Finally! Expo Market hit the ground running today, 2/18/16, with its open-market style and five eateries inside for you to grab ‘n go or sit ‘n stay. The newest hotspot to open in downtown Buffalo is located in the 600 block of Main St., diagonally across from Shea’s and connected to the Market Arcade. We are extra excited because it’s a 10 minute walk from our home and offers a healthier option for not only for a quick lunch but also for a later dinner in downtown.
We’ve been watching and peering in over the past few months and knew it would be a very small version of girl bird’s favorite food markets in Europe but, hey, we’ll take it. Here is the run down of what we experienced:
We walked in to happy hour vibes at the bar, classic 80’s music pumping out, pockets of people laughing and taking pictures, and smiling pop-ups ready to serve. You can park on Main St. or Washington St. or if you’re coming in from the Northtowns and do not wanna drive- make sure to park at UB and take the subway in. It will drop you off at Fountain Plaza and you walk one block to Expo.
Let’s talk who’s here:
The original location makes home in Elmwood Village and is, in our opinion, one of the best salad joints in the area. Build your own or grab one of their specialty items. Perfect for lunch or to take outside and bask in the sun (when the heat comes back to WNY).
GBGB’s (Gypsy Bohemian Grove Bar)
Here is where you’ll want to grab your drinks and hang with friends. No food here (that we noticed) but is definitely where you’ll want to pop in to for your happy hour. Craft beer and specialty cocktails. In the morning, espresso and coffee will be served. Yes, please!
This child comes from Sun on Niagara St.- home of Black Rice and a local favorite on the West Side. Rolls, Thai iced tea, and Mango Black Rice pudding are at your fingertips here and it is nothing short of amazing.
Crush Juicery**as of December 2016, Crush is no longer at Expo and instead set up with Newbury St. on Elmwood***
The little sister of Newbury St., Crush is the juice and smoothie bar that concocts up wheatgrass shots and oatmeal bowls for breakfast. They’re opening at 8am for those pulling in to the city in the morning.
Osteria 166’s ‘Mercato’
Create your own pasta, gourmet sandwiches, and meatballs. We ‘built’ a tortelli alfredo and continued to salivate after we had finished. This is the child of Osteria 166 on Franklin in downtown- which never ever disappoints.
Bobby Alfman’s Old World Deli
An old world deli perfect for those looking to grab and go. Classics that are sure to leave you satisfied. We can’t wait to try the Number Three: porcetta, sauteed greens, gravy. Guy bird took home an Italian Trio.
While there, we went for a Nickel City roll at Sun and a create-your-own pasta at Mercato. Grabbing a sandwich to go and ending with black rice pudding- we commented on how great this is for Main St., the lunch crowd, and for those who tend to finish their day later and sometimes want something quick to eat that isn’t fried fast food.
We ran in to Ashley, the General Manager, who we knew from the Hotel Lafayette and helped us with our wedding guests last summer. She was thrilled to be part of this new downtown adventure. Make sure while you’re taking it all in that you scope out Casey Milbrand‘s colorful murals throughout the space. Thank you to Sinatra & Company Real Estate and Paul Tsouflidis (Crush Hospitality- which brought us Acropolis and Newbury St.) for making this concept a realty and adding on to the nonstop growth of our city. We’ll be back again and again.
617 Main St. Buffalo 14202
M-F 11am-9pm (Crush & GBGB’s start at 8am for breakfast & espresso)
cash/credit at all
There in the day time? Shop local at two of our favorites inside Market Arcade: Buffalo Adore and Rust Belt Love.
We may be sliiiiightly biased, but we say The Hotel Lafayette in downtown Buffalo is the best place to stay while visiting the city. As many of our followers know, us Buffalovebirds live in the Hotel and post pictures here and there on our Instagram and Twitter of our building space to share with others.
