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For other places with the same name, see Buffalo (disambiguation).

The largest city in New York State's Niagara Frontier, Buffalo is a city full of surprises. Though Buffalo is sometimes the butt of jokes about chicken wings, its long-suffering sports teams, and the mountains of snow under which it is supposedly buried each winter, those in the know tell a different story: one of vibrant nightlife, world-class museums and cultural attractions, tight-knit neighborhoods with strong community spirit – and the sunniest summers in Northeastern United States.


Buffalo districts – color-coded map
Buffalo's central business district boasts monumental architecture, a revitalized historic waterfront, the vibrant Theater District, and the thumping dance clubs of Chippewa Street.
  Allentown and the Delaware District
Allentown's hipster bars, rock clubs and art galleries are a lively counterpart to the sedate Delaware District's quiet residential streets. Both are heaven for architecture buffs, with charming Victorians lining the side streets off Allen Street and sumptuous Gilded Age mansions on Delaware Avenue's Millionaire's Row.
  Elmwood Village
What once was Buffalo State College's student ghetto has now become a bourgie oasis in the heart of the city: if you have money to burn, the quirky fashion boutiques and gift shops along Elmwood Avenue are calling your name. Meanwhile, at the north end of the strip, the Museum District is home to some of Buffalo's best.
  North Buffalo
With more of a suburban feel than other Buffalo districts, North Buffalo is a diverse hodgepodge composed of Little Italy along Hertel Avenue, scruffy but pleasant University Heights, and the beautifully-landscaped, historic residential areas of Parkside, Central Park, and Park Meadow.
  West Side
Long the epicenter of Hispanic culture in Buffalo, the West Side now boasts a veritable United Nations of immigrant communities and a nascent arts scene along Grant Street, ramshackle Victorian cottages in Prospect Hill and the West Village gradually being spruced up to their former glory, and waterfront parks galore. To the north are historic Black Rock and working-class Riverside.
  South Buffalo
Separated from the rest of the city by the Buffalo River, proudly Irish South Buffalo can seem like a city unto its own: to the north, the historic Old First Ward, Cobblestone District, and redeveloped Larkinville; to the east, pleasant parkland and quiet residential streets; to the west, the grain elevators and rail yards of Buffalo's mighty industrial past; along the lake shore, the redeveloped Outer Harbor, a popular summer playground.
  East Side
Disregard those who deride the East Side and be rewarded with the jaw-dropping sight of huge, ornate churches built by 19th-century German and Polish immigrants, an educational look into Buffalo's African-American history, and cultural attractions like the Buffalo Museum of Science in this off-the-beaten-path district.


Buffalo is New York State's second-largest city, with (as of 2020) a population of 278,000 in the city proper and 1.1 million in the metropolitan area. Buffalo is the cultural and economic center of the Western New York region. Once an industrial powerhouse, the city suffered the effects of deindustrialization in the 20th century and developed a reputation as a stagnant working-class city. Buffalo's economy turned around in the early 21st century with the arrival of cleaner, high-tech industries and services, yet the city retains a palpable sense of its history as an important industrial center, with majestic historic buildings and sites telling the story of its rise, fall, and resurgence.



Though the area had been settled by the Iroquois since well before Columbus and was visited periodically by French fur trappers beginning in the 17th century, Buffalo's history begins about 1789, when Cornelius Winney set up a trading post at the mouth of the Buffalo River. At the time, this site was still far beyond the frontier of white settlement. It was not until 1793 that the Holland Land Company, a syndicate of investors from the Netherlands, purchased the tract of Western New York wilderness that included Buffalo. Land agent Joseph Ellicott, who arrived at Winney's trading post in 1798, felt that it had the potential to be the site of a thriving city. He gave the name New Amsterdam to the village he laid out there, though it was soon renamed Buffalo after the adjacent river. Ellicott laid out a grand radial pattern of streets and public squares inspired by the one designed by his brother Andrew for Washington, D.C.; however, despite his lofty aspirations, Buffalo remained a tiny outpost whose main claim to fame during its very early history was as the site of several important military installations and battles during the War of 1812 (famously, the village was burnt to the ground by British troops in December 1813 as part of the Niagara Frontier Campaign of that war).


Buffalo's status as a frontier backwater abruptly ended when, after a hotly contested dispute with the neighboring village of Black Rock (later annexed by Buffalo), Buffalo Harbor was designated as the western end of the Erie Canal, a great inland shipping lane extending westward 363 miles (584 km) from the Hudson River at Albany. The most ambitious work of infrastructure undertaken in the U.S. up to that time, the Erie Canal greatly lowered transportation costs and singlehandedly made large-scale settlement of the lands west of the Appalachians economically viable. The magnitude of the Erie Canal's commercial importance is illustrated by the fact that in the first five years after its completion, Buffalo's population more than tripled (to 8,668); two years later, in 1832, Buffalo was incorporated as a city.

Located in the shadow of downtown, the Commercial Slip (seen here) was once the western end of the Erie Canal.

Buffalo's early economic mainstay was as a transshipment port, where grain from the Midwest was unloaded from lake freighters and transferred to canal boats headed for New York City; it was in Buffalo where the world's first grain elevator was constructed in 1843, and indeed there are still many elevators that remain standing around Buffalo Harbor. Over the second half of the 19th century, the Erie Canal gradually became obsolete, but that scarcely affected Buffalo's explosive growth. Instead, the city maintained its status as a transportation hub by transitioning into the second-most important railroad center in the U.S. (after Chicago). In addition, the steel industry became a major player in the local economy in 1899, when the Lackawanna Steel Company moved its base of operations from Scranton, Pennsylvania to a site just south of the city line. By 1900, Buffalo boasted a population of over 350,000 and was one of the ten largest cities in the United States.

The Pan-American Exposition was a World's Fair that was held in Buffalo in 1901, at the apex of the city's glory days; it was intended to showcase, among other things, the technological marvel and economic possibilities of electric power (Buffalo's proximity to Niagara Falls, a site of early ventures in the generation of hydroelectricity, gifted it with the cheapest electricity in the nation at the time). Though the dazzling sight of the fairgrounds, illuminated by night with this new technology, earned Buffalo the enduring nickname "City of Light", the Pan-American Exposition's main historical significance is much more somber in nature: it was at the Exposition where, on September 6, 1901, U.S. President William McKinley was fatally shot by anarchist Leon Czolgosz, moments after concluding a speech at the Temple of Music.


Although Buffalo continued to grow during the first half of the 20th century, trends emerged that would, by 1950, throw the city into decline. As in other American cities, wealthier residents began to leave their homes in town for quieter, greener suburban properties outside the city line. At the same time, the Americans began to migrate in ever-larger numbers to cities in the West and South with milder climates. The construction of the Interstate Highway System contributed to the decline of the railroads and of Buffalo's port, as goods could be shipped more cheaply by truck. Perhaps the single most important cause was the opening of the St. Lawrence Seaway in 1959, which allowed ships to bypass Buffalo and its railroads and to access the ocean directly via the St. Lawrence River. The steel plant in Lackawanna closed its doors for good beginning in 1977, unable to compete with cheaper foreign steel. By 1980, Buffalo's population was roughly equal to what it had been in 1900, down nearly 40% from its peak of 580,000 just thirty years earlier.

During the 1960s and '70s Buffalo's civic leaders began demolishing ethnic neighborhoods in the name of "urban renewal" and "slum clearance". Though working-class, these neighborhoods were in many cases healthy and vibrant. In particular, the splendid brick Victorian cottages of what was once the Lower West Side's "Little Italy" were nearly all lost to the wrecking ball, while the new public housing projects soon became high-rise versions of the slums they replaced. Meanwhile, noisy and intrusive expressways were constructed through peaceful neighborhoods and park areas, and downtown Buffalo suffered as architecturally-stunning buildings were demolished and replaced by bland modernist developments.


Buffalo's decline started to level off in the 1990s, as the city began to model its economic strategy on the successful revival of other Rust Belt cities such as Pittsburgh and Cleveland. This strategy accepted that heavy industry is gone for good and, instead, used the city's high number of colleges and universities to encourage the development of high-tech industry. Downtown, once replete with boarded-up storefronts, has enjoyed a new measure of vitality due largely to the conversion of disused office space into high-end apartments and condominiums. Buffalo even managed to stem its population losses per the 2020 census, in which it was reported that a remarkable 22,000 people had moved into the city between 2019 and 2020 alone. Though there is still much progress to be made, the bit of swagger with which residents of the "City of No Illusions" carry themselves today, reinvigorated after decades of decline, is unmistakable.


Climate chart (explanation)
Average max. and min. temperatures in °F
Precipitation+Snow totals in inches
See Buffalo's 7 day forecast    Data from NOAA (1981-2010)
Metric conversion
Average max. and min. temperatures in °C
Precipitation+Snow totals in mm

Buffalo, although most famous for its winters, has four very pronounced seasons.

In the first half of winter, beginning in approximately November, the city can get lake-effect snow: cold winds blowing over the warmer waters of Lake Erie pick up a lot of water vapor, which is dumped as snow as soon as they reach land. This usually ends in January, when the lake finally freezes over. Contrary to popular myth, however, Buffalo is not the coldest or snowiest city in the country—or even in New York. The Buffalo airport averages 93 inches (236 cm) of snow per winter. On average, Buffalo only has 3 days per year where the recorded temperature dips below 0°F (-18°C). Buffalo's snowy reputation is based in large part on some of its most famous storms: the Blizzard of '77, the "October Surprise" of 2006, and the "Snowvember" blizzard in 2014 all received a lot of media coverage, but none of those things are normal occurrences in an average Buffalo winter.

Spring is rainy and cool up through the end of April. The temperatures can fluctuate wildly in March and April. It is not unusual to see snow one day, and a temperature in the mid-60s Fahrenheit (almost 20°C) the next.

A snowy winter day in Buffalo's historic West Village

Summer tends to be very comfortable and sunny — in fact, Buffalo has more sunny summer days than any other major city in the Northeastern U.S. The moderating effects of Lake Erie have allowed Buffalo to be one of few places in the United States where the temperature has never reached 100°F (38°C). On average Buffalo has 60 days a year with temperatures reaching over 80°F (27°C).

Fall is warm and beautiful as well. The temperature usually stays warm enough through October or so, and one can watch the trees change colors in comfort. The days are warm, the nights are cool, and the first frost doesn't usually come until well after Halloween. Leaf hunters will be pleased with the number of trees in the city as well as in the surrounding areas.


For more books about Buffalo, specifically ones that take place in or have to do with a particular neighborhood of the city, please see the respective district articles.

  • Buffalo Unbound: A Celebration by Laura Pedersen (ISBN 9781555917357). A collection of humorous essays providing a color commentary for Buffalo's rise from economic ruin, with an often bleak and world-weary tone tempered with a healthy dose of optimism.
  • City of Light by Lauren Belfer (ISBN 9780385337649). Belfer's debut novel, a tour de force of historical fiction that is critically acclaimed, meticulously researched, and paints a vivid picture of Buffalo at the height of its golden age.
  • Gangsters and Organized Crime in Buffalo: History, Hits and Headquarters by Michael F. Rizzo (ISBN 9781609495640). A collection of true-crime stories recounting tales from scrappy street gangs to the rise and fall of the Buffalo Mafia.
  • Mark Goldman has written a trilogy of books that stand as perhaps the definitive analytical commentary on the reasons behind Buffalo's decline and how it can reclaim some of its past glory going forward:
    • High Hopes: The Rise and Decline of Buffalo, New York (ISBN 9780873957359). Written in 1983 — perhaps the nadir of Buffalo's history — Goldman's first book traces the story of the Queen City from its birth as a frontier outpost, to its days as a buzzing inland port and industrial giant, to its post-World War II decline.
    • City on the Lake: The Challenge of Change in Buffalo, New York (ISBN 9780879755799). The focus here is on the turning point in Buffalo's history, the 1950s through the '70s, when glory days gave way to postindustrial poverty and blight.
    • City on the Edge: Buffalo, New York, 1900-Present (ISBN 9781591024576). The book amounts to a love letter to the cultural institutions, strong community ties, and survivalist spirit that have weathered the storm and now serve as foundations on which to build the revived Buffalo.


