If you’re looking for a date night spot but don’t want to deal with the pressure of a fine dining establishment, a fast-casual restaurant is the place to go. Offering the perfect balance of elevated enough without becoming too formal, fast-casual restaurants are a low-key way to grab a quality meal without all the extra frills of full service dining.
In WNY, you’ll find a few places doing the fast-casual concept really well. We’re talking BYO bowls, burgers, and burritos matched with craft cocktails, wines, and even boozy shakes. It’s honestly the best way to eat out if you’re asking us, which is why this restaurant-style has become as popular as it is today.
Here’s fast-casual restaurants setting the bar high in WNY:
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1. Simply Pierogi & The European Lounge
4475 Transit Rd Harris Hill New York 14221 / More Info
As part of The European Lounge, Simply Pierogi is a casual dining place offering traditional Polish cuisine. Here you can build your own pierogi bowl and load it with sauces and toppings. While you’re at it, we recommend grabbing a drink at the Sto Lat Bar and stick around for for dessert from Chrusciki Bakery.
2. Fresh Catch Poke and The Galley Lounge
500 Pearl Street Buffalo New York 14202 / More Info
Fresh Catch Poke and The Galley Lounge offers a variety of seafood options including build your own poke bowls as well as lobster rolls, seafood chowder, oysters, and more! Level up your meal with a craft cocktail, glass of wine, or a sampling of sake.
3. Mister Sizzle’s
346 Connecticut Street Buffalo NY 14213 / More Info
Mister Sizzle’s offers a casual atmosphere with a laid back hangout vibe. Choose from their variety of burger creations and pair it with one of their craft cocktails at their bar. Or go for one of their creative shakes which can be made boozy as well!
4. Lloyd Taco Factory
- 1503 Hertel Ave Buffalo New York 14216 / More Info
- 5933 Main St Williamsville New York 14221 / More Info
Offering a Mexican-inspired menu, Lloyd Taco Factory is an old-school meets new-school type restaurant with ticked-out tacos, nachos, burritos, and more. At the bar you’ll find signature craft cocktails, beer, and wine.
211 South Park Ave Buffalo New York 14204 / More Info
With its old-fashioned tavern vibe, Ballyhoo offers house-made sausages in a bun, Jam Session cocktails, lots of classic cocktails, and a selection of rotating craft beers.
6. Flint Kitchen + Bar
50 Fountain Plaza Buffalo New York 14202 / More Info
Located in the heart of Downtown Buffalo, Flint offers soups, salads, sandwiches, and paninis for a casual outing. As far as drinks go, you’ll find canned and bottled beer, wine, and craft cocktails. (P.S. if you don’t feel like eating in, you can also take their cocktails to go!)
7. Tacos, Community & Beer
- 6449 Transit Rd Bowmansville New York 14026 / More Info
- 1275 Delaware Ave Buffalo NY 14209 / More Info
Their name says it all! At TCB, you’ll find classic and gourmet tacos, build your own options, and a long list of craft beers and craft cocktails from a full bar.