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Must Visit Gastro Pubs in WNY

While gastropubs have been around for a few years the word just made it into the Merriam Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary in August 2012. Legend (wikipedia) has it that the term gastropub originated in the United Kingdom in the late 20th century. British pubs were drinking establishments and little emphasis was placed on the serving of food. “Pub grub” expanded to include British food items such as steak and ale pie, shepherd’s pie, fish and chips, bangers and mash, Sunday roast, ploughman’s lunch, and pasties.

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According to British food writer Diana Henry in The Gastropub Cookbook  a gastropub is “a place in which you can have a drink, but which also serves great food”. WEAK! That could include almost every joint in town if you like wings.  Our definition is “a bar/tavern/pub where one could go just to have a drink, but one probably wouldn’t because the food is so good”. It seems to me that a pub would have a superior selection of beer. Wine Bars? Nope. Great bars with good Buffalo food – wings, beef on weck, burgers? Nope. The pub needs to show some creativity in menu and place food as a high priority.

The beginnings of the gastropub here in Buffalo? Hard to say. Coles has been around a long time as a bar with fine grub so I think they qualify. First to use the tag here in Buffalo? No clue.

Here’s our list of the Must-Visit gastropubs in WNY. If you think we missed one please let us know.

BLACK ROCK KITCHEN & BAR

Black Rock | $$$

Certainly one of the premier gastropubs in Buffalo. This place is definitely a bar, complete with crowds and noise. The food is almost too good for the list. “Comforting yet upscale” is how they accurately paint the picture.

491 Amherst St, Buffalo

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BLUE MONK

Elmwood | $$

The classic gastropub with creative grub and a beer list to match.  You can’t miss with some Blue Balls, Poutine and the Duck Confit Reuben – slow cooked duck, red kraut, Gruyère and dijonaisse on grilled marbled rye.

727 Elmwood Ave, Buffalo

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BRICK OVEN BISTRO & DELI

South Buffalo | $

Gastropub south Buffalo style – the brick oven gives these guys a leg up. You can’t go wrong with the pizza, but everything is good and mostly house made. Try the Beef Short Ribs with pappardelle, English peas in mushroom cream if you are in for dinner.

904 Abbott Road, South Buffalo

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ALLEN STREET HARDWARE CAFE

Allentown | $$

Another classic pub that stresses the food. Formerly a hardware store they now hammer out splendidly rubust comfort food. Ask if they have live music in the back to help digest the always large portions.

245 Allen St, Buffalo

 

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BUFFALO STREET GRILL

Hamburg Village | $$$

Great food, good beer list and friendly people always makes for a nice combination. In the heart of the lovely village of Hamburg they often have a musician or two playing in the evening, and a tables set up outside in the summer.

61 Buffalo St, Hamburg

 

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LIBERTY HOUND

Canalside | $$

If you’re going in the summer you’ll have plenty of time to try the drinks while you wait for a table. No worries- maybe the best drinkin’ patio in town. Take a stroll along Canalside when you are finished.

If you visit in the winter be ready for a stiff breeze, and if the Sabres are in town expect a big crowd.

1 Naval Park Cove, Buffalo

(716) 845-9173

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COLE’S RESTAURANT & BAR

Elmwood | $$$

This place wears a lot of different hats – a Buffalo staple that was/is ahead of it’s time. As mentioned above they have been around a long time and for good reason. Like Burgers? Check this out – Pan Seared Ahi Tuna Steak Burger, Colorado Lamb Burger or Vietnamese Bahn Mi Pork Burger.

104 Elmwood Avenue,Buffalo

(716) 886-1449

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THE GRIFFIN PUB

Niagara Falls | $$

With a beer menu that lists over 40 beers and food items like Croque Monsieur, Bacon Jam Crostini,  and Kickin’ Scotch Eggs you can’t go wrong.

2470 Military Road, Niagara Falls

(716) 236-7474

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LEWISTON VILLAGE PUB

Lewiston | $$

Sister to the Griffin in beautiful Lewiston with 40 some beers on tap, 160 different beers in the bottle. Lobster is very popular in season, if not try the Blue Moon Steamed Mussels or the Cuban Chicken.

840 Center St, Lewiston

(716) 405-7017

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WOODCOCK BROTHERS BREWING CO.

Wilson  | $$

Mostly their own brew with 5-6 beers on tap. I wouldn’t say the menu is cutting edge but the food is good- wood fired pizzas and specials daily, and the place is “totally awesome”.

638 Lake St, Wilson

(716) 333-4000

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THE DELAWARE PUB & GRILL

Kenmore | $$

Classic American food, classic American prices..and Deviled Eggs- I’m in. We suggest the Rigatoni with Smoked Trout or maybe the BLAST (BLT plus grilled salmon).

3410 Delaware Ave, Tonawanda

(716) 874-0100

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THE LODGE GRILL & BAR

Chippewa- Downtown | $$

Maybe in the grey area for gastropub. Some would argue a bit clubby, but they have real good grub, and a tremendous bar so why not. Where to start- Korean Short Ribs, Stag on a Stick, Chicken Fried Chicken Sandwich? Decisions, Decision!

79 Chippewa, Buffalo

(716) 256-1940

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