MY city of Buffalo, New York, has an absolutely underrated and amazing food scene. That’s because us Buffalonians are a very diverse group. Our gastronomy offers all types of flavors and budgets. From cheap and cheerful spots to fine dining expensive restaurants. So whether you’re into sushi or steak, you can find food that caters to your taste buds in Buffalo. Here are my top picks for the tastiest and best restaurants in Buffalo, N.Y.
Best Restaurants in Buffalo, NY + my favorites
Like many great cities in upstate New York, the best places are sometimes just outside the city. The Grange Community Kitchen is just one of those places. Located just south of the city in Hamburg, The Grange prides itself as a gathering place for friends, family, and community in one of the historic buildings on Main Street. In an ambiance designed for conversation, enjoy fine food from their wood-burning oven like specialty pizza and seasonal dishes from locally procured vegetables and meats. Whether you’d like a seasonal cocktail or freshly brewed coffee and a pastry, The Grange has a relaxing and wonderful atmosphere for any meal.
If you’re out enjoying the Buffalo History Museum, one of the best museums in Buffalo, give Hutch’s a try. In a fantastic location near many of Buffalo’s interesting sites, Hutch’s offers fine American cuisine with a touch of global flare. Don’t let the unpretentious, exposed brick building fool you, Hutch’s offers food and drink to match its atmosphere. Whether you want to enjoy their patio or dine inside, the atmosphere is wonderful. Stop by and give their amazing jambalaya pasta a try.
Some of the nice restaurants in Buffalo are found in the least expected places. While Da Afrospot restaurant is take-out only, the authentic Ghanaian food made by a Mother-daughter duo has the perfect balance of savory flavor that will bring you back rain or shine! You’ll want to come back every time you visit Buffalo. Eat it in your car or find a nearby park to sit and enjoy some of the best, fried chicken, Jollof rice, or FuFu in your choice of soup.
Like many a great spot in Buffalo, Toutant takes advantage of the many historic industrial buildings in the heart of downtown. With an exciting twist on traditional southern cuisine, Toutant prides itself on great service and great food. Enjoy yourself in the bar on the first floor or ask for the more enticing dining areas on the second and third floors. The drinks alone deserve a five-star rating! It’s not hard to see the chef’s Louisiana roots and his dedication to New York’s farming community.
Fresh Catch Poke
Combine a fantastic fresh and creative menu with friendly and caring staff and you find Fresh Catch Poke and the Gallery Lounge nestled downtown. A great place to stop in for a quick but filling meal while checking out the things to do in Buffalo nearby. Stop in during Happy Hour (3pm-6pm) for $1.50 oysters on Friday and Saturday. From lobster rolls to traditional and customizable Poke bowls, there’s something for every palate.
Pearl Street Bar & Grill
A favorite place for true Buffalonians, Pearl Street Bar & Grill combines a perfect location with great food and a pleasing atmosphere. Located in an iconic 4-level warehouse, Pearl Street combines sports, the perfect pizza, and home brews as one of the great breweries of upstate New York. Within walking distance of so many places, enjoy a flight and a giant pretzel while taking in all the historic places Buffalo has to offer.
This little cafe is a local favorite with locations on Main Street and Elmwood Avenue. Specializing in traditional Japanese ramen, rice bowls, curries, and small plates, Sato Ramen even adds local flavors with a buffalo sauce ramen broth. Grab a menu and tick off what you’d like to try and even better, they are happy to work around any allergies or food aversions to make your experience the best. You can go solo and eat at the bar or use one of the community tables for lunch with friends.
One of the best restaurants in Buffalo, NY, Billy Club is located right in the heart of Buffalo’s historic Allentown district. Why not check out one of the nicest things to do in Buffalo and enjoy scratch-made, creative American cuisine at the same time? Wind down after a day of adventuring with an amazing burger or seafood linguine paired with an impressive list of craft cocktails, wine, and beer.
If you’re on the hunt for iconic places to eat in Buffalo, NY, then you’ll want to stop by the historic Anchor Bar. While no longer touted as serving the best buffalo wings, Anchor Bar is considered to be the famous birthplace of the Buffalo chicken wing. Even if chicken wings aren’t to your taste, they combine this history with more Italian fare, draft beers, and live jazz music. You wouldn’t be the only one who traveled to Buffalo to enjoy the original Buffalo chicken wing.
Big Ditch Brewing Company
One of the best craft breweries in upstate New York, Big Ditch offers a spacious taproom in downtown Buffalo dedicated to delicious comfort eats, small plates, and house-brewed beer. Whether it’s a mimosa flight with a brewer’s breakfast or a local beer flight with a shrimp sandwich, enjoy live music, a great atmosphere, and hot food. With a lower restaurant seating area that opens to the outdoors in nicer weather and a second-floor enclosed space, you can enjoy the city and food and drink inspired by our history on any day.
