Buffalo Chow's WNY Recommendations Thread: From You

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A message to our loyal readers: we love you, too! The comments we've received from you over the past few weeks have been fantastic - informative and opinionated, just the way we like them. So we wanted to create a single convenient comments thread for all of you to interact with us, and make local restaurant and food recommendations for your fellow readers. Do you have a favorite place for Fish Fry? A favorite brand of hot dogs? A little-known spot for pastries or candy? Something else? We want to hear about it!

Our only ground rules for this thread are simple: first, if you, a family member, or a friend is in some way involved in a restaurant you're recommending, be honest and say so. We're happy to post your recommendation anyway, but your fellow readers deserve to know where it's coming from. Second, be specific about what's so special about the place or item you're recommending. And finally, for purposes of this comments section, be nice! We will either edit down or omit comments that knock one restaurant or food to promote another.

Remember: it will be useful for other readers to have a street and/or web address for whatever you recommend. This is not the place to share your worst food experiences, or to battle with other readers over their differing opinions - this is just a place for your favorites.

We are also glad to receive review requests and news updates from local restaurants. Please note that due to our policy of not coordinating our reviews with the proprietors or staff of restaurants, we do not directly respond to restaurant-submitted requests for coverage, and our visits may take place at any time. However, we do appreciate and read the requests we receive!

Thanks again for all of your great comments to date. We look forward to seeing some great recommendations here!

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Comments (31)

Bill :

As a born and bred Buffalonian AND ex-Ted's employee it hurts me to admit that the best hot dogs come from out of the area. If you want a great dog pick up a pack of Zweigle's. They are made in Rochester but sold locally at Top's and Wegman's. For my money.... Zweigle's first, Wardynski second and Sahlen's only if the first two are out of stock.

Derek :

Great site!!

I would definitely suggest you try fiamma and readdress the best steakhouse. Also, For best steak in WNY the rib eye at Tempo is unbelievable!

Mike Skot :

South Buffalo - 911 Tavern has the best wings hands down and Great Corned Beef. His wings are so good - he won't tell his wife the recipe and they get angry when you dont call ahead to order too much!!!

Lovejoy Pizzeria - won the pizza competition in Buffalo. Little known, large pizza menu AND not only did the stuffed peppers come from that area of Buffalo - they are the best!!! They have stuffed pepper pizza (get it with Garlic Crust). Best ever.....RIght on the corner of North Ogden and Lovejoy - people come from all over to get the pizza and stuffed peppers.

Brian :


I have enjoyed reading your blog for a few months now, and while i don't agree with everything (I actually really like Butterwood's bread pudding) I have found it incredibly resourceful. Since it appears you go out to eat far more often than I have the chance to, I wonder if you could help me with something. I am on the look out for a special Italian cookie that has been incredibly hard to find in Buffalo. I know the cookie as the Italian seven layer cookie, but it also is called Italian rainbow cookie or Venetian layer cookie. I have searched for a while now and all I found were knockoff versions on hertel. I say knockoff because they look and taste exactly the same as the stale ones that can be purchased in bulk at Tops.

Below I have included a link to what the cookies are supposed to look like. If you see these lovely almond flavored delights in your epicurean journey, please let me know where you find them. Thank you for your time and help. I look forward to reading more postings in the future.


Zach :

I think I can help. Balistreri's Pasteries Plus on Orchard Park Rd. in West Seneca. It may be a little out of the way, but it is a really, really good Italian bakery. They should have a good version of the cookie you are looking for.

A reader also e-mailed us with this additional comment: "Balistreri was known for its Niagara Street location years ago, while DiCamilo's (N.F. Blvd. [near Outlet Mall], Niagara Falls or Main St., Williamsville) might have the cookie that person is looking for, with rainbow colors. Most likely available around winter holidays."

kelE :

You can make the cookies at home. Here is a recipe...


Denise :

Your 100 best of buffalo list is a great resource and a fun read! Thanks so much for posting your favs. I'm highly intrigued to try many of your recommendations. My summer is sure to be filled with new culinary delights! My only complete disagreement with your list based on what I know of Buffalo cuisine is your Dunkin Donut favoritism. I personally detest their curdy faux jelly and find their cake donuts only passable. I implore you to try Paula's Donuts on Kenmore Ave. ASAP! You will never, NEVER think of Dunkin again (for donuts anyhow). Costanzos also rocks, with it's coconut stick being my one of my all-time favs. Dickies being my number 3, I think a new world of donuts soon awaits you. Enjoy!

meagan :

I am curious to see what you have to say about Ginger and Garlic in Hamburg on McKinley Pkwy. They opened last year I think and are the former owners of Manchurian House. I ate at G&G once so far and the food was nothing compared to China King and the like. The food was cooked to order, no 10minute here.

