When it comes to finding the ideal restaurant for a romantic date or special-occasion dinner, Buffalo, NY locals and visitors are spoiled for choice. The city is home to a great collection of excellent restaurants which cater to all tastes and budgets. Many of the stalwarts have been pleasing plates for thirty or more years and have a strong following of loyal fans. Whether you prefer casual bistro-style dining or something a little more special you will have no difficulty finding a venue in Buffalo. Menus generally have a strong emphasis on fresh local ingredients which are expertly prepared and graciously served with an eye for detail. Certain attractions may be temporarily closed or require advance reservations. Some restaurants are currently offering pickup only. Hours/availability may have changed.
© Drobot Dean/stock.adobe.com
Sinatra’s is a family owned business which has become a Buffalo institution in the forty-odd years since it first opened its doors to the public in 1981. Over the years the menu and style of the restaurant has changed in keeping with modern trends but the authenticity of the food has always taken first place. Today you can visit Sinatra’s to enjoy some of the best flavors of the Old Country, served with fine-dining flair. You will find all your favorite Italian antipasti, soups and salads on the menu, followed by signature chicken and veal dishes, specialties like Osso Bucco, fabulous pastas and mouth-watering grills and side dishes.
Sinatra’s, 945 Kenmore Ave, Buffalo, NY 14217, Phone: 716-877-9419
2.The Black Sheep Restaurant and Bar
© The Black Sheep Restaurant and Bar
The Black Sheep Restaurant and Bar is another of Buffalo’s exceptional farm-to-fork eateries where careful and respectful preparation of the freshest local ingredients is the name of the game. Chef Steve Gedra has many years of experience and takes great pride in working with local farmers and other producers to offer his guests an exceptional dining experience based on seasonal ingredients. The menu is constantly changing to reflect the seasons and offers great choices for both meat lovers and vegetarians. There are always delicious desserts and sweet treats to round off your meal and some tempting signature cocktails to try. The Black Sheep offers a popular Sunday brunch.
The Black Sheep Restaurant and Bar, 367 Connecticut Street, Buffalo, NY 14213, Phone: 716-884-1100
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3.The 31 Club
© The 31 Club
Buffalo’s 31 Club is actually a re-incarnation of a 1940’s special Gentleman’s Supper Club of the same name. The new 31 Club occupies the completely renovated premises of the original club on 31 Johnson Park, where it provides the perfect venue for a romantic dinner. The interior is sleek and elegant and diners have the choice of eating at the bar or at one of the intimate tables or booths. The menu features soups and salads and other antipasti, a variety of gourmet pizzas for the smaller appetite and sophisticated Italian classics like Lobster Ravioli and Linguini with Clams. The mains include steak and veal dishes as well as poultry and delicious desserts.
The 31 Club, 31 N. Johnson Park, Buffalo, NY 14201, Phone: 716-332-3131
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© 800 Maple
At 800 Maple you and your date can enjoy an evening of fine-dining in a relaxed and casual atmosphere. The interior of the restaurant features huge windows, sleek modern décor with intimate tables and booths and a large fire place for cold winter nights. The menu is imaginative and offers something for everyone. You could start with Wood-roasted Clams and Mussels or tasty Seafood Fritters before making your selection from their list of specialties which include Maine Lobster Linguine, delicious house versions of Crispy Duck Breast and Veal Cutlets. The bar list includes several signature cocktails and martinis and they also stock many specialty spirits, beers and wines.
800 Maple, 800 Maple Rd, Williamsville, NY 14221, Phone: 716-688-5800
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5.Bacchus Wine Bar and Restaurant
© Bacchus Wine Bar and Restaurant
Offering an award-winning wine list and a modern, contemporary fine-food menu, Bacchus Wine Bar and Restaurant is a great choice for a romantic night out. The interior of the restaurant is light and bright and there is an outdoor dining courtyard for summer alfresco dining. Diners can choose from a selection of small plates for their starter, before moving on to enjoy a hearty main course of poultry, fish or prime steaks. Besides the regular menu there is always a daily special, prepared from locally sourced fresh seasonal produce. The wine list is extensive and if you are having difficulty choosing the perfect wine to accompany your meal the wait-staff will be happy to assist with recommendations.
