How does a local Italian restaurant survive the Great Depression, a world war, countless Buffalo blizzards and a flood?
It’s pretty simple, actually. Delicious food, good prices, generous portions and a warm atmosphere.
Santasiero’s on Niagara Street has been a West Side staple for 98 years and is one of the city’s oldest restaurants. Even a flood in 2015 couldn’t get in its way. When it reopened it was by design that much of the restaurant stayed the same – from the red and white checkered table cloths to traditional Italian wine tumblers and tables close enough together to make you feel like you’re part of one big family.
The food though. The food is what keeps people coming back.
Don’t expect a menu when you sit down. Look up, and your food options take up the entire back wall offering mostly classic Italian comfort food. Some of the staples include spaghetti, ravioli and stuffed shells along with Santasiero’s famous pasta e fagioli, linguini and clams and as advertised on the sign outside of the restaurant, beef on weck. Oh, and you can get anything ‘parmigian’d’ (covered with melted cheese) for just $4.00 extra. Need me to repeat that? Anything. Parm’d.
The priciest dish on the menu is a full order of chicken parmigiana coming in at just $10.25. My favorite is the eggplant parmigiana, six generous slices of lightly breaded and fried eggplant, covered in a not-too-sweet red sauce and then smothered in what can only be described as a heavenly layer of cheese, melted to perfection.
Good food brings people together. A reputation of trust and customer loyalty keeps them coming back for nearly 100 years. And with no signs of slowing down, Santasieros will be welcoming guests, with open arms, for decades to come.