Buffalo, New York, has become famous as a great destination for food lovers and cross-border shoppers, but the city has a lot more to offer than just wings and shopping.
Quaint boutiques, great malls, good restaurants and stunning architecture make Buffalo a good choice for a fun weekend getaway.
Public Transportation and Accommodation in Buffalo
Thanks to an excellent public transit system, traveling to Buffalo and getting around the city couldn’t be easier.
- Megabus: take a cheap, quick, comfortable ride on the Megabus from New York City or Toronto. (Canadians: bring your passports, and be ready to show them to your driver and at the border crossing, right outside of Buffalo.)
- Doubletree Hotel: this small hotel, part of the Hilton chain, is quiet, centrally located and close to public transportation.
- Local Metro and Busses: the local NFTA transit system will take you everywhere you want to go. Invest in a day pass, and travel by train on the metro, or hop on bus no. 32 to go directly to the Walden Galleria.
Retail Outlets and Shopping Malls Near Buffalo
Buffalo offers many shopping options, from dirt cheap outlet malls, to a middle of the road stores, to high-end boutiques.
- Walden Galleria: the main shopping mall in Buffalo houses everything from J. Crew and Coach to Frederick’s of Hollywood, Victoria’s Secret, and Sephora.
- Antique Shops: lovers of antiques and knickknacks will be delighted by the boutiques lining Allen Street.
- Outlet Malls: those in search of real bargains can catch a bus to the Falls for a day of shopping at the Fashion Outlets of Niagara Falls.
Buffalo Architecture, Cultural Events, and Art Galleries
Buffalo offers a lot more than rampant consumerism, and travelers in search of art and culture will not be disappointed.
- Art Gallery: you will find a great collection of modern and contemporary art at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery. Fans of photographer Cindy Sherman will also want to visit the Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center.
- Film Festival: BIFF, the Buffalo International Film Festival, caters to film buffs with screenings of new works by contemporary directors, as well as classics from the golden age of cinema.
- Darwin Martin House Complex: be sure to visit Frank Lloyd Wright’s five-building Prairie Style masterpiece, currently being restored to its original glory. Architecture lovers will also want to see the Art Deco city hall, the splendid Buffalo Savings Bank, and the Ellicott Square Building.
Great Chicken Wings, Pubs, and Restaurants in Buffalo
The city may not be a culinary mecca, but its legendary chicken wings have become world-famous, with reason.
- Anchor Bar: home of the original Buffalo Wings, the Anchor Bar buzzes with activity as it entertains hundreds of hungry patrons every night with plates overflowing with delicious pub food.
- Beef on Weck: this Buffalo specialty is sadly not as easy to find as one would hope. Head over to Charlie the Butcher’s in the historic Ellicott Square Building for a taste of the sandwich but arrive early – the express restaurant adheres to a 10 to 5 schedule.
- Gabriel’s Gate: many quaint restaurants, cafés, and bars can be found in Elmwood Village and Allentown, and Gabriel’s Gate is one of the funkiest. The décor is a blend of Gothic Manor and Hunting Lodge, and the menu is an equally original twist on comfort food and pub favorites.
While Buffalo may seem drab and lackluster at first, a little exploration quickly reveals a few hidden gems. Art and architecture, not your thing? Hop on the metro and head over to the Buffalo Zoo; stroll along the Chippewa strip; catch a game at Coca Cola Field; or just sit back, relax, and enjoy the city’s laid-back, friendly atmosphere.