Under the aegis of the Buffalo Niagara Film Commission, an embryonic film industry has developed in the area which produces some quality independent features. These and other films that have been shot in the Buffalo area over the last century include:

  • Hide in Plain Sight (1980). Based on a true story. A working-class husband (James Caan) tries to track down his wife and children who are hidden away by a witness protection program.
  • The Natural (1984). Robert Redford and Glenn Close star in an adaptation of Bernard Malamud's novel about Roy Hobbs, a mysterious baseball player who appears out of nowhere to turn around the fortunes of a 1930s team.
  • Vamping (1984). Patrick Duffy plays a down-and-out saxophone player who gets mixed up in a crooked antique shop owner's scheme to rob the home of a rich widow, then ends up falling in love with his victim. As a movie, it's a low-budget, amateurish mess, but it's great if you want to get a sense of what Buffalo looked like in the 1980s.
  • Buffalo '66 (1998). A critically-acclaimed dark comedy about a man who, after his release from prison for a crime he did not commit, vows to track down the Buffalo Bills placekicker who put him there, all the while forcing a young tap dancer (Christina Ricci) to pose as his wife to earn respect from his neglectful parents.
  • Manna from Heaven (2002). A is nun on a mission to convince her eccentric childhood neighbors to repay a "loan" from God, which had come in the form of a mysterious shower of dollar bills onto her Buffalo neighborhood 20 years prior.
  • The Savages (2007). An estranged brother and sister reconnect with each other and start to take stock of their dysfunctional lives after coming together to move their elderly father into a nursing home in Buffalo.
  • Henry's Crime (2011). Keanu Reeves stars as a former Thruway toll collector who, after spending time in jail for a crime he did not commit, decides to get his revenge by holding up in real life the same bank he had been falsely convicted of robbing.
  • The American Side (2016). While investigating the murder of a stripper in Niagara Falls, a small-time private detective stumbles on a high-level conspiracy to build an unrealized invention discovered in the newly unearthed "lost papers" of Nikola Tesla.
  • Marshall (2017). This period piece follows a young Thurgood Marshall, the future first African-American Supreme Court justice, on one of the first and most pivotal cases of his law career: defending a black chauffeur accused of the rape and attempted murder of his wealthy white employer in 1940 Connecticut.

Visitor information[edit]

  • 1 Visit Buffalo Niagara, 403 Main St, toll-free: +1 800 283-3256, . M-F 9AM-5PM, Sa 10AM-2PM. The official visitors' association for the Buffalo/Niagara Falls region. Their location downtown in the Brisbane Building offers information, brochures, and souvenirs. Visit Buffalo Niagara also operates another Visitor Center at the Buffalo Niagara International Airport that is open M-Sa 6AM-7PM, Su 6AM-6PM.

Get in[edit]

By plane[edit]

Despite this photograph, the Buffalo Niagara International Airport is the busiest airport in Upstate New York.

From the airport, Buffalo is accessible via NFTA bus routes:

  • NFTA Metro Bus #24 — Genesee runs four different routes, three of which serve the airport. Bus #24B and Bus #24L run between the airport and Canalside via Genesee Street, also serving the Municipal Transportation Center. The latter of the two is advertised as a more convenient service with a limited number of intermediate stops, but in reality the difference in travel time between the L and the B is insignificant (42-43 minutes vs. 47-48 minutes), so it doesn't really matter which one you take. Express service is offered Monday through Friday by Bus #24X, with four inbound trips in the morning (leaving the airport at 6:03AM, 7:03AM, 7:33AM, and 8:03AM) and four outbound ones in the afternoon (leaving Canalside at 3:50PM, 4:20PM, 4:45PM, and 5:20PM). Travel time to and from the airport is about half an hour. Finally, if you plan to take the bus back to the airport at the end of your visit, make sure not to board Bus #24A, whose route ends at the city line in a not-very-nice neighborhood.

In addition, the Buffalo Niagara International Airport is served directly by a number of intercity bus lines; see the "By bus" section. All buses, NFTA and long-distance, are boarded at the bus lane on the east side of the terminal, on the arrivals level. This is also where Uber and Lyft (see "Ride sharing" section below) pick up.

Buffalo Airport Taxi's stand, as well as a number of rental car facilities, are found directly across from the terminal's main exit, on the arrivals level. For more information on taxi service and car rental, see the "Get around" section below.

For those who are coming by private plane and want to avoid the congestion of Buffalo Niagara International Airport, the closest alternative is Buffalo Airfield in West Seneca. Other general-aviation airports in the vicinity include Buffalo Lancaster Regional Airport in Lancaster, Akron Airport in Akron, and North Buffalo Suburban Airport in Lockport.

By car[edit]

The New York State Thruway (Interstate 90) runs east to west and connects Buffalo to other major cities and regions — New York City, the Hudson Valley, Albany, Utica, Syracuse, and Rochester to the east, and Erie and Cleveland to the west. The New York State Thruway is a toll highway over most of its length, with the sole exception of the toll-free portion between Exits 50 and 55, which roughly corresponds to Buffalo's inner-ring suburbs. The New York State Thruway Authority accepts E-ZPass for toll payment, or will otherwise send a toll bill to the address where your car is registered. Cash payments are no longer possible.

Interstate 190 begins at Exit 53 of I-90 near the city line, extending west into downtown. At that point, it turns northward and mostly parallels the Niagara River, linking Buffalo to Niagara Falls and extending onward to Canada via the Lewiston-Queenston Bridge. Interstate 290 links I-90 with I-190 via Buffalo's northern suburbs. Interstate 990 runs southwest-to-northeast through suburban Amherst between I-290 and the hamlet of Millersport, after which point Lockport is easily accessible via NY 263 (Millersport Highway) and NY 78 (Transit Road).

If coming from Ontario, the Queen Elizabeth Way (QEW) is the best way to access Buffalo. The most direct border crossing into Buffalo, the Peace Bridge, is at the end of the QEW in Fort Erie. Other bridge crossing options include the Rainbow Bridge in Niagara Falls, along with the Lewiston-Queenston Bridge in Lewiston. All of these bridges are easily accessible from the QEW; follow the well-posted signs.

By car, Buffalo is about two hours from Toronto, one to one and a half hours from Rochester, two and a half hours from Syracuse, and six to seven hours from New York City.

Average wait times at the various border entries vary: at the Peace Bridge in Buffalo/Fort Erie and the Rainbow Bridge in Niagara Falls, wait times over 30 minutes are unusual on most days other than holiday weekends, whereas at the Lewiston-Queenston Bridge, the norm is 30-60 minutes, more on holiday weekends.

By train[edit]

See also: Rail travel in the United States

Amtrak, +1 215-856-7924, toll-free: +1-800-872-7245. Operates trains throughout the United States of America. Amtrak (Q23239) on Wikidata Amtrak on Wikipedia. Amtrak operates services from the east and the west, at two stations in or near Buffalo.

  • 2 Buffalo-Depew (BUF) station, 55 Dick Rd, Depew. About 8 miles (12 km) east of Buffalo. Buffalo–Depew station (Q800595) on Wikidata Buffalo–Depew station on Wikipedia The Buffalo-Depew station can be reached by cab or (with considerable difficulty) via NFTA Metro Bus #46 — Lancaster.
  • 3 Buffalo-Exchange Street (BFX) station, 75 Exchange St (downtown near the Buffalo Metropolitan Transportation Center). Buffalo–Exchange Street (Q3096092) on Wikidata Buffalo–Exchange Street station on Wikipedia It is directly accessed by a number of NFTA Metro Bus routes. Unlike Buffalo-Depew, there is no QuickTrak Machine and the ticket office is not open for certain departures. Passengers needing to purchase or pick up tickets for a departure when the ticket office is closed will need to do so in advance of the date of departure, or print out an e-ticket from online. Tickets can also be mailed to you, but this option is slower and more expensive. Fares, schedules, and reservations are available through Amtrak. The Lake Shore Limited route does not stop at this station.

Buffalo is served by the following Amtrak lines:

By bus[edit]

The 4 Buffalo Metropolitan Transportation Center, at 181 Ellicott St. downtown, serves as Buffalo's hub for intercity buses, a stop on most NFTA Metro Bus routes, and the city's main taxi terminal.

The following bus routes serve the Buffalo Metropolitan Transportation Center:

Service from Jamestown via Fredonia, Dunkirk, and various points in between.
Service from Olean via Franklinville, East Aurora, Buffalo Niagara International Airport, and various points in between.
Service from DuBois via St. Marys, Bradford, Olean, Salamanca, Ellicottville, Springville, and various points in between.
Service from Cleveland via Ashtabula and Erie (not all runs stop at all intermediate cities).
Service from New York City via Newark, Binghamton, Cortland, Syracuse, Rochester, Batavia, and Buffalo Niagara International Airport (not all runs stop at all intermediate cities).
Service from New York City via Scranton, Binghamton, Ithaca, Geneva, Rochester, and Batavia.
Service from Boston via Worcester, Springfield, Albany, Schenectady, Amsterdam, Utica, Syracuse, Rochester, Batavia, and Buffalo Niagara International Airport (not all runs stop at all intermediate cities).
Service from Toronto (2.75-3 hours).
Service from New York City via Syracuse, Rochester, and Buffalo Niagara International Airport.
Service from Washington, D.C. via Baltimore and Philadelphia.

By boat[edit]

As the place where the Erie Canal met vast Lake Erie, Buffalo's early growth came thanks to the Great Lakes shipping industry. Nowadays the canal has been rerouted to end downstream in Tonawanda, but that's not to say that the canal and the lake aren't still a fairly common, if novel, way to arrive in Buffalo. The West Side, downtown, and the Outer Harbor boast a variety of places for boats to dock. For visitors, the best place to dock is:

  • 5 Erie Basin Marina, 329 Erie St, +1 716 851-6501. Season lasts May 1st-Oct 15th. Not only is it a premier venue to moor your boat, it's also a waterfront destination in itself — boasting the verdant Erie Basin Marina Gardens, an observation tower with stunning views of Buffalo's downtown and waterfront, and even a waterfront boardwalk that leads to a small swimming beach. As well, the Ship Store at the base of the observation tower (M-F noon-6PM, Sa-Su 10AM-7PM in season) stocks a full range of snacks, boating supplies, and essentials such as sunscreen, and there's also a fueling station. The Erie Basin Marina is within easy walking distance of Canalside and the Naval and Military Park. Transient slip rental based on length of boat, $1.90 per foot per day.

Get around[edit]

For most visitors to Buffalo, access to an automobile will prove extremely useful, although Buffalo's public transportation system provides access to the majority of the metropolitan area. Travelling around the city proper by public transit can be relatively hassle-free, especially on weekdays; however, transit riders travelling to the suburbs should be prepared for service that is infrequent (and, on the weekends, often non-existent).

The Kensington Expressway approaches its western terminus in downtown Buffalo.

By car[edit]

In addition to the Interstate highways mentioned in the "Get In" section, Buffalo has several intraurban expressways useful to visitors:

  • The Kensington Expressway (NY 33) begins at the airport on Genesee Street, proceeding westward through the suburb of Cheektowaga and the East Side before turning southward and concluding downtown at Oak Street.
  • The Scajaquada Expressway (NY 198) is a short highway that connects the Kensington Expressway with Interstate 190. The Scajaquada is a convenient route to the neighborhoods of Parkside and the Elmwood Village, the popular commercial strips of Hertel Avenue and Grant Street, as well as attractions like Delaware Park, the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, the Buffalo History Museum, the Darwin D. Martin House, and the Burchfield Penney Art Center.
  • The Buffalo Skyway (NY 5) begins downtown at I-190, extending southward parallel to the shore of Lake Erie with access to Gallagher Beach, Tifft Nature Preserve, and other Outer Harbor attractions. After passing over the Union Ship Canal via the Father Baker Bridge, the divided highway ends, but Route 5 continues as a wide, busy six-lane surface road (variously known as the Hamburg Turnpike, Lake Shore Road, or simply Route 5) that passes through the suburban areas of Lackawanna and Hamburg and continuing southward along the lake shore.

Buffalo's highway system was designed for a city twice its size (a reflection of the population loss the area has undergone between the 1950s and today). As a result, the city does not suffer nearly as much from traffic congestion as other U.S. cities. Rush hour, such as it is, occurs on weekdays roughly from 6:30AM-9AM and from 4PM-6:30PM. A good rule of thumb the locals know is that, even at the height of rush hour, it generally takes no more than 30 minutes to drive from downtown to the outer edge of suburbia.

Rental cars[edit]

Rental car facilities can be found mainly at the Buffalo Niagara International Airport. Alamo, Avis, Budget, Dollar, Enterprise, Hertz, and National all have offices directly on airport property, while the Buffalo locations of ACE and Fox Rent A Car operate out of the Quality Inn across the street.

In addition, Hertz, Budget, and Enterprise all operate smaller car rental facilities at various locations in the city itself.

Car sharing[edit]

Members of the Zipcar car-sharing program can access vehicles in the Buffalo area from various locations in the city, as well as from the North Campus of the University at Buffalo in nearby Amherst.

Ride sharing[edit]

Uber and Lyft operate in Buffalo. There's a $3.00 surcharge for service to and from the Buffalo Niagara International Airport for Lyft, but not Uber.

By public transportation[edit]

Buffalo's public transportation system is operated by the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority (NFTA). They run a single-line light rail system (the Metro Rail) as well as an extensive bus network. The NFTA system is focused around three main nodes. From largest to smallest, these nodes are located in downtown Buffalo, at University Station (at the outer end of the Metro Rail), and at the Portage Road Transit Center in Niagara Falls. Most of the buses whose routes begin and end downtown access the Buffalo Metropolitan Transportation Center directly; many also service the Buffalo-Exchange Street Amtrak station.

The Metro Rail extends along Main Street from the University at Buffalo's South Campus at the northeast corner of the city southward to Canalside in downtown Buffalo, a distance of 6.4 miles (10.3 km). The northern portion of the system is below ground. As the subway enters the downtown core, at the Theater District, it emerges from the tunnel and runs at street level for the remainder of its length. Rides on the above-ground portion of the Metro Rail are free of charge. To ride in the underground portion of the system, it costs $4 for a round-trip ticket, or $2 for a one-way ticket.

