Best New Restaurants of 2016

City Guide, Food & Drink


Written by Emily Morrow

Published on January 3, 2017

Carte Blanche, Hamburg NY

Fois Gras at Carte Blanche / Step Out Buffalo

2016 was a good year when measured in restaurant openings, which happens to be our favorite form of measurement. We pulled our favorite new spots to open in the past year – from fancy pants to fast casual and everything in-between – to form a restaurant bucket list of sorts. We went for it (meaning we included tons of places), and we’re not sorry. Take this as our recommendation to visit, eat, drink, and explore until your heart’s content!
Remember, this is just one team’s opinion. The goal here is to step out, try new things, and discover the best WNY has to offer. These places are worth a try in 2017 according to Step Out Buffalo’s Editors.
In the spirit of full transparency, restaurants marked with * happen to be partners or friends of SOB, but that doesn’t make our recommendation any less legit. 


Crema Catalana at Aro / Step Out Buffalo

Crema Catalana at Aro / Step Out Buffalo

Aro Bar de Tapas

Update: Permanently closed
5415 Sheridan Dr, Buffalo
Pretty much the first restaurant to nail the whole Spanish tapas concept in Western New York, Aro filled a major gap in the scene and we couldn’t be more #thankful. Their tapas menu is legit, service is fantastic, gin-tonic menu on point, and dessert game at the tippy top of the list in WNY. Read more here…

Billy club , cocktail

Billy Club / Photo x @colin_patrick for Step Out Buffalo

Billy Club

228 Allen St, Buffalo
Like so many of the best restaurants opening in WNY over the past few years, we love this Allentown newbie for several reasons including their minimalist decor, friendly service, attention to detail, and inspired whiskey / cocktail menu. The space is small, but the crew knows what to do with it, which makes all the difference. Read more here…*
Restaurant Info


Breadhive Sandwich / Photo x @colin_patrick for Step Out Buffalo

Breadhive Cafe

402 Connecticut St, Buffalo
This neighborhood bakery and cafe practically embodies community. It’s welcoming and serves fantastic, fresh food minus the pretense. Is it just us or does the lack of pretense make everything taste better? Extra points for the coolest bagel rack on planet earth. Read more here…
Restaurant Info

Carte Blanche's Charcuterie

Carte Blanche’s Charcuterie / Step Out Buffalo

Carte Blanche

61 Buffalo St, Hamburg
The transformation from Buffalo Street Grill to Carte Blanche was a major one, and it didn’t go unnoticed. We especially love how the team managed to create finesse in both the food and cocktail menus while keeping the warm and inviting vibe of the neighborhood watering hole. This is what we like to call a win/win. Read more here…*
Restaurant Info


Pork Belly Taco at Casa Azul

Pork Belly Taco at Casa Azul / Step Out Buffalo

Casa Azul

128 Genesee St, Buffalo
A late and unexpected addition to the local restaurant scene in 2016, Casa Azul is taking the whole taqueria thing to the next level (pastor on a spit, sweetbreads, tongue) and we love it. There are about as many tacos on the menu as there are seats, service is quick, and the chef/owners are passionate. We recommend giving this place a spot on your weekly rotation. Read more here…
Restaurant Info

New Colter Bay

Colter Bay / Step Out Buffalo

Colter Bay

561 Delaware Ave, Buffalo
Another late addition to the scene in 2016, the new Colter Bay has been spiffed up (like a lot), and redirected down a proven successful path of catchy comfort food and draught beer. We’ve heard and experienced nothing but good things from this bar/restaurant redo. Read more here…
Restaurant Info

Cuba Rosa / Step Out Buffalo

Media Noche at Cuba Rosa / Step Out Buffalo

Cuba Rosa

Update: Permanently closed
454 Pearl St, Buffalo
When it comes to Cuba Rosa, authentic is the first thing that comes to mind. From the tostones to the flan this is the real deal. It’s almost like taking that trip to the islands your wife has been nagging you about, but without the beaches and sun shine. Possibly the best Cubano sandwich we have ever sampled (they call it a Media Noche) and they now have their liquor license…yay! You can’t go wrong in this surprisingly elegant spot across from Shea’s. Read more here…

Dapper Goose

Dapper Goose / Photo x @colin_patrick for Step Out Buffalo

Dapper Goose

491 Amherst St, Buffalo
Whatever replaced Black Rock Kitchen and Bar had some pretty big shoes to fill, and Dapper Goose did not disappoint. It’s the little things – like the glassware – and the refined menu that make Dapper Goose so special. Not to mention the vibe is flawless IMHO. We have a serious crush on this place and we refuse to hide it. Read more here…
Restaurant Info


expo market buffalo

EXPO / Step Out Buffalo


Update: This location is permanently closed and moved to Hertel Ave
Market Arcade, Buffalo
2016 will forever be the year that WNY finally got it’s first food hall. This collaborative space pulls together some awesome options like Buffalo’s own version of a sushi burrito from Sun Roll, fresh juice options from Crush Juicery, customizable pasta dishes from Mercato, and more right on Main Street. Plus you can drink while you sample. Read more here…

