama on Seven, the restaurant inside the Marriott (different one) at Harborcenter. This modern lounge/restaurant offers everything from Pork Belly Steamed Buns to Cast Iron Strip Steaks. They also offer a nice selection of whiskeys, wine and an impressive cocktail menu that can stack up with any of the local popular cocktail bars. All of this is offered with a beautiful, sweeping view of Canalside.