Bacchus Wine Bar and Restaurant, 56 W. Chippewa Street, Buffalo, NY 14202, Phone: 716-854-WINE
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6.Black and Blue Steak and Crab
© Black and Blue Steak and Crab
When you want the right mix of fabulous food and elegant up-market location you will find Black and Blue Steak and Crab hard to beat. This restaurant features a sleek modern interior enhanced by innovative light fittings, a “wall of wine” and comfortable tables and booths to set the scene for a great dining experience. There is a heavy emphasis on wonderfully fresh fish and seafood, all of which is supplied by trusted sources. Favorite dishes include fresh oysters, Blue Crab cocktail and Seafood Platters from the Raw Bar. Carnivores can feast on expertly cooked Black Angus steaks prepared with the restaurants signature secret sauce. All the delicious food is beautifully presented with an eye for detail.
Black and Blue Steak and Crab, 5493 Sheridan Drive, Amherst, NY 14221, Phone: 716-839-2525
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© Buffalo Chophouse
The Buffalo Chophouse offers guests all the necessary ingredients for a romantic night out. The restaurant has a very elegant feel – rich red seats and curtains are paired with crisp white linen and mood lighting to provide a luxurious but relaxed atmosphere. The menu has something to offer for all tastes and includes popular steak-house classics like Lobster Bisque, Tuna Tartare, Seared Scallops and Crab Cakes on the starter menu and prime-cut steak and chop mains for meat lovers. In addition the mains include delicious fresh fish and seafood and there is a choice of sides and salads. You should be sure to leave some space for one of their tempting desserts.
Buffalo Chophouse, 282 Franklin Street, Buffalo, NY 14202, Phone: 716-842-6900
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For more than twenty years Coco has been offering Buffalo residents an elegant and relaxing venue where they can enjoy a romantic night out. The interior of the restaurant combines exposed brick-work and high ceilings for a slightly industrial look and there is an outdoor courtyard area for dining during the warmer months. The food emphasis is on simple preparation of freshly-sourced local ingredients and their Bistro-style menu includes an interesting selection of appetizers and salads followed by several fresh trout and mussel dishes as well as pizzas and hearty entrees. There are several signature cocktails to choose from and a well-rounded wine list.
Coco, 888 Main Street, Buffalo, NY 14202, Phone: 716-885-1885
9.Eckl’s at Larkin
© Eckl’s at Larkin
One of Buffalo’s newest restaurants, Eckl’s @ Larkin is located in the heart of Buffalo’s historic Larkin District. Here old and new combine to offer a modern take on classic steakhouse favorites served in an elegant historic setting with a great romantic ambiance. The main focus of the restaurant is to serve the best traditional steaks and chops in the region but they also offer a Raw Bar, hand-carved roast beef and a variety of other dishes to ensure there is something for everyone, including vegetarians. There is a good selection of wines by the glass, craft and bottled beers and decadent-sounding cocktails.
Eckl’s @ Larkin, 703 Seneca St, Buffalo, NY 14210, Phone: 716-331-3242
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10.Giancarlos’ Sicilian Steakhouse
© Giancarlos’ Sicilian Steakhouse
Giancarlos’ Sicilian Steakhouse in the iWorld Shopping Center is the ideal place to go for a special night out or a romantic anniversary dinner. While the interior is sleek and inviting, it is the classic Sicilian food that will keep you returning time and again. The restaurant has a traditional wood-fired brick oven to turn out perfect pizzas and a 1200 degree Montague Broiler to perfectly cook your choice from their steak selection. The menu features a large variety of starters including soups, salads and appetizer plates and if you are not in the mood for steak you can choose an authentic pasta dish or one of their other delicious entrees.
