11 Unique Things To Do in Buffalo with Out-of-Town Guests

It’s fun getting visitors in Buffalo. We are always pretty dang pumped to show people around and give them ideas for things to do, places to eat, and where to stay so they will have the ultimate WNY experience. 

Besides the usual suspect stops in and around town, here is a list of our fav 11 unique things to do when you have fam and friends in town:

Shark Girl Selfie / Canalside

You’ll learn fast that Buffalo is getting bigger and bigger on public art (thanks to many initiatives of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery). One such famous public resident is Shark Girl, located at Canalside near the upcoming Explore & More Children’s Museum. Getting a selfie with this girl is a must! Who is Shark Girl??

Forest Lawn Trolley

We have famous dead people. Presidents, musicians, artists, pioneers…look up the tour schedule and book one through the cemetery. It’s manicured landscape adds to the awe of who you see in there and you’ll be surprised by the history you’ll learn. Book a Forest Lawn Tour

Hatchets + Hops

photo: Megan Ann Photography

Axes and beer. Guaranteed your friends and family haven’t done anything like this before! Throw some axes and see if you can bullseye it. Hang out at Misuta Chows after (nearby). Yep, sign me up!

McKinley Assassination Site

A small piece of history is over on Fordham Dr. where McKinley was shot in 1901 at the PanAm Expo. An underdog spot to visit where you feel like you’re back in time. Take me there!

Mural tour (on your own)

Us, Niagara Falls, NY

Murals pop up all over the city every couple of months. We’re are becoming a destination to see these, so why not map out some sites you want to see and get some great pics? Use Nickel City Pretty as a good reference point on where to find some.

The real wings at Nine-Eleven Tavern and Bar Bill

wings at Bar Bill

Take it from a local: we know where the best wings are. Take the off-beaten path and take a ride to East Aurora for Bar Bill wings (and beef on weck!) and the South Buffalo underdog Nine-Eleven Tavern.

Explore Buffalo Tours

Historic Shea’s in downtown Buffalo

Nothing better than hearing the history from the best. Check out their site to see what kind of tours they have going on. Architecture…food…crime history…something for everyone. Explore Buffalo

West Side Bazaar

An expo of some of our best international dishes in Buffalo. Get a little bit of everything including Thai, Indian, and Ethiopian. It doesn’t get more authentic than here. You’ll find beautiful artisan work here, too. Take me to the West side

Pedal Tours

pic from Buffalo Pedal Tours Instagram

A couple years ago, Buffalo got a few pedal tours under its belt for bar crawls, food tours, and city views. From Buffalo Pedal Tours to the Consumer Craft, the Tiki Tour to CycleBoats…ya gotta really work it to get there!

Niagara Wine Trail

Rent a small bus and take the wine trail experience. Great way to see Niagara County, taste some wine, eat some chocolate, and hang out in the vineyards. A fun event for guests to take home some wine! Follow the trail…

Riverworks: Zipline/Rock Climb/Kayak/Roller Girls

Riverworks has something for everyone. Adventure, food and drink, views, and if you check the schedule…some badass chicks on wheels. You can definitely make a solid day of hanging out there. Everything at Riverworks

The Last Date as a Couple: Las Puertas

Baby Lovebird is coming.

Soon.

With three weeks left until her due date, Beau wanted to get in one last date night just the two of us. Many of our couple friends encouraged it and we knew we would be checking out someplace new before the little tyke arrives. Perfect timing, Las Puertas!

night scene from the front of Las Puertas.

We have been waiting for Victor Parra Gonzalez to open up in Buffalo ever since we had died and gone to heaven at his former Youngstown establishment: Jaguar at the Bistro. Buffalo is the perfect place for Victor and his team to spread their wings and bring new artistry and life with their progressive cuisine in the city. You can’t do that everywhere. With Casa Azul up and running (and soon opening their upstairs dining), Las Puertas is finally ready to open the minds of those seeking fantastic and unique Mexican.

Back to how date night as future parents went. 

Getting pants on is a challenge in Week 37. Going out at, what once was easy and exciting to do at 8pm, now is exhausting and time-consuming. Not much longer! We had not had the time to do an evening together in a while, so this was nice to feel like we were dating again- dinner at night just talking and enjoying everything on the menu.


Las Puertas is located on the West Side- a continual up & coming neighborhood- and seats about 35 people with tables, one large party area, and bar seating. It feels like a hidden gem in a big city. We opted to sit at the bar since we like chatting with staff and chefs as they bounce about, getting their perspectives and suggestions. As we always do, we started mapping out which dishes we would be sharing- it’s our best suggestion when having a dinner date night. Try. It. All.

