Did you have budgeting on your list of things to *finally* figure out this year? Eating out can add up quite quickly, especially when you do it as much as we do, but it doesn’t mean you have to throw your budget out or stop your local foodie explorations. We teamed up with Thoughtful Plan to bring you this list of places to keep your stomach full and your budget on track, all at the same time.
1. Colter Bay
561 Delaware Ave., Buffalo
When you are craving pub grub, you can’t go wrong with Colter Bay. And there’s 44 craft beer and ciders on draft aka choices for every kind of beer lover and even some haters.
Option 1: Moose Creek Steak Sandwich for $16 + 16 oz. Draft Beer for $7
There are two types of steak sandwiches: ones you love and ones you hate. This one comes stacked with shisto peppers, onion confit, and herbed ricotta aka it most definitely falls in the love category.
Option 2: Mac ‘n Cheese for $12 + Soft Pretzels for $12
These two appetizers are life-changing. Once you go potato chip crust, you just don’t go back. These Breadhive pretzels + extra sharp cheddar dip are flavors you need in your life– plain and simple.
2. The Delaware
3410 Delaware Ave., Buffalo
There’s something about The Delaware that makes you want to come back again and again even if you order the same exact meal each time.
Option 1: Classic Caesar Salad for $6.75 + Chicken & Waffle Sandwich for $10.50
The house-made waffles are served hot and crispy with Jack Daniels maple syrup. This salad’s freshness levels are off the charts and the house made Caesar dressing has just the right amount of seasoning.
Option 2: Meatloaf for $14 + Asparagus Fries for $8.75
Everything’s better when it’s beer battered, especially these crispy, flavorful asparagus fries. Brace yourself for childhood feels when you order this homestyle meatloaf.
3. Hydraulic Hearth
716 Swan St., Buffalo
If you are brick oven pizza obsessed, you’re basically obligated to check these guys out. The pizzas range from $12 to $16. Pro Tip: Go halfsies because choosing is hard.
Option 1: Burrata Pizza for $15 + Craft Cocktail for $10
Balsamic dressing and crisped prosciutto belong together. Throw in a house cocktail and you’ll be a food coma heaven shortly.
Option 2: Mozzarella Sticks for $12 + Farm Salad $10
These mozz sticks are everything. House mozzarella and parmigiano and pomodoro — oh my! Keep it cheesy by adding on a farm salad with goat cheese.
1503 Hertel Ave., Buffalo / 5933 Main St., Williamsville
With Lloyd’s prices, piling up your plate is super affordable, and you have dollars left for a specialty cocktails or two.
Option 1: Tricked Out Nachos for $7.49 + Burrito for $7.49 or $8.49 + Cocktail for $10
These nachos are everything you could want in a plate of nachos and so much more. Throw in a burrito packed with your choice of protein, and your stomach will thank you.
Option 2: Tacos (3) for $2.34 or $3.34 each + Cracked Potatoes for $4.49
If choosing one type of taco feels impossible, you’re in luck. Get a bunch, and try these crispy fried potatoes with “crack” sauce without needing a $20 bill.
5. Sato Brewpub
10 Pearl St., Buffalo
If you are a try a little bit of everything kind of foodie, Sato Brewpub’s menu is perfect for you! Seriously this small plates restaurant has been on our radar since day 1.
Option 1: Kimchi for $4 + Agenasu for $5 + Salmon Sashimi for $5 + Harumaki Spring Rolls for $5 + Garlic Sauteed Edamame for $6
If you are thinking I want one of everything, go for it. You can try 5 different menu items without spending more than $25.
Option 2: Ramen for $12 + Okonomiyaki Fries for $7
If you came strictly for the house-made noodles, you won’t be disappointed. These bowls are served piping hot. Even add the fries, and your bill will still be under 20 bucks.
6. Shish Kabab Express
1207 Hertel Ave., Buffalo
This Middle Eastern gem is easy to miss if you aren’t looking closely. But this spot is worth a visit even if just for the Iraqi bread and hummus.
Option 1: Chicken Tikka for $11
This dish has all the right spices and flavors. More specifically, the grilled chicken has just enough kick, and the hummus is incredibly creamy and topped with just the right amount of oil.
Option 2: Samoon Sandwich for $5 + Taboule Salad for $3
Your choice of beef or chicken plus veggies, plus heavenly garlic sauce inside homemade bread equals absolute perfection in a sandwich. Pair it with the Taboule salad, and you have yourself a delicious meal for under $10.
7. Zoe Restaurant
5711 Transit Rd., East Amherst
There’s something about tzatziki that makes us happy. And this Greek restaurant is serving it erryday (and in generous portions).
Option 1: Souvlaki Dinner for $16.75 or $18
It’s your choice between charbroiled marinated certified angus beef and charbroiled chicken strips. There is not a wrong answer. Plus, your meal includes soup or salad, potato or rice and pita bread for under $20.
Option 2: Tzatziki Dip for $7.50 + Greek Burger for $12
If a plate piled high with tzatziki excites you, this the dip you need. Pair it with a housemade burger and fries and you have yourself an amazing Greek meal for under $20.
8. Fat Bob’s Smokehouse
41 Virginia Place, Buffalo
When you are craving smokin’ good BBQ, a trip to Fat Bob’s is necessary. The large portions and homemade sauces are everything a BBQ lover could want.
Option 1: 1/2 Rack Ribs for $15.99
For $16, you get 6 ribs plus two homemade sides. That’s a ridiculous deal.
Option 2: Combo- Choice of 4 Meats for $20.49
Want all the meats? You can have your choice of 4 for around 20 bucks. Yes, that means pulled pork, ribs, BBQ smoked chicken, and smoked brisket all on a single plate. PLUS two sides.
Remember, there are TONS of options to eat out (or take out) on a budget around Western New York. This is really just the tip of the iceberg. With a little planning ahead, social media research, and by looking up menu options beforehand, you can truly save and still eat well. For more tips and finance insights, check out Thoughtful Plan’s Blog.
About Our Partner Thoughtful Plan
Thoughtful Plan believes in lower fees, financial empowerment, and an easier path to retirement. We are a Buffalo-based and Buffalo-focused finance firm on a mission to empower our community to live better lives through education and thoughtful advice. We are different because we offer traditional and digital portfolios for clients regardless of income or asset level. Our low account minimum and technology-based platforms will help you address your goals sooner. Our investment recommendations are based only on your goals. To learn more or schedule a free consultation visit www.ThoughtfulPlan.com.