Giancarlos’ Sicilian Steakhouse, 5110 Main Street, Williamsville, NY 14221, Phone: 716-650-5566
Hutch’s Delaware Ave. restaurant is dedicated to providing customers with un-pretentious American fine dining in an elegant venue which would be perfect for a special occasion or date night. To get your dining experience off to a fine start you can order a delicious Shrimp and Lobster Bisque, some fresh oysters or a mouth-watering Scotch Salmon appetizer. Mains are many and varied and there are nightly specials to showcase whatever is in season. Perennial favorites include Bison Strip Steak, Sesame-crusted Yellow-fin Tuna and Beef Tenderloin served with fresh and tasty side dishes of your choice. If the weather is good you can dine alfresco on the patio.
Hutch’s, 1375 Delaware Ave, Buffalo, NY 14209, Phone: 716-885-0071
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© Kennedy’s Cove
For over thirty years Kennedy’s Cove has been offering a warm and welcoming atmosphere together with brilliant cut-to-size steaks and fresher than fresh seafood. A large fish tank with brilliantly-colored tropical fish and subdued mood lighting contribute to the relaxed and cozy ambiance. Kennedy’s are famous for their hand-cut blacked fillet steaks which come in any size you prefer and are accompanied by either a soup or a house salad starter and your choice of potato side. If you prefer seafood you have a wide choice of delicious dishes to choose from, including lobster, Alaskan Crab, Jumbo Shrimp and Stuffed Scallops. The knowledgeable wait-staff will be happy to suggest the perfect wines to pair with your choices.
Kennedy’s Cove, 9800 Main Street, Clarence, NY 14031, Phone: 716-759-8961
A colorful outdoor patio with a bright stripy awning welcomes you to Lombardo’s, which has been pleasing Buffalo palates for over 42 years. The restaurant is still family owned and operated and annual trips to Italy (for inspiration) have contributed to the restaurant’s continued success and their long list of regular visitors. There are several delectable starters to choose from including Grilled Octopus, Wood Roasted Figs and Cheese and Charcuterie Platters for two. Pizzas and pastas are always popular and can be followed by a selection from the Mains menu which includes poultry, veal, chicken and fish dishes as well as vegetable sides.
Lombardo Ristoranti, 1198 Hertel Ave, Buffalo, NY 14216, Phone: 716-873-4291
14.Lucia’s on the Lake
© Lucia’s on the Lake
When you book a table at Lucia’s on the Lake you can anticipate not only great food but also the unique ambiance that only a brilliant view can give you. If you can reserve a lake-side table you will have sweeping views out over beautiful Lake Erie and can admire magnificent sunsets while you sip one of their famous cocktails. The Italian/American/Seafood-inspired dishes are prepared using the best and freshest local produce and the presentation is beautiful. Love-birds can choose from a variety of appetizers perfect for sharing before moving on to feast on a wide selection of seafood, entrees, steaks and chops. Gluten-free pasta is available on request.
Lucia’s on the Lake, 4151 Lakeshore Rd, Hamburg, NY 14075, Phone: 716-627-9752
© Oliver’s Restaurant
Oliver’s has been a Buffalo institution for over eighty years and still has that special something which continues to bring in a growing number of loyal fans. The restaurant was recently completely renovated to provide a more modern up-beat feel without sacrificing any of the old ambiance. You can enjoy a delicious craft cocktail at the bar before enjoying your romantic dinner accompanied by the perfect wine from their award-winning wine list. Executive chef Ross Warhol thrives on offering guests a memorable dining experience, and every dish that leaves his kitchen is a little work of art designed to dazzle your taste buds. The menu includes most popular seafood, poultry and meat dishes all prepared with Chef’s special twist.