The Grange Community Kitchen, Hamburg NY Restaurants, Roasted Beet & Kholrabi Salad

Roasted Beet & Kholrabi Salad at The Grange / Step Out Buffalo

Grange Community Kitchen

22 Main St, Hamburg
If you follow SOB, you already know this is an absolute favorite of ours. The Grange represents everything we need more of in the Queen City starting with authentic, heart-felt cuisine and ending with a space that is literally everyone’s happy place. If that doesn’t make sense just visit and you’ll see what we mean. Breakfast, lunch, happy hour, dinner, you name it, they kill it. Read more here…*
Restaurant Info

Lait Cru Brasserie cheese plate

Lait Cru Brasserie Cheese Plate / Step Out Buffalo

Lait Cru Brasserie

Update: Permanently closed
346 Connecticut St, Buffalo
If you haven’t heard, Nickel City Cheese and Mercantile closed up shop on Elmwood Ave and moved into the front room of the Horsefeather’s Building. Half cheese shop (Nickel City) and half restaurant (Lait Cru), the Martin Cooks replacement is absolutely killing it. Brunch? Check. Lunch? Check. Dinner? Check. Go, now. Read more here…

Mahoney Fairmont

The Mahoney’s Pub Reuben / Photo x Machelle Pohlman

The Mahoney

Update: Permanently closed
199 Scott St, Buffalo
The Mahoney debuted with the opening of the renovated multipurpose Fairmont Creamery building. While the place seems to fly a bit under the radar, you should make it a point to visit in 2017. This space is magnifigue and we seriously enjoyed Chef/Owner Brian Mahoney’s style of mixing cuisines in 2016. Read more here…


Midtwon Kitchen-Buffalo-scallops

Seared Scallops at MTK / Step Out Buffalo


Update: Permanently closed
451 Elmwood Ave, Buffalo
MTK opened late May with a contemporary uptown look on a reinvigorated stretch of Elmwood in a repurposed space that was once Nektar. The atmosphere is kind of nightclub meets restaurant with wall murals, background music and a dash of sports bar thanks to the flat screens. If you’re looking for a cluby brunch spot Midtown Kitchen is all you. Read more here…

Pasion Buffalo, Cuban Food

Photo courtesy of Pasion


Update: Permanently closed
153 Elmwood Ave, Buffalo
While Pasión has hardly had a moment not in transition since it opened in early 2016, they’ve managed to consistently offer a delightful spread of Latin American food and drink. Their ambition and willingness to adapt has kept them at the top of our list for lunch, dinner, and drinks – no matter what they’re serving. Read more here…*

Patina 250

Patina 250 / Photo x Daniel Krieger

Patina 250

250 Delaware Ave, Buffalo
This extravagant new restaurant on the first floor of the gorgeous Delaware North Building should be at the top of your splurge list in 2017. While there is something for everyone, the big city feel of Patina makes it worth dressing up and going all out in our opinion. Read more here…
Restaurant Info


Roost / Step Out Buffalo


1502 Niagara St, Buffalo
Roost is the latest Martin Danilowicz creation that defies the old real-estate mantra – “location, location, location”. This blockbuster is set in the new Crescendo building on Niagara Street in a vibrant industrial space with natural light pouring in by day, traffic buzzing by at night. This is a big jump in space from his original Martin Cooks, but somehow Martin and staff make this feel as warm and hospitable as ever.  The food is outstanding, the menu even better, and they make it look easy. Don’t wait on this one. Read more here…
Restaurant Info

Ru's Pierogi, Buffalo NY

Potato Ricotta Pierogi / Step Out Buffalo

Ru’s Pierogi

Update: Permanently closed
295 Niagara St, Buffalo
Legit one of our fav openings of the year. Eating at Ru’s Pierogi will make you wonder how it’s possible that WNY didn’t have such a restaurant until now. They nailed the whole fast casual with a bar thing and picked probably the most perfect location known to man. Ok, so that’s a bit dramatic, but well placed restaurants with delicious food and quick service save lives. Read more here…


SEAR Buffalo

Sear / Step Out Buffalo


200 Delaware Avenue, Buffalo
SEAR adds a little more uptown to Buffalo’s downtown with an upscale ambiance that is sophisticated yet comfortable. They have a beautiful bar space with a fresh vibe, a serious wine list, and an innovative menu. We love the salads, the sliders, Lobster Mac and, of course, the steaks. Read more here…*
Restaurant Info

Looking for more recommendations? Read our other Best New Restaurants Guides.

Written by <a href="" target="_self">Emily Morrow</a>

Written by Emily Morrow

Emily is co-founder and Director of Storytelling at Step Out Buffalo. Her favorite things to do are eat, travel, and think up business ideas. Emily is originally from Hamburg, NY and her out of town friends will tell you that she loves to talk about Buffalo any chance she gets.
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