In 2014, my husband and I were newly engaged and looking for our first home together. We wanted a walkable neighborhood near restaurants, bars, and stores. Naturally, we only considered the Elmwood Village and North Buffalo. The ‘burbs were never an option (we were young, after all!). Well, the market had other plans for us.
After being outbid for nearly every house we looked at, we expanded our search and fell in love with the Village of Williamsville. My husband grew up near the Village, and as they say, life comes full circle, and here he was back again.
When we moved into our first home, we were a family of two, and we took full advantage of the Village’s charm and accessibility. In 2014, there was no Britesmith, Moor Pat, Share, or Ration Ales, but those establishments only added to the Village’s appeal in the years to come. Our go-to was and remains Creekview.
As a duo, we’d walk to the bar after work on a Friday, have a drink (or two), and relocate to the main dining room, which overlooks the creek. In the winter, snow falling outside feels magical, and watching the water glisten is equally as enchanting in the warmer months. As true creatures of habit, my husband always orders the steak sandwich, and I always order the cobb salad. Both seem simple, but that’s exactly what you want and expect from a place like Creekview, simple comfort food that never disappoints.
Fast forward two years, and in 2016, we welcomed our first child, a little girl. While we took a hiatus from weekly happy hours, our love for the Village only grew. Our daughter was born in the winter, and as we all know, the winter months in Buffalo can be challenging. Our Friday night happy hours were replaced with takeout from the Village Grille. This unassuming establishment has the best tzatziki I’ve ever had, and the gyro is perfect every time.
While food and wine are my love language, so is a good park, especially with littles in tow, and the Village of Williamsville delivers. From Glen Falls to Garrison Park to Island Park, there is an outdoor respite for all ages. Glen Falls has served as the backdrop for our family photos, the ideal setting for a picnic, and the perfect place for a “hike” for pint-sized kids.
Garrison Park in the summer needs to be on every new parent’s list. The wading pool is the summer spot you need to go-to. With colorful Adirondack chairs, buckets of water toys for kids, and a playground nearby, you can’t go wrong. While you may be exhausted bouncing back and forth from the pool and the playground, you can guarantee your children will be too, and aren’t we all just trying to get to nap time some days?
With a 6 and 4-year-old, our family has “graduated” from the wading pool, which fills me with happiness and sadness, but playgrounds continue to be the extracurricular of choice for our girls. Island Park’s oversized swings, climbing walls, and slides check all the boxes for our family, and its close proximity to Britesmith will ensure everyone ends their day happily – a Billie Haze for mom and dad and tater tots for our girls.
In 2014, I never would have expected that this place would become our home for life. While we technically live outside the Village now, Creekview is our girls’ favorite restaurant (which they call “The Restaurant”), Britesmith is our go-to with friends, Moor Pat’s rustic aesthetic always feels cozy in the winter, and Sweet Jenny’s will always leave you wishing you ordered more – because the ice cream is just that good.
Eagle House, Glen Park Tavern, and The Irishman are all equally special and embody the Village’s charm. With the arrival of Overwinter Coffee, we’ve spent many mornings nestled in their window seats (and then asking a barista for a handheld vacuum because our girls have successfully made a muffin into 1 million little muffins).
If shopping is your thing (it’s mine), you can find the perfect date night outfit from Blush Boutique, a housewarming gift from Nest in the Village, and undergarments and swimwear from Ashley’s Lingerie & Swimwear, just to name a few. Park in the municipal lot, stop and take a picture of the murals, grab a coffee, and make your way down Main Street – either direction is the right direction.