The Best Restaurants in Buffalo
There’s so much more to Buffalo’s food scene than chicken wings. With creative chefs, farm-to-table restaurants, and craft cocktail bars galore, the city is quickly making a name for itself as a culinary capital. Much of its success is thanks to large refugee and immigrant populations, who continue to infuse the city with international ingredients and cooking techniques.
291 Seneca St, Buffalo, NY 14204, USA
A Buffalo mainstay, Chef’s has been serving heaping plates of spaghetti since 1923. Situated on the outskirts of Downtown, the Italian spot offers homestyle fare that works for everything from family gatherings to romantic date nights. Favorites include the stuffed shells, veal scaloppini with spaghetti, and chicken broccoli Alfredo with fettuccine, but the dish that made Chef’s famous is the spaghetti Parmesan—a mess of noodles smothered in cheese and broiled to perfection. Due to its popularity with locals and expat Buffalonians, the restaurant can get pretty packed, so it’s best to make a reservation in advance (especially on the weekends).
1047 Main St, Buffalo, NY 14209, USA
No trip to Buffalo would be complete without a stop at Anchor Bar. Open since 1964, this is where Teressa Bellissimo served the city’s very first chicken wings. While the restaurant also offers a full menu of salads, sandwiches, and fish fries, you’re here for the wings, which come in mild, medium, hot, and barbecue varieties, plus a suicidal sauce for spice fiends. Good news if you’re craving them when you’re home—Anchor Bar has more than a dozen locations and even ships its wings country-wide.
226 Lexington Ave, Buffalo, NY 14222, USA
With its exposed brick walls, small tables, and inventive Japanese fare, this Elmwood Village sushi spot is a restaurant you’d expect to find in Brooklyn rather than Buffalo. Still, chef Kuni Sato has run the local favorite since 1996, serving everything from traditional sushi and sashimi to daily specials with a modern twist. Don’t miss the Kuni’s Fried Chicken (chicken breast marinated in ginger and soy sauce, then deep-fried until perfectly crispy) or the impressive sake collection, imported directly from Japan. Guests can either grab a table, eat at the sushi counter, or belly up to the bar, but act fast when space opens up because this place is typically packed.
112 Genesee St, Buffalo, NY 14203, USA
Opened in 2015, Marble + Rye was one of the first restaurants in Buffalo to offer artfully crafted cocktails—something the city was sorely missing. With a focus on whiskey and creative ingredients, the spot became a fast favorite, serving drinks like the Fantastic Man (bourbon, Averna, coffee-infused Cocchi Vermouth di Torino, Aperol, and orange marmalade) alongside New American cuisine. Made from scratch with local, seasonal ingredients, dishes here are often cooked with a Mexican plancha or wood-fired oven for added flair. Don’t miss the pastured chicken with wood-roasted seasonal vegetables, and the patatas bravas with spicy tomato sauce and roasted garlic aioli.
437 Ellicott St, Buffalo, NY 14203, USA
Until Toutant opened in 2015, Buffalonians were hard-pressed to find any quality Southern food in their hometown. But now, when the craving for buttermilk fried chicken hits, they head to this Downtown spot, where chef James Robert combines his Louisiana roots with a passion for seasonal, locally sourced ingredients. A bit more refined than your everyday barbecue joint, Toutant is housed in a three-story, industrial-chic space, complete with a long bar for sipping craft beers, classic cocktails, and vast selection of whiskeys. While dinner brings such delicious dishes as house-smoked sausage, pan-fried cornmeal catfish, and traditional Creole jambalaya, brunch is the real winner here. The biscuits with two fried eggs and sausage gravy are hands down the best above the Mason-Dixon Line.
491 Amherst St, Buffalo, NY 14207, USA
Opened in 2016, The Dapper Goose stands out in meat-loving Buffalo with a menu that highlights locally sourced produce. Divided into small and large plates, dishes range from beetroot tartine with horseradish cream cheese and crispy chickpeas, to fettuccine with mushroom Bolognese and bread crumbs. The menu isn’t entirely vegetarian, however, and options like the pork shoulder and confit duck are exceedingly popular. On Sundays, there’s a limited brunch menu with such creative fare as pork terrine, crab toast, and chicken wings with fish sauce caramel.
716 Swan St, Buffalo, NY 14210, USA
When Hydraulic Hearth burst on the scene in 2014, in the recently revitalized Larkin District, it was met with a litany of praise for its wood-fired pizzas and expert cocktails. Since then, it’s maintained rave reviews by keeping things simple, with a concise menu of just a dozen pies and a bar program that focuses on fresh ingredients. Go for unique pizzas like the Spring Onion with herb-oil crust, smoked Polish sausage, and mozzarella, and stay for drinks like the perfectly balanced Why Am I Mr. Pink, made with Scotch, blueberry, lemon, cinnamon, and eucalyptus. Should you be more of a beer person, know that, in addition to three rotating guest taps, the restaurant partners with local brewery Community Beer Works to brew eight different beers in-house.
