It’s True: Buffalo is a Great Food City and Here’s Why
Foodie adventures are one our favorite reasons to travel. Exploring a new city and tasting the food that make it unique is what we like to call delicious fun. This time around for our Amtrak foodie focused spotlight we’re taking it all the way to Buffalo. Now, we know what you’re thinking. Buffalo? And as Donnie from Buffalo Eats told us, yes Buffalo.
We knew it was more than just wings, but we quickly found out its numerous budget friendly options and emerging foodie scene are just two reasons why you should put it top of the list. Grab a seat and get ready because Donnie is about to tell us why he has so much love for his city and its food.
Amtrak: How long have you lived in Buffalo and what’s the best thing about living there?
Donnie: I’ve lived in Buffalo my entire life, born and raised. The best thing about living here is the sense of community I guess. Everyone wants this place to be as great as it can possibly be, so they are trying to push everyone to be better.
What would surprise people the most about the foodie scene in Buffalo?
I think people would be surprised by how exciting our foodie scene is at the moment. We’ve recently watched a combination of top notch chefs opening exciting restaurants in the Downtown area and an influx of refugees opening casual restaurants that showcase a variety of ethnic cuisines. We might be known for our chicken wings, but we are starting to really compete with the larger foodie cities with everything that’s going on.
You knew this question was coming, so here goes. Tell us your favorite place to go for Buffalo wings and why.
The standard answers to this question are Anchor Bar (the most touristy destination) and Duff’s (a slightly less touristy destination). Both of those places are fine but if you want to visit a great and unique wing spot where the locals go, I recommend Nine Eleven Tavern in South Buffalo. It’s a small pub that’s usually full of regulars, the wings are covered in a homemade sauce and the owner is the only one allowed in the kitchen.
Fill in the blank. No trip to Buffalo isn’t complete without a meal at ________.
Bar Bill Tavern. It’s located in East Aurora, a couple miles south of the city but it’s a great neighborhood pub that excels at both wings and beef on weck (our other culinary claim to fame).
Taking a break from food for a minute. Are there any neighborhoods or sites in Buffalo visitors should go to see the local side of the city?
Walking around the Elmwood Village is a great time for both locals and tourists. From start to finish the street is lined with restaurants, bars and a variety of locally owned shops. Looking for a new pair of shoes? Locally grown produce? A new skateboard? Yoga studio? This hip neighborhood has it all.
For the budget conscious visitors, any tips for places to go that won’t break the bank?
One of the best features of Buffalo’s dining scene is our wide selection of affordable dining. Some of the best restaurants in Buffalo offer a selection of small plates that allow customers to sample their food. Restaurants like Buffalo Proper, Toutant, Marble + Rye and The Black Sheep all have excellent dishes under $10. I recommend picking a couple restaurants, grab a seat at the bar and sample a couple small dishes.
Lastly, why should Amtrak riders make their next stop Buffalo?
Buffalo is going through a resurgence right now. Not just in the culinary world but the entire city. Everyone who lives in Buffalo is excited about what’s going on. Downtown has the family friendly Canalside (fun in both the summer and winter), our craft brewery and distillery scene is exploding, we have amazing architecture to explore, our theatre scene is exciting and everything is conveniently within a 15 mile radius.