Gillian :

condrels on delaware in between the corners of euclid and parkwood. it's a great small ice cream / candy shop that is open all year round.

Elisabeth :

Hello there! I just stumbled upon your site and I think it's fantastic.

My husband and I moved to Massachusetts about 4 years ago, and we both miss "Buffalo food" so much! My husband especially misses Buffalo pizza - I think he has actually shed tears over this - and we both find it so difficult to explain to Massachusetts natives exactly what's wrong with the sorry-excuse-for-pizza that's available here.

I was particularly happy to see your article on pastry hearts. As you mentioned, I had always taken them for granted, not realizing they were a Buffalo specialty until I had a craving for one and tried desperately to find them out here - which was impossible. I never knew that they were exclusive to WNY. And now that I do, I will never ever take them for granted again! My brother is coming out to Mass for a visit this weekend and he's bringing me pastry hearts! Bless his soul.

For most native Buffalonians, one of the most difficult things about moving away is parting with the food. Like my husband and I, most young college grads leave the Buffalo area in search of a career. Good job opportunities within WNY are so hard to come by, and the city of Buffalo itself (economically speaking)seems to find itself perpetually trying to climb out of a deep dark hole (which is so sad - because the people and the food are so great - but that's a story for another time, or another website I guess).

Those of us who move away are often homesick - and when my husband & I come back to Buffalo for a holiday or family event, my heart always skips a beat when that Buffalo skyline comes into view. Home! And then, inevitably, my stomach starts to growl, demanding a Sahlen's hot dog from Ted's and some loganberry - now. Followed by some REAL pizza, some Duff's wings, a Super-Mighty, and some sponge candy. A recipe for gastrointestinal issues? Sure. But Buffalo food is the only sure-fire way for me to know, in my heart of hearts (which is my stomch apparently), that I'm truly HOME.

Lastly, a couple of recommendations. Being a native Grand-Islander, I have to recommend The Beach House on East River Rd for the best fish fry. It's a little hole-in-the-wall, and if you blink while driving by, you'll miss it. But the staff is so friendly, and their fish fries are so flaky and flavorful, it's definitely worth a drive to "the Island."

And Sweet Jenny's Ice Cream on Main Street in Williamsville has, hands-down, the best homemade ice cream in the entire universe. Their Smoosh-Ins are to die for! Again, great staff, great service, and that wonderful feeling of being "at home" while simultaneously consuming scrumptious, made-to-order ice cream treats... sigh... it's sheer bliss.

Thanks again for such a wonderful site.

P.S. I'm drooling.

Lynn :

You need to try and review Suzy-Q's in Tonawanda -- by far the best BBQ in Buffalo. All of their meats beat out anything at Fat Bob's, Kentucky Greg's, and Brickyard in Lewiston. I am excited to see how many stars you will give Suzy's. Plus, the namesake is a bubbly woman who obviously is proud of what they are serving.

Andrew Z :

Sloan Supermarket. Need I say more?

Lucas S :

I just wanted to see if anyone else in Buffalo has been to Mulberry's Cafe on Jackson St. near the old Bethlehem Steel plant. Let me tell you; I've been to Chef's, I've been to Ilio Dipaolo's, I've been to Lombardo's etc; but this place and it's lasagna are in my opinion the best in Buffalo. It's a must visit for any Italian food lovers out there. But if you go and want the lasagna, get there early; because once it's gone; it's gone for the night.

Ashenthorn :

You might want to check out La Tee Da on Allen street, and also Scarlett on Virginia Place.

Mike :

Just discovered the site. It is great. If you are ever in Niagara Falls try Fortunas restraunt. It is small and family run, semi-formal, quite pricy but absolutely excellent. Niagara Falls best kept secret. Finest Italian in western New York.

Todd :

You should try San Marco Ristorante.

Stella :

I'd recommend Luzvina's Family Restaurant on Parkside @ Russell for really cheap, tasty Spanish-American cuisine (especially the pork shoulder). I also second the recommendation for La Tee Da!

Just giving you a heads about about this new place right around the corner from me "@ 11"...down the street from Lake Effect.