Oliver’s, 2095 Delaware Ave, Buffalo, NY 14216, Phone: 716-877-9662
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© Osteria 166
Setting out to provide a comfortable and relaxing place for people to meet and socialize, Osteria 166 has just the right atmosphere for a special night out. The restaurant serves mouth-watering Italian specialties with a fun and innovative twist, all prepared from the freshest possible locally-sourced ingredients which ensures that your meal is especially delicious. Besides the daily seasonal specials, the menu features a very good selection of appetizers, hearty pizzas, sandwiches and pasta favorites. For dinner all the above are available as well as a selection of delicious entrees including home-made pastas, meat and fish dishes. You can choose from an extensive wine list which includes several affordable wines by the glass or bottle.
Oliver’s, 2095 Delaware Ave, Buffalo, NY 14216, Phone: 716-877-9662
© Patina 250
If your special night out includes a show at Shea’s Theater, Patina 250 is the ideal choice for a romantic pre-theater dinner. The restaurant offers theater-goers a special fixed-price dinner and the benefit of a complimentary shuttle and valet parking. The fixed-price menu includes your choice of appetizer and entrée from the regular menu, together with a glass of wine or a beer. You can make your selection from a choice of tempting starters or salads, followed by substantial mains including Moulard Duck Breast, Scottish Salmon, Moroccan Braised Lamb Shanks or a grilled prime steak of your choice. Patina 250 is also open for breakfast and lunch and serves a delicious weekend brunch.
Patina 250, 250 Delaware Ave, Buffalo, NY 14202, Phone: 716-290-0600
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18.Phillips WD Wine Bar and Grille
© Phillips WD Wine Bar and Grille
Located in the Seneca Buffalo Creek Casino, Phillips WD Wine Bar and Grille is a good choice for a romantic dinner, offering sweeping views of the city from the dining room and the patio. The restaurant has an extensive menu for you to choose from, with a strong emphasis on freshly-caught fish and seafood, including their signature Stuffed Flounder, Blackened Catfish or Atlantic Salmon. The Raw Bar offers fresh oysters and a Seafood Tower for Two as well as Shrimp Cocktail and Crab Cakes. There are also excellent choices for meat lovers including grills, burgers and sides. If you visit on the Thursday you can try their Thursday Date Night special.
Phillips WD Wine Bar and Grille, 1 Fulton Street, Buffalo, NY 14204, Phone: 877-8-SENECA
19.Remington Tavern and Seafood Exchange
© Remington Tavern and Seafood Exchange
Next time you are planning a special romantic night out you could treat your date to a seafood extravaganza the Remington Tavern and Seafood Exchange. Start by sharing their specialty Oyster and Bubbly starter which will get your evening off to a brilliant start with one dozen fresh oysters and a half-bottle of Veuve Cliquot. Besides budget-conscious daily specials, the menu features favorites like Faroe Island Salmon (prepared in a variety of styles), Broiled Lobster or Sesame-crusted Tuna for fish lovers and burgers, pasta, risotto and steaks for everyone else. If you visit from Friday to Monday you will also be treated to live music to enjoy while you feast.
Remington Tavern and Seafood Exchange, 184 Sweeney Street, North Tonawanda, NY 14120, Phone: 716-362-2802
© Salvatore’s Hospitality
Keeping up a long-standing family tradition, Salvatore’s Hospitality includes the beautiful Italian Gardens Restaurant in the Delavan Hotel, The Patio and the Chandelier Bar - all of which are perfect choices for a special-occasion dinner. Surrounded by the elegant and sophisticated décor of the dining room or the patio, you can look forward to selecting all your favorite Italian specialties, beautifully served in a fine-dining style. Special dinner deals for two are available, but if you prefer something a little lighter you could visit the elegant Chandelier Bar where a large selection of small plates are on offer. The restaurant has a staggering wine list including options from all over the world for you to savor with your meal.
