Things To Do In Buffalo, NY?
February 24, 2005 9:36 AM   Subscribe

On Monday, I'm flying to Buffalo, NY for a one day meeting on Tuesday morning. Any suggestions for a good place to eat dinner? A museum to see? A cool shop to check out?
posted by marcschil to Travel & Transportation around Buffalo, NY (19 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: If you like wings, you shouldn't miss the Anchor Bar, they invented them.
posted by Marky at 9:47 AM on February 24, 2005

Best answer: I've lived in Buffalo my entire life...
Anchor Bar has good wings, but I prefer Gabriel's Gate. My favorite local coffee shop is Spot, and they roast their own beans, too. Albright Knox Art Gallery is phenomenal.
The best shopping/people watch area is the Elmwood Ave neighborhood.

If you want info that's specific to where you'll be feel free to drop me an email. kellyhelene at gmail
posted by Kellydamnit at 10:10 AM on February 24, 2005

My wife lived in Buffalo for quite a while. She suggest Amy's (on Main St. in the college town section) for big heaping breakfasts, good vegetarian selection, and greek food. Another good greek place is the Acropolis (on Elmwood).

She says don't go to the Anchor Bar for wings (people from Buffalo don't go there). She also says Gabriel's Gate is expensive and not very good. Her favorite hole-in-the-wall wings place is Duff's (in Amherst, where she suggests that if you're driving, obey all traffic laws, because the cops are hard-ass).

Other Buffalo cuisine to try (besides the eponymous wings) are texas red hots (spicy hot dogs with lots of gunk on them) and beef on weck (rare roast beef on a salty break with horse radish).

She recommends the Albright Knox Art Gallery as well. She also suggests checking out the city hall, which is one of the great art deco buildings in the USA. There are also beautiful parks designed by Frederick Law Olmstead (designer of Central Park in NYC).
posted by Emanuel at 10:49 AM on February 24, 2005

Oooh... almost forgot. If you've never been to Niagara Falls, it's a really quick drive away, and completely worth it, even in the winter. The Cave of the Winds tour may be a bit much in the cold, but I've done the boat ride in colder weather than now and lived to tell. Casinos on both sides of the border, at minimum a drivers license to cross on foot.

And supposedly it won't be too nasty out Monday. Hovering right around the freezing point or so. So it's not the frozen tundra people make it out to be all the time. Today it's a pratically balmy 23 where I am.

On preview: (Amherst cops are kittens when compared to some of the other burbs. I've been pulled over for going 37 in a 35 in Kenmore! Two damn miles! Cheektowaga's just as bad). In Buffalo you can drive with a severed human head hanging from the rear bumper of your car and will only get pulled over if blood splashes into a cop's coffee.

My no-longer-local friends all say, more than the wings, they miss Mighty Taco
posted by Kellydamnit at 10:58 AM on February 24, 2005

Dinosaur BBQ!!! It's amazing. I never went to the one in Buffalo but it's other location in Rochester is great.

Also, the University of Buffalo is very pretty.
posted by moooshy at 10:59 AM on February 24, 2005

Buffalo doesn't have a Dinosaur BBQ.
posted by Kellydamnit at 11:04 AM on February 24, 2005

You'll have dinner with me, silly goose! C'monamyhouse and I'll take you out for a fun & carousing Monday night. No Anchor Bar for you, we'll go to Billy Ogden's, maybe.
posted by Riot Sauce at 11:08 AM on February 24, 2005

Oh geez, my friend sent me this link to this page and I thought it was my friend posting. Here I go inviting strangers to have dinner with me again, just when I was turning over a new leaf. Well, you'll love it here anyway, as you can see we're a very friendly bunch! Hee hee.

Cool shops - Everything Elmwood, on Elmwood of course.
Premier Gourmet, on Delaware.

Billy Ogden's is a very fun restaurant. The meatloaf at ZuZon's is fabulous. Siena is nice and they are even open on Mondays. Kelly is right on about Spot Coffee and about not speeding in Kenmore.
posted by Riot Sauce at 11:43 AM on February 24, 2005

If you want the best chicken wings, go to Duffs (3651 Sheridan Dr., 834-6234). Period.

There are lots of decent and even great places to eat, from pho to foie gras. I've reviewed a bunch of them at Bill Rapaport's Buffalo Restaurant Guide.

Tell us what you're in the mood for and what your budget is, and we'll give you better suggestions.

Where will you be staying? Drive time might be a consideration. A lot of people stay in hotels near the airport, or one of the ones clustered near the Amherst Campus of the University at Buffalo (on Millersport Highway or Maple Road).
posted by sacre_bleu at 11:44 AM on February 24, 2005

If you like Mission or Craftsman-style furniture, the Roycroft Inn is a terrific spot. It's a National Landmark founded in the late 19th century by Elbert Hubbard as home of America's Arts and Crafts movement. It's only a few minutes' drive outside Buffalo, in Aurora. The restaurant there is fabulous.
posted by sixpack at 12:01 PM on February 24, 2005

Missed this before:

The Cave of the Winds tour may be a bit much in the cold, but I've done the boat ride in colder weather than now and lived to tell.

The Cave of the Winds is closed until spring (usually April). The Maid of the Mist (unparalleled boat excursion) won't open until then, or thereabouts.