JJ :

I'd like to recommend a great place for beef on weck. It's called Mr. Dee's and is located at 450 Beach Road at the corner of Maryvale in Cheektowaga. The ambience is plain, but they have a beef on weck that I think is better than Schwabl's but at a lower price, especially when you factor in that french fries are included. The have a website, misterdees.com

When it gets crowded, there can be some trouble getting seating, but the service is usually very attentive once you sit down. The wings are also very good, but not quite Duff's good, but certainly above average. I also recommend the hamburgers. They always serve the french fries piping hot and fresh. Nothing irks me more than lukewarm french fries. They also serve an acceptable fish fry, but I wouldn't go out of my way to get their fish fry. What they really excel at is the beef on weck. One of the best in Buffalo.

elizabeth :

I recommend you trying Tabree on Elmwood near Bryant. Cute small little French place with great back patio, friendly service and delicious food. Will definately be going back.

Andrew Zona :

A new Bobby McGee's opened up in the AMC plaza at Maple and Sweethome. Being UB grads I'm sure you can recollect on the times of wandering into its south campus counterpart at all hours of the night after having stayed up......(I'll stop there.)

Order the fish-dry...I mean fish-fry. I know you're not to keen on posting bad reviews but this place needs an awakening for the better.

Matt :

I highly recommend trying Juniper on Elmwood (http://juniperelmwood.com/) located at 810 Elmwood Avenue. It just opened a month or two ago (opening was delayed due to a long alcohol license wait time) but the food is incredible. The menu is extremely eclectic and intriguing. Definitely a "foodie" place, but definitely worth reviewing.

Caroline :

Cheeburger Cheeburger, right next to Carrabba's Italian (by the big Barnes and Noble on Niagara Falls Boulevard). They have fantastic cheeseburgers. They're menu is huge (it's really a generous menu .. most toppings on your burger at no extra cost!!!), and their prices are good. And the decoration is 1950s-cheerful. And they're milkshakes are various and rich.

I highly highly recommend the Semi-Serious 'Burger Wrap' with lettuce, olives, onion, tomato, and guacamole (!!!!!). It's a cheeseburger, except there's no bread.. there's a flour tortilla instead. They invented this so that customers were given the opportunity to focus on the monster of incredible deliciousness within their cheeseburgers.

I anticipate that Buffalo Chow will adore Cheeburger Cheeburger.

your review of Hoowa (chinese grocery) has surely enriched my life. A fantastic review for a fantastic grocery store.

Shannon :

I recommend going to a place on transit road in lockport called Sweet Melody's. Their main thing seems to be italian sorbet, and gelatto and it is excellent! Even though im usually intimidated by foods i don't usually eat,the birthday cake gelatto mad me feel right at home, and the portions are small but filling and worth the price. They also had soups and sandwiches but i didn't have any of those. The inside of the restaurant is also very cute like a little cafe. The girls working their have two jobs servers and singers, they take turns singing songs of their choice and all were pretty good. It was a nice, different way to spend the evening. And if your not usually out that way ( i dont live near there just stopped by on my way to the drive inn) its well worth the trip! :)

Kelvin :

Anyone have recommendations for a decent gyro? The only place I know of where they at least cut the meat off a spit is at the Niagara Falls outlet mall. Its one of those things that I just crave once and awhile.

@magnachef :

El Canelo in South Buffalo/Cheektowaga - awesome Mexican food and fast! Their salsa is my favorite as well.

Scott :

Check out Bella Pizza in Lackawanna. I think they opened another one down in Boston. Everybody in the area raves about their pizza sauce and BBQ wings.

Andrew Z. :

I'm going to second Denise...

Paula's Donuts on Kenmore Ave is the best, hands down, in WNY. It outranks Timmy, Dunkin, Dickies, KK, and Famous in my mind. The over-explosiveness of sugar might drive you insane but it's worth the late-night drunk walk in the morning to get fresh donuts at 4am.

Kelly :

would love to see a "The places that won't die" segment..like Fannys, Harry's, Daffodils, ...the places you forget are there then know why or regret you haven't been there in awhile.

Kelvin :

I think one of the best chinese restaurants in the extended wny area is the Golden Lotus in the Fallsview casino in Niagara Falls, CA. I've been here a few times, though not in the past year or so. If you look at the online menu, they have a lot of hard to find authentic dishes - several grades of shark fin soup, swallows nest, abalone. They have live tanks with tilapia, some sort of sea bass (black?), eel, dungeness crab, lobster, those big clams with their huge body mostly outside the shell. Food was very good, service-hit or miss. Their buffet has a lot of non-traditional buffet items-looked like some southeast asian dishes, lots of desserts including mango pudding. We tried the buffet once, it was good-not great.

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