Salvatore Hospitality, 6461 Transit Rd, Buffalo, NY 14043, Phone: 877-456-4097
Even just the name of this up-scale Buffalo steakhouse is enough to get you salivating, and once you have a look at the menu you will be convinced that SEAR is the place to go on your next romantic night out. The interior of the restaurant is sleek and modern, featuring intimate tables and booths set against a back-drop of a wine-wall. You can start your evening by selecting a few of their tasty small plates or options from the Raw Bar, before moving on to select your choice of perfectly seared steaks, burgers or chops. A limited selection of seafood mains are available for those who don’t feel like meat.
SEAR, 200 Delaware Ave, Buffalo, NY 14202, Phone: 716-319-1090
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22.Texas de Brazil Steakhouse
© Texas de Brazil Steakhouse
Marrying the legendary meat dishes of Brazil with the generous hospitality of Texas, Texas de Brazil is a fantastic option for a special night out. Brazilian churrasco culture is all about feasting on a succession of perfectly grilled meats accompanied by an extravagant buffet of salads (which offers more than sufficient variety for vegetarians to enjoy). A large selection of meats are skewer-roasted to perfection over open flames and then sliced at your table; you then select salads and other hot side dishes to build your perfect meal. When you are ready to try the next skewer you simple turn your card to green and a new cut will be brought to your table. It’s a fun dinner experience that should not be missed by anyone visiting Buffalo.
Texas de Brazil, 1 Walden Galleria Space P-101, Buffalo, NY 14225, Phone: 716-683-0013
23.Webster’s Bistro and Bar
© Webster’s Bistro and Bar
An historic old building in Webster Street is the setting for Webster’s Bistro and Bar where you can enjoy fresh and tasty Franco/American Bistro fare surrounded by French charm. The interior is elegant and offers a warm and welcoming atmosphere reminiscent of the many small neighborhood bistros of Paris. The menu has something of everyone and features many typical French bistro staples like Onion Soup, Beef Tartare, Snails and Baked Brie. For mains you can choose from a variety of tantalizing signature dishes such as Salmon Wellington, Braised Short Rib or Duck a l’Orange. There is a good wine and cocktail list and cocktail-making classes are offered to aspirant bartenders.
Webster’s Bistro and Bar, 102 Webster Street, North Tonawanda, NY 14120, Phone: 716-264-4314
23 Best Restaurants in Buffalo, NY
- Sinatra’s, Photo: Drobot Dean/stock.adobe.com
- The Black Sheep Restaurant and Bar, Photo: The Black Sheep Restaurant and Bar
- The 31 Club, Photo: The 31 Club
- 800 Maple, Photo: 800 Maple
- Bacchus Wine Bar and Restaurant, Photo: Bacchus Wine Bar and Restaurant
- Black and Blue Steak and Crab, Photo: Black and Blue Steak and Crab
- Buffalo Chophouse, Photo: Buffalo Chophouse
- Coco, Photo: Coco
- Eckl’s at Larkin, Photo: Eckl’s at Larkin
- Giancarlos’ Sicilian Steakhouse, Photo: Giancarlos’ Sicilian Steakhouse
- Hutch’s, Photo: Hutch’s
- Kennedy’s Cove, Photo: Kennedy’s Cove
- Lombardo, Photo: Lombardo
- Lucia’s on the Lake, Photo: Lucia’s on the Lake
- Oliver’s Restaurant, Photo: Oliver’s Restaurant
- Osteria 166, Photo: Osteria 166
- Patina 250, Photo: Patina 250
- Phillips WD Wine Bar and Grille, Photo: Phillips WD Wine Bar and Grille
- Remington Tavern and Seafood Exchange, Photo: Remington Tavern and Seafood Exchange
- Salvatore’s Hospitality, Photo: Salvatore’s Hospitality
- SEAR, Photo: SEAR
- Texas de Brazil Steakhouse, Photo: Texas de Brazil Steakhouse
- Webster’s Bistro and Bar, Photo: Webster’s Bistro and Bar
- Cover Photo: dima_sidelnikov/stock.adobe.com
Attraction Spotlight: Buffalo Zoo
Located in the beautiful setting of Delaware Park, the Buffalo Zoo is a deep and immersive dive into the natural world we inhabit. Home to a wide range of endangered, exotic, wild, and wacky animals, the zoo is sure to grab the heart and mind of any nature-loving visitor.
