23 Classic WNY Restaurants Worth a Visit Again & Again

City Guide, Food & Drink, Food & Drink Guides


Written by Step Out Staff

Published on September 10, 2021
Oliver’s Restaurant / Photo courtesy of Oliver’s

Restaurants open frequently – there’s always something hot and new to check out. While discovering new places to visit is fun and exciting, there is something particularly satisfying about visiting the old classics, the tried and true establishments that have proven themselves over the years to be pretty dang delicious every time.

Buffalo has a thriving restaurant scene, many of which are oldies but goodies that have secured their reputations as area mainstays. These classic Western New York restaurants – listed in no particular order – are always a solid choice for a return visit again and again after years in the business. Cheers to 50 more years!

1. Oliver’s

2095 Delaware Ave., Buffalo

877-9662 /

It doesn’t get much more classic than Oliver’s. This fine dining restaurant opened in Buffalo in 1936, and it’s been making an impression on diners ever since. The culinary team at Oliver’s never disappoints and continuously serves up a fantastic menu that’s as creative as it is utterly delicious.


2. Hutch’s

1375 Delaware Ave., Buffalo

885-0074 /

The service, the ambiance and the food are always on point at Hutch’s, which is why this eatery has earned its place in the pantheon of Buffalo’s greatest restaurants. (They feature a super cool, tucked away bar in the back, too.) If you’re looking for somewhere to go for a special occasion, you simply cannot go wrong here. It is always a solid bet for incredible food paired with impeccable service.

3. Eagle House

5578 Main St., Williamsville

632-7669 /

A little known fact about Erie County’s oldest restaurant is that it once was a stop on the Underground Railroad. Today it is a cozy spot to enjoy some hearty American comfort food in a place that has loads of historic character and charm. The restaurant, which opened in 1827, is located in the recently revamped, made-to-be-more-walkable Main Street in the Village of Williamsville, making it an excellent place to eat and then enjoy the sights and shopping that the village offers.

4. Lebro’s

330 Campbell Blvd., Getzville

688-0404 /

This casual eatery in Getzville serves up classic Italian fare in a relaxed atmosphere. They’ve been a Buffalo mainstay for many years, with many of their recipes going back four generations. This is the perfect spot to fill up on all your favorite red sauce favorites: chicken parm, eggplant parm and a big ol’ plate of spaghetti and meatballs.

5. Ilio Dipaolo’s

3785 South Park Ave., Blasdell

825-3675 /

Ilio DiPaolo’s is another great Italian eatery. It features all the classic Italian favorites, and more, in a warm, family-friendly environment. The restaurant opened in 1965 as a pizzeria, and it’s been expanding ever since. They’re known for their wine list and a killer eggplant parm.

6. McPartlan’s Corner

669 Wehrle Drive, Buffalo

632-9896 /

This unpretentious Cheektowaga pub offers a hometown hangout vibe with a delicious fish fry. This is an old school Irish spot that’s never gone out of style. Hit them up on Tuesdays, when they offer their famed corned beef and cabbage. It doesn’t get much more Buffalo than this place.


7. Ristorante Lombardo

1198 Hertel Avenue, Buffalo

716-873-4291 /

Since 1975, Ristorante Lombardo has served the Buffalo community with authentic Italian food in an elegant fashion. Whether you’re looking for a quality place for a special occasion, or just stopping in when you’re hungry, this welcoming atmosphere is perfect for any occasion!

8. Santasiero’s

1329 Niagara Street, Buffalo


For over a century, Santasiero’s has provided the Buffalo Community with classic Italian food from metaballs to pasta fagioli in humble 1920s era digs. Their longevity can be accredited to the authentic Italian Cuisine that has won the hearts and taste buds of generations of Buffalonians since the early twentieth century. If you haven’t tried this classic yet, the time is now.

9. Mothers Restaurant

33 Virginia Place, Buffalo

716-882-2989 /

Buffalo’s premier fine dining restaurant fosters a ‘romantic feel’ at this classic bistro. Dim lighting and a spacious atmosphere creates the perfect ambiance for date night, girls night out, or just a last minute bite. No matter the occasion, Mother’s Restaurant is certain to satisfy – and has the track record to prove it!

10. Sinatra’s

945 Kenmore Ave, Buffalo

716-877-9419 /

In 1981, this family-owned restaurant was established as a gateway between Buffalo and a traditional Italian fare. Forty years later, Sinatra’s is absolutely thriving, and has lived up to its mission of serving Western New Yorkers ‘the finest veal, the freshest seafood, and the most authentic pasta dishes across the 716.’ Needless to say, this classic restaurant should be at the top of your list!

11. Anchor Bar

1047 Main Street, Buffalo

716-883-1134 /

On a Friday night in 1964, the original Buffalo Chicken Wing was created at this establishment. “The wings were an instant hit and it didn’t take long for people to flock to the bar to experience this new taste sensation.” Over 50 years later, Anchor Bar’s world famous chicken wings are widely renowned as some of the best in the city… and the world! If you haven’t experienced the original Buffalo Chicken Wing for yourself yet, you’re missing out.