Rides on a single bus or light rail vehicle cost $2.00 regardless of length. The exception is the "Enhanced Express" service: Routes #60 — Niagara Falls Express, #64 — Lockport Express, and #204 — Airport-Downtown Express, and some runs of Routes #69 — Alden Express and #72 — Orchard Park Express. An additional 50¢ surcharge per trip applies on Enhanced Express buses.

There are no free transfers between buses. Passengers who will need to transfer from the bus to the Metro Rail, from the Metro Rail to a bus, or between bus lines should consider purchasing a day pass for $5. For further information on public transit in Buffalo including schedules and maps of individual routes, visit the NFTA Metro webpage.

By taxi[edit]

In Buffalo, taxis can generally be dispatched quickly and with ease; however, in general, the only places where they can be hailed on the street are at the airport and around the Metropolitan Transportation Center, the various downtown hotels, and (at certain times, and with some luck) Allentown, the Elmwood strip, and around the colleges and universities.

By bike[edit]

In terms of the development of infrastructure such as dedicated bike lanes on city streets and bike parking areas, Buffalo lags behind other "bikeable" cities such as Minneapolis, Portland, and Boston. Nevertheless, scenic bike routes such as the Shoreline Trail and the Scajaquada Creekside Bike Path are popular, and dedicated bike lanes and other rights-of-way have been added to some of the city's streets.

Reddy Bikeshare has about three dozen bike racks around the city, including this one on Delaware Avenue downtown.

Bike sharing[edit]

Reddy Bikeshare has bikes to tool around town on, each GPS-equipped with Social Bicycles (SoBi) technology. To use a Reddy bike, sign in to the SoBi mobile app to find and reserve an available bike at any of the various Reddy racks around the city (or simply walk up to a rack and enter your account number and PIN on the bike's keypad to unlock it). Then, when you're finished, simply lock your bike up at any Reddy rack, or else at any public bike rack within one of Reddy's free parking zones (Elmwood Avenue, Allen Street, Main Street downtown, and two locations on the South Campus of UB). There's a fee for locking a Reddy bike up anywhere other than a Reddy rack or free parking zone. If you need to stop off somewhere along the way, you also have the option to "hold" your Reddy bike, which will enable you to lock it temporarily without incurring the parking fee and without the bike becoming available for reservation by other users. When you're ready to take off again, simply enter your PIN number on the bike's keypad and you're good to go.


For detailed listings of attractions, please see the respective district articles.


Buffalo's wealth of cultural attractions is surprising given the city's somewhat small size. The museums here are many and varied, and are a point of pride for Buffalo's citizens. Arguably the most interesting among them are a great number of institutions that focus on the area's past.

  • 1 Buffalo History Museum (Formerly the Buffalo & Erie County Historical Society Museum), 25 Nottingham Ct (Metro Bus 20 or 32), +1 716-873-9644. Tu-Sa 10AM-5PM, W until 8PM, Su noon-5PM, Resource Center by appointment during business hours, Research Library W-Sa 1PM-5PM. Has by far the most extensive collection of artifacts relevant to the history of Buffalo and Western New York from pre-Columbian times to the present day. Originally built for the Pan-American Exposition in 1901, it is perhaps not surprising that the Exhibition is a particular focus of the exhibits. $7, seniors and students 13-21 $5, children 7-12 $2, members and children under 7 free. Research Library $7, free to members. Buffalo History Museum on Wikipedia
  • 2 Lower Lakes Marine Historical Society Museum, 66 Erie St. (Metro Rail: Seneca), +1 716-849-0914. Th & Sa 10AM-3PM and by appointment. The shipping industry was greatly important to Buffalo's economy in earlier times, and the Lower Lakes Marine Historical Society's mission is to pay tribute to and increase awareness and appreciation of, that facet of local history. To that end, a wide variety of historic artifacts, old photographs, models, and interpretive materials relevant to the Great Lakes shipping trade are displayed in a warm and airy museum in what was once the offices of Howard H. Baker and Company, a ship chandlery that served Buffalo Harbor in the 19th century. Free.
  • 3 Colored Musicians' Club Museum, 145 Broadway (Metro Bus 1, 2, 4, 6, 14, 16, 24 or 42; Metro Rail: Lafayette Square), +1 716-855-9383. W-Sa 11AM-4PM or by appointment. Easily the most storied jazz club in the city, founded in 1918. The club continues to function as a venue for live jazz, but it also contains a museum with a range of artifacts and exhibits that detail the history of the club and of jazz music in Buffalo. $10; discounted tickets for children, senior citizens, teachers, and active military.
  • 4 Nash House Museum, 36 Nash St (Metro Bus 1, 2, 4, 6, 14, 16 or 42; Metro Rail: Lafayette Square), +1 716-856-4490. Th Sa 11:30AM-4PM and by appointment. Once the home of Rev. Dr. J. Edward Nash, who was a personal friend of such luminaries of black history as Booker T. Washington and Adam Clayton Powell, and was instrumental in the founding of the local chapter of the NAACP. Today, his house is open as a museum that contains exhibits chronicling the history of Buffalo's African-American community. Also, the house itself is architecturally significant as a particularly good example of the wood-frame, partially prefabricated "Buffalo doubles" that were built here by the thousands around the turn of the century. $10. Rev. J. Edward Nash Sr. House on Wikipedia
  • 5 Buffalo Transportation Pierce-Arrow Museum, 263 Michigan Ave. (Metro Bus 14, 15, 16 or 42; Metro Rail: Seneca), +1 716-853-0084. Th-Sa 11AM-4PM. Exhibits antique cars and automotive memorabilia, especially Pierce-Arrows, the luxury sedans produced in Buffalo in the early 20th century. The location of a Frank Lloyd Wright-designed filling station constructed according to an original 1927 blueprint. $10, seniors $8, children $5, guided tour $15.
  • 6 Buffalo Fire Historical Society Museum, 1850 William St (Metro Bus 1), +1 716-892-8400. Sa 10AM-4PM and by appointment. This modest-sized building houses an extensive collection of antique fire trucks and other artifacts, as well as historic photographs and exhibits related to the history of the Buffalo Fire Department. Donation. Buffalo Fire Historical Museum (Q4985723) on Wikidata Buffalo Fire Historical Museum on Wikipedia


More so even than its range of cultural attractions, Buffalo's art scene is huge for a city its size, with galleries large and small to suit all tastes. The Museum District at the north end of the Elmwood Village is the site of Buffalo's two largest art galleries, the beautiful Albright-Knox and the Burchfield-Penney. Smaller storefront galleries are plentiful, and are concentrated in some of Buffalo's more interesting areas, such as Allentown, the Theater District, and Hertel Avenue — as well as emerging artistic communities on the Lower West Side, in Grant-Amherst, and just south of the Theater District in the 500 Block of Main Street.

  • 7 Albright-Knox Art Gallery, 1285 Elmwood Ave. (Metro Bus 20 or 32), +1 716-882-8700, fax: +1 716-882-1958. Daily 10AM-5PM (F until 10PM). The Albright-Knox Art Gallery boasts one of the premier collections of modern and contemporary art in the nation, with the impressionist, cubist, surrealist, abstract expressionist, and pop art styles. Artists such as Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Joan Miró, Jackson Pollock, and Andy Warhol are well-represented among its collection. Works of other styles and periods are also on display, and the Albright-Knox plays host to travelling exhibitions on a frequent basis. The Albright-Knox is housed in a magnificent Neoclassical structure that is a work of art in itself, emulating the Erechtheion in Athens. If you can't make it to the museum itself, another option is to check their website and/or social media for the whereabouts of the Albright-Knox Art Truck, a "mobile center for hands-on artmaking" hosting fun activities and classes for all ages and skill levels. $12, seniors/students $8, children 6-12 $5, free for children 5 and under, museum members, active military, and on first Friday of each month; $5 parking fee ($3 for museum members). Albright–Knox Art Gallery on Wikipedia
  • 8 Burchfield Penney Art Center, 1300 Elmwood Ave. (Metro Bus 20 or 32), +1 716-878-6011. The mission of the Burchfield Penney Art Center is to showcase the unique culture of Buffalo and Western New York and the vibrancy of its creative community with displays of works by local artists. The backbone of the Burchfield Penney's offerings consists of the world's most extensive collection of paintings by Charles Burchfield, a renowned watercolorist who spent most of his career living in or near Buffalo. Temporary exhibitions, often with a local flavor, are also frequently presented. Burchfield Penney Art Center on Wikipedia
  • 9 Buffalo Religious Arts Center, 157 East St. (Metro Bus 5, 32 or 40), +1 716-481-2350. By appointment. Located at the former St. Francis Xavier Roman Catholic Church in the heart of historic Black Rock, the mission of the Buffalo Religious Arts Center is to salvage and display some of the works of religious art contained in the many churches and other places of worship that have closed their doors in the wake of Buffalo's half-century of population loss. St. Francis Xavier itself is a magnificent old building full of beautiful and uplifting art which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. $10, students $5, members free. St. Francis Xavier Roman Catholic Parish Complex on Wikipedia


Buffalo City Hall is one of the world's finest examples of Art Deco architecture.

Buffalo is renown for its exquisite and well-preserved architecture. As of 2020, there are 23 historic neighborhoods in Buffalo that have been recognized by either the National Register of Historic Places or the Buffalo Preservation Board, at least partly for reasons of architectural importance. Buffalo's architecture took center stage when the 2011 National Preservation Conference was held in the city. Buildings from almost every decade of Buffalo's existence are preserved. An enormous wealth of information about Buffalo's rich architectural heritage is available at the award-winning website, Buffalo Architecture and History.

  • 10 Darwin D. Martin House Complex, 125 Jewett Pkwy. (Metro Bus 8 or 11; Metro Rail: Amherst Street), +1 716-856-3858. Basic Tours leave M W Sa 11AM, noon, & 1PM; Su 12:30PM, 1PM & 1:30PM; In-Depth Tours leave M W F Sa 11AM, Su 12:30PM. The most important work of the first half of Frank Lloyd Wright's career, and the first commission for the architect outside of Chicago, the Darwin D. Martin Complex is one of the crown jewels of Buffalo's huge architectural cornucopia. The complex includes not only the Darwin D. Martin House itself — built in 1904-05 – but also the George Barton House, the Gardener's Cottage, and three buildings — a carriage house, conservatory and pergola — which were demolished in 1962 and reconstructed according to Wright's original blueprints in 2007. Following over half a century of neglect, vandalism and decay, an extensive restoration process was completed in 2010. A one-hour Basic Tour is offered, as well as a more extensive two-hour In-Depth Tour. Basic tour $15, $13 seniors, $10 students, members free; In-Depth Tours $30, $28 seniors, $25 students and members. Darwin D. Martin House on Wikipedia
  • 11 Buffalo City Hall, 65 Niagara Square, +1 716-851-4200. M-F 8AM-5PM. The second-tallest building in Buffalo and one of the world's finest examples of Art Deco architecture. The Buffalo City Hall Observation Deck offers unparalleled views over Buffalo and its surroundings, Lake Erie, and Canada. On clear days, the mist from Niagara Falls can be seen over the northern horizon. Guests take the elevator as far as the 25th floor, then ascend a stairwell for the remaining three floors. Free. Buffalo City Hall (Q1001988) on Wikidata Buffalo City Hall on Wikipedia
  • 12 Guaranty Building, 140 Pearl St. (Metro Rail: Church), +1 716-854-0003. Interpretive center open M-F 8:30AM-5PM or by appointment with Preservation Buffalo Niagara. Erected in 1896, the Guaranty Building was one of the earliest high-rise office buildings in Buffalo, an architectural wonder in ruddy terra cotta designed by the "Father of the Skyscraper", Louis Sullivan. With breathtaking vertical lines, exquisite Art Nouveau ornamentation all over the façade, and a design that is a near-perfect embodiment of the "form follows function" credo, the building was for many years the headquarters of the Buffalo Prudential Insurance Company. There's an interpretive center in the northeast corner of the lobby with exhibits on the building's history and architecture. Guided tours are offered by appointment. Prudential (Guaranty) Building on Wikipedia
  • 13 Richardson Olmsted Complex, 444 Forest Ave. A Nationally Registered Historic Place and National Historic Landmark situated on 91 acres (36 ha) of land, the Richardson-Olmsted Complex consists of eleven edifices designed in 1870 by architect H. H. Richardson in red Medina sandstone, representing arguably the apex of his signature Romanesque style. The landscaping of the grounds was the work of Frederick Law Olmsted and Stanford White. For over a century, the complex was the home of the Buffalo State Hospital, an asylum for mentally ill people whose twin-towered Administration Building still looms 161 feet (49m) over the neighborhood; the Administration Building is flanked by ten residential buildings, five on each side. H. H. Richardson Complex (Q5628289) on Wikidata Richardson Olmsted Complex on Wikipedia
  • 14 New York Central Terminal, 495 Paderewski Drive (Metro Bus 4 or 23), +1 716-810-3210. Check website for tour schedule. All tours begin at 11AM and last approximately 2-2½ hours. As of April 2024 the terminal is closed for renovations. Of all the magnificent train stations built in Buffalo at the height of the railroad era, the Central Terminal was the grandest — and today it's the only one left standing. The building is an Art Deco masterpiece designed by the New York City firm of Fellheimer & Wagner, the same ones who designed Grand Central Station in Manhattan, with a tower that rises 272 feet (83 meters) over old Polonia, the tallest building in Buffalo outside of downtown. The best way to see the inside of the Central Terminal is on one of the docent-led historical tours that occur once a month from May to September. But if you're not in town for one of those, there are occasional special events held inside the concourse that are open to the public (including a train show and an annual Oktoberfest celebration). "Ghost tours" in the two weeks or so leading up to Halloween are also a hit. Historical tours $15; check website for admission rates to other tours and events. Buffalo Central Terminal on Wikipedia
  • 15 St. Paul's Episcopal Cathedral, 128 Pearl St. (Metro Rail: Church), +1 716-855-0900. Services Su 8AM & 10AM, M-F 12:05PM. The seat of the Episcopal Diocese of Western New York, St. Paul's Episcopal Cathedral is the most architecturally distinguished church in Buffalo — built by Richard Upjohn in 1849 to replace an earlier structure built on the same site, the church has been named a National Historic Landmark, the U.S. government's highest level of recognition for a man-made structure, and it was the tallest building in Buffalo until 1912. St. Paul's Cathedral (Buffalo, New York) on Wikipedia


Buffalo is a great place to enjoy the outdoors — especially in the warm months. A side effect of Buffalo's notoriously nasty winters is that locals really make the most of the warm-weather months. In March or April, on the first nice day of the year, the streets are thronged with pasty-skinned locals, dressed in shorts and tank tops despite the still-chilly temperatures, eagerly soaking up the fresh air and sunlight after the long, bleak winter. Autumn is also a pleasant time to be outdoors, with the crisp, fragrant air complementing the crunch of fallen leaves underfoot.