It’s not just animals on exhibit though, as the zoo also offers a wide range of educational lectures, daily scheduled talks on the various different animals, interactive feeding times, wild workshops, and spring and summer camps. They have various outreach programs offering locals and visitors the chance to experience the life of a zookeeper and conservationist. They work closely with the local schools to offer educational programming, both in the zoo and in visiting workshops.
In addition to the more educational roster of programming, there is also an interesting array of entertaining events offered by the zoo. Every month they have an ever-changing schedule of engaging activities within the grounds, often held to fundraise for important conservation efforts the world over, such as Bowling for Rhinos and Wines in the Wild, when the zoo opens late for an exciting food and drink festival!
As can be expected, it’s the animals themselves that steal the show, and the Buffalo Zoo has a huge menagerie of creatures and critters housed within the grounds. The layout of the zoo is fairly intuitive and so you can find your way from one exhibit to the next with reasonable ease. Whether you’re laughing along with the cackling hyenas, shivering from the scary hissing of a snake in the reptile house, or waddling over to the penguin tank, you are sure to find yourself immersed in the wild world of the zoo.
The zoo offers the opportunity for patrons to donate, become a member, or sponsor animals, and every penny collected through these means goes to looking after and treating the animals in the zoo to the best quality of life possible as well as funding ongoing conservation efforts across the globe.
Parking is available at the zoo itself but costs $5 and you must buy a token in order to leave the car park upon exit. All expected facilities are available onsite and the concessions stand is surprisingly varied, tasty, and reasonably priced. Perfect for those planning to spend the entire day at the zoo!
300 Parkside Ave, Buffalo, NY 14214, Phone: 716-837-3900
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Attraction Spotlight: Buffalo Fire Historical Society Museum
Entirely run by volunteers, the Buffalo Fire Historical Society Museum is a venture of love, pride, and passion, and the history collected within the museum itself is a fascinating look into the New York Fire Department and the history of their methods as well as a wide collection of memorabilia from across the years of service.
Their mission is to preserve and collect a variety of artefacts that give the visitors a window into the life and operation of the Buffalo Fire Department over the years. The museum also offers helpful and in-depth instruction on fire prevention and fire safety. It’s an educational trip that could just save your life one day.
Among the collection, the museum has both modern and historical firefighting artefacts, including both horse-drawn and motorised fire apparatus, various uniforms and badges spanning decades, helmets and patches, fire alarm boxes, photography and postcards, journals, models, and toys. There is an exhibit on 9/11 and the important role the fire service of New York played on that tragic day. There is also an exhibition looking into the December 27th propane explosion of 1983, which claimed the lives of five members of the fire department.
It’s not all just articles in glass cases, however, as there are also a range of informational videos and films looking into the day-to-day lives of the people who serve. There are interactive exhibits that let the visitors experience what it is like to be a fireman; for example, you can sit in the cab of a tiller and experience exactly what it feels like to drive a laddered vehicle.
Some might say that Christmas time is the greatest time of the year, and the Buffalo Fire Museum agree. Every year they deck the halls with a beautifully themed display, where over 100 ceramic firehouses and plenty of other decorations come together in a smorgasbord that is sure to set the holidays ablaze.
The guided tours are particularly interesting and will provide a decent amount of backstory, detailed explanation, and a history of the amassed items in the collection. The docents who lead the tours are all retired Buffalo firemen themselves and not only may have used the equipment on display but also have a great deal of respect and passion for the subject.
1850 William Street, Buffalo, New York 14206, Phone: 716-892-8400
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