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Best Cocktail Bars & Restaurants According to Western New Yorkers

City Guide, Cocktails, Drink, Food & Drink, Food & Drink Guides

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Written by Step Out Staff

Published on May 28, 2021
Photo courtesy of Hartman’s

Buffalo’s cocktail scene has come a long way in the past decade. So many fantastic cocktail programs have launched and thrived, serving thoughtful concoctions made with quality ingredients and inspired by god knows what (in a good way). If you’re feeling fancy and want to set up your drinking game, you’ve come to the right place.

To aid in your search for the best cocktails in Western New York and/or your neighborhood, we polled our social media followers to bring you a list of the best around town. Pro-tip: save this post for future reference.

Let’s get into the guide – in order to pull the following list together, we asked our Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram followers where to find the best cocktails in Buffalo and WNY. They answered with their top picks and we’ve included the full list of reader recommendations below. If it was mentioned, it’s listed below.

Because we received hundreds of comments resulting in tons of recommendations, there are options all across WNY, all worth recommending according to Western New Yorkers.

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Best of the Best

While many recommendations were mentioned more than once, there were certain places mentioned over and over (and over) again. It’s safe to say these are our readers’ top picks for cocktails in Buffalo & WNY – in order! Keep scrolling for the full list of mentions.

1st: Winfield’s Pub (Lackawanna)

2nd: Ballyhoo (Buffalo’s Old First Ward)

3rd: Hartman’s Distilling Co. (Buffalo’s Old First Ward)

Tied for 4th:

Check out the comments on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for menu item recommendations and specific info you can’t get anywhere else, out of the mouths of customers! Plus explore more guides with recommendations according to Western New Yorkers.

Guide to Best Bars & Restaurants for Cocktails in Buffalo & WNY According to Western New Yorkers

189 Burger

189 Main St East Aurora, New York 14052 • $$

AmericanBurgersDeli-Sandwiches

South Towns

189 is a celebration of American tradition. Founded in 2014, this whiskey and music emporium prides itself in exploring and showcasing the finest of both ...

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Amber Lantern Brewing Company

44 N Main St Warsaw, New York 14569 • $

Wyoming County

Brewery

When you're ready to relax for the day, come to Amber Lantern Brewing Company for tasty craft beer and delicious pub food. We offer a rotating selection ...

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Ballyhoo Links & Drinks

211 South Park Ave Buffalo, New York 14204 • $$

AmericanDeli-Sandwiches

Buffalo

SOB Says: A Cobblestone District favorite, Ballyhoo is as nice inside as it is homely on the outside. They offer housemade sausages and sides, craft cocktails ...

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Billy Club

228 Allen St Buffalo, New York 14201 • $$

AmericanNew American

Buffalo

Billy Club is a full service restaurant and whiskey bar located in the historical Allentown district of Buffalo, New York. In addition to good wine, ...

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Black Iron Bystro

3648 South Park Avenue Blasdell, New York 14219 • $$

New American

South Towns

Operating Dinner Club every Friday and Saturday in Blasdell until further notice. Menu is posted every Monday for that weekend’s service. All other details ...

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Britesmith Brewing

5611 Main St Williamsville, New York 14221 • $$

BreweryBeer HallPizza

North Towns

Located in an 1800's blacksmith shop in Williamsville, NY, BriteSmith Brewing takes its name from the subset of Blacksmiths known as 'Brite Smiths'. Just ...

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Buffalo Distilling Company

860 Seneca St Buffalo, New York 14210 • $

South Buffalo

Distillery

At Buffalo Distilling Company, we take pride in making our spirits with 100% local grains, fruits, and honey sourced from small farms around Western New ...

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Cafe 59 – Allen St.

62 Allen Street Buffalo, New York 14202 • $

AmericanDeli-SandwichesVegetarian

Buffalo

Cafe 59 offers fair-trade, gourmet coffee, espresso, and a variety of other hot and cold drinks. Our menu of freshly made soups, salads and sandwiches ...

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Canal Club 62

62 Webster St North Tonawanda,, New York 14120 • $$

American

Niagara County

Bar and restaurant offering a variety of sophisticated and bar menu selections. ...

