Best of Buffalo: Buffalo restaurant staples
- November 17, 2020
Whether you are a Buffalo native or just visiting Western New York’s best kept secret, these restaurants are a must try. These are Buffalo’s classic staples that have been around and will continue to be around so long as they continue to provide the dishes and service that made them popular. Not in any particular order!
Since Buffalo is known for being the birthplace of the Buffalo wing, we can start there. If you are visiting Buffalo, this is on the list of must try’s along with the Maid of the Mist, Ted’s hot dogs, and sponge candy. There seems to be a schism in the wing world between the originator of the wing, Anchor Bar, and the new Buffalo classic, Duffs. The divide can get ugly so just have ‘em both, everybody wins, so long as you dip them in blue cheese and not ranch (a No No in Buffalo).
The Left Bank
Tucked away in a 19th century building on a street that is slowly becoming a foodie scene. This is easily a Buffalo favorite, providing global fare and Italian cuisine in a dimly lit room lined with art. The seasonal patio is usually packed for Sunday brunch during the summer months. The Left Bank is well known for their signature Ravioli which is the size of a baby’s head; 1 large ravioli with fine seasonal ingredients. The carrot pappardelle and fried oysters are also top rated dishes from this restaurant. This is a good choice for a date with candle lights or if you just want a good meal after a long rough week, very relaxed atmosphere with fine dining service.
Similar to The Left Bank in its reputation for a great meal but more on the fine dining side. The feel here is upscale and romantic, a solid choice for date night or celebration of important events especially in their private dining rooms. Recently undergone a major renovation where they almost tripled in size without sacrificing quality. The meat selection here is one of the best in buffalo and the preparation is on point. Hutch’s has been serving fine dining for 25 years and has lived up to its expectations for that long. Be sure to make an appointment in advance, spots fill up quickly!
Bacchus Wine Bar and Restaurant
Named after the Roman god of wine, this restaurant has indeed lived up to its reputation as the premier spot for the best wine selection in Buffalo (they’ve even been recognized by wine spectator 10 years in a row). Located in the entertainment district (Chippewa), this restaurant has a huge following because of the expertly prepared dishes and excellent service. The cuisine is a contemporary American with a casual elegant dining style so dress casually but not too relaxed.
Chef’s restaurant has been on the same corner of Seneca and Chicago streets since its opening in 1923. Serving classic Italian dishes and the “world famous spaghetti parm” this restaurant is great for getting the best bang for your buck. Pasta piled mile-high with a mountain of cheese melted mmm, how can you beat that. Super casual and low key, you will definitely feel like you are at home in this restaurant.
Mothers is classic Buffalo; unassuming in nature with a menu that’ll blow you away. The plates and wine list spell out fine dining but the setting is so casual and social it just feels like your typical neighborhood spot. If you are from Buffalo you are bound to run into someone you know here, it is THE watering hole for Buffalonians that enjoy good food without a pretentious feel. The menu is hand scribed as the menu changes frequently and the kitchen is open late! Make a reservation or stumble in late night and order from the bar.
A true family establishment, this restaurant is known for its elegance without being snobby. Come in for a date night, family dinner, or just to eat when you are hungry, regardless you will feel right at home. The wine list is curated by the Lombardos’ son, Thomas, who has worked in some of New York City’s finest cocktail lounges, restaurants, and bars including Gramercy Park Hotel, L’artusi, and Dell’anima. He then acquired the International Wine Center’s advanced certification before opening The Little Club right across the street.
Remington Tavern and Seafood Exchange
Situated in an old trolley barn from 1895, the Remington Tavern is easily the best restaurant for seafood and oysters. This is the latest Western New York eatery from chef Mark Hutchinson of Hutch’s and Chef Paul Jenkins of Tempo (another favorite currently closed due to COVID). You’re going to drive out of the city of Buffalo for this one as it is situated on the Erie Canal in North Tonawanda but it is totally worth the short drive. If you can’t find a spot there you could try Prescott’s Provisions across the canal which is easily become a top restaurant in the Buffalo area.
Mulberry Italian Ristorante
Voted Buffalo’s best Italian restaurant, Mulberry is reminiscent of a Soprano’s style Bronx restaurant with the sports memorabilia and pictures of famous visitors lining the walls. Every dish is mouth watering but you may need extra time to finish their infamous lasagna which has been seen on Guy’s Diners, Drive-ins and Dives. Do yourself and get one as you dine in and get one to go.
Russell’s Steaks, Chops, & More
If you live here you know, but if you’re a visitor and you see the smiling face of an elderly, grey-haired man with thick framed glasses… that’s Russell. Russell Salvatore is one of the biggest philanthropists in Buffalo that has established Salvatore’s Italian restaurant, grand hotel, and steakhouse. Russell is known for OUTSTANDING service with matching steaks. The steaks at Russell’s, and every Buffalonian will tell you, is the absolute best. Dress up, take your partner out for a nice meal for a special occasion or on your last night if you are visiting.