Guy bird was one of the first tenants (literally) to move in to the newly renovated Hotel back on May 1st, 2012 before it was even fully finished and open. Wanting to make home in downtown, he got wind of the project and set up a tour to get a feel for the apartments. We stepped inside the ‘ruins’ of the Lafayette Tap Room in March 2012 and were greeted by the man himself- Rocco Termini. Well, that was an exciting surprise! Where else will you receive a tour from the developer himself?? He is one cool man. Hard hat intact, he led us through dirt floors, tarps, and piles of tools- getting our exercise to the top floors with no electricity or elevators running quite yet. The space was phenomenal- large, historic, iconic…
We snagged a floor plan that we loved on spot and have not looked back since. Watching the transformation the rest of 2012 was wild- the lobby, Pan Am, Butterwood, Mike A’s- all turned in to exquisite spaces…we got to meet the hundreds of artisans recreating the tile on the floors, working on intricate ceiling and hallway with Tuscan scagliola techniques, labor loaders for the hotel rooms, the discovery of a former speakeasy underneath the first floor (now Butterwood Sweet & Savory)…It was fascinating chatting with the workers and learning what they were doing and how many hours they worked to restore the building of this French Renaissance-designed icon.
Today, the Hotel can easily be labeled as ‘the building that started the Renaissance of Buffalo’ (in our opinion). We definitely had the beloved Elmwood Village, Delaware, and Chippewa areas- but here was a destination that was the game-changer.
On the first floor, you step in the Art Moderne lobby of the Hotel with fireplaces to warm you, furniture design by Room of Hertel Ave., original elevators, and two wood inlay murals that were discovered behind the old walls. Entrances to Woyshner’s Flower Shop and the beauty bar of Groom Service give you access to grabbing some flowers or perhaps receiving a makeup how-to. Anatomy (a gorgeous dress-making shop) and City Lights Studio photography make home here as well, offering soon-to-be-wed couples a chance to have an ultimate wedding destination at the Hotel Lafayette. Pan-American Grill sits to the right where you can enjoy a cold beer and wings in several spaces while watching a game (our fav being Teddy Roosevelt’s game room because…fireplace). Down Peacock Alley you pass Mike Andrzejewski’s Art Deco Bourbon & Butter and a private dining event room, the Crystal Ballroom, AAA Room, and Grand Ballroom. Wedding events, private parties, dinners, and galas fill these spaces non-stop which makes it a perfect party destination in downtown Buffalo. Floors 2 and 3 hold the boutique hotel rooms and suites for guests visiting the city and also attending the events inside the Lafayette. The rooms are spectacular! Have you seen them?? The interiors were designed by Michael P & team from Room and feature mural photography of the Pan-American Exposition that took place in Buffalo, NY in 1901 on an entire wall (yea, we need that in our future home for real). Double-sided fireplaces, lounging couches, barn doors, rain showers…they are the best rooms in the city for a unique and beautiful room to stay in, hands down.
On secondary levels are two event rooms titled the Greenhouse Room and Courtyard Room, the latter is adjacent to an outdoor enclosed courtyard with cafe string lights, modern seating, and exposed brick walls from the building. The apartments are set up similar to the suites in the hotel space and have large windows that fill your rooms with sunshine and cityscapes.
The fun, and also fattening, experience of living in the Hotel is being able to order food from the downstairs restaurants and picking it up in order to take back up to your room (goes for hotel stays, too). We had to end that quickly (and by ‘quick’ we mean like…two years in…) as we noticed our pants were really snug. It is too easy to run down and get some cheesecake to go from Butterwood’s bakery. We are not complaining. Except for those pants that ‘shrunk’ in the wash!
There is nothing we love more (besides dessert downstairs) than bringing family, friends, and visitors to the Hotel Lafayette and showing them around. There have been numerous strangers we have given ‘tours’ to, who were very excited they received an inside scoop and experienced more than they thought they would have coming in to the building.
