Every season we round up the most noteworthy new restaurants that have opened in the past few months.
Sure our pants are tight, our wallets slim, but there’s food to be devoured and so we trek on. Here’s a list of recently opened restaurants/bars/breweries/bakeries/cafes/you name it to add to your must-try list this summer.
Think we missed one? Tell us about it at email@example.com.
55 Chicago Street, Buffalo NY 14204
Five years may not seem like a long time, but in the wildly-careening craft beer industry, it’s an eternity.
Five years ago, beer had to taste like beer. Now, you’re hard-pressed to find something that doesn’t taste like juice, candy or Lucky Charms; that may or may not have glitter in it.
Five years ago, a tap room was supposed to feel like it was bolted on to an industrial brewing operation. Now, Yelpers howl in anguish if a tap room has dust from actual brewing, or doesn’t have a full menu.
Given that sea change, the new tap room opened by Resurgence Brewing Company makes a lot of sense. There’s a full menu, table service, proper dining areas and a look that wouldn’t feel out of place at the Walden Galleria.
5 Genesee Street, Buffalo, NY, 14203
The recent craft beer boom has led to an explosion of new breweries opening, and it has also led to the rise of something else: the bottle shop.
Bottle shops are retail beer stores that specialize in unique beers in bottles, cans and on draft. Many of them have a tavern license, which means customers can drink the beer they buy on-premises. So, you can buy beer to-go like you might at Wegmans, or, you can drink a beer while you shop for beer. Or, you can simply hang out and drink beer.
Recently, downtown Buffalo got its first bottle shop in the form of Fattey Beer Co., and with more than 500 beers available, it’s got everything you might want. Barrel-aged stouts? Check. New England IPAs? Check. Fruited Sours? Yep. PBR? Okay…
5385 Main Street, Williamsville, NY 14221
Once upon a time, way back in 2010, not many people in Western New York were really familiar with the idea of serving unique food out of the side of a truck.
Fast forward nine years, and you can’t swing a fist full of brown paper napkins in this town without hitting some kind of food truck. Food trucks may not be as novel as they once were, but the platform is still a great launching pad for aspiring local restaurateurs.
Known for its unique takes on grilled cheese, The Cheesy Chick is the latest food truck to make the jump to stand-alone restaurant, recently opening a brick-and-mortar location on Main Street in Williamsville.
1000 Elmwood Avenue, Buffalo NY, 14222
Every once in a while, a restaurant comes along that feels like an escape.
Case in point: The new Breezy Burrito Bar is located on Elmwood Avenue near Bidwell Parkway, but walk in, and you’ll feel transported somewhere else, somewhere you can’t quite put your finger on…
The surroundings in the new taqueria won’t take you to the painfully-obvious destination, Mexico; more like the hazy, drunken dream of Sophia Coppla, passed out on too many margaritas: dark, feminine, exotic and retro.
5. Fig Tree Patisserie
3062 Delaware Avenue, Kenmore, NY 14217
Corner bars with beef-on-weck specials. Car dealerships. Dollar General. Wooden-screen-door-in-the-summer pizza places. Attorneys. Hair salons. National chain restaurants. Funeral parlors. Cafes. Large apartment complexes.
The section of Delaware Avenue between Kenmore Avenue and Sheridan Drive is all things Western New York packed into a single stretch of road, and appropriately, it’s become more diverse in recent years.
Situated between a traditional Chinese restaurant (Home Taste) and a Pakistani drive-through (Clay Handi), Fig Tree Patisserie is adding to that diversity by offering a wide range of pastries and baked goods, including vegan and keto options.
6. 716 Cafe
388 Amherst Street, Buffalo, NY 14207
Some people get into the service industry because they are driven by a strong business vision.
Talk to Bilal Husayn, co-owner of the new 716 Cafe in Black Rock, and the second thing you’ll notice is that he’s business-savvy. (The first thing you’ll notice is the Yonkers, New York native’s downstate accent.)
With a background in casual dining and industrial fabrication, Husayn seemingly has business sense in his blood and his bones. Along with his business partner Haier Khadim, Husayn is focused on providing value for dollar at 716 Cafe, something that benefits customers at the new breakfast and lunch spot.
5010 Main Street, Amherst, NY 14226
Located on Main Street in Amherst and just a stone’s throw from both the 90 and 290 thruways, Jazzboline sits in a major crossroads in Western New York.
Partly inspired by local socialites from the 1920s, the new restaurant is also at a cultural crossroads, connecting the past to the future, while acting as a meeting place for people from all kinds of backgrounds.
The concept behind Jazzboline was inspired by Frank and Dolly Reikart. The couple were vaudeville entertainers who came to the area from Pennsylvania in the 1920s. They had a pet monkey and owned a few local businesses, but more importantly, they gained a reputation as the “first family of hospitality” for the area, according to Christian Witucki, general manager for Jazzboline.
Mobile Food Truck
Casa Azul has gained a lot of local fans for its traditional Mexican fare since opening its doors a little more than two years ago, and the brick-and-mortar restaurant recently launched a new food truck that specializes in tortas – a popular ‘sub’-type sandwich on a crusty roll.
Casa owner Zina Lapi recently told us that tortas have become a low-key fav with her clientele.
“The restaurant is mostly known for tacos, although we do have a lot of other signature dishes,” she said. “We wanted to focus on tortas for the food truck because that’s one of our fan favorites. Everyone who gets one absolutely loves it.”
534 Elmwood Ave, Buffalo, NY 14222
Mike Gibney, owner and head chef of the new Inizio restaurant on Elmwood Avenue in Buffalo, isn’t usually at a loss for words, but if you ask him about the concept behind his new restaurant, he boils it down to a singular noun: “Pasta, pasta, pasta.”
Gibney told us he really began to think about the possibilities of pasta as the head chef of a restaurant in Colorado.
“You can dress it up or dress it down as much as you want,” he said. “It can be really fancy or it can be really approachable and casual. I also noticed that making it from scratch is something that can allow us to charge reasonable prices and still cover our costs. So, the whole model is built around the idea of (handmade) pasta.
10. The Crabman
341 Franklin St, Buffalo, New York 14202
Opening up any restaurant is a massive challenge, but driven by a dream (and/or a financial opportunity), people still do it.
That challenge is only more daunting when your restaurant takes over a location from a former local icon. And so New York City native Nana Wang and her partner have taken on a Herculean task in opening The Crabman — at the former site of the Rue Franklin.