Imagine a neighborhood where visitors linger at open-air cafes and browse farmer’s market vendors on a tree-lined parkway in the summer, while gathering at cozy coffeehouses and pubs in the winter. Picture a district where independently-owned and artisanal are the descriptors used for retailers instead of chain and franchise. Think of a place where public art can be seen on nearly every block. That’s Buffalo’s Elmwood Village, named by the American Planning Association as one of the country’s 10 best neighborhoods and home to some of the city’s most popular shops, bars and restaurants .
A Vibrant Village
Before we get started, there’s one thing you must know about the Elmwood Village. You need more than a day or two to truly enjoy all that it has to offer. But if that’s all you have, here’s a list of must-see’s and gotta do’s:
Let’s get you some culture. Head to the Albright-Knox Art Gallery and get your fill of van Gogh, Dali and Warhol. They’re all there. If one gallery isn’t enough, saunter your artsy self across the street to the Burchfield Penney Art Center for an outstanding collection of regional art.
Eat All the Healthy Food
Head to Ashker’s for breakfast and don’t leave without ordering a smoothie or cold pressed juice. For dinner, you’ll want sushi at Kuni’s. Kuni will hand roll your sushi in front of you. Awesome? Awesome.
After Kuni’s head next door to Vera for a cocktail. Order from their seasonal drink menu or ask for “The Duke,” one of the best drinks in Buffalo. Then, stop by Cole’s for a large selection of great craft brews.
Splurge on Snacks
If you’re in the mood for a snack after your drinks there are three letters you need to know. ETS. Elmwood Tacos and Subs serves up some of the best waffle fries and a serious beef and bean burrito. Then, get your fill of sponge candy at Watson’s or Fowler’s.
Or walk, whatever you’re comfortable with but don’t miss the opportunity to see some of the best houses and neighborhoods in the city. Start at the casino in Delaware Park, take a lap around Hoyt Lake and head down Lincoln Parkway to Soldiers Circle and onto Bidwell Parkway.
Elmwood was built on shopping. My favorite stores are Urban and Everything Elmwood but there’s something for everyone so go for a stroll, grab a coffee at Spot and enjoy some retail therapy.
While you’re shopping, start making a mental note of all the things that you didn’t have time for and pick a date to visit the Elmwood Village again.
Fall in love with the Elmwood Village. This urban hot spot is home to Buffalo’s coolest coffee drinking, art loving foodies and fashionable creatives. On any given day, you see the hustle and bustle of independently owned businesses thriving. The Elmwood Village was named by the American Planning Association as one of the country’s 10 best neighborhoods and boasts some of the city’s most popular boutiques, bars and restaurants.
There’s certainly something for everyone in the EV. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing dinner at Aroma, a lively craft cocktail experience at Vera, or a shop ‘til you drop shopping experience, here are the top reasons to explore the Elmwood Village.
Maybe you’re hunting for that perfect dress or statement necklace that will compliment your personal style. The Elmwood Avenue fashion scene is growing with boutiques offering modern and contemporary collections of fashion, footwear, accessories, home décor and gifting. Modern clean design is so hot right now; visit Ro, Fern & Arrow, Anna Grace, Blush and Vania & David for a well-edited selection of sassy style.
Albright-Knox Art Gallery
Art is a part of Buffalo’s heartbeat. The Elmwood Village is well known for its local art galleries. Be inspired and soak up some of our best museums – visit the world-renowned Albright-Knox Art Gallery for its collection of modern and contemporary and the Burchfield Penney Art Center for its signature collection of regional works. Located on Elmwood Avenue, both are a stone’s throw away from each other.
Buffalo’s food scene is always growing. Now more than ever, specialty shops are popping up all over the city. Elmwood has a few of our artisanal favorites, including Farm Shop, which is home to White Cow Dairy products and the Lexington Co-op for the organic-on-the-go. And don’t miss one of Buffalo’s best farmer’s markets along Bidwell Parkway every Saturday morning!
Just Bike It
Over the past few years, Buffalo’s streets have become more bike friendly. Many of our streets have been re-designed to better suit our avid bike community. Go Bike is a non-for-profit organization that has been paving the way for improvements, with exciting on-going city projects that are improving the quality of “biking” life. During the warmer weather take advantage of bike rentals in the Elmwood Village at Campus WheelWorks, and cruise around the Frederick Law Olmsted designed Bidwell Park and Delaware Park. Looking for more of a party on the streets? Buffalo’s slow roll and Midnight Bike Ride are always fun!
Wings and beer. Poutine and beer. Souvlaki and beer. All are the quintessential comfort-food & drink combos that never fail us. Elmwood Avenue is legendary when it comes to its bars and restaurants. Find your foodie fixes on Elmwood at fan favorites, Cole’s, Globe Market, and Pano’s. Looking for more of an adventurous food experience? Buffalo Bites Food Tours are perfect for those who want to eat locally, enjoy a walking tour with historical, architectural and cultural highlights and experience the neighborhood, like a local!