After the Hotel opened in 2012, we watched the surge of downtown take more chances. Restaurants such as The Lodge, Osteria 166, Oshun, the team of Rocco and Mike A’s Tappo and Dog e Style, The Archer, and (716) have popped up rapidly due to the growth of the city and it shows no sign of stopping (GOOD). Canalside has developed in to an outdoor family destination for all seasons- boasting Concert Series, outdoor movies, free yoga, and now the Ice Rinks for the winter. RiverWorks, located in Silo City area, is the up-and-coming destination of covered ice rinks which is now home to the Queen City Roller Girls, curling, and open skate; a future entertainment venue complete with an upcoming brewery and beer garden. The West Side is swelling with the likes of Martin Cooks, BreadHive, Black Rock Kitchen & Bar, Horsefeathers Market, Pho Dollar, The Black Sheep (movement from former Elmwood Village of Bistro Europa), and Resurgence Brewery all which are so incredibly amazing that you do not know where to begin. We have noticed many young professionals coming in and STAYING because they love every aspect of Buffalo: ethnic cuisine, outdoor events, winter to-do, beautiful parks, bike-friendly roads, gorgeous places to live, and the non-stop growth of new business and restaurants.
Living at the Hotel, we are able to walk to Canalside, First Niagara Center, the Cobblestone District, Chippewa, Main St. to enjoy numerous theatres, Sabres games, concerts, and huge events such as Taste of Buffalo. If we get tired, we take the subway home from Canalside. Did you know it is free to ride above ground? If you come from the northtowns, you can park at UB on Main St. and ride it anywhere from Shea’s Theatre to Harborcenter. (small cost for underground) How easy is that?
We can watch the fireworks out our window from Coca-Cola Field, home of the Bisons baseball team. We can attend the new restaurant openings. Watch the cranes move about the skyline. Bike to Outer Harbor and walk the paths through Tifft Nature Preserve and Times Beach Nature Preserve where the city deer hang out 10 feet from you. We can kayak through the Grain Silos, feel our abs burn on the stand-up paddle boards, hit up every food truck possible at Larkin Square during Food Truck Tuesday, enjoy the water on Liberty Hound‘s outdoor patio, grab ice cream at The Hatch while watching the sun set over Lake Erie, hop over to Canada within minutes to stroll through Niagara-on-the-Lake, shop local in Elmwood Village and Hertel Ave., jog through the stunning Forest Lawn Cemetery, and get pizza delivered from Casa Di Pizza on a whim. We hit up Puerto Rican, Hispanic, Thai, Vietnamese, New American, Japanese, Ethiopian, and Balkan cuisine on the regular and hang out at festivals like the Taste of Diversity, Italian Fest, and the art festivals in Allentown and on Elmwood. We are a 10 minute drive from the Albright-Knox Gallery, Buffalo Science Museum, and the Botanical Gardens. This isn’t even EVERYTHING.
We can go on and on- and we will in future posts. The point is- Buffalo, NY is becoming (once again) an outstanding city with beautiful places to stay, exciting things to do, and incredible places to eat. It is where the younger generations are staying, where parents can bring the kids, and where you can plan a weekend getaway. There are endless ideas, smiling faces, and so much more coming up. If you have not come to downtown recently, mark it on your schedule. You do not want to miss out on this.
Finally, we feel spring! Elmwood is getting wild again, Hertel is blossoming once more, people are filling up Delaware Park, and more go by foot downtown. It’s time to clean up our city and get involved! We are the game changers!
All weekend: Holiday Valley in Ellicottville will be bumpin’ of the start of warm weather festivals with the Enchanted Mountain Music Festival. Bluegrass…roots…folk- grab your floppy hat and go. All weekend tix are $75…or $25 for each concert attending. All day on Saturday, you can get a ticket for $50. Bring the kiddos- under 12 are free. Check out link for more details and booking lodge packages as well as the band lineup.