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Casa Azul

128 Genesee St Buffalo, New York 14203 • $$

Mexican

South Buffalo

From Casa Azul's Website: Casa Azul is about respecting tradition and values, combined with creativity and innovation. Every spirit, cocktail or dish has ...

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Chez Ami

210 Franklin St Buffalo, New York 14202 • $$$$

FrenchNew American

Buffalo

Step Out's 2 cents: Who doesn't love a rotating bar...at least at first. This super swank downtown restaurant (part of the Curtiss Hotel) is beautiful ...

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Connor’s Restaurant

3465 Seneca St West Seneca, NY 14224 • $$

American

Buffalo

The best location in Buffalo for a fish fry, beef on weck, chicken wings, pizza, reubens and plenty of home cooked meals! ...

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CRaVing Restaurant

1472 Hertel Ave Buffalo, New York 14216 • $$$

New American

North Buffalo

CRāVing is located in the heart of North Buffalo in Hertel’s shopping district, one block from the North Park Theatre. If you are looking for a delicious ...

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Curly’s Grille

647 Ridge Rd Buffalo, New York 14218 • $$$

AmericanCaribbeanInternationalNew AmericanSeafoodSteaks

Buffalo

Step Out's 2 cents: Curly's has undergone a lot of transformations over the years. Famous for their Jerk Chicken and Black Bean soup for years, but ...

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D-Tour Martini Bar

49 W Chippewa St Buffalo, New York 14202 • $$

American

Buffalo

D-Tour says: The Downtown professional crowd has been waiting for a place like this! Work's over $ you're not ready to go home? Hungry? Need a ...

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Dobutsu

500 Seneca St. Suite 119 Buffalo, New York 14204 • $$$

AsianNew AmericanSeafoodSteaks

Buffalo

Dobutsu says: Dobutsu, (pronounced doe-boot-sue) is a new casual pacific fare restaurant in the beautiful 500 Seneca building in downtown Buffalo, NY. ...

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Free Street Tavern

1469 Niagara Street, West Village Buffalo, New York 14207 • $$

North Buffalo

Friendly neighborhood place for food and drinks. Step Out says: If you want to go out to watch the Bills, Sabres or any other team play, most corner ...

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Fresh Catch Poke & The Galley Lounge at 500 Pearl

500, Pearl Street, Downtown Buffalo, New York 14202 • $$

AsianSeafood

Buffalo

There are a lot of fast-casual restaurants popping up these days. Our aim is to stand out from the crowd. At Fresh Catch, we believe our poke is more than ...

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Glen Park Tavern

5507 Main St Williamsville, New York 14221 • $$

AmericanBuffalo FoodSeafood

North Towns

Glen Park Tavern says: Glen Park Tavern, which is located at 5507 Main Street in Williamsville, New York; is the place to be when you are looking for ...

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Graylynn

537 Main St Buffalo, New York 14203 • $$

New American

South Buffalo

A European styles bistro with a Gin focus ...

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Hartman’s Distilling Co.

55 Chicago St Buffalo, New York 14204 • $$

American

Buffalo

At Hartman's Distilling Company, we're turning back the clock to an age when summer days were long, sunsets were never long enough, and family and friends ...

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Hydraulic Hearth

716 Swan Street Buffalo, New York 14210 • $$

AmericanBeer HallBreweryPizzaVegetarian

South Buffalo

The Hydraulic Hearth Restaurant and Brewery, located in the historic Larkin District, is a happy hour, dinner, and brunch destination. Our menu is focused ...

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Il Mulino – Cocktail Bar

465 Washington St. Buffalo, NY 4203 • $$

Small Plates

Other

Modern-day cocktail bar & lounge serving craft cocktails, beer, and wine. Featuring seasonal small plates and drink specials. BARBERSHOP | SALON | ...

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Ilio Di Paolo’s

3785 South Park Ave Blasdell, New York 14219 • $$

AmericanBuffalo FoodDeli-SandwichesItalianPizza

Buffalo

Dine in the ambience of Tuscany with hand-painted murals of Ilio s hometown of Introdacqua, Italy and decor that celebrates his pro wrestling career, as ...