The city of Buffalo contains over 200 parks, both large and small. The largest and most interesting parks were designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, one of the greatest landscape architects of the 19th century, in conjunction with his then-partner Calvert Vaux. Buffalo's Olmsted parks are an interconnected network of six large parks and six smaller green spaces (three of the latter survive today), linked to each other by wide, tree-lined thoroughfares called parkways modeled after the grand boulevards of Paris. Though he would go on to design similar park systems for other cities, Buffalo's is the oldest and one of the best-preserved Olmsted park systems in existence.

Delaware Park boasts amenities including the Buffalo Zoo, a Rose Garden a Japanese Garden and public art installations.
  • 16 Delaware Park, North end of Lincoln Pkwy., behind Albright-Knox Art Gallery (Metro Bus 8, 11, 20, 25, or 32; Metro Rail: Humboldt-Hospital), +1 716-838-1429. Dawn to dusk. With an area of 234 acres (93 ha), Delaware Park is the central node in Buffalo's park system and one of the largest and best-preserved examples of Frederick Law Olmsted's landscape architecture anywhere. All the classic Olmsted features are present here: a large, grassy meadow (now the site of the Delaware Park Golf Course), thick stands of trees, and Hoyt Lake, a 46-acre (18.5-ha) pond. Delaware Park is also the site of the Buffalo Zoo. Delaware Park–Front Park System (Q5253332) on Wikidata Delaware Park–Front Park System#Delaware Park on Wikipedia
  • 17 South Park, West side of South Park Ave. between Nason Pkwy. and former B&O Railroad tracks (Metro Bus 16 or 42). South Park resembles Delaware Park in miniature: a large lake in the middle, a small Meadow that's now the site of the 9-hole South Park Golf Course, and the Buffalo & Erie County Botanical Gardens, the park's marquee attraction. Cazenovia Park–South Park System#South Park on Wikipedia
    • 18 Buffalo & Erie County Botanical Gardens, 2655 South Park Ave. (Metro Bus 16 or 42), +1 716-827-1584. Daily 10AM-5PM. Founded in 1898 and arranged carefully in Victorian style with over 1,500 varieties of plants. The lovely Victorian conservatory building was designed by Frederick A. Lord and William A. Burnham, who went on to design the conservatory at the National Botanical Gardens in Washington, D.C. $7, seniors and students $6, 12 and under $4, members and children under 3 free. Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens on Wikipedia
  • 19 LaSalle Park, South side of Porter Ave. between I-190 and lake shore (Metro Bus 22 or 29). This 89-acre (36 ha) park along Buffalo's waterfront has a plethora of amenities — baseball diamonds, soccer fields, a swimming pool, a skate park and a dog run. Architecture buffs will enjoy the Buffalo Water Authority's historic Colonel Francis G. Ward Pumping Station, built between 1909 and 1915 in a style that's an eclectic hybrid of Beaux-Arts Neoclassicism and the Romanesque Revival.
  • 20 Canalside (along the north shore of the Buffalo River between the Commercial Slip and the foot of Main Street; Metro Rail: Erie Canal Harbor), +1 716-856-3150. A 20-acre (8 ha) park home to the Commercial Slip, once the western end of the mighty Erie Canal, on the side of which are the restored foundations of buildings dating to the mid-19th century. As well, the park has tour boats, a restored canal bridge, interpretive plaques, and the enthralling Buffalo and Erie County Naval and Military Park. Canalside on Wikipedia
  • 21 Bird Island Pier, access from Broderick Park (Metro Bus 5, 12 or 40). Built in 1822 as a buffer between the Erie Canal and the rough waters of the Niagara River, it was once a lively place of fishing shacks, canal boats, and pleasure steamers bound for Canada and Grand Island. Though those are long-gone, an extensive renovation in the 2010s reopened the pier as a scenic pedestrian walkway that offers unparalleled views of the Niagara River and Fort Erie. At the end, you're treated to an unequaled waterfront panorama, with the Erie Basin Marina in the foreground and the downtown skyline and grain elevators in the distance.
  • 22 Riverside Park, West side of Tonawanda St. between Vulcan St. and Crowley Ave. (Metro Bus 5, 35 or 40). This 39-acre (16 ha) park features facilities for every outdoor activity imaginable: baseball diamonds, football and soccer fields, basketball and tennis courts, a swimming pool and an ice rink. Although Riverside Park is the least well-preserved of Buffalo's Olmsted parks, the scenic overlook provides a stunning view over the Niagara River, along with the River Rock Gardens, a chain of stone-bedded rain gardens peppered with greenery, traversed by footpaths, and centered on an elegant stone arch bridge. Riverside Park (Buffalo, New York) on Wikipedia

Deserving of special mention is the Outer Harbor, a vast expanse of former industrial land south of downtown that became a state park in 2013:

  • 23 Gallagher Beach, 1515 Fuhrmann Blvd. (Metro Bus 42), +1 716-852-2356. For many decades an "unofficial" swimming hole for South Buffalo residents, Gallagher Beach is one of Buffalo Harbor State Park's marquee attractions, offering sunbathing, fishing, kayaking, and windsurfing. (Swimming is nominally prohibited, but enforcement is lax, and if you visit you'll likely see folks in the water. However, it's probably not a good idea to follow suit.) Free.
  • 24 Tifft Nature Preserve, 1200 Fuhrmann Blvd. (Metro Bus 42), +1 716-825-6397. W-Sa 10AM-4PM, Su noon-4PM. 264 acres (106 ha) of greenery that serves as an important wetland habitat for native wildlife such as beaver, fox, turtle, deer, and 264 species of native and migratory waterfowl. The 75 acres (30 ha) of freshwater cattail marsh are one of Western New York's largest natural expanses of this type of ecosystem. Fishing on Lake Kirsty is popular in the summer, as are guided nature walks; in winter, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing are on offer. The Makowski Visitors' Center is open all year. Donation.
  • 25 Times Beach Nature Preserve, 2 Fuhrmann Blvd. Times Beach Nature Preserve is situated on former industrial land that has been reclaimed and cleaned of pollutants. These 50 acres (20 ha) adjacent to the harbor were the site of coal docks and a contained disposal facility for industrial waste before its opening to the public as a nature preserve. Though no facilities are available, boardwalks, nature trails and wildlife viewing blinds are on offer at this photogenic expanse of greenery that, in addition to its role as a haven for native flora and fauna, is one of the most important stopovers on the Great Lakes for migratory birds. Free.


Festivals and events[edit]

The festivals and events listed in this section take place at multiple venues city- or regionwide. For events specific to a particular venue or neighborhood, see the respective district articles.

The lion's share of festivals and events in Buffalo take place during the warm months, naturally, but efforts have been made to expand the slate of offerings in winter as well.

  • Buffalo Greek Fest. Serves as the traditional start of the summer festival season and held each year at the beginning of June at the Hellenic Orthodox Church of the Annunciation on historic Delaware Avenue. Showcases the cuisine, traditional music and folk dances of Greece, along with cultural exhibits and architectural tours of the beautiful church.
  • Galbani Buffalo Italian Heritage Festival. Live music, carnival rides, games, and attractions of all kinds on the first weekend in July. The star of the show is the food, with offerings from well-known Italian markets as well as demonstrations by chefs from local Italian restaurants.
  • Dyngus Day. A traditional Polish holiday that falls on the Monday after Easter, Buffalo hosts the largest Dyngus Day celebration in the world at its New York Central Terminal. After a parade, traditional Polish food and (even more popularly) drink are served in the old dining room, with polka bands attracting revelers to the dance floor. Celebrations are also held at St. Stanislaus, Bishop & Martyr Church, the Adam Mickiewicz Library, as well as Polish bars and taverns. Easter Monday#Buffalo, New York on Wikipedia
  • Buffalo Pride Festival. Kicks off with a flag-raising ceremony in Niagara Square, continues with a "Gay 5K" footrace through the streets of downtown, picks up intensity in Allentown with the Dyke March and a raucous street festival (21+ admitted), culminates in Canalside with the Pride Festival itself (a family-friendly event), and closes out with a beach party at Woodlawn Beach State Park in Hamburg.
  • National Garden Festival. This five-week-long garden festival has participating residents design and maintain beautiful gardens in their front yards for walkers to enjoy. In addition, there are bus tours of the area's various urban farms, nurseries, and community gardens, weekday open gardens, speakers, symposia, and the popular Front Yard Garden Competition. The Atlantic magazine cited this as the best event of its kind in the nation. Garden Walk Buffalo on Wikipedia
  • Buffalo Infringement Festival. This celebration of genre-defying, boundary-pushing DIY art and spectacle takes place annually on the last week of July and the first week of August. Displays of music, dance, theater and visual arts, as well as more offbeat genres such as puppetry, fire art, mime and "miscellaneous insurrection", can be seen at venues around the city for free or for a nominal price.
  • Jack Craft Fair. Lovers of everything artisanal, take note: since 2014, the Jack Craft Fair features the handiwork of over 100 different artists and artisans for sale every mid-August at a different venue each year. Also features live music performances, interactive public art displays, and roster of about a half-dozen workshops. Free.
  • Buffalo International Film Festival. Presented yearly in late September and early October. Highlights the cinematic contributions of individuals past and present hailing from Western New York, as well as films by lesser-known individuals around the world. In addition, there is an array of cinematic workshops and symposia. Buffalo International Film Festival on Wikipedia


Make no mistake about it — Buffalo is a sports town. Buffalonians are doggedly loyal to their teams despite the fact that the city hasn't won a national championship in any of the big four American sports since 1965 — the four fruitless trips to the Super Bowl by the Buffalo Bills and two to the Stanley Cup Finals by the Sabres in the intervening years are losses that local fans have been looking to avenge for a long time.

Major-league sports are played downtown at the KeyBank Center, where the National Hockey League's Buffalo Sabres have their home ice, and at Highmark Stadium in suburban Orchard Park where the Buffalo Bills play for the National Football League. Bills fans are some of the most gregarious and welcoming fans in the NFL, and it is not uncommon for them to celebrate and party with opposing fans, creating a real party atmosphere.

Buffalo has a number of teams in smaller leagues as well. These teams tend to be more successful on the field than the big-league clubs. Baseball's Buffalo Bisons have won seven pennants in the AAA-level International League and American Association; they play at Sahlen Field downtown. The Buffalo Bandits play indoor lacrosse at the KeyBank Center and have won four NLL championships. Soccer fans will want to check out the NPSL's FC Buffalo; matches take place at Williamsville South Athletic Field. Finally, the city's newest sports team, the Buffalo Beauts, play their National Women's Hockey League opponents at the Northtown Center.

In the world of college sports, the University at Buffalo's Buffalo Bulls reign supreme. Bulls football and basketball games are played on the North Campus in Amherst, at UB Stadium and Alumni Arena respectively. Canisius College's Golden Griffins, who play at the Koessler Athletic Center and the Demske Sports Complex, also have a sizable local following.


See the district articles for more details on individual courses.

Golfers visiting the area might want to check out the suburbs first; public and private courses are plentiful outside the city limits. However, those who want to hit the links in Buffalo itself can do so in style. No fewer than three of Buffalo's Olmsted parks — Delaware, Cazenovia, and South Parks — boast golf courses (the former has 18 holes, the latter two have nine), and the Grover Cleveland Golf Course in University Heights is famous as the site of the 1912 U.S. Open.


Anglers cast their lines into the Upper Niagara River at Broderick Park.