Kick off your evening with The Albrights, who are performing at Buffalo Iron Works at…..tonight. Poutine is an added bonus! Take the subway in or park in the up & coming Cobblestone District.
It’s going be,like, practially 50 degrees tonight for Cecelia’s happy hour on Elmwood. Half off martinis begins at 4pm- the perfect way to cap off your hectic work week.
It’s M&T’s Second Fridays at the Burchfield Penney Art Center. Happy hour and live music, poetry readings by Judith Goldman and exploration of the galleries until 8pm.
Today starts the Mummies of the World exhibit at the Buffalo Museum of Science. Running through May 12th, get a look at the world’s largest mummy collection of private collectors and see how the mummification process worked. 45 humans and animals from all over the world take on Buffalo. It’s as if the Bodies exhibit was mummified. $18 – $22
This sounds like trouble: Buffalo Wine Festival 2014 at the Convention Center. Tastings from all of our local wineries including Schulze, Vizcarra, Heron Hill, and many more. Afternoon tickets: 1-4pm $30; evening tickets: 6-9pm $35. Prizes to be won (if you can remember how to write your name). Check the website here for all the details. Hit up Osteria166 across the street for some House Burrata and Flat Iron pizzas.
Theatre lovers and supporters- Shea’s Black Tie Gala goes down at 5pm on Saturday. An elegant black tie affair with cocktails, hors d’ourves, and sit-down dinner. Silent auction and performance at the 710 Main Theatre for some on-stage humor. $275 individual; $500 couple. Call 716.823.1170 or email to email@example.com to reserve.
Go to the other end of the spectrum and you may become the next Peep champion as Broadway Market hosts a Peep eating contest at 1pm. Free. Registration at 9am. Call 716.893.0705 for details. You’ve got 60 seconds to puff up.
Perfect day to head to Coca-Cola Field for a ballgame! C’mon, it won’t rain. 😉 The Bisons take on Pawtucket at 1pm. Walk to Pearl Street or the Hotel Lafayette for a cold one and food afterward.
Get out to Hertel Ave. for a film at the North Park Theatre. ‘Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me’ runs at 1:30, 3:30, 5:30, and 7:30. Geoffrey Rush stars in ‘The Best Offer’ which runs at 9:30pm. Grab brunch before you head in- we suggest Crav, Kostas, or Bertha’s (right next door to the theatre).
Email Ashley@elmwoodvillage.org to sign up for clean up in Elmwood Village. Click the link to see when and where this all goes down.
GET INVOLVED with Buffalo’s FIRST Cherry Blosson Festival. From April 23 to May 4, the Japanese Garden in Delaware Park will hold 12 days of music, Japanese cultural presenters, and activities. Check the website on how to become a volunteer! Listen to shakuhachi music and watch an ikebana flower ceremony on April 26th, too.
It’s a heatwave today, lovebirds! Friday should be your out-and-about date night no matter what the plan (or lack of plan) is! Head to Allentown, Elmwood, East Aurora, Williamsville- somewhere you can walk hand-in-hand and check out new local spots. Take March in like a lion!
It’s First Friday in Allentown tonight- showcasing artists, musicians, and other businesses in the area. It’s free. It ends around 9. So you can still squeeze in some quality time before napping for round two or simply calling it a cozy night in. Check out the link here. Free!
The Buffalo Home Show kicks off this evening at the Convention Center! Running for two weekends, explore ideas and meet with businesses for an array of home projects. This massive event has everything from solar panel installers, real estate agents, decor, landscaping ideas, and windows & doors. After the show, we highly encourage you to walk across the street to Osteria166 for lunch or dinner. (closed on Sundays) At the show Sunday? Then definitely hit up the new Dinosaur BBQ on Franklin- you can reserve on their website as you’re checking out gutters.
Lobster Fest at Delish! Cooking School in Black Rock kicks off Saturday with demos on everything lobster! Want it in a light lemon sauce over angel hair? You got it. Lobster Corn Chowder? Yep. Lobster Summer Rolls? Yes, please. Tickets $45; call (716) 881-2022 Hurry! Now is the time to learn how to be that host that everyone is envious of.
