22 classic WNY restaurants worth checking out time and time again

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Oliver’s Restaurant / Photo courtesy of Oliver’s

Restaurants open frequently – there is always something hot and new to discover. While discovering new places to visit is fun and exciting, there is something especially satisfying about visiting old classics, time-tested establishments that have been proven over the years to be pretty delicious every time.

Buffalo has a thriving restaurant scene, many of which are old-timers but goodies that have ensured their reputation as the mainstay of the region. These classic western New York restaurants – listed in no particular order – are always a solid choice for a return visit again and again after years in the business. Roll on 50 more years!

1. Olive tree

2095 Delaware Avenue, Buffalo

877-9662 / oliverscuisine.com

It doesn’t get much more classic than Oliver’s. This fine dining restaurant first opened in Buffalo in 1936 and has been impressing diners ever since. Oliver’s culinary team never disappoints and always offers a fantastic menu that is as creative as it is delicious.

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2. Hutch’s

1375 Delaware Ave, Buffalo

885-0074 / hutchsrestaurant.com

Hutch’s service, ambiance and food always come together, which is why this restaurant has earned its place in the Hall of Fame of Buffalo’s greatest restaurants. (They also have a super cool, hidden back bar.) If you’re looking for a place to go for a special occasion, you just can’t go wrong here. It’s still a solid bet for incredible food paired with impeccable service.

3. House of the eagle

5578 Main Street, Williamsville

632-7669 / eaglehouseonline.com

A little known fact about Erie County’s oldest restaurant is that it was once a stop on the Underground Railroad. Today, it’s a comfortable place to enjoy hearty, comforting American fare in a place that has a lot of historic charm and character. The restaurant, which opened in 1827, is located on the newly renovated Main Street and made more walkable in the village of Williamsville, making it a great place to eat and then enjoy the sights and shops that the village offers.

4. Lebro’s

330, boulevard Campbell, Getzville

688-0404 / lebrosrestaurant.com

This relaxed Getzville restaurant serves classic Italian cuisine in a relaxed atmosphere. They have been a mainstay of Buffalo for many years, and many of their recipes date back four generations. It’s the perfect place to stock up on all your favorite red sauces: chicken parm, eggplant parm and a large plate of spaghetti and meatballs.

5. Ilio Dipaolo

3785 South Park Avenue, Blasdell

825-3675 / iliodipaolos.com

Another great Italian restaurant is Ilio DiPaolo’s. It offers all the favorite Italian classics, and more, in a warm, family environment. The restaurant opened in 1965 as a pizzeria and has grown steadily since. They are known for their wine list and a killer eggplant parma.

6. McPartlan’s Corner

669 Wehrle Drive, Buffalo

632-9896 / mcpartlanscorner.com

This unpretentious South Buffalo pub offers a hangout vibe with delicious fried fish. It’s an old-fashioned Irish place that never goes out of style. Hit them on Tuesday when they offer their famous corned beef and cabbage. There isn’t much more to Buffalo than this place.

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7. Restaurant Lombardo

1198 Hertel Avenue, Buffalo

716-873-4291 / ristorantelombardo.com

Since 1975, Ristorante Lombardo has served the Buffalo community with authentic Italian cuisine in an elegant way. Whether you are looking for a great place for a special occasion, or just stop by when you are hungry, this cozy atmosphere is perfect for any occasion!

8. Santasiero

1329 Niagara Street, Buffalo

716-866-9197

For more than a century, Santasiero’s has provided the Buffalo community with classic Italian dishes, from metaballets to fagioli pasta, in humble 1920s excavations. Their longevity can be attributed to the authentic Italian cuisine that conquered the hearts and taste buds of generations of Buffalonians since the turn of the 20th century. If you haven’t tried this classic yet, now is the time.

9. Mothers’ restaurant

33 Place Virginie, Buffalo

716-882-2989 / mumsbuffalo.com

Buffalo’s first fine-dining restaurant creates a “romantic atmosphere” in this classic bistro. Soft lighting and a spacious atmosphere create the perfect ambience for a date, a girl’s night out, or just a last minute bite. Whatever the occasion, Mother’s Restaurant has you covered – and has the track record to prove it!

10. Sinatra

945 Kenmore Ave, Buffalo

716-877-9419 / sinatraswny.com

In 1981, this family-run restaurant was established as a bridge between Buffalo and traditional Italian cuisine. Forty years later, Sinatra’s is absolutely thriving and has lived up to its mission of serving West New Yorkers “the finest veal, freshest seafood and most authentic pasta dishes in the 716. “. Needless to say, this classic restaurant should be at the top of your list!

11. Anchor bar

1047 Main Street, Buffalo

716-883-1134 / www.ancrebar.com

On a Friday night in 1964, the original Buffalo Chicken Wing premiered at this establishment. “The wings were an instant hit and it didn’t take long for people to flock to the bar to experience this new taste sensation.” Over 50 years later, Anchor Bar’s world-renowned chicken wings are widely recognized as some of the best in town… and the world! If you haven’t experienced the Original Buffalo Chicken Wing for yourself yet, you’re missing out.