Buffalo is a hotspot for freshwater fishing, with a remarkable diversity of species thanks to its location at the junction of Lake Erie and the Niagara River. Though the Niagara River and Lake Erie have come a long way in terms of pollution, it's advised to severely restrict if not completely avoid eating fish caught in local waters.

In Lake Erie, the marquee catch is smallmouth bass: Buffalo has been recognized by Bassmaster magazine as one of the top three bass fishing destinations in the United States. If you're angling from shore — say, at Buffalo Harbor State Park or Ship Canal Commons in South Buffalo — the prime times are early May through mid-June and October through November, just after the lake thaws and before it freezes again. The bass move to cooler waters midsummer, but if you have a boat, they're still easily catchable. Most of the bass you'll catch will be between 2 and 4 pounds (1 and 2 kg), though it's not unheard of to reel in whoppers of 6 or 7 pounds (3 kg). Aside from bass, Lake Erie has some of the best walleye fishing you'll find anywhere, with average catches ranging from 5 to 8 pounds (2.5 to 3.5 kg), as well as muskellunge (especially around the mouth of the Buffalo River) and yellow perch.

The Buffalo River boasts its share of fishing spots too — notably RiverFest Park, Conway Park, Mutual Park, Seneca Bluffs, and other green spaces of the Buffalo River Greenway. Despite generations of heavy industry that once left it an ecological dead zone, the river was cleaned up enough by the early 1980s for fish to filter their way in once again, and today a typical catch might include bullhead, largemouth bass, yellow perch and steelhead trout.

The upper Niagara River, meanwhile, is a great place to catch steelhead, lake trout and northern pike, which teem in its cool, fast-flowing waters all season long. You can also find smallmouth bass in the summer months. Unity Island is the place to be for river fishing in Buffalo. Folks from the West Side's Burmese refugee community reeling in their catches are a regular sight at places like Broderick Park, the Bird Island Pier, and Unity Island Park.


It's no Vegas, but gamblers do have options in and around Buffalo.

  • 1 Seneca Buffalo Creek Casino, 1 Fulton St, +1 877 873 6322. Boasts over 1,100 slot machines and 36 table games. Seneca Buffalo Creek Casino (Q18356877) on Wikidata Seneca Buffalo Creek Casino on Wikipedia
  • 2 Buffalo Raceway, 5600 McKinley Pkwy, Hamburg (on the grounds of the Erie County Fair). Slot machines, video poker, and, in season, live harness racing.


Downtown Buffalo's Theater District

For a city its size, Buffalo has an active and diverse theater scene. The Theater District, bounded roughly by Washington, Tupper, Franklin and Chippewa Streets, hosts Curtain Up!, a gala event that marks the opening of the theater season each September.

  • 3 Alleyway Theatre, 672 Main St. (Metro Rail: Fountain Plaza), +1 716-852-2600. Offers plays and musicals year-round in a comfortable and intimate setting, including "Buffalo Quickies" (a festival of one-act plays by local writers), the Maxim Mazumdar New Play Competition, and an annual presentation of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol each December. Also home to Theatre Plus, a troupe that puts on performances geared toward women.
  • 4 Irish Classical Theatre Company, 625 Main St. (Metro Rail: Fountain Plaza), +1 716-853-4282. Housed at the Andrews Theatre, the company has a broad focus: over the course of its history, the company has presented performances by the late French mime Marcel Marceau, the renowned Polish dramatist Kazimierz Braun, and Buffalo native Jesse L. Martin, whose work includes performances in the Broadway musical Rent and the television series Law & Order.
  • 5 Road Less Traveled Theatre, 456 Main St. (Metro Rail: Lafayette Square), +1 716-629-3069. Develops and produces works by local playwrights. Also often presents theatrical productions by dramatists from outside the region.
  • 6 Shea's Performing Arts Center, 646 Main St. (Metro Rail: Fountain Plaza), +1 716-847-1410. Buffalo's premier venue for lavish Broadway-style musicals such as Dreamgirls, The Lion King, and Wicked, as well as live music and performances such as Sesame Street Live and the Radio City Christmas Spectacular. Shea's Performing Arts Center on Wikipedia
  • 7 Shea's 710 Theatre, 710 Main St. (Metro Rail: Fountain Plaza), +1 716-847-0850. Presents an assortment of productions and is available for private and corporate events.
  • 8 Shea's Smith Theatre, 660 Main St. (Metro Rail: Fountain Plaza), +1 716-847-1410. Hosts a diversity of fare, including stand-up comedy sets and off-Broadway-style material that's often written and performed by Buffalo-area natives.

Live music[edit]

For more detailed listings of individual venues, see the various district articles.

If local music is what you're looking for, the two hotspot neighborhoods are Allentown and Grant-Amherst.

  • 9 Nietzsche's, 248 Allen St (Metro Bus 7 or 20), +1 716-885-8539. Nietzsche's stands out from the pack on Allen Street through sheer longevity; it's been presenting first-rate live music since well before most of the hipsters at the bar were born. In addition to the usual slate of local rock bands and singer-songwriters, Nietzsche's has been known to sneak in a nationally-known name here and there.
  • 10 Sportsmens Tavern, 326 Amherst St. (Metro Bus 3 or 32), +1 716-874-7734. With an authentically gritty roadhouse vibe, the self-described "honkiest, tonkiest beer joint in town" is among Buffalo's premier places to see live local country, folk, blues and roots-rock acts.

Fans of other types of music aren't left out in the cold:

  • 11 Central Park Grill, 2519 Main St (Metro Bus 8, 23 or 32; Metro Rail: Amherst Street), +1 716-836-9466. Sizzling blues shows happen every Friday and Saturday night. Other genres like soul, funk, jazz and reggae crop up from time to time too, and if there's no band onstage when you visit you can still get your fix with the Internet jukebox and its encyclopedic selection of blues numbers.
  • 12 Colored Musicians' Club, 145 Broadway (Metro Bus 1, 2, 4, 6, 14, 16, 24 or 42; Metro Rail: Lafayette Square), +1 716-855-9383. Hosts big-band concerts on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday nights, as well as Sunday afternoons followed by a legendary open jam session in the evening.
  • 13 Kleinhans Music Hall, 3 Symphony Cir. (Metro Bus 7 or 22), +1 716-883-3560. Aside from the several-times-weekly performances of the Buffalo Philharmonic, Kleinhans features performances by other orchestras, small theatrical shows and popular music acts. Kleinhans Music Hall on Wikipedia


Buffalo is home to a large number of private and public colleges and universities. The largest school in the area is the University at Buffalo (UB). One of the four "university centers" of the State University of New York (SUNY) system, UB is renowned as a large public research university. For this reason, it is one of the elected members of the prestigious Association of American Universities. UB has two campuses: the smaller South Campus is in the University Heights neighborhood at the city's northeast corner, and the larger North Campus is in the suburb of Amherst, about four miles (6 km) northeast of the South Campus.

Buffalo State College, also part of the SUNY system, is across from the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, at the north end of the Elmwood Village. Canisius College is Buffalo's largest private college, located near the intersection of Humboldt Parkway and Main Street. Other colleges and universities in the city and its surrounding area include Trocaire College, Medaille College, Villa Maria College, D'Youville College, Daemen College, and the three campuses of Erie Community College.

The University at Buffalo has an annual Distinguished Speakers Series, which has played host to Bill Clinton, Al Gore, Michael Moore, the Dalai Lama, Stephen Colbert, and Dr. Sanjay Gupta. These events take place on the North Campus and are open to the public; tickets are available from the University's box office. UB has a free series of summer lectures available to the public, and Buffalo State regularly has events open to visitors.


For listings of individual shops, please see the respective district articles.

Buffalo has a number of interesting shopping districts, each with its own flavor.

Elmwood Avenue is a crowded thoroughfare of lovely boutiques, art galleries, sidewalk cafés and fine restaurants.

The Elmwood Village extends along Elmwood Avenue from Buffalo State College south to North Street. This area contains a variety of small shops with an "independent" feel — you won't find many national chain stores or restaurants here. Elmwood Avenue's specialty is upscale clothing boutiques catering to fashion-forward urbanites; it's also a good place to seek out locally produced art and jewelry, quirky gifts, and some of the finest dining Buffalo has to offer.

Allentown is centered along the entire length of Allen Street from Main to Wadsworth Streets, but especially west of Linwood Avenue. Adjacent, and similar in some ways, to the Elmwood Village, Allentown has more of a bohemian and artsy vibe compared with the college students and yuppies that frequent Elmwood. Amid the proliferation of hipster bars, you'll see a lot of antique shops, small art galleries, and clothing stores with a more urban style.

Hertel Avenue, between Delaware and Parkside Avenues in North Buffalo, is home to a growing assortment of small shops. Hertel is the place to come to browse art galleries, shop for antique and contemporary furniture and home decor, mellow out in head shops such as Terrapin Station, and sample Middle Eastern cuisine at a variety of restaurants and bodegas at the west end of the strip, near Delaware Avenue.

Grant Street, which runs north-to-south through the Upper West Side, is the main thoroughfare of two revitalized shopping areas. The stretch between (approximately) West Delavan Avenue and Hampshire Street, centered on West Ferry Street, is a commercial strip known as Grant-Ferry. A "melting pot" of Hispanics, Somalis, Southeast Asians, Arabs, Eastern Europeans and Buffalo State College students, Grant-Ferry is home to a collection of ethnic food markets, clothing stores, and so forth. Grant-Amherst, a short distance north at the corner of Amherst Street, boasts a collection of art galleries, antique shops and restaurants within walking distance of Buffalo State College. Visitors should be warned, however, that the neighborhoods around Grant Street are still a good deal "grittier" than places like the Elmwood Village and Allentown.

In the suburbs can be found the usual lineup of malls and plazas. The largest mall in the area is the Walden Galleria, on Walden Avenue in Cheektowaga, 10 minutes from downtown via the Kensington Expressway and/or Interstate 90. Others include the Boulevard Mall in Amherst, the McKinley Mall on the border between Hamburg and Orchard Park, and the Eastern Hills Mall in Clarence. In Buffalo itself, there is a small area between Delaware and Elmwood Avenues at the northern edge of the city where shopping plazas, big-box stores, and chain restaurants can be found.


Local specialties[edit]

The canonical Buffalo wings: wings, celery, blue cheese, beer, and moist towelettes.
  • No visit is complete without trying some Buffalo wings. Oh, sure, everyone thinks they've tried them, but nothing compares to the ones you can get in Buffalo. (But please don't call them "Buffalo wings"; around here, they're just "wings".) The classic recipe, as originated in 1964 at the Anchor Bar on Main Street, is a chicken wing fried up crisp, then tossed in a mixture of butter and hot sauce (Frank's Red Hot for best results) in varying proportions according to your spice tolerance, then optionally finished on the grill for a bit of extra char. The debate over who serves the best wings in town is endless, but as a general rule, head to one of Buffalo's many off-the-beaten-path corner bars.
If you're not a fan of Buffalo sauce, virtually anywhere with wings on the menu will offer barbecue sauce as an alternative. Other varieties you'll come across frequently include garlic parmesan, lemon pepper (especially popular among Buffalo's African-American community), honey mustard, and "Italian style" (i.e. breaded and smothered in marinara sauce). Or for something truly unique, head to South Buffalo, which has its own homegrown style of wings.
  • In much the same vein: if you enjoy chicken fingers, there's scarcely a better place for you to visit than Buffalo. Like any other city, you can find them served as a meal in themselves, but here they also come chopped up and used as pizza toppings, in tacos, on salads, and — above all — in the form of chicken finger subs: whole chicken fingers slathered in Buffalo wing sauce and used as the filling in a submarine sandwich. A variant is the stinger sub, basically a steak hoagie plus chicken fingers. Any sub shop or pizzeria in town should be able to make you a chicken finger sub, but for the stinger, the odds-on favorite is local chain Jim's Steakout, where it was invented.
  • Outside the realm of deep-fried chicken, another local specialty is beef on weck, a sandwich that consists of slices of slow-roasted beef layered on a kümmelweck roll (a Kaiser roll topped with caraway seeds and Kosher salt) and traditionally garnished with horseradish. Any place that serves hot sandwiches is likely to have beef on weck on the menu, but the two restaurants whose beef on weck has the best reputation are Schwabl's (on Center Road in West Seneca) and Charlie the Butcher.
  • Texas hots, despite their name, were not invented in Texas, but in Buffalo, where they began as a unique offering in the area's Greek restaurants (Seneca Texas Hots claims to be the first to serve them, though this is a matter of some dispute). The Texas hot is a hot dog slathered with mustard, onions, and spicy meat sauce or chili; the finished product bears some resemblance to the "Coney Island" hot dogs served in Detroit, though the chili sauce on Texas hots is lighter and thinner in consistency.

Greek food... in Buffalo?

Greek food has a long history and wide reach in Buffalo — there's been a Greek diner in practically every neighborhood since the 1960s or '70s. But Buffalo doesn't have an especially big Greek community, so what gives? It all goes back to Theodore Liaros, who opened the first location of beloved local hot dog chain Ted's in 1927, as well as the time-honored immigrant tradition of ethnic communities coming together to help out new arrivals: as time wore on, more Greeks — some distant relatives of the Liaros family, some old friends from his hometown — came to Buffalo, learned the restaurant business at Ted's, and then struck out on their own. Even today, the roster of local Greek restaurateurs remains a tangled web of family relations and intermarriages.