If you’re looking for places to eat in Buffalo, NY, that also value experience alongside good food, check out Roost on Niagara Street. With an open and vibrant kitchen, your experience while dining on mouth-watering gourmet pizzas or flavorful dishes like shrimp curry and black treacle ribs is just as important as the food itself, not to mention the wine list! This hidden gem of Buffalo is a must-see, you won’t be disappointed.
Lloyd’s Taco Factory
Lloyd’s came to fame as Buffalo’s first food truck. If you’d like to try out that original experience, they keep a calendar on their website on the location of their trucks each day, but if you want to experience the food that gained so much popularity that food trucks turned into not one but two stand-alone restaurants, head over to Hertel Avenue or Main Street in Williamsville. From summer street corn to old-school tacos and burritos, the flavors will fuel your taste buds so well they’ll be asking for more. They even have a unique drink and cocktail menu to make the most memorable dining experience.
In a list of nice restaurants in Buffalo, you have to include Las Puertas. They run on the belief that the experience we value in food is the act of sharing it with friends and loved ones, and the restaurant is designed completely on that experience. Their tasting menu changes every five weeks specifically geared to engage your group in conversation not only about the food but each other. If you like a more intimate meal, make a reservation for your group. Buffalo isn’t called the city of Good Neighbors for nothing.
Another great spot located just north of the city, Prescott’s Provisions provides elevated dining along the historic Erie Canal. This community-oriented restaurant combines fresh takes on traditional foods with seasonal creations to serve locals and travelers whether they travel by land or by boat. Their menu changes with the seasons, but there are some regular favorites. Enjoy amazing views and a great vibe on their patio along with perfectly seared salmon or handmade pasta and pair it with a Sunshine Sangria or one of Buffalo’s famous craft beers or try a number of their small plates as a group to try more of what they have to offer.
Another local favorite, Chef’s serves hearty Italian comfort food that packs a huge punch. Famous for their giant plate of cheese-smothered spaghetti parm, Chef’s has been a Buffalo favorite since 1923 on the corner of Seneca and Chicago Streets, downtown. In 2019 they were named a Top Gameday Restaurant for the Buffalo Sabres. If you love Italian food, any local will tell you Chef’s is an absolute must and you’ll want to come back for more.
A newer addition to the Buffalo eateries, Hofbräuhaus is a pub-style eatery with a beer garden and concert area similar to those popular in the German districts in the 19th century. Buffalo, of course, has a vast German culture and heritage and this local favortie has been hopping since it opened, serving traditional bavarian fare, Hofbräu beer brewed onsite, and daily live music from local German bands. This restaurant is very quickly climbing the list of best restaurants in Buffalo, NY.
Bacchus Wine Bar & Restaurant Buffalo, NY
In the heart of Buffalo’s entertainment district, you’ll find our premier destination for wine and great food. Located in the historic Calumet building, Bacchus Wine Bar & Restaurant sports a lengthy wine and champagne list in a comfortable and candlelit environment. Avoid the hustle and bustle from outside, or relax on the patio by their fireplace with gorgonzola encrusted ribeye paired with your favorite older vintage or try something new with pecan-crusted Salmon. Plan a night to remember with food created just for you from local farmer’s markets and wine from all over the world or from local wineries in Western New York.
FAQ Buffalo Dining
What food is famous in Buffalo?
Buffalo is known for nine popular foods: Beef on Weck, Buffalo-Style Pizza, Sponge Candy, Peanut stick donuts, Spaghetti Parm, Char-broiled hot dogs, fish fry, chicken finger subs, and of course Buffalo Wings!
What groups are represented in Buffalo dining?
While Buffalo ranks first for German among ethnic representation, the city is a veritable melting pot due to its welcoming of many immigrants and refugees. You’ll find Japanese, Irish, Polish, Ghanaian, Greek, and many other groups represented in the various cuisines around the city.
What is the favorite food of Buffalo?
It sounds cliche, but the most famous thing to eat in Buffalo is chicken wings. While Anchor Bar is the famed birthplace of the Buffalo Chicken wing, Gabriel’s Gate holds the current crown for best wings in the city.
Buffalo Food & Drinks Tours
- Buffalo is more than just chicken wings when it comes to food. Why not explore all that Buffalo has to offer between great food and brilliant architecture to parks and museums with a Walking Tour? Book a small-group walking tour here.
- While most chicken wing aficionados know about the Anchor Bar, there’s far more to Buffalo Wings than that! Learn about the history of the city and the chicken wing on a Wing Ride tour. Book here.
- If you love the out of doors and DIY why not make your own mustard on a 19th-century farmstead? Crownhill Farm is a working historic farm with amazing views of Lake Erie. Book your adventure here.
BUFFALO FOOD Instagram accounts to follow
About the Author: Heather Menz
Heather Menz has called the Buffalo area home for over 35 years. With a degree in archaeology and a keen interest in history, she has explored sites that are both easy to find and those hidden deep in Buffalo and Rochester’s history. As part of an active and outdoors-oriented family, she has traveled and hiked much and learned more about all that the Western New York area has to offer.