Buffalo Bills football home weekends are cause for serious celebration and near religious observance in this lakeside home of the National Football League. Hardcore tailgaters arrive in their RVs, pick-ups and campers at New Era Field on Friday afternoon. Hopeful fans fill the stadium with their blankets in tow. And, for three hours each Sunday, all hopes are pinned on this year being the one.
Attending a Bills game isn’t just about winning and losing, though. It’s truly about the camaraderie and the love of the sport. To see what’s in store for you, take a look at our Buffalo For Real TV webisode on tailgating at New Era Field!
Here’s an insider’s guide to football weekends in Buffalo.
On the night before a game, pigskin fans flock to The Anchor Bar, the legendary birthplace of Buffalo wings. Located in downtown Buffalo, the Anchor Bar has been featured on the Travel Channel, Food Network, The New York Times, and CBS Sunday Morning News. The mere presence of wings, however, is enough to please the lords of game-day luck, so you might also try Gabriel’s Gate, Duff’s Famous Wings or The Bar Bill Tavern to see which ones are your favorites.
If you want to chase your wings with a bit of nightlife, downtown Buffalo’s Chippewa Street entertainment district is the place to be. With more than 20 bars and restaurants and a raucous scene that lasts until 4 a.m., you’ll want to pace yourself to make sure you’re fresh and ready for the big game!
You’ll know Sunday has arrived by the electricity in the air throughout the Queen City. Even before the sun comes up, the town is preparing for kickoff, stocking up on some local beers, Sahlen’s foot longs and other tailgating supplies. Then it’s time to make your way out to New Era Field, located 25 minutes from downtown Buffalo in Orchard Park, where you’ll be greeted by an endless sea of blue!
If you’re not up for tailgating, Danny’s South and The Big Tree Inn are located next to the stadium and provide a warm place for fans to stoke their competitive fires. On game days, Danny’s serves a special brunch at 10 a.m. Or head straight to the stadium for the “Gameday Experience” at the Buffalo Bills Fieldhouse. There you’ll find a huge celebration of football featuring interactive games and the official pre-game radio show. The event opens at 9:30 a.m. on game days and is free.
Your Bills game experience wouldn’t be complete without a post-game stop at Ilio Di Paolo’s Restaurant & Ringside Lounge. Home to generations of hungry Bills fans, as well as the players themselves, this family-run restaurant adds a gourmet touch to its authentic Italian menu. Go Bills!