  • Americanized versions of Greek street foods like souvlaki, gyro and spanakopita, alongside usual diner fare like burgers and melt sandwiches, are served in many Greek diners, particularly in the suburbs. However, some diners — for example, Mythos on Elmwood Avenue — have reinvented themselves in a more upscale vein, with ever more creative menu items, swankier decor, and higher prices.
If you want to sample Chiavetta chicken, your best bet is to keep your eyes peeled for signs like this.
  • Chiavetta chicken (usually shortened to just "Chiavetta") sits in a garlic- and cider vinegar-based marinade (imbued with a secret blend of herbs and spices) for about four hours before being broiled on a charcoal grill, resulting in tender meat that is incredibly juicy, with just a hint of crispy char on the skin. Chiavetta's natural habitats are church lawn fetes, fire department fundraiser cookouts, and other such informal events, or if you happen to be in town during the Erie County Fair, head to the Chiavetta Catering Company's own booth to get it straight from the source. You'll have a much harder time finding it in restaurants: if you can't make it out to Lockport to visit Chiavetta's BBQ Take-Out, you'll at least find the marinade on the shelf of most local supermarkets.
  • Loganberry is a non-carbonated, dark purple soft drink with a flavor that could be described as intensely sweet and generically fruity. It is not native to the local area but only in Buffalo did it have staying power. Aunt Rosie's is the best-known brand, exclusively distributed by the local Pepsi-Cola bottling company (not PepsiCo itself, which goes a long way in explaining its lack of availability outside Buffalo). Aunt Rosie's is available only at local soda fountains, though, so if you want a bottle to take home from the supermarket as a souvenir, look for Johnnie Ryan brand instead, bottled in Niagara Falls.
  • Fish fry is a Buffalo staple that owes its existence to the traditional predominance of Roman Catholicism among the local citizenry — practicing Catholics were once forbidden to eat red meat and poultry on Fridays. Though that prohibition hasn't been in effect since the 1960s, the tradition of enjoying a fish fry on Friday nights has stuck. The traditional recipe sees massive filets of haddock or cod coated in flour, beer-battered and deep-fried until golden brown, then finished with tartar sauce and/or lemon juice and served with sides that may include French fries, coleslaw, or perhaps macaroni salad. You can eat fish fry at some of Buffalo's nicer restaurants if you want, but this is still a working-class food at heart and, accordingly, the best fish fry is served by the smaller neighborhood watering holes and greasy spoons. Expect lines for fish fry to be especially long during the season of Lent (usually Feb-Apr, though it varies by year), when the old no-meat-on-Fridays rule still applies.
  • Buffalo also has its own slate of candies, pastry, and sweets of local provenance:
    • Sponge candy, though it's (contrary to local belief) not unique to the Buffalo area, is the best-known of these, and you'll find it at any local candy shop worth its salt. Brown sugar, corn syrup, and baking soda are mixed together into a thick syrup and then baked, releasing bubbles of carbon dioxide gas from the latter which get trapped in the mixture as it hardens and sets into a toffee, creating a crunchy, latticed interior. The whole thing is then covered in chocolate. The Fowler's chain of chocolate shops supposedly sells the best, though its competitors Watson's and Parkside Candy would beg to differ.
    • Ice cream lovers visiting Buffalo should not bother asking about the origins of the Mexican sundae, which are shrouded in obscurity, but should take the opportunity to dig into this salty-sweet favorite of vanilla ice cream topped with hot fudge, whipped cream, and — this is the key ingredient — skin-on Spanish peanuts. In the summertime, any of the locally-owned walk-up ice cream stands you'll find around town have it on the menu; if you're visiting in the cooler months, your best bet is to head to Nick Charlap's Sweets on the Hill in West Seneca.
    • The Charlie Chaplin, wherein shredded coconut and chopped cashews are added to melted chocolate and then poured over lumps of fluffy marshmallow and sprinkled with coarse salt, was allegedly created during the eponymous movie star's 1917 visit to Buffalo for the premiere of his film The Adventurer. Strawberry Island, in the Broadway Market on the East Side, is a good place to find them; they serve theirs on a stick, as opposed to in logs or nuggets as elsewhere.
    • Finally, pastry hearts, also known as angel wings, are flat, heart-shaped pieces of puff pastry coated in a thick shell of white sugar icing that's ideally hard and dry on the outside and soft, gooey, and cloyingly sweet on the inside. They're a specialty of the local Polish community; Mazurek's Bakery in the Old First Ward and White Eagle Bakery in the aforementioned Broadway Market are good choices for where to get some.


For restaurant listings, please see the respective district articles.

Every neighborhood in Buffalo has its own specialty when it comes to restaurants. Generally speaking, head downtown for fine dining, to the Elmwood Village for Greek diners and dudebro sports bars, to Allentown to sober up after a night of bar-hopping over a plate of "drunk food", to Hertel for homestyle Italian cuisine, and to the East Side for barbecue and soul food. If you're a fan of Asian cuisine, get your fix either on the West Side or out in suburbia, in the quasi-Chinatown that's coalesced in Amherst between the two UB campuses.

Speaking of which: Burmese cuisine is hard to find elsewhere in the country, but thanks to a vibrant community of immigrants and refugees that's coalesced on the West Side since the turn of the millennium, it's quite popular in Buffalo. The two most famous purveyors are the West Side Bazaar on Grant Street and the local chainlet Sun; however, the authenticity of their dishes varies. Culinary purists should head to Riverside, where they'll find a number of off-the-beaten-path alternatives.

Local chains[edit]

Buffalo boasts several local chains that are beloved of Western New Yorkers and that serve as staples of the local cuisine.

  • Anchor Bar. Hardcore wing lovers can make a pilgrimage to the "Home of the Original Buffalo Chicken Wing" on Main Street north of downtown to pick up all manner of chicken wing-themed T-shirts and other merchandise, but the flipside is that it's perhaps the only place in Buffalo that can justifiably be called a "tourist trap", with all the inattention to food quality and customer service the term implies. A good rule of thumb for those who simply want to tuck into a plate of wings is to stick to the branch locations. Besides wings, offerings also include a variety of salads, sandwiches (including that other standout of Western New York cuisine, beef on weck), and simple but hearty Italian fare. Anchor Bar on Wikipedia

  • Charlie the Butcher. Charlie Roesch was not the inventor of beef on weck but he and his descendants have certainly done the most to popularize the Buffalo specialty outside the immediate local area.
The Allentown location of Jim's Steakout.
  • Jim's Steakout. Burgers, tacos, wraps, chicken wings and fingers, and fast food of a similar nature is served at Jim's, but it's their famous steak hoagies that really put this place on the local radar.

  • Ted's Hot Dogs. The hot dogs served up at this place since 1927 have made Ted's among the best-loved of Buffalo's local traditions. Charcoal-broiled dogs come with the standard condiments of ketchup, mustard, onion and pickle relish available, as well as chili and cheese for a nominal extra cost — it should be noted, though, that Ted's chili sauce is distinctly different from what you'll find on Texas hots. Burgers, fries, onion rings, milkshakes, and soft drinks (including loganberry) round out the offerings. Ted's Hot Dogs on Wikipedia

Food trucks[edit]

There are several dozen food trucks operating in Buffalo, serving everything from the standard hot dogs and tacos to more unusual selections like elegant scratch-made desserts, gourmet fusion cuisine and carnival fare. The list below includes some of Buffalo's more popular food trucks (excluding those that are spinoffs from brick-and-mortar restaurants, but including those which started as food trucks and opened restaurants later). Food trucks can most commonly be found downtown or in Allentown, the Elmwood Village, North Buffalo, and Larkinville; if you're in the suburbs, office complex parking lots are another frequent venue. Many food trucks maintain Facebook fanpages and/or Twitter feeds that update fans on where they'll be setting up shop.

  • The Cheesy Chick, +1 716 418-2241. Dishes out seemingly infinite permutations of grilled cheese sandwiches, with combinations of cheeses from the standard cheddar to brie and havarti, breads from Italian to sourdough to cinnamon raisin to panini, and toppings as creative as prosciutto, coleslaw, and fresh apples and pears. The modest selection of non-grilled-cheese offerings include a range of desserts, salads and (in season) hot soups. Their perennial Achilles heel is their service, which ranges from fast and friendly to slow and indifferent.
  • The Flaming Fish, +1 716 279-9725. Broadly speaking, seafood comes in two forms here: the breaded and deep-fried variety (the shrimp po' boy is a popular item on the sandwich board, and haddock filets are a serviceable approximation of the Friday fish fry Buffalonians have been enjoying for generations) and as fresh, flavorful fish tacos, which are really the standout item on menu. Prices are fair, customer service is second to none — about the only bad thing you can say is their website exaggerates about the variety of offerings for folks who don't like seafood (choose between quesadillas and a steak hoagie in that case).
  • Frank Gourmet Hot Dogs. The "gourmet" in the name is no joke — though they'll happily serve you the standard ketchup/mustard/onion/relish setup, the heart and soul of this place is in artful creations such as the fiery "Holy Moly" where the heat of sriracha and jalapeños is tempered a bit by fresh guacamole, the sweet-and-savory "Violet Beauregarde" with cheese, crunchy fried onions, and blueberry glaze, and a faithful take on the Chicago hot dog.
  • House of Munch, +1 716 866-0106. Offers carnival food: fried dough (the house specialty), regular or loaded fries, cotton candy, corn dogs, and the like. The food is reliably good, house-made birch beer to drink is an authentic nod to an old-fashioned hometown favorite, and though prices are high, they're the only game in town for those looking to mine this offbeat culinary vein.
Take your pick of Buffalo's best mobile cuisine at Food Truck Tuesdays, held weekly at Larkin Square from May through October.
  • Lloyd Taco Truck, +1 716 863-9781. The original and still the undisputed king of Buffalo food trucks, staples include tomatillo pork tacos, braised beef burritos and "tricked-out nachos" — you can rest assured you're getting free-range, antibiotic- and hormone-free meats and locally grown produce. Wash it all down with an ice-cold Jarritos soda or HFCS-free Coke imported from Mexico.
  • The Louisiana Cookery, +1 716 202-8787. Crawfish étouffée, shrimp and grits, the ever-popular jambalaya, and other downhome fare stay true to traditional Creole and Low Country recipes. A bit pricey for the portion size, but worth it.
  • Maria's Bene Cibo, +1 716 322-7314. Short but well-curated menu of Italian-inspired sandwiches, panini, and homemade cannoli for desert. Customers tend to gravitate toward the Sicilian panini (Italian cold cuts topped with provolone, roasted red peppers, spinach, pesto, and Italian dressing) as well as the muffuletta sandwich (regular or spicy). If none of those are to your liking, they offer a build-your-own option as well.


The pizza scene in Buffalo is dominated by neighborhood mom-and-pop pizza places and locally based chains, each of whose individual variation on the classic recipe inspires fierce loyalty — and rivalry. Buffalo pizza features a crust that's thicker than New York-style but not nearly as much so as Chicago deep dish, with a slightly nutty flavor and an airy sponginess that struggles to support the heaping mass of toppings that generally get piled on. Cheese comes in a thick, gooey layer that spreads out almost to the edge of the crust, the sauce has a noticeably sweet tinge, and pepperoni is invariably of the "cup and char" variety: smaller and more thickly sliced than elsewhere, they curl up into a bowl shape as they cook, blackened on the edges and with a pool of hot grease in the middle. Below are some of Buffalo's better-known pizza chains:

  • Bocce Club. Though there are some who say Bocce's is not quite as good as it used to be, the Pacciotti family's secret recipe is still often cited as the gold standard of Buffalo pizza. The usual array of wings, subs and sides are also offered, along with a decent fish fry. Also on Transit Road in East Amherst is the Original Bocce's Pizza, run by a different branch of the same family; local consensus says it's not as good.
  • Franco's. The happy medium of Buffalo pizza, Franco's pies are offered with a respectable variety of toppings, but they're not as creative as Just Pizza; fresh-tasting and well-balanced, but not as artfully executed as Bocce's.
  • Just Pizza. The closest thing to "gourmet" that you'll find in the realm of Buffalo pizza delivery, the creativity and endless variety on Just Pizza's menu have earned it comparisons to a homegrown version of California Pizza Kitchen — the online menu even suggests wine pairings to accompany their more popular specialty pies.
  • La Nova. Among the best Buffalo has to offer — not only to citizens but to the whole country; they do a brisk business shipping all over the continental U.S. (a testament, again, to that outsize renown). La Nova's crust tends to be thicker and doughier than the average Buffalo pizza, the better to support the generous portions of toppings and mounds of cheese piled on top. And the wings are in the same league as Duff's and the Anchor Bar. (Those who'd like to try both the pizza and the wings — highly recommended — should opt for a Combo Pack).


The lion's share of Buffalo's grocery stores can be found in the suburbs, but unlike the infamous "food deserts" of other Rust Belt cities, even the most forlorn inner-city precincts usually have at least one full-service supermarket.