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Italian Prime at Salvatore’s

6461 Transit Rd. Buffalo, New York 14043 • $$$$

AmericanBurgersInternationalItalianPizzaSeafoodSteaks

Cheektowaga and East

Salvatore's says: Since 1967, Salvatore's Italian Gardens was has been known known for Steaks, Fresh Seafood refined Italian and a Wine Spectator award ...

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LLoyd Taco Factory – Hertel

1503 Hertel Ave Buffalo, New York 14216 • $

Mexican

North Buffalo

We are the first taco truck to serve the great city of Buffalo, NY. Our mission is to bring legitimate street food to Buffalo by offering affordable yet ...

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Lloyd Taco Factory – Williamsville

5933 Main St Williamsville, New York 14221 • $$

Mexican

North Towns

From the first taco truck to serve the great city of Buffalo, to now two brick and mortar restaurants. Their mission is to bring legitimate street food ...

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Lockhouse Distillery & Bar

41 Columbia Street Buffalo, New York 14204 • $

Deli-SandwichesPub Food

Buffalo

Lockhouse Bar specializes in, but is not limited to, cocktails made with spirits produced on the other side of the wall at Lockhouse Distillery. Conveniently ...

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Lucky Day Whiskey Bar

320 Pearl St Buffalo, New York 14202 • $$$

American

Buffalo

Lucky Day; a Whiskey Bar with whiskey happy foods. ...

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MARBLE + RYE

112 Genesee St Buffalo, New York 14203 • $$$

AmericanNew AmericanSeafoodSteaks

South Buffalo

This is quality, 'honest' food served in a pleasant, casual atmosphere. The concise menu covers all the right bases and preparation is unpretentious. The ...

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Mes Que

1420 Hertel Avenue Buffalo, New York 14202 • $$

Buffalo FoodPizzaPub FoodSpanishTapas

Buffalo

SOB Says: We grabbed an intimate table near the front of the restaurant (the bar was full) and were greeted by a friendly server immediately. There is ...

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Neat

5175 Transit Rd Williamsville, New York 14221 • $

AmericanBurgersDeli-SandwichesNew AmericanPizza

North Towns

Your home for delicious FOOD! WHISKEY $ WINE. ...

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Parkside Meadow

2 Russell Street, Buffalo, NY, United States Buffalo, New York 14214 • $$

AmericanBuffalo FoodBurgersDeli-SandwichesPub Food

North Buffalo

The Parkside Meadow says: Owners Nancy Abramo and Len Mattie have lived in the Parkside area, with its kind-hearted neighbors and genuine camaraderie, ...

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Patrick’s Rooftop

500, Pearl Street, Downtown Buffalo, New York 14202 • $$

Buffalo

Patrick's Rooftop is the cherry on top at 500 Pearl. With awe-inspiring views of Downtown Buffalo and Lake Erie, Buffalo's highest rooftop bar is a must ...

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Providence Social

490 Rhode Island St Buffalo, New York 14213 • $$$

American

Buffalo

Providence Social does a great job with a brunch menu that is very creative and not dependent on the same ole' same ole'. With that said you can order ...

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Rick’s on Main

687 Main St East Aurora, New York 14052 • $$$

AmericanInternationalSeafood

South Towns

Rick's on Main is known for its delectable entrees, warm atmosphere and friendly, knowledgeable staff. Welcome to our two-story dining room, complete ...

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Roost

1502 Niagara St Buffalo, New York 14213 • $$$

AmericanNew AmericanPizza

Buffalo

Walking into Roost, you might doubt that you're in Buffalo, or on Niagara St. You're reminded of the raw beauty of our post-industrial city and, seriously, ...

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Savoy

149 Elmwood Ave Buffalo, New York 14201 • $$

AmericanInternational

Buffalo

Savoy would like to invite you to indulge yourself in one of our specialty cocktails and enjoy European inspired fare with loved ones and friends. ...

