Every Buffalonian has fought the battle of talking up Queen City cuisine while avoiding the elephant (or very large chicken) in the room: wings. If there’s one thing native and expat Buffalonians can speak to, it’s the quality of the food in Buffalo. From eclectic world cookery, to late-night Greek dives, pub food, to fine dining experiences, Buffalo has never suffered from a shortage of places to eat.
Despite our ever-growing selection of dining options in Buffalo, some visitors and former Buffalonians doubt its culinary place on the map. If you’ve got Buffalo skeptics on your hands, here are 10 places in Buffalo to test those critical palettes.
Lait Cru Brasserie
Lait Cru is among Buffalo’s newer restaurants. Located on Buffalo’s West Side in the Horsefeathers Building, Lait Cru offers a variety of reasonably priced French inspired meals. Enjoy creative sandwich selections, entrees, breakfast, and more. Lait Cru has become a hotspot for Sunday brunch goers in the Western New York area offering a rich, creative, and mouthwatering menu selection.
Lait Cru and Nickel City Cheese & Mercantile operate side by side under the direction of Jill Gedra Forster. Gedra studied at the New England Culinary Institute. Nickel City Cheese offers unique cheeses, charcuterie, and mercantile products from all over the world. Its shared space with Lait Cru provides a deeply enjoyable and European experience.
Lait Cru Brasserie is located at 346 Connecticut Street on Buffalo’s west side.
The Black Sheep
Connecticut Street is a bit of a family affair with another Gedra-run restaurant close by, The Black Sheep. The Black Sheep offers a meticulously curated farm-to-table menu in a cozy, tucked away space at the direction of Steve and Ellen Gedra. Menus change frequently and typically consist of select small and large plates. Menu items are prepared and crafted based on local and seasonal availability. Ingredients are expertly combined to create a variety of dishes to suit many tastes and diets.
Similar to their plates, the bar features seasonal cocktail ingredients sourced from around the area. Steve and Ellen have spent years perfecting their craft and using their knowledge to create a unique “global nomad” culinary experience for their guests.
The Black Sheep is located at 367 Connecticut Street on Buffalo’s west side.
Clearly, Connecticut Street has no shortage of foodie haunts. For a change of pace, visit BreadHive. BreadHive’s cozy cafe is an obvious choice for slow mornings and lunchtime cravings. The cafe’s unique space combines home-like qualities with European style, making it an ideal spot for quiet conversations or personal musings. Enjoy unique sandwiches which share the names of various female pop singers. The Bjork provides a wild rush of flavors with tempeh bacon, whipped avocado, and kimchi, while The Dolly pulls from southern evening vibes with BBQ seitan, pickles, and coleslaw. If you’re looking to take the stage with your own material, BreadHive also provides a create-your-own sandwich option.
While BreadHive’s sandwiches certainly deserve recognition, the bread alone takes center stage. All of BreadHive’s bread has been produced and leavened with sourdough since 2014. The bakery uses local grain, produce, and shapes each bread by hand. Even if you don’t get the chance to stop into BreadHive for a bite (although we really recommend you do), BreadHive’s goods can be found all around the city served in different restaurants and for purchase at various grocery stores.
BreadHive is located at 402 Connecticut Street on Buffalo’s west side.
Head downtown for one of Buffalo’s newest destinations for brews and small bites. An unsuspecting entrance leads down to a contemporary brick-lined space. A long, colorful Asian art inspired mural lines its largest wall. SATO restaurants aren’t new to Buffalo and can be found in three different neighborhoods around the city. SATO Ramen on Main Street, SATO on Elmwood, and now SATO Brewpub on Pearl Street. SATO Brewpub began after collaborating with another Buffalo brewery, Community Beer Works, to create their Japanese inspired IPA. Soon after, SATO’s ownership began the process of starting their own brewery to create beers that paired with their menus. SATO Brewpub uniquely combines the use of local hops and Japanese ingredients to create one-of-a-kind beers.
Their dinner menu has a combination of distinct Japanese inspired plates along with more traditional pairings. To get the full experience, we highly recommend going in a larger group for dinner and sharing multiple small plates. Enjoy tender Teriyaki spare ribs paired with a light Japanese potato salad, tuna tacos with an Asian slaw salad, or kimchi with one of their fresh sashimi options.
SATO Brewpub is located at 110 Pearl Street in Downtown Buffalo.
Roost is located in a rapidly changing corridor of Niagara Street on Buffalo’s west side. Roost’s space boasts an open kitchen so guests can experience the chefs work their magic. Roost sources high-quality ingredients from all over the globe. The restaurant offers gourmet pizzas, homemade pasta dishes, distinct meat entrees, and an incredible brunch menu. Brunch at Roost is serious business with menu items including flank steak tacos, beef stroganoff, pecan waffles, and sausage and pickled peppers orecchiette. Roost also sports an extensive wine selection and impressive large format bottle list.