Still, Niagara Falls in winter is mighty pretty, if frigid. They're lit up at night by spotlights from the Canadian side.
posted by sacre_bleu at 12:02 PM on February 24, 2005

Response by poster: Wow! This is a wonderful list. I thought I would get a suggesiton or two but this is amazing. Makes me want to stay an extra day or two, but ala I can't.

So as a follow-up question - If you had to choose two things to do, which two wouold they be?
posted by marcschil at 12:06 PM on February 24, 2005

1. Duff's for a double order medium and a pitcher of Molson's, then

2. go downtown for the Albright-Knox. Kind of a yin-yang, low culture/high culture straddle.

If you have any time or energy left after that, you're right on Elmwood (where the Albright-Knox is). Turn left (south) and you're headed for probably the hippest strip of bars/coffeeshops/shops in the city.
posted by sacre_bleu at 12:11 PM on February 24, 2005

The Cave of the Winds is closed until spring (usually April). The Maid of the Mist (unparalleled boat excursion) won't open until then, or thereabouts.
Really? I'm sure I've been on it when it was snowing. But that could have been in April, or maybe October. It's been a few years.

My two:
1. Albright Knox
2. Wander Elmwood Avenue. I'm a fan of the area right around Cleveland and Lafyette, but anywhere between Forest Ave and Allen St. will be entertaining. You'll find a ton of shops, and more restaurants than any one human could eat at in a single afternoon. I would normally second Duffs, but that's a good half hour drive without traffic, and I don't know how much time you have to play with. And I'll push my old neighborhood over suburbantown, USA any day of the week.
posted by Kellydamnit at 12:30 PM on February 24, 2005

Buffalo is a food 'n bar city - not high cuisine - wings, pizza, beef on weck, souvlaki. You go to the Anchor Bar for the touristy factor first and foremost; the wings are secondary. Heh. Oooh, yeah, and Mighty Taco. I know it's just cheap fast food but when I've had friends come to visit they've gotten hooked on the Mighty Taco crack (I think it's the hot sauce). I recommend the jalapeno poppers.

Otherwise, one of my favorite restaurants in Buffalo is Kuni's on Elmwood. It's a teeny little sushi bar and the owner is a great guy. Delicious. Amy's on Main St. is yummy cheap vegetarian diner food; very funky. Kosta's on Hertel is where I go for Greek, or Family Tree on Bailey Ave. - they do a good souvlaki. Mother's on Virginia Place is nice for something a bit more upscale.

I don't know how late you'll be staying but last call in Buffalo is 4 AM if you like to party.
Elmwood Strip for cool little shops. Albright-Knox for museum.
Or just drive up Delaware Ave. to stare at all the mansions - I love doing that.
posted by Melinika at 12:34 PM on February 24, 2005

I echo all that has been said here, but if you are an architecture fan, Buffalo has come great stuff. A couple of great Frank Lloyd Wright homes and the phenomenal Richardson's State Hospital and Olmstead's Delaware park. Downtown also has great stuff--an art deco City Hall, a Louis Sullivan skyscraper and Grain elevators that inspired Le Corbusier and much more. Remember Buffalo was once a premier city and its elite built great stuff for the time.

Sad to say Buffalo's other great sites (besides Niagara Falls and Toronto, heh heh) are food related. Duff's for wings [did Rooties close?]. Anchor gets the credit for invention but I like Duff's (although I did hear they stole the idea from chef on the East Side from the fruit belt.) Ted's Hot dogs always makes national best of lists. And, Bocce pizza and Mighty Taco both worth a trip.

But, I am a nostalgic expat of the Big Bad B. So I may just be "Talking Proud."
posted by Duck_Lips at 3:25 PM on February 24, 2005

Oops I messed up that link that mentions the alternative wing creater--John Young. As a kid, I heard this story, but often it was in the context of another idea stolen by the man.
posted by Duck_Lips at 3:38 PM on February 24, 2005

Another vote for Duff's. I lived in Buffalo about 10 years ago, and that's the only thing I really, truly miss about the city. Whenever one of my friends has to visit Buffalo, I make them bring Duff's wings back. Just thinking about those wings makes my mouth water.

If you find yourself drunk and hungry for some reason, a trip to Mighty Taco (many locations) will satisfy your craving.
posted by i love cheese at 5:19 PM on February 24, 2005

I think as a one-day tourist, you should hit Anchor Bar. I hear the argument all the time about Duff's being better, but Anchor Bar wings will not only taste pretty darn good, but it's the *Anchor Bar*. Regardless of the folks in Buffalo who will argue all day about who invented the chicken wing, the rest of the world thinks it's was at the Anchor Bar. Plus, the place has some character.

With that said, you will then be close enough to hit the Elmwood Strip as well as the Albright-Knox.

Oh, if italian is your thing, try Chefs, good food and a good "Buffalo" experience. However, I think Garangelo's on Hertal is pretty tasty.

Finally, for a quick lunch, I have to say check out Ted's. Best hot dogs ever. (Except when the Bison's are playing, but that's another story.)

As for Mighty Taco, I think you may have had to grow up here to like it. I've only been here 8 years, and I'll take Taco Bell any day!
posted by punkrockrat at 7:20 PM on February 24, 2005

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