Buffalo's Neighborhoods

University Heights

A World of Options

University Heights is Buffalo’s college corridor, a strip of restaurants, bars and small shops that cater to the community at the University at Buffalo’s South Campus. And it feels just as eclectic and diverse as the nearby student body. You’ll find Buffalo’s finest Chinese restaurant – Ming Café – near Englewood Avenue. Next door, Sato Ramen is often mobbed by students and locals for its tasty and affordable fare. There’s Indian at Tandoori Hut, the best of New Orleans cuisine at Shango, classic diner fare at Lake Effect Diner, vegan and vegetarian options at Amy’s Place and, perhaps best of all, hot fudge sundaes at one of Buffalo’s historic ice cream parlors, Parkside Candy. It’s almost enough to make you want to go back to school.

Old and New School

Old and New School

Home to the oldest of three University at Buffalo campuses, this northeastern Buffalo neighborhood has long had a “college town” vibe to it.

The UB South Campus serves as the anchor to the district and the main hub to the city’s subway and bus lines. It’s accessible and convenient, and as the college continues to thrive, the neighborhood is following suit.

The typical college town amenities dot both sides of Main Street, including book stores, restaurants, bars and the requisite tattoo parlors.

Unique Eats:

Lake Effect Diner, the retro-inspired diner offers classic American plates within the confines of a chrome-and-neon diner car.

Amy’s Place, a low-key, cash-only restaurant provides Lebanese and American inspired food, with a number of vegan and vegetarian options.

Shango Bistro, based on the soulful cuisine of New Orleans, turns your ordinary meals into creole infused works of art.

The Ol’ Standby:

The longtime mainstay restaurant for the strip is The Steer; the wood cabin inspired restaurant and saloon serves up great food but is also the place to be for UB students.


Pick up some sweets for your sweet at Parkside Candy. This popular local confectioner has been delighting folks and keeping dentists in business since 1927. Its magnificent old-time interior will delight chocolate and architecture aficionados alike.

O’Connell’s Clothing, around since 1959 and nationally recognized, has some of the finest men’s and women’s fashions and accessories.

— Charlie Fashana

Top 5 Reasons To Explore University Heights


School is in session and University Heights is alive with students exploring the neighborhood’s buzzing business district along Main Street. Located right at the foot of the University of Buffalo’s South Campus, University Heights has  some of Buffalo’s most unique retailers, restaurants and art galleries.

Here are five great reasons to explore the northeastern corner of Buffalo, University Heights:

Lake Effect Diner

Lake Effect Diner

Retail Legends

O’Connell’s is a style destination that was established in 1959. From the pages of The New York Times to Dandy blogs all over the world, O’Connell’s is known for their exclusive lines and coveted private label collection.

Then head to Queen City Comics; this family owned business has been selling comic books for over 40 years.

Asian Fare

Ever crave bold and spicy flavors? Buffalo is a melting pot of cultures and flavors, especially when it comes to food. The University Heights district is well known for its Asian restaurants, such as SATO Ramen and Pho 99.

parkside candy

Parkside Candy chocolate shop and ice cream parlor.

Vintage Eats

 Lake Effect Diner is one of the last few remaining dining car-style diners in the U.S. This diner landed a starring role on Food Network’s “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” with Guy Fieri. We’ll take one of everything and an old-fashioned milkshake, please. End the evening with a hot fudge sundae at Parkside Candy, a 1920s ice cream parlor and chocolate shop with a spectacular art deco interior.

Hipster Heaven

For all you art lovers out there, UB’s Anderson Gallery always has unique shows worth viewing. This beautiful hidden gem is just a few blocks from Main Street. Then stop over to Amy’s Place. One of the best vegetarian and vegan restaurants in town, Amy’s Place is “the” place to be.

Bike the Rails

For bike riding enthusiasts…ride the rails! This unique bike path stretches a 4-mile long former railway that’s been converted into a bike path. The starting point of “Rails to Trails” bike path is located right behind the LaSalle Subway Station. Grab a friend and start your adventure!

6 Buffalo Diners to Cure Your Breakfast Blues


Who doesn’t love a good diner? Whether it’s for a big Sunday morning breakfast of eggs and bacon or maybe a flat top burger with a big pile of french fries, diners are a low-key way to enjoy your favorite comfort foods. Buffalo doesn’t have a large selection of diners but those we have are excellent. The following six restaurants are all worth a visit.

Swan Street Diner, 700 Swan St.
Opened in October 2017, this fully-restored 1937 diner car serves up nostalgic fare, think meatloaf melts and biscuits & gravy, with a modern twist. It’s a brand new addition to the ever-changing Larkinville neighborhood and its instant popularity makes it another slam dunk for owners, the Zemsky family.  Whether you’re there for breakfast or lunch, start your meal with an order of the mini donuts and try one of each – cinnamon, glazed and powdered sugar.

 Lake Effect Diner, 3165 Main St.
Tucker Curtin’s diner has always been a popular visit for University at Buffalo students but after an appearance on Diners, Drive-In’s and Dives a few years ago, more people finally started to take notice. Lake Effect is perhaps the most typical ‘diner’ that you’ll find in Buffalo. It’s one of the last dining-car style diners in the country with a long bar, vinyl covered booths and old-fashioned milkshakes. Everything is made fresh to order and a majority of the produce and meat used is sourced from local Western New York Farms. We recommend checking out the House Cured Ham with Red Eyed Gravy.

Bertha’s, 1430 Hertel Ave. This small Hertel Ave. diner is easy to miss. It’s a small restaurant next to North Park Theatre that blends into its surroundings. However, if you manage to find your way into the diner and grab one of their coveted seats (there’s only about a dozen tables), you are in luck. They have plenty of breakfast combos but the waffles and french toast are can’t miss items. Make sure you get there early; the restaurant closes every day at 2pm or 3pm.


Sophia’s Giambotta

Sophia’s, 749 Military Rd.
Another diner that benefited from a visit by Guy Fieri, this simple Riverside restaurant has often had lines out the door since their TV appearance. This diner has a friendly staff, a devoted following from regulars and a full menu of diner classics with an emphasis on breakfast. It may sound crazy, but their freshly baked bread is the star of the show and should be ordered on every visit.

 Amy’s Place, 3234 Main St.
A long favorite with college kids, Amy’s Place is one of the few diners on this list that really appeals to vegetarians and vegans. Yes, you can get some greasy diner fare, but you can also get some creative veggie options and some excellent Middle Eastern food as well. Personally, we love the Shawarma with homefries and pita.

Nick’s Place, 504 Amherst St.
This small diner in Black Rock has connections to Sophia’s, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that they also make an appearance on this list. This neighborhood diner has almost no Internet presence, limited hours and little parking. That said, it’s worth a trip for their classic breakfast and Greek-inspired dishes. We recommend Nick’s omelet, which is a great hangover cure featuring eggs, hot dogs, onions and Texas sauce.

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