Guide to Stuff in Buffalo

Buffalo's City Hall is an art deco masterpiece and one of the most striking buildings in the city / Reading Tom|flickr

Buffalo’s City Hall is an art deco masterpiece and one of the most striking buildings in the city / Reading Tom, flickr

Believe it or not, Buffalo is full of pretty great stuff. You just need to know where to look. From its burgeoning food and beer scenes to centuries-old architectural masterpieces, there is plenty to see and do in the City of Good Neighbors. Here are some recommendations to start you off. All distances are in relation to Adam’s Mark, our recommended hotel for guests. (If you don’t want to read all this, one tip: Buffalo’s last call isn’t until 4 a.m. Have fun!)

 

Sights

Canalside
The terminus of the Erie Canal has been, over the years: One of the busiest harbors in the United States, a dump, a hockey arena, an abandoned hockey arena and the future home of a Bass Pro Shops. All of that is gone now. In its place is a beautiful tract of recently redeveloped land that is redefining Buffalo… for better or worse. Walk through it to get a feel for the past and future of the city. Plus, there’s naval ships, kayaking, water biking, lit-up grain elevators at sundown (you just have to see it) and art. Oh, and don’t miss the famous Shark Girl. You’ll know her when you see her.
(44 Prime St, Buffalo, NY 14202, .7 miles) (h/t Sara DiNatale and Katie Brigham)

City Hall
Pictured above, Buffalo’s City Hall is a throwback to a more opulent time. As one of the biggest municipal buildings in the United States, it looms over the Buffalo skyline as a monument to the former glory of the Rust Belt region. Pop inside and stare up at the Native American-inspired stained glass dome and ponder the tempestuousness of wealth.
(65 Niagara Square, Buffalo, NY 14202, .2 miles)

Niagara Falls
OK, sure, this one is technically not in Buffalo. But how can you not visit one of the most beautiful wonders of America when you’re this close? If you brought your passport, park on the U.S. side and walk across the Rainbow Bridge to Clifton Hill in Canada (and try to imagine 19-year-old Ren and Keeley drinking here a decade ago) for better views and a truly unique experience. If you’re stuck on the American side, catch a close-up look via Goat Island. If you’ve never been, there are actually two falls — the Horseshoe Falls and the American Falls — and Goat Island divides them.
(332 Prospect St, Niagara Falls, NY 14303, 22.4 miles)

Delaware Park
Designed by Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux — the dudes responsible for Central Park — Delaware Park is Buffalo’s crown jewel of green space. With 350 acres of meadow, forest and lake (not to mention a 116-year-old replica of Michelangelo’s David), there’s nothing quite like the Park. If you’re a runner, you’ll want to come here.
(Delaware Park, Buffalo, NY, 14214, 6.1 miles) 

Buffalo's Albright-Knox Art Gallery is one of the oldest public arts institutions in the United States.

Buffalo’s Albright-Knox Art Gallery is one of the oldest public arts institutions in the United States.

Albright-Knox Art Gallery
Nestled in the northeast corner of Delaware Park, Buffalo’s art gallery is home to some of the world’s most celebrated works of art, including Frida Kahlo’s “Self-Portrait with Monkey,” Vincent Van Gogh’s “La Maison de la Crau (The Old Mill),” Jackson Pollack’s “Convergence,” Andy Warhol’s “Cow” and several Picassos. These works alone are well worth the $12 admission.
(1285 Elmwood Ave, Buffalo, NY 14222, 5.4 miles)

Forest Lawn Cemetery
Located on the southwestern edge of Delaware Pa… what’s that? Yeah, it’s a cemetery. You’re skeptical! That’s fine. Rick James is buried here. President Millard Fillmore is buried here. I haven’t even mentioned the gaggle of jaw-dropping mausoleums, including some that were designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. Speaking of…
(1411 Delaware Ave, Buffalo, NY 14209, 2.9 miles)