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Share Kitchen & Bar Room

5590 Main St Williamsville, New York 14221 • $$$

AmericanNew AmericanSeafood

North Towns

FOOD IS BETTER SHARED Guests at Share Kitchen $ Bar Room are encouraged to share their experience with those they know as well as those they don't; both ...

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Shirt Factory

115 West Center Street Medina, NY 14103 • $

Small PlatesCafe-Coffee

Other

Located just off the Four Corners of Medina, NY, the Shirt Factory has been operating as a successful cafe since opening in 2006. In 2018, four Medina ...

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SZND Dining

1448, Hertel Avenue, North Park Buffalo, New York 14216 • $$$

American

North Buffalo

If you've ever spent time in the kitchen, you'll know that every dish needs seasoning. We're about that seasoned spirit too: we like to think a restaurant ...

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Tappo

338 Ellicott St Buffalo, New York 14203 • $$

Italian

South Buffalo

Tappo, Italian for cork, is proud to welcome our guests to downtown Buffalo to enjoy great American Italian cuisine, wines in an urban chic atmosphere. See ...

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The Banq Cocktails and Lounge

9 E Washington St Ellicottville, New York 14731 • $

Small Plates

Southern Tier

The Banq Cocktails and Lounge offers craft cocktails and small plates. Inspired by the space we wanted to bring back touches of the bank within her decor ...

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The Black Sheep Restaurant & Bar

367 Connecticut Street, Buffalo, NY, United States Buffalo, New York 14213 • $$$

New American

Buffalo

The Black Sheep Restaurant $ Bar is truly a WNY stand out, not only in their uniquely fine cuisine, but their 'unrelenting commitment to locally sourced ...

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The Burning Buffalo Bar & Grill

1504 Hertel Ave Buffalo, New York 14216 • $$

AmericanBuffalo FoodBurgersDeli-SandwichesPub Food

North Buffalo

  A Word from The Burning Buffalo Our inspiration began with our name. The Burning Buffalo. Shortly after midnight on December 30, 1813, British ...

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The Dapper Goose

491 Amherst St Buffalo, New York 14207 • $$$

AmericanNew American

North Buffalo

Step Out Says: The first thing you notice upon walking into The Dapper Goose is its Turn of the Century supper club feel. Dubbed 'classic French cottage' ...

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The Grange Community Kitchen

22 Main St Hamburg, New York 14075 • $$

American

South Towns

SOB Says: Whether you're religious or not, we're willing to bet you'll be shouting on Hallelujah from the rooftops (probably only figuratively) after one ...

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Toutant

437 Ellicott St Buffalo, New York 14203 • $$$

AmericanBBQCajunSeafoodSouthern

South Buffalo

Step Out's 2 cents: In our opinion Toutant is among the best restaurants in the city, joining the Buffalo stalwarts and a few 2014 startups, shuffling ...

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Vue Rooftop Lounge

210 Franklin St Buffalo, New York 14202 • $$$

Pub Food

Buffalo

At the Curtis Hotel, enjoy a cocktail and take in the breathtaking panoramic views of downtown Buffalo, Lake Erie, and the Canadian shoreline. VUE is ...

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Waxlight Bar àVin

27 Chandler St Buffalo, New York 14207 • $$

New American

North Buffalo

Waxlight Bar à Vin is a modern, wine-focused restaurant in the Black Rock neighborhood of Buffalo. We're led by a team of owner-operator sommeliers ...

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West Rose

23 Washington Street Ellicottville, New York 14731 • $$$

New American

Southern Tier

West Rose blends together all of the elements the kitchen team believes in: responsible farming, ingredient-driven cooking, and flavorful food. The restaurant ...

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Winfield’s Pub

1213 Ridge Road Blasdell , New York 14218 • $$

AmericanBurgersDeli-SandwichesNew AmericanSteaks

Buffalo

SOB Says: Winfield's Pub is one of our favorite restaurants in town. Friendly, unassuming, great service and great food. We send all our friends there. [separator ...

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Written by <a href="https://stepoutbuffalo.com/author/step-out-staff/" target="_self">Step Out Staff</a>

Written by Step Out Staff

A group of Step Out Buffalo team members worked together to create this post from research and writing to editing and imagery. Thanks for reading!

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