12. Bar bill

185 Main Street, Aurora East

716-652-7959 / barbill.com

Since the day they opened their doors decades ago, The Bar Bill has provided the local community with quality food and drink. Originally, this place served beef on weck the traditional Buffalo way. Today, in addition to that perfectly rosy beef, their meticulously cooked and gravy chicken wings attract Superstar QB Josh Allen and the many Buffalonians who share this love for wings. If you haven’t already, run, don’t walk.

13. Chiefs

291 Seneca Street, Buffalo

716-856-9187 / ilovechefs.com

When it comes to classic Italian in Buffalo, Chef’s deserves a spot at the top of the list. Since 1923, they have served hearty Italian cuisine that has captivated many generations of Buffalo taste buds. The secret? Their house marinara sauce – which complements their famous parmesan spaghetti dish which is simply to die for.

14. Seafood colony and steakhouse

876 Main Road, Irving

716-934-4826 / Colonyseafoodandsteakhouse.com

The Doors of Colony first opened in 1982, and since then they have been dedicated to serving quality Italian-American cuisine to the local community. Tucked away in the Southtowns in Irving, Colony has been described as “West New York’s best kept secret”. With the highest quality products cooked with fresh ingredients and unbeatable prices, this is an obvious choice for a good meal.

15. Water Valley Inn

6656 Gowanda State Road, Hamburg

716-649-9691 / Facebook

If you’re looking to step back in time, look no further than the Water Valley Inn. This restaurant in Hamburg was established in 1890, and they pride themselves on preserving the atmosphere of the late 19th century in this cozy, family-run restaurant. Try their fish fingerlings which are served daily for lunch and dinner, then drizzle them with a cold beer to complete your step back in time!

16. The place

229 Lexington Ave, Buffalo

716-882-7522 / theplacebuffalo.com

Located in the heart of Elmwood Village, serving American classics in a charming historic setting, The Place is the place to be! Their seats on the porch are beautiful; creating the perfect atmosphere to cherish the hot weather while enjoying your delicious meal. Inside, their long oak bar is open all year round and always lively. On a visit to The Place, you’ll love soaking up the unique and authentic Buffalo vibe.

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17. Danny Sheehan’s Steakhouse

491 West Avenue, Lockport

716-433-4666 / dannysheehans.com

For over 55 years, this old-fashioned tavern known as “Danny Sheehan’s” has attracted the local community. The specialty of this steakhouse is their mouth-watering cuts of steak and prime rib that keep customers coming back for more. Plus, their seafood selection is top notch, with lobster, shrimp, salmon and scallops. Next time you feel like surfing n turf, you know who to call!

18. Gabriel’s door

145 Allen Street, Buffalo

716-886-0602

Located in the heart of Allentown, Gabriel’s Gate is one of the original Tift Row homes, which has a classic feel. Their menu offers American fare ranging from burgers and wings to fondants and sandwiches. Their interior is a wooded and subdued atmosphere that is full of decorations that pay homage to the Amerindians. All in all, this is a once in a lifetime experience that guarantees a delicious meal and a worthwhile outing!

19. Gene McCarthy’s

73 Hamburg Street, Buffalo

716-855-8948 / genemccarthys.com

With an adorable beer garden in the heart of Buffalo’s Old First Ward, Gene McCarth’s offers twenty-six beers on tap purchased directly on site. Once you’ve found your beer, choose a menu and you’ll find an assortment of burgers, wings, and finger foods that are sure to hit the spot. If you go, the reuben and fried fish come highly recommended and complement the classic Irish pub atmosphere perfectly.

20. Kostas family restaurant

1561 Hertel Avenue, Buffalo

716-838-5225 / kostasfamilyrestaurant.com

Since 1977, the family-run Kostas restaurant has proudly served fine Greek and American style cuisine at affordable prices. This place has been acclaimed for its multi-faceted menu where guests can have breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Every meal is of the highest quality which will not leave you disappointed – everyone says literally.

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21. Schwabl’s

789 Center Road, Buffalo

716-675-2333 / schwabls.com

Founded in 1837, Schwabl’s is the proud home of the famous Beef on Weck sandwich. The Classic Buffalo Sandwich features freshly cooked beef on a kummelweck roll with horseradish. Compliment your meal with a homemade German potato salad, fresh homemade soups and an “old-fashioned” cocktail. Step back in time and sample traditional Buffalo fare at Schwabl’s. Yum

22. The dog bar

1913 Davis Road, West Falls

716-652-5550 / dogbar.org

What was once a hotel in the early 1800s stands proudly today as “The Dog Bar”. This building represents the thriving boom of the magnificent West Falls throughout the late 19th century. Today, this establishment is widely recognized for its Surf and Turf menu which has been acclaimed around the world all the way to Japan. This hidden gem is certainly worth a visit, dimly lit and cozy inside, and the adventure that comes with finding your way around bodes well for lovers of the outdoors.


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