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Guide to The 10 Oldest Restaurants in Buffalo and WNY

City Guide, Food & Drink, Food & Drink Guides, History

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Written by Sean Bermingham

Published on February 15, 2022
Photo courtesy of Chef’s

As you’re dusting off your old record player, Jim Kelly jersey, and VHS tape, you can’t help but smile. If you’re feeling nostalgic, and looking for a trip down memory lane, then listen up. Buffalo is home to some historic Buffalo restaurants that will have you soaking in the classical vibes while enjoying generations of homemade recipes. Whether it’s Chef’s authentic spaghetti parm, Anchor Bar’s original wings, or a perfectly cooked steak from Eckl’s there’s certain to be a place to fulfill all of your cravings. Without further ado, here is a guide to the oldest restaurants in Buffalo and WNY. Just remember, this experience will be timeless!

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Photo courtesy of Santasiero’s

1. Santasiero’s

1329 Niagara Street, Buffalo / 716-866-9197 / More Info

For over a century, Santasiero’s has provided the Buffalo Community with classic Italian food from meatballs 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.

Photo courtesy of Chef’s

2. Chef’s

291 Seneca Street, Buffalo / 716-856-9187 / More Info

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.

Photo courtesy of Anchor Bar

3. Anchor Bar

1047 Main Street, Buffalo / 716-883-1134 / More Info

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 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. Check out the hype around these world famous wings at Anchor Bar today!

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Photo courtesy of The Eagle House

4. The Eagle House

5578 Main St., Williamsville / 716-632-7669 / More Info

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.

Photo courtesy of Cole’s

5. Cole’s

1104 Elmwood Avenue, Buffalo / 716-886-1449 / More Info

Located in the heart of Elmwood, is one of Buffalo’s oldest and best bars known as Cole’s. Here, rotating taps of cold draft beer are always flowing, along with local craft favorites at your fingertips, accompanied by delicious American bar food. Rumor has it they have some of the best wings in town! The wall decor gives off a unique atmosphere beneath pennants, mounted deer’s, and carousel horses. You don’t want to wait any longer to experience this genuine one of a kind experience at Cole’s.

Photo courtesy of Glen Park Tavern

6. Glen Park Tavern

5507 Main Street, Williamsville / 716-626-9333 / More Info

“Glen Park Tavern is the place to be if you’re looking for a quality meal, with an exceptional atmosphere and a cheers like attitude.” Since 1887, this tavern has been serving up a delicious assortment of pub food and drinks on it’s original mahogany bar. Today, Glen Park tavern remains a favorite restaurant throughout the community. Their hand-carved turkey, roast beef, and baby back ribs are just a few selections that keep their customers coming back!

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Photo courtesy of the Swannie House

7. Swannie House

170 Ohio Street, Buffalo / 716-847-2898 / More Info

Since 1886, The Swannie House has been a focal point of the Buffalo community, located adjacent to the grain elevators along the inner Harbor. During the late 19th century, this was a favorite destination for the sailors and sea workers who inhabited Buffalo, the world’s third-largest seaport at the turn of the century. Today, this tavern remains a highly sought out place to be for it’s Irish charm, light-hearted atmosphere, delicious array of food, and affordable prices. The Swannie House has served many generations with quality food and exceptional service, and will continue to do so for future generations.

Photo courtesy of Ulrich’s Tavern

8. Ulrich’s Tavern

Temporarily closed until further notice

674 Ellicott Street, Buffalo / 716-989-1868 / More Info

Buffalo’s oldest tavern established in 1868 is still serving up huge portions at an affordable price over 150 years later! Expect to be immersed in a historic atmosphere at Ulrich’s that emanates the rich history of our city while you are waited on by quality staff.

Photo courtesy of DiTondo

9. DiTondo

370 Seneca Street, Buffalo / More Info

Sebastino DiTondo founded this restaurant with a clear mission: to serve the Buffalo community with quality homestyle Italian food. 114 years and four generations later, Rita DiTondo is keeping her great-grandfather’s dream alive. This classic Italian joint recently underwent renovations and Rita and her husband have relaunched DiTondo’s as DiTondo — featuring a more open space, new menu and updated concept. Read more about the new space here!

Photo courtesy of Eckl’s

10. Eckl’s

Temporarily closed until further notice

703 Seneca Street, Buffalo / 716-331-3242 / More Info

A Western New York dining legacy has been long-standing since 1934 at Eckl’s. “Experience world class steaks, chops, seafood, roast beef on weck, and four generations of Eckl family dedication.” The vintage ambiance of this establishment will have you feeling enriched as you settle into a true Buffalo classic. They are currently undergoing renovations, but hope to re-open as soon as possible!

Did we miss one? Did one of these places close? Send us a note!

Editorial Submissions (Lite)
Include name of business / organization / addition, website, and address if possible.
Are you directly affiliated with this businesses? (Owner, Manager, Staff etc.) *
Sign up to receive our Step Out Buffalo Business email newsletter about marketing and business tips
Subscribe to Step Out Buffalo’s daily newsletter about the best things to do, places to go, eat and drink in Buffalo & WNY.

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Written by <a href="https://stepoutbuffalo.com/author/seanbermingham/" target="_self">Sean Bermingham</a>

Written by Sean Bermingham

Sean is a SUNY Fredonia graduate with his Bachelor's Degree in English. As a Buffalonian born and raised, Sean is an avid sports fan, writer, outdoors enthusiast, and lover of music. His hobbies include hiking with his yellow lab, spending time with family, and making an impact in our wonderful community.
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