Classic Buffalo Spotlight: Gabriel’s Gate

When it comes to best wings in Buffalo, Gabriel’s Gate is always in the conversation. But visitors may be surprised to learn that it also has a bit of something for everyone.

Situated in the center of the city’s Allentown District, “The Gate” is a Buffalo staple whose no-frills casual dining experience has kept it humming for 50 years. Its well-deserved reputation continues to attract tourists and wing seekers, as well as regulars who can be seen chatting things up at the bar. And it’s a must-visit for anyone who appreciates rustic neighborhood charm, solid food and a sense of humor.

Like most city staples, the Gate has a noteworthy history that it proudly touts for all guests. As part of historic Allentown, its structure is one of the original Tift Row Homes built in 1864. These homes are recognizable by their distinctive brick façade and interconnected structure – a defining characteristic of many structures in the area, and an important piece of Buffalo’s diverse architectural heritage.

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Photo courtesy of Gabriel’s Gate

The interior of Gabriel’s Gate embraces its past. The venue’s antique tin ceiling, roaring fireplaces and interspersed use of brick, stone and hardwood provide a perfect all-season escape for a pint and a meal. Beyond the main bar and impressive chandelier – something out of a grandiose hunting lodge – a welcoming enclosed back room opens to an impressively intimate outdoor patio for the warmer months. But this all comes with personality. For every chandelier and candlelit table, there is a hat-wearing buffalo or a Native American chief statue that guards the restroom hallway. The classic rock jukebox also won’t disappoint.

Onto the food. Gabriel’s Gate takes its reputation for wings seriously and offers a range of flavors and heat – ordered in single or double quantity. In this humble writer’s opinion, the sauce and crispy tenderness is the best around. Thrill seekers should only try the “suicide” heat at their own peril. Beyond wings, fan favorites include the French onion soup and – if you’re fortunate – the fish fry served on Thursday and Friday nights. All produce and meats are delivered seven days a week to ensure freshness.

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With no pun intended (well, possibly intended), Gabriel’s Gate is a traveler’s gateway to Allentown. Its disarming, relaxed ambience and quality pub fare are a great complement to its newer neighbors such as Billy Club and the revamped Colter Bay. It could be argued to come for the wings, and stay for the atmosphere. But really, you can’t go wrong.

Bon Appetit also named Gabriel’s Gate their favorite place for wings in Buffalo. Check out Bon Appetit’s Alex Eats It All buffalo episode here. And be sure to check out Gabriel’s Gate on the Buffalo Wing Trail: America’s Tastiest Drive.

Gabriel’s Gate is located at 145 Allen Street.