  • Tops. Locally based, has the most stores.
  • Wegmans. Wegmans has traditionally been the local go-to for upscale specialty groceries.
  • Lexington Co-op. A cooperatively-run purveyor of upscale natural, organic, and often locally sourced foods with locations in the Elmwood Village and on Hertel Avenue in North Buffalo.
  • PriceRite. Budget grocery store that boasts an especially good selection of fresh produce including an abundance of tropical fruits and vegetables.
  • Save-a-Lot. Budget grocery store that has as an impressive meat selection and is the only discount supermarket in Buffalo that employs their own butchers.

Fresh, locally-grown foods are available at farmers' markets. There are about two dozen of them all over the metro area, where local farmers, vintners, cheesemakers, and producers of other artisanal food products come to sell their goods directly to the public. Farmers' markets usually take place on a weekly basis during the growing season, and many of them double as full-fledged street festivals, with live music, games and other entertainment.


For bar listings, please see the respective district articles.

As an enduringly blue-collar town, Buffalo has a fairly dense concentration of bars and taverns. In fact, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, Buffalo is among the top ten cities in the United States in number of bars per capita. Drinkers in Buffalo aren't limited to rough-and-tumble working-class watering holes, though — although there are plenty of those. Buffalo has a number of more upscale nightlife districts, each with a distinct character, from the dance clubs of Chippewa Street, to the hipster dives of Allentown, to the cocktail bars in the Theater District, to the yuppie hangouts of the Elmwood Village, to the historic taverns of the Cobblestone District and the Old First Ward.

Last call in Buffalo is 4AM. For this reason, many bars in Buffalo don't get going until sometime after midnight on weekends.

Weekend nights usually see the police out in force in Buffalo's nightlife districts, searching for drunk drivers. You can often find taxis lingering around the bars, but competition for a cab can be fierce and rates are often high. Uber and Lyft are often a better option in these cases.

Coffee shops[edit]

Coffee culture is alive and well in Buffalo. Though Starbucks outlets are a dime a dozen here as elsewhere in the country, locally owned mom-and-pop cafés have always been where it's at for Buffalo's trendy set, and there are three principal neighborhoods where you'll find them. Downtown — particularly the Theater District and the 500 block of Main Street — sports a handful of grab-and-go places for office workers in need of a quick caffeine fix, Allentown's coffee shops are great places to lounge in an ambience that's trendy yet not stiflingly pretentious, and at the far end of the spectrum, the off-the-beaten-path coffeeshop scene on the West Side cranks the hipster factor up to 11, with an atmosphere and clientele such that you might wonder whether you're in Buffalo or Brooklyn.

There are a couple local coffeeshop chains of note:

  • Ashker's. Features a copious slate of smoothies of various styles: regular (various combinations of puréed fruits), "Fusion" (a healthier alternative where vegetables such as kale, golden beet, and spinach enter the picture), and "Fortified" (in full health-food mode here, featuring chia seed, turmeric, maca, and other trendy "superfoods"). Cold-pressed fruit juices, espresso drinks, and other beverages, as well as a selection of sandwiches, salads, and an all-day breakfast menu, are also available.
  • SPoT Coffee. It's not exactly a local coffeeshop chain — the company has been Canadian-owned since 2004 — but Buffalonians still claim SPoT as their own based on the fact that Western New York is where you'll still find the vast majority of locations. High-quality house-roasted coffee is the name of the game, along with a range of sandwiches and panini, healthy salads, and other gourmet lunch fare; pricey but worth it. SPoT Coffee on Wikipedia


For more detailed hotel listings, please see the respective district articles.

There is a wide range of high-quality lodging to choose from in both Buffalo and its suburbs, encompassing hotels, motels, B&Bs, hostels, and guest houses. Many beautiful but vacant old buildings have restored and repurposed as hotels — so if you're staying downtown, be prepared for a real Gilded Age treat. In suburbia, budget and mid-priced chains can be found primarily around highway interchanges. Two especially big clusters of hotels exist just south of the University of Buffalo's North Campus in Amherst and around the Buffalo Niagara International Airport.



The Hotel Lafayette
  • 1 Hotel Lafayette, 391 Washington St. (Metro Rail: Lafayette Square), +1 716-853-1505. Check-in: 3PM, check-out: noon. An architectural masterpiece in the French Renaissance Revival style built in 1903 from a design by Louise Blanchard Bethune, the Hotel Lafayette is on Lafayette Square in the heart of downtown. Flat-panel TVs, banquet facilities, restaurant, coffeeshop, and two bars/lounges. Suites are available that contain full kitchens with refrigerator and stove. Complimentary breakfast. Hotel Lafayette on Wikipedia
  • 2 Lenox Hotel & Suites, 140 North St. (Metro Bus 7, 11, 20 or 25), +1 716-884-1700. Check-in: 2PM, check-out: 11AM. The oldest continually operating hotel in Buffalo, the Lenox Hotel and Suites began its existence as a luxurious hotel and apartment building that counted a young F. Scott Fitzgerald among its early residents. The Lenox's ground floor is occupied by the Nina Freudenheim Gallery and a restaurant, the Lenox Grill, and it also boasts lovely views of downtown Buffalo and the waterfront from its upper floors.


  • 3 Buffalo Marriott HarborCenter, 95 Main St. (Metro Rail: Erie Canal Harbor), +1 716-852-0049. Check-in: 3PM, check-out: noon. Buffalo Marriott HarborCenter's rooms each feature a flat-panel TV, a workstation, a mini-fridge, coffeemaker, iron and ironing board, and panoramic views over either Lake Erie or the downtown skyline. For shopping, dining, and nightlife, HarborCenter offers a sports bar, the fine dining restaurant Panorama on Seven, and a Tim Hortons coffee shop as well as a full fitness room, laundry, and dry-cleaning services. Parking is available in the HarborCenter ramp or the Marriott's private ramp. HarborCenter on Wikipedia
  • 4 Hyatt Regency Buffalo, 2 Fountain Plaza, +1 716-856-1234.
  • 5 The Mansion on Delaware Avenue, 414 Delaware Ave. (Metro Bus 11, 20, 25 or 29; Metro Rail: Allen-Medical Campus), +1 716-886-3300. Check-in: 4PM, check-out: 11AM. The Mansion on Delaware is a luxury boutique hotel in the Sternberg House, a beautifully restored 1870 French Second Empire-style mansion near the border of Allentown and downtown that was owned by a succession of wealthy Buffalo aristocrats of the 19th century. Butler service, fine dining, working fireplaces in most rooms. Popular for formal receptions such as weddings. Guests have access to the Buffalo Club’s Spa 388.


The telephone area codes for Buffalo are 716 and 624. It is necessary to dial the area code for local calls.

Publicly accessible wireless Internet is mainly limited to coffee shops, bookstores, and other such establishments. In particular, McDonald's, Starbucks, SPoT Coffee, Tim Hortons, and Barnes & Noble offer free WiFi and boast many easy-to-find locations throughout the region. Public libraries also usually offer Internet access.

Buffalo's 2 Main Post Office and mail processing facility is at 1200 William St. in the city's Lovejoy neighborhood.

Stay safe[edit]

The reputation of Buffalo's East Side as a rough part of town can be exaggerated by locals, but it's not entirely undeserved. Generally speaking, the East Side is the city's poorest residential district, with widespread urban blight and high crime rates plaguing many parts of the district (especially the Bailey Avenue corridor). To a lesser extent, some parts of the West Side also have these problems. That being said, crime rates in Buffalo have fallen to levels not seen in half a century. What violent crime does occur is usually drug- and gang-related and does not target tourists. Follow general precautions that would apply in any urban area — lock car doors, keep valuables out of sight, be aware of your surroundings, etc. — and you should be fine pretty much anywhere.

Panhandlers can be found occasionally on Chippewa Street downtown and in Allentown and the Elmwood Village, though not nearly to the degree of most other cities. Aggressive panhandling is virtually unknown.


Newspapers and print media[edit]

The Buffalo News is the city's sole daily newspaper and is the most widely circulated newspaper in Upstate New York. Listings for concerts, movies, theater productions and other events are published under the title Gusto. Buffalo Rising is an excellent online publication whose "beat is New Buffalo" and which features "original content written by fellow Buffalonians knowledgeable and passionate about their city". Buffalo Spree is a monthly magazine that features articles on dining, events, and the arts in the local area. The African-American community of Buffalo is served by the Challenger Community News. Panorama Hispano publishes news relevant to Buffalo's Latino community in both English and Spanish. The Am-Pol Eagle is a weekly paper featuring news and commentary of interest to the Polish-American community in the area. Also, many of Buffalo's neighborhoods boast community newspapers of their own, such as the Allentown Neighbor and the North Buffalo Rocket.


In the field of radio broadcasting, Buffalo's history is one of the longest in the nation; its oldest radio station, WGR, has been on the air since 1922. Sadly, though, Buffalo radio leaves much to be desired now, a fact that has led many locals to become listeners of radio stations based in Toronto and elsewhere in Southern Ontario. As of autumn 2018, Buffalo's highest-rated radio stations are WBLK, WYRK, and WHTT on the FM dial, and WBEN and WGR on the AM dial.

Radio stations serving the Buffalo area include:

  • News/Talk: WBFO 88.7 FM (NPR), WBEN 930 AM (conservative), WLVL 1340 AM (conservative), WHLD 1270 AM (conservative)
  • Sports: WGR 550 AM, WWKB 1520 AM
  • Oldies/Classic rock: WBUF 92.9 FM, WGRF 96.9 FM, WHTT 1120 AM/104.1 FM, WECK 1230 AM/100.5 FM/102.9 FM (light oldies), WEBR 1440 AM (nostalgia and big band)
  • Top 40/Adult Contemporary: WMSX 96.1 FM, WKSE 98.5 FM, WTSS 102.5 FM/104.7 FM
  • Urban: WBLK 93.7 FM, WUFO 1080 AM/96.5 FM (classic R&B, hip-hop and gospel), WWWS 1400 AM/107.3 FM (soul)
  • Country: WYRK 106.5 FM, WXRL 1300 AM, WLKK 107.7 FM
  • Alternative rock: WEDG 103.3 FM
  • College radio: WBNY 91.3 FM (Buffalo State College)
  • Classical: WNED 94.5 FM
  • Religious: WBKV 89.9 FM (Christian rock and pop), WZDV 92.1 FM, WDCX 99.5 FM/970 AM, WLOF 101.7 FM (Catholic)


Buffalo's television stations represent all major American television networks. In addition to these, many Canadian television stations based in Toronto are available through Spectrum cable system; however, over-the-air reception of these stations is generally very poor.

Television stations serving Buffalo include:

  • WGRZ Channel 2: NBC
  • WIVB Channel 4: CBS
  • WKBW Channel 7: ABC
  • WNED Channel 17: PBS
  • WNLO Channel 23: The CW
  • WNYB Channel 26: Tri-State Christian Television
  • WUTV Channel 29: Fox
  • WNYO Channel 49: MyNetworkTV
  • WPXJ Channel 51: Ion Television
  • WBXZ Channel 56: NewsNet
  • WBBZ Channel 67: Me-TV


In case of medical emergency, Buffalo is well-served by a wide variety of hospitals and other medical facilities.

Places of worship[edit]

Unlike most East Side Catholic churches, St. Stanislaus, Bishop & Martyr is still an active and vibrant parish.

For more information on specific places of worship, please see the respective district articles.


From early in its history, Buffalo's population has been predominantly Roman Catholic, and this holds true today. Buffalo has some magnificent Catholic churches, particularly on the East Side, where 19th-century German and Polish immigrants built a bevy of massive, ornate stone churches and cathedrals, some still in use, most not. Outside of Buffalo proper but still worthy of note is Lackawanna's Our Lady of Victory Basilica, a massive marble structure that is a testament to the charitable institutions headed by Father Nelson Baker.

  • 8 St. Joseph Roman Catholic Cathedral, 50 Franklin St. (Metro Rail: Church), +1 716-854-5855. Mass Su 8AM & 10:30AM, Sa 4:30PM, M-F 7:30AM & 12:05PM. Built in 1855 to serve as the seat of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Buffalo, the design of St. Joseph's Cathedral is based on that of Salisbury Cathedral in England, and its sanctuary boasts stained-glass windows that were donated by King Ludwig II of Bavaria. St. Joseph Cathedral (Buffalo, New York) on Wikipedia
  • 9 St. Stanislaus, Bishop and Martyr RC Church, 123 Townsend St. (Metro Bus 1, 4 or 23), +1 716-854-5510. Mass Su 9AM (English) & noon (Polish), Sa 4PM, Tu-F 7:45AM. St. Stan's is best known as a place to celebrate Dyngus Day or for its worship services on Easter, Christmas and other holidays, but it's an equally magnificent experience other times of the year, when it's just you and the neighborhood regulars. For an extra dose of neighborhood authenticity, go to St. Stan's Polish-language service, held at noon every Sunday. Church of St. Stanislaus, Bishop and Martyr (Buffalo, New York) on Wikipedia


Protestant churches are far more numerous in the suburbs than in Buffalo proper; however, there are a few large and active congregations in the city, especially in neighborhoods such as Allentown, the Elmwood Village, and Parkside that still contain significant numbers of old-money WASPs.