367 Connecticut St, Buffalo, NY 14213, USA
Located on Buffalo’s West Side, this farm-to-table favorite comes courtesy of award-winning chefs Steve and Ellen Gedra. Here, the menu changes daily to highlight locally sourced produce and sustainably raised meat, so diners are guaranteed something new every time they visit. Dishes are simple and straightforward to let their ingredients shine, while cocktails incorporate unique spirits like lavender gin and bacon-washed bourbon. Go for dinner and pair the vegetable lasagna with a classic manhattan, or swing by at brunch for the BS Griddle sandwich, featuring eggs, cheese, hash browns, and your choice of bacon or sausage sandwiched between two pancakes.
370 Virginia St, Buffalo, NY 14201, USA
Located in Allentown, down a quiet, tree-lined street, Betty’s is the perfect spot if you’re searching for simple, comforting fare. While the restaurant is open for all three meals, breakfast takes top honors—the Luv Sandwich (a toasted bagel with bacon, cream cheese, pickled onions, sprouts, and tomatoes) is simply the most delicious way to start the day in Buffalo. During the warmer months, guests can grab a table outdoors and people-watch while they eat. The restaurant’s residential location is ideal, as it’s away from the noise but still immersed in the neighborhood atmosphere.
1472 Hertel Ave, Buffalo, NY 14216, USA
Before opening Craving Restaurant in 2013, chef Adam Goetz worked everywhere from the James Beard House to the Waldorf Astoria in New York City. Now, he puts his talents to good use in North Buffalo, combining fresh ingredients with highly skilled technique to make the food diners crave. Open for lunch and dinner six nights a week and brunch on Sundays, Craving serves farm-to-table fare in a cozy setting, complete with a small bar and a patio out front. Dishes can be made vegetarian or gluten-free and the chef butchers all meats in-house to ensure nothing gets wasted. The menu changes constantly to highlight the freshest ingredients possible, but recent dishes included ricotta gnocchi, leg of lamb, and whole-roasted trout with asparagus sauce.
444 Forest Ave, Buffalo, NY 14213, USA
Located in the recently restored Hotel Henry, 100 Acres was one of the most anticipated restaurant openings in years when it debuted in mid-2017. Today, it continues to live up to the hype with a menu of market-fresh fare sourced from local farmers and suppliers. The restaurant is spread out over the first floor of the hotel, with tables lining the halls and former foyer. Here, guests indulge in artisanal bread and pastries from the in-house bakery, plus delicious dishes like seared scallops with raisin-caper vinaigrette, and marinated chicken with roasted asparagus. In the future, 100 Acres has plans to develop the footprint of its building’s original 19th-century greenhouses to create a kitchen garden, where it will grow much of the ingredients for its hyper-seasonal menu.
500 Seneca St Suite 119, Buffalo, NY 14204, USA
James and Connie Roberts, the husband-and-wife team behind Toutant, opened Dobutsu in 2018 with the aim of bringing quality seafood to Western New York. At their Larkin Square spot, the menu highlights American and Asian Pacific fare, with a strong focus on fish dishes like Caribbean jerk snapper and grilled Nova Scotia salmon—though options like Wagyu beef ribs and tomahawk pork tonkatsu are also available. The Hawaiian poke bowls are especially popular, served with either bigeye tuna and sesame soy, or marinated Atlantic salmon and ginger miso. If you’re celebrating something special, opt for the omakase and let the kitchen choose your courses and wine pairings.
700 Swan St, Buffalo, NY 14210, USA
This 1937 diner car was disassembled, moved to its current location in the heart of Larkin Square, and fully restored before opening in 2017. Today, it looks just as it did 80 years ago—from the mahogany trim and barrel-vaulted ceiling to the original bar stools and glass-topped counter—with an appropriately nostalgic menu to match. Open from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., Swan Street serves simple breakfast and lunch fare. Head over in the morning for the breakfast poutine with home fries, cheese curd, sausage gravy, and over-easy eggs, or stop by at lunch for a burger or classic tuna melt.
145 Allen St, Buffalo, NY 14201, USA
Gabriel’s Gate has been a local staple for years, but it recently started getting national attention after Bon Appétit named its chicken wings the best in Buffalo. The restaurant, located in a historic home in Allentown, features original details like wood-burning fireplaces, plus a spacious outdoor patio for eating alfresco. The decor is eclectic and the vibe laid-back, with a decidedly “where everybody knows your name” feeling. As for the wings, they’re large, crispy on the outside, juicy on the inside, and tossed in a sauce that’s the perfect mix of tangy and spicy. Should you prefer red meat, there’s also a great burger selection, plus a killer French onion soup.