Roost is located at 1502 Niagara Street on Buffalo’s west side.
Public Espresso + Coffee
Public Espresso + Coffee has been feverishly changing the coffee scene in Buffalo since 2013. Self-proclaimed “coffee nerds” and entrepreneurs James Rayburg and Sam Scarcello began Public with a combined desire to bring a different kind of coffee experience to Buffalo. Public started by setting up at local farmers markets, offering pop-up coffee stations for events, and in 2015 started their first brick and mortar space in the Hotel Lafayette.
Recently, Public Espresso + Coffee has transitioned into a new, larger space at the Hotel Lafayette equipped with additional coffee options, an expanded food menu, an in-house pastry program, and more. The space is bright, airy, modern, and extremely welcoming. Baristas are incredibly friendly and knowledgeable regarding their craft. Public Espresso + Coffee is the perfect place to relax for hours with a fresh brew, pastry, and a great book. Its airiness combined with an expertly brewed coffee make it a must for coffee mavens in Buffalo and beyond.
Public Espresso + Coffee is located at 391 Washington Street in Downtown Buffalo.
Lucky Day Whiskey Bar
Lucky Day is one of Buffalo’s newest cuisine and libations hotspot. The restaurant features homemade hand pies served with house chips, pickles, and beer cheese. The hand pies come in an assortment of combinations including rabbit stew, pork and cheddar, short rib, and more. Owners Tim and Morgan Stevens also own a favorite local haunt, Ballyhoo (a go-to for any cocktail lover or housemade sausages). Ballyhoo’s to-die-for macaroni and cheese is also available on Lucky Day’s food menu.
Lucky Day Whiskey Bar is all about stepping out of a comfort zone, be it with their meals or drinks. Their wine menu is divided into two sections: “Comfort Zone,” to stick with the basics, and “Don’t Be Afraid” for those who feel like trying something a little different. Peruse through 16 page liquor list, 12 of those pages compiling of whiskey from various regions. Lucky Day also offers classic cocktail offerings like a Manhattan, whiskey sour, an old fashioned, and more. Much like their menu, Lucky Day’s fitting interior is elegant, edgy, and approachable all at the same time.
Lucky Day Whiskey Bar is located at 320 Pearl Street in Downtown Buffalo.
Casa Azul’s bright blue spot on Genesee Street in Buffalo certainly contributed to its naming. Owner Victor Parra Gonzalez is a graduate of Montreal Culinary School and uses his classical training alongside his Mexican heritage to create a mouthwatering menu. Casa Azul is especially pleasant during warmer months with its large windows, open spaces, cold cocktails, and amazing tacos and street food. The restaurant has a notably unique take on classic guacamole topping it with cricket brittle, pickled onions, and pepitas. Their taco menu includes options for all dietary restrictions and are served on two hearty corn tortillas. Under street food, find offerings such as their quesadilla with mushroom & cheese, charred tomato salsa, crema, and gooey queso. Their tamal fillings change daily, but always sport a delicious steamed corn pastry, mole verde, queso, crema, cotija, pepitas to complete the dish.
Casa Azul is located at 128 Genesee Street in Downtown Buffalo.
100 Acres: The Kitchens at Hotel Henry
100 Acres is one of Buffalo’s newest destinations for farm-to-table meals, hyper locally sourced ingredients, and unique seasonal menu. 100 Acres’ name pays homage to the 100 acres of land used for agrarian use on the 19th century property. The restaurant is located within a National Historic Landmark, and creates a unique dining atmosphere within its expansive hall. Creative dishes elevate fresh, simple ingredients showcasing the best of each season, based on sustainable relationships with local farms, and artisan breads and pastries from the in-house bakery.
Savor a pan roasted duck breast, duck egg, lentil ragout, and cape gooseberry dish or share warm goat cheese and concord grape preserves served with walnut flatbread. Each experience at 100 Acres is different than the next as the menu frequently changes to adhere to seasonal and local availabilities. 100 Acres resides in a space that had been previously abandoned for decades. Its striking dining experience and unique menu make it a must for anyone looking to dive headfirst into Buffalo’s newest culinary chapter.
100 Acres is open seven days a week for breakfast and dinner, lunch service Tuesdays through Fridays, as well as a popular Sunday brunch. Reservations can be made by calling (716) 955-1511 or by visiting our website.
100 Acres: The Kitchens at Hotel Henry are located at 444 Forest Avenue within Hotel Henry Urban Resort Conference Center.