First up: Guacamole- a fresh spread of avocados with salty caramel brittle & tostadas. The sweetness of the brittle was surprising with the guac! We both tried the Hibiscus Tea- which was like a summer dessert. (Full bar coming soon)

guac. brittle. hibiscus tea.

Next: Beau and his oysters. The raw bar is at the front bar set up so you can watch as the fresh plates are carefully curated and artistically designed.

oysters. cucumber.

I may or may not have eaten ‘more than a sharing portion’ of the Beef Chilmole (short rib with hominy grits and pickled habanero onions)…Beau had the Scallop Aguachile to himself (the joy of ‘nothing raw’ while pregnant rule)…and we ended with the Curated Duck and charred tomatillo sauce.

beef chilmole. can i get more??
scallops. cucumber. cilantro. apple.
duck. tomatillo.

Each plate is beautiful and more unique than the previous. But the major scene-stealer could have been the Lime Semifreddo- one of the desserts for the evening. Las Puertas has the genius pastry chef Jennifer Batt behind its sweeter concoctions and ever since Beau experienced the Las Puertas pop-up at the Hotel Lafayette a while back, he has been waiting for more of her creations.

We got both the ‘sweet’ and ‘refreshing’ options for the night. Our favorite was hands down the semifreddo. 

chocolate almond cake. passionfruit. mango.
lime. strawberry. cucumber. black sesame.

I thought Beau was going to lift his bowl and drink the strawberry and cucumber sauce when we finished. Luckily, he kept himself professional. 

Las Puertas is perfect for date night and gathering with friends. The plates can be shared (or not!) and you can take your time admiring the art of plating and the ingredients Parra Gonzalez has carefully chosen. We can’t seem to stay away from his restaurants- and we don’t see that as a bad thing…and once Baby Lovebird is here, she may just be craving all that Mexican spice.

Las Puertas 716.806.1141 

385 Rhode Island St. // Buffalo 14213

street parking // reservations suggested 

date night // friends // sharing, lite fare

progressive Mexican influence 

Facebook

smaller, intimate dining with the open back kitchen part of the scene.

Brunch Date: Elm Street Bakery

Elm Street Bakery, Elm St., East Aurora

We finally are starting to feel back in to the swing of things. Since the move, we haven’t really had much downtime to relax or explore- let alone little dates here and there. Between trying to unpack after getting home late each night from work, Beau hunkering down for a big test certification coming up soon, and me huffing & puffing with my 32 week belly- we’ve ended up staying in and not really doing too many exciting things.

Well, that isn’t really our style now is it? Sunday morning we jumped back in with an impromptu brunch date to East Aurora to scope out Elm Street Bakery. Now that we live 15 minutes from EA, we will get to hone in on so many places there we haven’t had the chance to check out!

Elm Street Bakery (ESB for short here) sits right off the Main St. of downtown East Aurora. Having begun in 2011, ESB serves artisan breads, coffee, pastries, bakery items, and offers breakfast, lunch, dinner, and Sunday brunch. They have wood-fired pizzas and a cafe for grab-n-go items if you wish. It is flippin’ adorable when you pull up to it and inside is even better- a rustic Adirondack or even Ellicottville feel. We actually were pretty dorky in regard to how excited we were about the look and feel of the place!


For brunch & breakfast, you order to the left upon entry with the girls behind the pastry glass- the menu is up on the wall and you will have a tough time narrowing down what you want! Order and they’ll pass you a buzzer if you’re dining in. We chose to eat on the upper level that overlooks the open kitchen and other seating. Give us all the carbs!

Menu / bakery / pastries / to go

We ordered a few things- notice how we never just order one or two items: the toast with goat cheese and jam, Biscuits and Gravy, the French Toast Bread Pudding, and the Carbonara breakfast pizza. Coffee and an iced chai for hydration and caffeine. Their brunch menu rotates so get excited to try something new when you come!

french toast, artisan toast, biscuits

The place was busy but there was a steady flow so you did not wait long or struggle to find a seat. Young families with babies, retired folks, friends getting together, couples, and parents with older kids filled the space. The food was so good that we didn’t want to stop eating- but there is always that point where your pants start to feel tight and you need a nap. They use local ingredients from around WNY, which we always appreciate from restaurants and bakeries.