12. Bar Bill

185 Main Street, East Aurora

716-652-7959 /

Since the day they opened their doors many decades ago, The Bar Bill has provided the local community with quality food and drinks. Originally, this place served up a Beef on Weck in traditional Buffalo fashion. Today, in addition to that perfectly pink beef, their meticulously cooked and sauced chicken wings are the allure for Superstar QB Josh Allen and the many Buffalonians who share this love for wings. If you somehow haven’t been yet, run don’t walk.

13. Chef’s

291 Seneca Street, Buffalo

716-856-9187 /

When it comes to classic Italian in Buffalo, Chef’s deserves a place at the top of the list. Since 1923, they have been serving up hearty Italian food which has captivated many generations of taste buds in Buffalo. The secret? Their homemade marinara sauce- which completes their famous spaghetti parmesan entree that’s simply to die for.

14. Colony Seafood & Steakhouse

876 Main Road, Irving

716-934-4826 /

Colony’s doors opened in 1982, and since then they have been dedicated to serving the local community quality Italian American food. Nestled within the Southtowns in Irving, Colony has been described as ‘Western New York’s best kept secret’. With the highest quality products cooked with fresh ingredients, and prices that just can’t be beat, it’s an obvious choice for a great meal

15. Water Valley Inn

6656 Gowanda State Road, Hamburg

716-649-9691 / Facebook

If you’re looking to step back in time, then look no further than the Water Valley Inn. This restaurant in Hamburg was established in 1890, and they have prided themselves in preserving the late nineteenth century feel in this cozy, family-friendly diner. Try out their signature fish fry which is served everyday for lunch and dinner, then wash it down with a cold beer to complete your blast to the past!

16. The Place

229 Lexington Avenue, Buffalo

716-882-7522 /

Located in the heart of the Elmwood Village, serving up American classics in a charming historical setting, The Place is the place to be! Their porch seating is beautiful; creating the perfect atmosphere for cherishing the warm weather as you enjoy your delicious food. Inside their long oak bar is open year round and always bustling. During a visit to The Place you’ll love soaking in the one-of-a-kind authentic Buffalo ambiance.


17. Danny Sheehan’s Steakhouse

491 West Avenue, Lockport

716-433-4666 /

For over 55 years, this old-school tavern known as ‘Danny Sheehan’s’ has drawn in the local community. This steakhouse’s speciality is procuring mouth-watering cuts of steak and prime-rib that keep their customers coming back for more. Also, their seafood selection is top notch- featuring lobster, shrimp, salmon, and scallops. Next time you’re craving surf n turf, you know who to call!

18. Gabriel’s Gate

145 Allen Street, Buffalo


Located in the heart of Allentown, Gabriel’s Gate is one of the original Tift Row houses, which emanates a classic feel. Their menu offers American fare from Burgers and Wings to Melts and Sandwiches. Their interior is a softly lit, wooded atmosphere that is full of decor which pays homage to Native Americans. Overall, this is a unique experience that ensures a delicious meal and a worthwhile outing!

19. Gene McCarthy’s

73 Hamburg Street, Buffalo

716-855-8948 /

With an adorable beer garden in the heart of Buffalo’s Old First Ward, Gene McCarth’s offers twenty-six beers on draft procured right in house. Once you’ve found your brew pick up a food menu and you’ll find an assortment of burgers, wings, and finger foods that are certain to hit the spot. If you go, both the reuben and fish fry come highly recommended and perfectly accompany the classic Irish-Pub atmosphere.

20. Kostas Family Restaurant

1561 Hertel Avenue, Buffalo

716-838-5225 /

Since 1977, Kostas Family Restaurant has been proudly serving up a fine Greek and American style cuisine at affordable prices. This place has earned acclaim for it’s multi-faceted menu where patrons can enjoy breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Each meal is held to the highest quality which will not leave you disappointed – says literally everyone.




21. Schwabl’s

789 Center Road, Buffalo

716-675-2333 /

Established in 1837, Schwabl’s is the proud home of the original world-famous Beef on Weck sandwich. The classic Buffalo sandwich includes freshly prepared beef on a kummelweck roll with horseradish. Compliment your meal with homemade german potato salad, fresh homemade soups, and a cocktail created “the old fashioned way”. Take a step back in time and enjoy traditional Buffalo fare at Schwabl’s. Yum

22. The Dog Bar

1913 Davis Road, West Falls

716-652-5550 /

What was once a hotel in the early 1800s stands proudly today as ‘The Dog Bar’. This building represents the prosperous boom of the beautifully scenic West Falls throughout the late nineteenth century. Today, this establishment is widely renowned for their Surf and Turf menu that has received worldwide acclaim reaching as far as Japan. This hidden gem is certainly worth the trip, dimly lit and cozy on the inside, and the adventure that comes with finding your way there bodes well for lovers of the outdoors.

23. Italian Prime at Salvatore’s

6461 Transit Road, Buffalo

(716) 635-9000 /

Italian Prime at Salvatore’s, once better known as Salvatore’s Italian Gardens, has evolved to such a degree that sometimes it’s hard to remember that this establishment dates back to 1938 and are on their fourth generation. One thing that hasn’t changed a bit at Salvatore’s over the years is the great food and first class service. You’ll certainly want to stop in for dinner and drinks, the bar is so nice you should make a point of spending some time before/after your meal.  We’d also suggest you stay for the hotel and spa. Staycation anyone?

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Written by <a href="" 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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