First Fridays at the Albright-Knox means the gallery is open until 10pm and is free! The perfect last minute decision for those who can never make up their mind at 5:30pm.
We’d tell you Beerology at the Science Museum, but you’re too late. [sold out]
Every Saturday, El Buen Amigo holds salsa lessons at 114 Elmwood Ave.. Open to individuals and couples, $10/person. Trust us- it is wild, fun, and a great time! Start working that second left foot in to shape!
The last remaining weeks of ice skating at Rotary Rink are upon us. So head to Fountain Plaza and rent skates (adults $3, kids $2) and show off your triple axels. Warm up at Tappo, The Archer, or Pan Am afterward. (Perfetto on Main is temporarily closed…yikes) **like we always say- if you come from ‘The North’, park at UB, take the subway in and take it easy!
The treasured Buffalonian chicken wing turned 50 this past week and it’s pretty much a must-celebrate occasion. Hit up your favorite wing joint and cheer to our famous food! Our top wing spots we like to immortalize this messy feast: Anchor Bar, Bar Bill, Duff’s, and Gabriel’s Gate.
We’d tell you Nickel City Chef. But you’re too late. [sold out] BUT- you should be following the live feed on their Twitter: Nickel City Chef
The Farewell Tour of the Irish Rovers is happening at the Riviera Theatre in North Tonawanda. Get in that leprechaun and shamrock feeling before the biggest celebration on Buffalo happens next weekend! Shamrock Shakes are now at McD’s.
DAYLIGHT SAVINGS TIME: 2am this Sunday- so while all of our smartphones will just do it automatically for us, remember to fix all your wall clocks, old school analog decor, and maybe an old microwave.
On Wednesday July 24, 2013 we embarked on the first everDishcrawl Buffaloin downtown BLo for a nosh fest of 4 surprise restaurants. After a tweet from@DishcrawlBuff, we knew this would be a great date night and we couldn’t wait to see what it was all about. New to WNY, Dishcrawl operates in many large cities all over the nation and is rapidly expanding. The idea is to showcase restaurants within a walking radius in order to introduce people to new food, drinks, and experiences. Best part of it was the fact that we did NOT know where we were headed until it was announced. But we knew there would be food food food!
THE DETAILS Dishcrawl Buffalo where you are told! rain or shine; light walking $45/person; cash/credit separate for drinks Dishcrawl.com/buffalo @DishcrawlBuff Instagram: DishcrawlBuff
Our initial email had us meeting at Osteria 166, the first stop. We were pumped to check this out since we had been wanting to visit this new Italian hotspot downtown since its grand opening a little over a month ago. Arriving at 6:45pm, we were greeted by our ambassador, Katelyn, with a beaming smile. After signing in and grabbing a name tag, we landed a drink at the bar and snagged a small table along the sun-drenched window, anxiously waiting to see what would happen! The bar area was full of people- young couples, distinguished couples, girlfriends, guy friends, small groups, solos…we peeked in the rustic dining area of Osteria which was beginning to fill up with wine-hungry guests. We knew right away we would be visiting for dinner in the near future.
Osteria 166 166 Franklin St. Buffalo, NY 14202 (across from the convention center) (716) 858-3118 M-F 11am-9pm, Sat. 4pm-10pm, closed Sunday @osteriabuffalo osteriabuffalo.com
Slightly after 7, we were introduced to Nick, the owner of Osteria, who hopped up on the bench- greeting us with an animated voice, open arms, and passionate welcome. It was a great first impression of the Dishcrawl, as Nick exuded charisma and excitement to an already ecstatic crowd. Giving a background on Osteria and description of what we would be eating, Nick and some staff began rolling out our samples, post-applause. Yep. We will be here a lot. Here was our ‘menu’ at Osteria 166:
Our next stop was announced: Soho Burger Bar on Chippewa- one of our fav spots we walk to from the Hotel Lafayette. We were escorted to the rooftop (just for us!), where an acoustic guitarist/vocalist was wooing everyone and the bar was open to quench our thirst.
