Gallery Above
Clockwise from left


Erie County Fair

Nick Charlap's

Gear for Adventure

Located 20 minutes south of Buffalo, the quaint Village of Hamburg is filled with meticulously manicured roundabouts, shops and restaurants aplenty and a walkability that has drawn the attention of The New York Times. Here are some of my Hamburg highlights:

All’s fair

Gummy bears. Cheesecake. Bacon corn dogs. All of these things have taken the plunge into the deep fryers of Erie County Fair concession stands. And from there, some have gloriously/disastrously made their way to my stomach. Over the years, while dragging my grease-filled self around, I’ve managed to take in all that this quirky 175-year-old carnival has to offer, from the massive midway to pig races to the oddly captivating bingo-ish game of “I Got It.”

More than hamburgers

From pub grub to fine dining, Hamburg is packed with picks for any palate. Partake in Hamburg’s newest fare found at The Grange Community Kitchen and Carte Blanche. Slurp some red pepper bisque at Mason’s Grille 52; nosh on pit-charred barbeque wings at Mammoser’s (which is near the top of my wing power rankings); get a taste of the good life on a budget with an order off of Daniel’s prix fixe menu (Tuesdays through Thursdays); grab a cozy alleyway seat and some thinly sliced eggplant parm from Tina’s Italian Kitchen; or kick back with a Prohibition-style cocktail at Bistro in the Square. Then satisfy your sweet tooth with some frozen custard from Nick Charlap’s (if they have orange chocolate as the flavor of the week, get it!); an old fashioned banana split from Main Street Ice Cream (I often succumb to their tagline: “You deserve it”); or spice things up with some sea salt habanero chocolates from the Village Sweet Shoppe.

Gear up

Outdoorsy type? Then Gear for Adventure is worth the hike to Hamburg, alone. Husband/wife co-owners Kevin and Sarah offer everything from Marmot outerwear to Kelty frame packs to bear barrel rentals. During the winter months, they lead weekly snowshoe excursions.

The reel deal

If you’re a film buff, skip the megaplexes and head to the Palace Theatre. With its bright marquee beaconing passersby on Buffalo Street and single screen inside, the Palace has been bringing Hollywood to Hamburg since 1926.

— Peter Burakowski