One of the major benefactors of the recent Buffalo restaurant boom has been the Theatre District. For years, locals have enjoyed getting dressed up and seeing the latest national show at Shea’s or a homegrown production at the half-dozen other theaters on and around Main Street. Until recently, however, their dining options were limited to just a handful of restaurants. Luckily, the list of places to grab a bite and drink before seeing a show has grown exponentially. Here are some of our favorites:
Buffalo Proper, 333 Franklin St. Whether you are looking to have a couple cocktails or a full sit-down meal, Buffalo Proper can accommodate you. Edward Forster is one of the most talented chefs in Buffalo and combines local products and creative culinary techniques in all of his dishes. His food will satisfy your hunger pains but it won’t leave you in a coma by intermission either. Pair dinner with Bar Manager Jon Karel’s fun and interesting cocktails, and we guarantee you won’t leave disappointed.
EXPO Market, 617 Main St. A recent addition to downtown (they just opened last week), Expo Market is the most versatile option on the list. With a large group of people and not sure what to eat? This newly opened food hall has several vendors that offer anything from gourmet sandwiches, build your own pastas and even Burmese sushi. Don’t worry; they also have a bar on site too.
Toutant, 437 Ellicott St. I know I sound like a broken record, but there are plenty of great reasons to visit Toutant and going to a show in the theatre district is another one of them. Like Buffalo Proper, it’s another wonderful combination of top quality food and excellent bar service. Chef James Roberts and crew are knocking out Southern classics while Bar Manager Jeff Yannuzzi’s evolving cocktail menu and excellent whiskey selection will help get the night off to a great start.
Oshun, 5 E. Huron St. For starters, they have one of the biggest dining rooms in downtown Buffalo. So if you are planning a last minute visit and don’t have a reservation, they are a great option. They have a dedicated Oyster Bar (my favorite seat in the house) and a long list of modern takes on fresh seafood. Not to mention the décor alone is worth seeing firsthand.
Bacchus, 56 W. Chippewa St. If you want to get dressed up with your date and really go all out with a night in the theatre district, there might not be a better place within walking distance than Bacchus on Chippewa. With one of the best wine lists in the area and a menu from Chef Brian Mietus that emphasizes small plates and dishes to share; it’s a great place to have a conversation with your friends and loved ones before a show.