Soho Burger Bar 64 W. Chippewa Dt. Buffalo, NY 14202 (716) 856-7646 M-Th 11am-11pm, Fri & Sat 11am-12am, Sun 12-9pm, bar hours til ?, brunch Sun 12-4pm sohoburgerbar.com @sohoburgerbar1
The sun was setting on Chippewa, giving it a warm glow of city life. In an enclosed room, we grabbed our plates and situated ourselves with a view of some skyline and wild people-watching. (we didn’t see Jay, Soho’s owner whom we usually shake hands with during out meals, give an intro to our samples). On the roof, people gathered at high rise tables, low lounge benched seating, and bar stools- taking in the live music and fresh air. For some reason, we always get a kick going to Soho because we remember the old days when it was a wild bar- seeing the transformation of it in to a wonderful downtown restaurant makes us hopeful for the rest of the strip. Here is what we had at Soho:
Directly across the street, we hopped over to Bacchus Wine Bar (another favorite- we were lucking out!) where we sat inside the event room (formerly Third Room, for those who remember THOSE days!) which has been completely overhauled with beautiful exposed original brick and luscious woodwork. Our seating was at a King’s Table- where somehow we sat last at the two head seats with a great view of the Dishcrawl partiers. The back of the event room shows off large windows to their back patio, which was hosting a Wednesday film night on a big screen in front of diners. This had been on our to-do list for summer, so we booked a reservation to see ‘Moneyball’ in August after our Dishcrawl sample!
Bacchus Wine Bar 56 W. Chippewa St. Buffalo, NY 14202 (716) 854-9463 Tues-Thurs 5-11pm, Fri & Sat 5pm-12am, closed Sun & Mon (*champagne brunch happening Sun 7/28) bacchusbuffalo.com @bacchusbuffalo
We were floored by the presentation at Bacchus for this event. Keeping up their status of amazingness, our plates were beautifully served to us under the dusk lighting of deep reds and lush woods. Catherine has welcomed us to Bacchus, explaining the history & the food we would be trying- as well as what we were seeing on the patio for the film series. Her contagious personality of happiness and positivity left everyone in high spirits! Here is what we had at Bacchus:
Stuffed, happy, and having made new friends- we all headed to our fourth and final destination for dessert. Where else? Chocolate Bar!
Head honcho Chris led us upstairs and introduced us to our special Dishcrawl dessert menu where we could pick our own treat and receive $2 off our martinis. (Chocolate Bar martinis happen to be a lovebird weakness!) Choc Bar isn’t just about chocolate…they have a full lunch and dinner menu, apps, and salads. Monday’s they offer martinis and manicures while Wednesday’s you can get a message with your drink! Here is what dessert looked like on the Dishcrawl:
At the end of the evening, Katelyn thanked everyone for taking part in Buffalo’s first ever Dishcrawl Through Downtown. It had been a success! We caught personal snippets here and there about how some people had never been to these places and had always wanted to try it…how they were so impressed by the food…that they were so happy they came to the event…how they couldn’t wait to tell friends about it…and murmurings of ‘When and where is the next one?’. And think about this: if you wanted to try all these different delicious samplers- you would be paying full size and we added it up…that’s over $100! So the ticket price is well worth what you are getting with food, meeting the owners, and getting the whole experience.
Whenever the next Dishcrawl is…Allentown? Elmwood? Hertel?… we highly recommend you make this a date night! It is perfect for not only couples, but friends, family, and even if you brave solo!
*a big thanks to Osteria 166, Soho Burger Bar, Bacchus Wine Bar, & Chocolate Bar for amazing hospitality & food!