  • 10 St. Paul's Episcopal Cathedral, 128 Pearl St. (Metro Rail: Church), +1 716-855-0900. Services Su 8AM & 10AM, M-F 12:05PM. The seat of the Episcopal Diocese of Western New York, St. Paul's Episcopal Cathedral is the most architecturally distinguished church in Buffalo — built by Richard Upjohn in 1849 to replace an earlier structure built on the same site, the church has been named a National Historic Landmark and it was the tallest building in Buffalo until 1912. St. Paul's Cathedral (Buffalo, New York) on Wikipedia
  • 11 First Presbyterian Church, 1 Symphony Cir. (Metro Bus 7 or 22), +1 716-884-7250. Services Su 11:15AM. Founded in 1812, this is the oldest religious congregation of any denomination in Buffalo. Since 1891, the members of First Presbyterian have worshiped in a sandstone church on Symphony Circle, which contains several Tiffany stained-glass windows and which once counted Teddy Roosevelt among its worshipers. First Presbyterian Church (Q5453542) on Wikidata First Presbyterian Church (Buffalo, New York) on Wikipedia

Black churches[edit]

Black churches are numerous on the East Side.

  • 12 Michigan Street Baptist Church, 511 Michigan Ave. (Metro Bus 1, 2, 4, 6, 14, 16, 24 or 42; Metro Rail: Lafayette Square), +1 716-854-7976. Though it no longer plays host to regularly scheduled services, the importance of the Michigan Street Baptist Church to the history of Buffalo's African-American community cannot be overstated: it's the oldest continuously black-owned property in Buffalo, in the years immediately prior to the Civil War it was a "station" on the Underground Railroad through which escaped black slaves from the South were spirited away to freedom in Canada. Historical tours are offered by appointment. $5. Macedonia Baptist Church (Buffalo, New York) on Wikipedia
  • 13 True Bethel Baptist Church, 907 E. Ferry St. (Metro Bus 12, 13 or 23), +1 716-895-0391. Services Su 7:45AM, 9:30AM & 11AM. The preeminent African-American religious congregation in Buffalo — a megachurch the size of a Walmart with room for almost five thousand worshippers. The three services held here every Sunday are energetic, empowering, and speak to the contemporary concerns of modern-day African-Americans and Christians in general. And don't worry if you can't make it down for one of them — you can also listen to services live on the radio on WUFO 1080 AM, watch them on Spectrum Cable channel 20, or stream services on the Web.
  • 14 Bethel AME Church, 1525 Michigan Ave (Metro Bus 8, 11, 12, 13 or 25; Metro Rail: Utica), +1 716-886-1650. Services Su 9:30AM. Founded in 1831, Bethel AME Church is the oldest black religious congregation in Buffalo. Bethel's original home on Vine Alley once served as a station on the Underground Railroad.

Eastern Orthodox[edit]

  • 15 Hellenic Orthodox Church of the Annunciation, 146 W. Utica St. (Metro Bus 11, 12 or 25; Metro Rail: Utica), +1 716-882-9485. Su-F Orthros 9AM, Divine Liturgy 10AM. Located since 1952 in a beautiful English Gothic edifice listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Hellenic Orthodox Church of the Annunciation is not only the place of worship for the Buffalo metro area's Greek Orthodox population, but is also well-known as the site of the Buffalo Greek Fest, where Buffalonians kick off the summer festival season each June. Hellenic Orthodox Church of the Annunciation (Q5707283) on Wikidata Hellenic Orthodox Church of the Annunciation on Wikipedia
  • 16 St. George Orthodox Church, 2 Nottingham Terrace (Metro Bus 32), +1 716-875-4222. Services Su 10AM. An affiliate of the Orthodox Church in America, St. George describes itself as a "pan-Orthodox" church that is a syncretic combination of the traditional liturgies of many Eastern faiths.


  • 17 Temple Beth Zion, 805 Delaware Ave. (Metro Bus 11, 22 or 25; Metro Rail: Summer-Best), +1 716-836-6565. Services F 6PM & Sa 10:30AM, check website for additional. Soon after its foundation in 1850, Temple Beth Zion became one of the first shuls in America to embrace the new movement of Reform Judaism, and it is still one of the largest Reform synagogues in the nation. The current Temple Beth Zion, built in 1961 after a fire claimed its old building, is a breathtaking work of modern architecture that stands out among its neighbors on Delaware Avenue. Temple Beth Zion (Buffalo, New York) on Wikipedia


Other religions[edit]

  • 19 Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, 780 Michigan Ave. (Metro Rail: Fountain Plaza), +1 716-842-0816. Services Su 10AM. Built in 1992, this meetinghouse serves the LDS Church's Buffalo Ward with services in English, Spanish, French, and Swahili.
  • 20 Chùa Từ Hiếu Buddhist Cultural Center of Buffalo, 647 Fillmore Ave. (Metro Bus 4 or 23), +1 716-892-6839. Located in the Buffalo Police Department's former Eighth Precinct Headquarters, Chùa Từ Hiếu has served the local Vietnamese Buddhist community since 1998. Decorated with a set of stone pillars imported from Vietnam and centered on a statue of Quan Âm, this normally serene place periodically becomes the scene of cultural events and gatherings such as group meditation sessions and an annual Vietnamese New Year celebration.

Go next[edit]

Suburbs and exurbs[edit]

Unlike the faceless cookie-cutter residential tracts surrounding other American cities, many of Buffalo's suburbs have real character. More than that, suburbia's range of attractions, festivals and events, and other items of interest to visitors can hold its own with the urban core.

Where to next?
  • Tonawanda — a 19th-century lumber port turned middle-class residential community, Tonawanda is the western terminus of the modern-day Erie Canal.
  • Amherst — Buffalo's most populous suburb contains the gargantuan UB North Campus, the charming village of Williamsville, and rural farmland in the far north.
  • Cheektowaga — postwar suburbia at its most banal, but also shopping galore, including the area's largest mall. As the site of the Buffalo Niagara International Airport, Cheektowaga is likely on the itinerary of most visitors to Buffalo whether they actively seek it out or not.
  • West Seneca — a proud German heritage dating to the town's foundation in the 1850s by the religious Ebenezer Society, and natural beauty that inspired watercolorist Charles Burchfield.
  • Lackawanna — a rough-and-tumble company town that fell on hard times after the closure of the steel plant that gave the city its name, now the home of a vibrant Yemeni community and the magnificent Basilica of Our Lady of Victory.
  • Grand Island — once a summer retreat for Buffalo's turn-of-the-century aristocracy, now the site of riverfront parkland and wide-open spaces a stone's throw from the bustle of the city.
  • North Tonawanda — Tonawanda's sister city has a grittier and more working-class feel, but also a restored downtown with lively nightlife.
  • Lancaster — an upper-middle-class second-ring suburb east of Cheektowaga in whose lovely town center stands the historic Lancaster Opera House.
  • Orchard Park — the home of the Buffalo Bills has something for everyone, from bustling strip malls to a charming small-town downtown to the forests and hills of Chestnut Ridge Park.
  • Hamburg — birthplace (allegedly) of the hamburger, Hamburg is also home of the Erie County Fair and boasts beautiful views over Lake Erie.
  • East Aurora — the almost too-cutesy-for-its-own-good village that's home to the Roycroft Community of artists and artisans, an important exponent of the early 20th-century Arts and Crafts Movement.
  • Clarence — tony exurb about a half-hour's drive from downtown Buffalo. Hit up the antique shops in Clarence Hollow if that's your thing, or tool around the exclusive Spaulding Lake neighborhood to gawk at the lifestyles of the Niagara Frontier's rich and famous.
  • LockportNiagara County's seat makes the most of its history as an important Erie Canal port, with attractions such as the Lockport Locks and Erie Canal Cruises and the Lockport Erie Canal Museum on offer.

And of course, no trip to the Niagara Frontier would be complete without checking out...

  • Niagara Falls, which lies a short 30-minute drive from Buffalo. Check out Little Italy along Pine Avenue, the world-class Aquarium of Niagara, and the historic downtown area centered around Old Falls Street. As for the falls themselves, Niagara Falls State Park is understated and even serene.

Further afield[edit]

  • Lewiston is a historic village on the Niagara River about 40 minutes north of Buffalo via Interstate 190.
  • Darien Lake is a theme park resort in rural Genesee County, about 40 minutes east of Buffalo.
  • The hills south and southeast of Buffalo bear the brunt of the lake-effect snow that falls in early winter; as such, this is Buffalo's ski country. The closest ski resort to Buffalo is Kissing Bridge, on Glenwood-East Concord Rd. in the town of Colden. More ski resorts can be found in Chautauqua County and in Ellicottville.
  • The beaches along Lake Erie south of Buffalo are popular summer day trips. The most popular is Evangola State Park. Other public beaches further afield can be found in Chautauqua County, in Silver Creek (Sunset Bay) and Dunkirk (Wright Park and Point Gratiot Park).
  • Genesee County is located along I-90 about midway between Buffalo and Rochester. Batavia, the county seat, is one of the oldest and most historic towns in Western New York.
  • A 45-minute drive north of Buffalo, Youngstown is a small village with a huge role in local history: it's the site of Old Fort Niagara, a state park and National Historic Landmark with a history that goes back to 1678.
  • Chautauqua County is southwest of Buffalo and is easily accessible via Interstate 90. A place of farms, forests, mountains, and beaches, Chautauqua County contains the Chautauqua Institution, a historic retreat on the shores of Chautauqua Lake. A bit south of Fredonia, Lily Dale is a center of the Spiritualist movement and boasts psychic mediums, fortune-tellers, and the like. Peek 'n Peak Resort in Clymer is a year-round destination in Chautauqua, with 27 ski slopes, downhill tubing, and golf.
  • Located southeast of Buffalo, the "Enchanted Mountains of Cattaraugus County" include several notable sites. Ellicottville is a year-round destination best known for its two ski resorts, Holiday Valley and HoliMont. Griffis Sculpture Park in East Otto is the oldest sculpture park in the country, founded in 1966. Next to the state line is Allegany State Park, the "wilderness playground of Western New York", offering camping, skiing, hiking, and natural beauty. Nearby is the Seneca Allegany Hotel and Casino, in Salamanca.
  • New York State's third-largest city, Rochester, is a short drive of 60 to 90 minutes eastward along Interstate 90, and is home to museums, art galleries, street festivals and professional sports.
  • The Finger Lakes region is between Rochester and Syracuse, about two hours east of Buffalo along Interstate 90. Named for the series of eleven long, slender lakes found there, the region offers natural beauty and small-town charm, but is best-known for its status as the most important wine-producing area in the Eastern U.S. Over 100 wineries can be found in the Finger Lakes, many of which offer tours and tastings in season.

North of the border[edit]

There are four border crossings in Western New York: the Peace Bridge, by which travellers cross from Buffalo to Fort Erie, Ontario for a toll of US$8.00 or CAD$10.75, the Rainbow Bridge in Niagara Falls (toll US$5.00 or CAD$6.50), the Whirlpool Rapids Bridge also in the Falls (open only to NEXUS members; toll US$5.00 or CAD$6.50), and the Lewiston-Queenston Bridge furthest north (toll US$5.00 or CAD$6.50). For travellers to most Canadian destinations other than Niagara Falls and Fort Erie, the Lewiston-Queenston Bridge offers the most direct route, but is also the one that is most prone to delays.

  • Fort Erie is a small city, easily accessible via the Peace Bridge. Attractions here include Old Fort Erie, Fort Erie Racetrack, Uncle Sam's Bingo Palace and Golden Nugget Bingo. Also near town are some of Canada's finest freshwater beaches.
  • Niagara Falls, Ontario is accessible via the Rainbow Bridge. In sharp contrast to its U.S. counterpart, the views of the Falls from Ontario are almost unanimously considered to be better, but rather than the greenery that abuts the falls on the American side, the Canadian side is a gaudy, Vegas-like neon jungle of high-rise hotels, casinos, restaurants, nightclubs, and gimmicky tourist traps.
  • Niagara-on-the-Lake is an hour from Buffalo, at the mouth of the Niagara River. Visitors to the Falls often make the short drive north to take in the charming streets and stone buildings.
  • The Niagara Peninsula extends between Lake Erie and Lake Ontario, immediately west of Buffalo. Aside from the region's fertile farmland and historical importance as a battleground during the War of 1812, the Niagara Peninsula is greatly popular with tourists as Canada's most productive wine-producing region.
  • Toronto, Canada's largest city, is about two hours from Buffalo (assuming ideal traffic conditions and no delays at Customs).

Routes through Buffalo
ENDNiagara Falls (New York)  W  E  → Buffalo (Depew) → Albany (Rensselaer)
Niagara Falls (Ontario)Niagara Falls (New York)  W  E  → Buffalo (Depew) → Albany (Rensselaer)
Niagara FallsTonawanda  N  S  CheektowagaEnds at W E
Niagara Falls (Ontario)Fort Erie  W  E  Ends at
Niagara FallsTonawanda/Amherst  N  S  LackawannaWarren
Erie via Lackawanna  W  E  AmherstAuburn
END  N  S  West SenecaOlean
END  W  E  CheektowagaRochester
END  N  S  LackawannaSalamanca

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