If you consider yourself a foodie, the time is ripe to book a trip to Buffalo! Home not only to some tried-and-true classics (beef on weck! deep dish pizza! chicken wings!), Buffalo is quickly becoming the region’s top spot for innovative, adventurous restaurants. A fabulous mixture of high, low, down-home, and outlandish, the Queen City is the perfect place to please any palate.
For the chicken-wing obsessed, a trip to Buffalo can be something of a pilgrimage. Although the original chicken wing comes courtesy of Main Street’s Anchor Bar, locals all have their favorite sources for this classic (for what it’s worth, I prefer La Nova Pizzeria’s wings above all else!)
Looking for the perfect beef on weck? Take a short journey out to West Seneca to Schwabl’s. This local legend has been around for nearly two centuries and certainly looks that way—waiters and waitresses wear white uniforms and the charming decor is decidedly old school. Be sure to pick up the restaurant’s signature cocktail—the Tom & Jerry!
If you don’t want to miss out on the old-fashioned vibe but Italian is more your thing, get on over to the West Side’s Santasiero’s! This family joint has a no-frills aesthetic that is perfect for a casual and authentically Buffalo night out. Be sure to try the Pasta Fagioli.
If you’re visiting the Queen City in search of something a bit more cutting-edge, however, it surely won’t disappoint. In recent years, Buffalo has welcomed dozens of fresh new faces on the restaurant scene, many of which are blazing new trails, both gastronomically and aesthetically. For the city’s latest and greatest selections of farm-to-table delights, look no further than the up-and-coming Connecticut Street. Here, you will find The Black Sheep, a bar/restaurant from restauranteurs Steve and Ellen Gedra. With a focus on locally-sourced, whole foods and pork-based delicacies, the menu features experimental dishes and craft cocktails that are sure to stimulate the palette.
A short jaunt downtown will take you to another on-the-rise foodie neighborhood. Here, you will find Oshun, a seafood restaurant and oyster bar housed in a recently-renovated art deco building. With original 1930s frescos and stunning decor, this restaurant’s ambiance and food is simply to die for. Enjoy some cocktails directly at the oyster bar for a decidedly immersive experience.
A short walk from Oshun is one of my own favorite Sushi restaurants, Seabar. Its menu skews somewhat experimental and non-traditional, with fantastic Japanese-style takes on Western New York Staples. The Beef on Weck roll is fantastic.
A night of eating great food deserves a great cocktail. Make your last stop Buffalo Proper, one of the city’s newest (and most beautiful) sources for delicious artisanal cocktails. With decor provided from some of the city’s leading artists and craftspeople, it’s the perfect end to your night. Bon appetit!
— Karen Fashana