What do you get when you combine world-renowned architecture, a park system created by a genius, an abundance of cool animals and comfort food all within one square mile? The Parkside neighborhood, of course!
Parkside is nestled between Delaware Park to the West and Main Street to the east. An easy stop right off the 198 Expressway, this neighborhood is filled with beautiful architecture, natural splendor and delicious eats. Here’s a look at the top 4 ways to enjoy the Parkside community.
Not many neighborhoods can boast designs by Frank Lloyd Wright. Buffalo is lucky enough to have the Martin House Complex which, according to critics, is “one of the finest examples from Wright’s Prairie School era.” Just last year, the breathtaking and painstakingly recreated glass mosaic fireplace was finished in the main living room and this year, much of the home’s second floor renovation has been completed. But there’s much more on the horizon as the Barton House and surrounding exterior landscape and garden are undergoing meticulous work to bring the complex back to its full glory.
A drive through this beautiful residential neighborhood brings a “wow” effect when stumbling upon many examples of architectural greatness. As luck would have it, you can tour the unique and luxurious residences of the Parkside community by taking part in the Parkside Tour of Homes. Their 20th annual event is Sunday, May 20th and offers guests a glimpse of city living on the fringes of Olmsted-designed Delaware Park.
Delicious Dishes & Tasty Treats
Parkside has exceptional food on lockdown! Parkside residents Nancy Abramo and Len Mattie own The Parkside Meadow. They had a vision to turn a run-down vacant building into a thriving local eatery. The restaurant’s interior sports a special flair; you will find hundreds of artifacts celebrating Buffalo’s people, architecture, food, and events from the late 1800s to the 1950s. Their menu rocks the gamut from chicken wings to pot-roast, and they are even open on Sundays for brunch!
Across the street, near the corner of Russell and Parkside, Fairy Cakes Cupcakery & Bakeshop has dessert lined up in the form cheery and delicious cupcakes and pastries. Located across from the zoo, this hometown bakeshop offers a wide selection of inventive, colorful cupcakes. Pick your poison. Flavors range from Winter Pancakes and Bacon to Devil’s Food Cake and Oreo Buttercream. They also serve Public Coffee + Espresso, a local coffee company whose perfectly roasted brews pair perfectly with a cupcake. This, my friends, is what dreams are made of!
Where the Wild Things Are
The Buffalo Zoo (300 Parkside Ave.) traces its history back to 1875, when Frederick Law Olmsted was asked to include a zoo as part of Delaware Park’s design. A longtime family favorite, the zoo has made great strides in recent years to add new exhibits. Stop by and chill with Luna the polar bear and the arctic foxes at the Arctic Edge polar bear habitat. Then warm up in the always balmy Rainforest Falls exhibit with hundreds of different species of birds, monkeys, big cats and giant anteaters.
The bold vision for Buffalo continues with Frederick Law Olmsted, who created the Buffalo Olmsted Park System. Olmsted and co-designer Calvert Vaux created the fabric of our city through a system of interconnected parks and parkways throughout Buffalo. Delaware Park, on the neighborhood’s western edge, was developed between 1868 and 1876 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places for all its beauty. Its rolling meadows have been Buffalo’s de facto backyard for over a century. Explore the park’s winding paths on foot and by bike or take a relaxing seat on the patio of the park’s newest restaurant, The Terrace. And as part of this year’s 150th anniversary of Olmsted’s vision, Buffalo Parks will be celebrating with events, activities and more. Check out bfloparks.org for more info.