The dining counter at Lake Effect Diner.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.