It may be tiny, but Allentown is packed with delicious food, historical architecture, and live music venues worth exploring.
One of Buffalo’s smallest neighborhoods also happens to be its coolest. Running the span of a couple city blocks, Allentown is packed with creative restaurants, cool cocktail bars, and trendy shops that make it a must-visit on any trip to the Queen City (a nickname that Buffalo earned at the turn of the 20th century, when it was the largest and most prosperous city along the Great Lakes). It’s also a historic place—many of the immaculately preserved homes lining the side streets date back to the mid-1800s. The nabe even hosts a variety of festivals throughout the year, meaning there’s something here for everyone.
Whether you’re most interested in fancy burgers, Victorian manors, or rock concerts, follow the walking tour below to make the most of all Allentown has to offer.
Walk off lunch by strolling the Allentown Historic District, with its beautifully restored homes and gardens from the 1800s. A member of the National Register of Historic Places since 1980, the area has long drawn creative types—both F. Scott Fitzgerald and Mark Twain spent time here. The house where Fitzgerald lived at 29 Irving Place remains a private residence to this day, but Twain’s home at 472 Delaware Avenue was demolished in the 1960s after an extensive fire.
Next, walk down Franklin and North Pearl streets for a peek at Allentown’s most luxurious homes, from grand Italianate villas to Second Empire estates and Queen Anne mansions. On the corner of Virginia Street and De Rutte Alley, you’ll find the city’s oldest private residence, the Coit House. Built in 1815, it eventually fell into disrepair but was restored in the 1960s as one of Buffalo’s first efforts in historic preservation.
Depending on how you like to imbibe, there are several different watering holes you could choose for an after-dinner drink. Stick around Billy Club and Falley Allen for expertly crafted cocktails, or stop into Savoy for such classics as a Moscow Mule, Negroni, or Old-Fashioned. If you’re more of a beer person, hit Colter Bay or local dive The Old Pink, which has been drawing crowds for decades.
After drinks, it’s time to catch some live music at venues like Allen Street Hardware, Nietzsche’s, and the famed Kleinhans Music Hall. All three spots are within a few blocks of one another and offer music as varied as bluegrass, jazz, rock, and classical—a fittingly eclectic selection for a neighborhood as quirky as Allentown.
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