A Foodie’s Guide to Allentown

By Donnie Burtless

Published on | Last Updated

Over the last three years there has been a lot of buzzing restaurant activity in Allentown. The culinary boom in the City of Buffalo has certainly made an impact on this tiny, artsy neighborhood. Several of our recommendations have only been open for two years or less, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t worth checking out. There are also a few locations on this list that are staples of the neighborhood and have been open for decades. If you want to live it up with the cool kids, here are some recommendations for your next meal in Allentown:

Billy Club
One of the most exciting openings in all of Western New York in 2016, Billy Club features a stylish dining room and bar with a small but ever changing menu from Chef Scott Crombie (Buffalo Proper) and a great whiskey & cocktail list put together by owners Dan Hagen and Jake Strawser. This is a great spot for dinner before a show or just a nice place to sit down with a Manhattan and some friends.

billy club

Homemade pierogi at Billy Club

Mark Supples’ Allentown institution doesn’t have a website or really much online presence at all, but that hasn’t stopped it from being one of the most popular restaurants in Allentown for over 20 years. They serve food well after midnight, but we’re not talking chicken finger subs. Want a juicy steak or tender porkchop at 1am? This is the place to go. Plus, the patio is one of the best in the city!

The Pink
After living across the street for 4 years, I’ve made more visits to The Pink then I can remember. This bar is great for happy hour drinking, grabbing a steak sandwich or thick slab of fried bologna and playing some pool or darts. But it’s most popular after 2am on the weekend. That’s when you’ll find the bar packed three-deep with a full dance party going on. If you find yourself there, order some PBR’s and let loose.

Allen Burger Venture
Mike Shatzel’s punk rock bar is dedicated to three things: whiskey, burgers and craft beer. The dry-aged grass-fed beef burgers have a wide variety of toppings to choose from, but I personally like to go there for the beer selection as it’s one of the best in the city. (Side note: Mike’s newest bar, the recently re-opened Colter Bay just down the street, also boasts a stellar beer selection and is a little bit more roomy than ABV).


Black bean burger at ABV

Allen St. Poutine
It took a long time for someone to offer reliable, consistent, delicious poutine in Buffalo. Thankfully, a couple years ago, two Canadians finally moved down to Buffalo to make it happen. This poutinerie is open for lunch, dinner and late night for when you’ve maybe had too much to drink.

Other Allentown eats: Café 59 has had several locations around Buffalo, but what you need to know is they serve one of the best Chicken Finger Subs in WNY and their bar is great for a quiet night out. Pasión makes you feel like you’ve traveled somewhere exotic, with a tropical vibe and a long list of rum-based tiki drinks. The Melting Point is a great spot for a quick lunch or dinner; their menu consists primarily of grilled cheese sandwiches with a variety of healthy fillings. Gabriel’s Gate is the go-to wing recommendation for people who are looking for something a little bit under the radar. With a warm, lodgy atmosphere located in a historic Allentown building, you won’t be disappointed with these wings.

Donnie Burtless headshot

Donnie Burtless

Donnie is one of the co-founders of Buffaloeats.org, a leading food blog in the Queen City. His monthly round-ups of Buffalo's best restaurants appear monthly on Visit Buffalo Niagara's blog.