Carbonara Breakfast Pizza // bacon, potatoes, bechamel, egg yolk
We could eat these biscuits & gravy every damn day…

We chatted and commented on how this is definitely a new favorite spot for us to be at. We cannot wait to try their other menus! They release their weekly bread schedule and you can view it online and also see an ‘encyclopedia’ of the different kinds- in case you are unsure what Vollkornbrot is! 🙂

We are already salivating again from this awesome brunch date!

How to Elm Street Bakery:

  • 72 Elm St. East Aurora, NY 14052
  • Park in the lot next to the building or on the street (free) 
  • Tues-Fri 7am-9pm // Sat 8am-9pm // Sun 8am-2pm…Breakfast til 11am, Lunch 11:30-3:30, Dinner 5-9pm
  • Date anytime, brunch, friends, family, grab & go, gluten free baked goods, good for kiddos, quick bite, hang out
  • While you’re in East Aurora: stop at local shops like Vidlers, the Muse Jar, Mambrino King (chocolate bar), and if you have the kids- The Toy Loft and Explore & More Children’s Museum.

upper level- good for a group of friends!

overlooking the lower level

 

Hotspot: Jake’s Cafe at The Westin


This past week, Jake’s Cafe opened its doors to the public inside the new Westin on Delaware Ave. A clean, modern cafe with bright lighting and an open kitchen concept- Jake’s boasts coffee & espresso, omelets for breakfast, and salads & burgers for lunch.

There is a grab & go section with yogurt parfaits, salads, juices, and sandwiches plus fruit and bakery items to take with you.


Great for a morning capp or a lunch meeting, Jake’s is the first part of new Delaware North building to open as a retail service to those in the building and the public. Pantina 250 will follow in September. (see our inside look photos of it on our Instagram!)

We feel that this will be our new go-to!

Details:

Breakfast 7-11am…Lunch 11-3pm…open 7 days a week! (good to know for downtown weekenders!)

Parking on street or paid in lot

*enter through the front of the building on the corner of Delaware & Chippewa, for now!


 

The Buffalovebirds

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It has been over 4 years since we moved in to downtown Buffalo at the Hotel Lafayette. The city was still quiet; on the cusp of its re-surge. There was no Canalside, no Marriott hotels, no Marble + Rye. No Harborcenter, Tappo, or Cars on Main. No Chippewa change-over, no all-glass DNC structure, no Pedal Tours. No Larkin Square, a coffee revolution, or brewery boom yet. We have been able to experience all of it right in front of our eyes- right outside of our front door.

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Beau // Lindsay

 

 

Things started to change here and no one outside of Buffalo believed us. One night, walking through Tifft, Beau had enough of it. He thought we should start documenting our dates and things we did around Buffalo so our friends and family near and far could SEE what was really going on. Growing up as Niagara County kids, we could not wait to change the views of everyone. Everyone had grown up with a different Buffalo and we wanted to share our experiences in downtown as it grew. After all, seeing is believing!

We hope to inspire you with our adventures and see everything Buffalo has for a great date night! Follow us as we fall in love over and over again- with each other and the city.

-Lindsay & Beau

What Happened To The Hatch?

If you follow us, you may notice we never write a sad date idea. But there is a first for everything. 

Last year, we praised The Hatch and its (potential) comeback. A spectacular view on the water, great space, clam bar, burgers, salads, fries, hot dogs, and what every Buffalonian loves- outdoor seating. 

The food is great and we would come frequently on our bikes to get a bite to eat and hang out and chat. Tonight was our first trip to The Hatch this summer- and we are confused. 

  

On a Wednesay night, we biked over and as we arrived, it was as if a nightclub was pumping. House and dance music blaring in all speakers, to the point where you couldn’t hear.* Hardcore lyrics streaming through the air with expletives yada yada. A couple behind us stood in silence and said they would try their luck at Liberty Hound. Wanting a nice evening on the water, we proceeded to order food but sat in silence as we couldn’t hear one another. A mother and child left because a gentleman lit up next to her and the music was most likely too loud. 

  
The place was filled- generally at all seats and the clam bar. The sunset is gorgeous and the water…beautiful. We ate in silence and opted for ice cream to cheer us up. Needless to say, we left right away because we couldn’t hear and eating our ice cream while inhaling cigarettes wasn’t very fun.

  

The view is beautiful, the food is great. But we may not stop by again. Here’s to The Hatch and their expansion and their (potential) opportunity to create a lovely environment on the water. 

But perhaps this is where The Hatch is heading. And if that’s the case, congrats. We will miss the old way it was headed…

*don’t get us wrong. We both worked at places that blared music. We also have traveled the world hitting up the top clubs. We dig House music.

**opinions are our own