Darwin D. Martin House
If you’ve never heard of it, don’t worry. All you need to know is that it ranks up there with the Guggenheim in New York City and Fallingwater in Pennsylvania as one of Frank Lloyd Wright’s greatest works. Built between 1903 and 1905 for a Buffalo businessman and his wife, the mansion was abandoned in 1937 and languished for decades until it was painstakingly restored in the aughts.
(125 Jewett Pkwy, Buffalo, NY 14214, 5.4 miles)

Shopping and Sports

Buffalo Bisons
If you’ve read through this site a little bit, you know that Ren put the first moves on Keeley at a school newspaper-related Bisons game. But did you know that some of Ren’s best memories are from this dumb Triple-A team’s games? If you’re itching for some old-fashioned peanuts and cracker jacks, take the short walk over to Coca-Cola Field for the night game on Friday or the afternoon game on Sunday. Let’s go, Buffalo!
(Coca-Cola Field One James D., Griffin St, Buffalo, NY 14203, .4 miles)

Elmwood Village
Elmwood is one of the trendy neighborhoods in Buffalo. Part hippie, part hipster, part helicopter mom, Elmwood is full of quirky-yet-upscale shops and interesting restaurants. Check out a list of businesses, but understand that walking through is probably your best bet.
(Elmwood Village, Buffalo, NY, 3 miles)

Allentown
Drink here. Imagine if Buffalo attempted Greenwich Village. Shops, cool houses, chill bars and… interesting nightlife. Drink here. Again, it’s better to just walk through it. Drink here. Ten minutes by train. Did I mention you should drink here?
(Allentown, Buffalo, NY, 1.3 miles)

Food

Toutant
Southern Louisiana cuisine probably seems out of place in the heart of Buffalo. Try not to think about it too hard. Just trust the Buffalo News when they say Toutant is “a restaurant every local should know, and no visitor should miss.”
(437 Ellicott St, Buffalo, NY 14203, .9 miles)

Lloyd’s Tacos
Ah, the classic story of the taco-truck-turned-brick-and-mortar. If watching someone make tortillas in front of your eyes sounds good, this is your place. Or just wait for the actual truck — I’m told it’s parked somewhere on Allen at 3 a.m.
(1503 Hertel Ave. Buffalo, NY 14216, 6.2 miles) (h/t Sara DiNatale)

Duffs
You’re in Buffalo, the birthplace of the chicken wing as you know it. Ignore all of the people who tell you to go to Anchor Bar. Go to Duff’s. Know you’re doing it right. (And then stop at the Anchor Bar in the airport on the way home and realize how right I am.)
(3651 Sheridan Dr, Buffalo, NY 14226, 15.6 miles) 

Clinton is on the left, wearing a hat.

Clinton is on the left, wearing the hat.

Public Espresso + Coffee
If you’re a coffee snob (I’m looking at you, Jamie), this might be your best bet. Order a pourover and admire the grand lobby of Hotel Lafayette. If Clinton is there, tell him Ren says hi. And for the love of god, bring me a cup back. I’ll need it.
(391 Washington St., Buffalo, NY 14203, .5 miles) (h/t Drew Brigham)

Marble and Rye
The rye list alone makes my wannabe-Southerner heart sing.
(112 Genesee Street
Buffalo, New York 14203, .9 miles)  (h/t Katie Brigham)

Seabar
Sushi in Buffalo? Sushi in Buffalo. We’ve already done NOLA, Mexican and just about everything else. Why not?
(475 Ellicott St, Buffalo, NY 14203, 1.3 miles) (h/t Katie Brigham)

Expo
Got a party with disparate tastes? Check out the new gourmet food market across from Shea’s Theater, featuring Sun Restaurant (Burmese/Thai sushi rolls and bowls), Newbury Street Cafe (make-your-own healthy food), Bobby Alfman’s Gourmet Sandwiches and Crush Juicery.
(617 Main Street #200, Buffalo, NY, 14203, .9 miles) (h/t Katie Brigham)

Jim’s Steakout
Are you drunk? Are you hungry? Go to Jim’s. Order everything. Be well. Two tips: Don’t fight anyone, even if they’ve got a backpfeifengesicht, and order a Crystal Beach Loganberry to drink.
(92 W Chippewa St, Buffalo, NY 14202, .6 miles)

Dinosaur Bar-B-Que
New Yorkers love this place. If you’re visiting from anywhere in the South, you might not. I dunno. You do you.
(301 Franklin St, Buffalo, NY 14202, .8 miles)

Bars

Founding Fathers Pub
I’m getting tired of typing, so all you need to know is that it made Esquire’s best bars in America list for 2016. Here’s what they said: “It’s the only dive bar in America obsessively devoted to presidential history—and it’s got great drinks, too. Occupying an 1870s brick livery stable in a handsome old-house part of town, it’s draped in flags, paneled in plaques and prints, and strewn with presidential kickshaws. Plus, it offers a deep bench of local brews.”
Franklin Street Area – (75 Edward St, Buffalo, NY 14202, 1 mile)

Buffalo Proper
I’ve never been, but Yelp reviewers tell me it’s “a jazz era speakeasy-themed (and shamelessly hip) establishment” with exposed brick that always seems to be overly busy. So my St. Pete friends should feel right at home. As I write this, I am salivating at the cocktail list. And the brunch menu. Oh, hell, I’ll see you there on Sunday.
Franklin Street Area – (333 Franklin St, Buffalo, NY 14202, .9 miles) (h/t Katie Brigham)

Bacchus Wine Bar & Restaurant
Go look at the cheese menu. Look at it. I’ll wait. Did you do it? What else do I need to write?
Franklin Street Area – (56 W Chippewa St, Buffalo, NY 14202, .6 miles) (h/t Katie Brigham

The biergarten outside is even nicer, believe it or not.

The biergarten outside is even nicer, believe it or not.

Resurgence Brewing
Good beer and good food… all in one place? Florida’s breweries need to take a cue from Resurgence. I liked most everything I tried here, but for truly local flavors, try the Loganberry Wit and the Sponge Candy Stout.
(1250 Niagara St, Buffalo, NY 14213, 2.9 miles)

Handlebar
If you came to Buffalo specifically to visit a bike-themed bar with a good local beer selection and outdoor patio, this is the place for you. Also you have oddly specific tastes.
(149 Swan St, Buffalo, NY 14203, .7 miles) (h/t Katie Brigham)

Ballyhoo
Again, never been here. But Yelp is overly effusive and tells me the cocktails are killer and the bartenders are unpretentious. What more could you ask for in a cocktail bar?
(211 South Park Ave Buffalo, NY 14204, 1.2 miles)

The Old Pink
Dive bar! Dive bar! Dive bar!
Allentown Area – (223 Allen Street, Buffalo, NY, 14202, 1.4 miles) (h/t Katie Brigham)

Billy Club
Right down the street from the Old Pink, this is decidedly not a dive bar. Someone get the asparagus ice cream and let me know how it is.
Allentown Area – (228 Allen Street, Buffalo, NY 14201, 1.4 miles) (h/t Katie Brigham)

Gabriel’s Gate
Their website suuuuucks. Grab a beer by the fireplace and argue about whether their wings are better than Duff’s.
Allentown Area – (145 Allen St, Buffalo, NY 14201, 1.4 miles) (h/t Katie Brigham)

Frizzy’s
Another dive bar; though this one is a little quieter and offers a little bit better beer.
Allentown Area – (140 Allen St, Buffalo, NY 14201, 1.4 miles) (h/t Katie Brigham)

Big Ditch Brewing
Save this one for Friday night. We’re holding a welcome party on August 26 for anyone who wants to come. More information here.
(55 E Huron St, Buffalo, NY 14203, .8 miles) 

Buffalo folks: It’s been six years since we’ve lived here. Did we miss something super cool? Help us make sure our guests have a good time by letting us know.