New Year’s Eve 2016 on a Budget

City Guide


Written by Brett Llenos Smith

Published on December 21, 2015

New Year's Eve on a Budget, Buffalo NY, Step Out Buffalo

Check out our 2016 NYE Guide here! >>

If you know me personally or have read my past articles for Step Out Buffalo, you’ve probably figured out one thing about me: I’m cheap.

In my defense, I see cheapness not as a fault, but as a virtue –and not in a fiscal, “Lets retire early and travel the world!” kind of way. I see thriftiness as a sort of Zen minimalism; a way to call bullshit on the excesses of society.

Yes, a hand-crafted cocktail is delicious –but if its $10 and the bar is busy, a PBR will be just fine thank you. The same goes with artisanal-roasted pour-over coffee. Most times, I can’t be bothered to head over to the café, wait to place an order, pay more than a couple bucks, wait again and then finally get my caffeine fix – when I can get the same effect with quick trip to Café Bustelo. I like Banquet’s fried chicken, from the frozen food aisle at Price Rite, and I don’t care who knows!

Cash may rule everything around me, as those wise prophets Wu-Tang Clan once extolled; however, cash does not rule my tastes.

With this headspace in mind, let’s take a look at some great New Year’s events you can go to that are actually really good deals and a lot of fun. For most of them, you don’t have to get dressed up, which eliminates the odds of running some nice clothes.


Big Ditch Brewing Co.

If you’re going to see the Ball Drop, scoring tickets to Big Ditch’s NYE party could transform your night from being ‘just okay’ to one to remember. The brewery will be hosting both walk-in customers and a sectioned off event. Held both upstairs and in the beer hall, exclusive event includes two drink tickets, an appetizer buffet and a limited edition NYE tasting glass for toasting Big Ditch’s The Tower barleywine.

$25 in advance/ $30 day of event

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Gypsy Parlor

The Gypsy Parlor just got a lot of love from The Buffalo News and deservedly so. The place is one of those hidden gems and owner Gabby Mattina just gets it. Case in point: The Gypsy’s NYE party features a Prime Rib buffet, champagne and live local alt-rock music.

The News calls Gypsy Parlor a “hipster” hangout, but hipsters are pretentious dicks and the vibe at Gypsy is generally warm and friendly, if eclectic. So let’s make 2016 the year we all agree that hipster = dick; and stop dissing nice people who happen to genuinely appreciate alt-rap, thrift shop clothes or All Things Considered.

$30 buffet / $5 cover

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Lockhouse Tasting Room

The gals and guys behind Lockhouse know Buffalo nightlife like the backs of their hands and if anyone can be trusted to put on a good NYE party – it’s them. The distillery’s event features local jazz cover band GRAVY, who are known for covering modern classics like “Billie Jean” and “Single Ladies”. The Lockhouse party will also feature exclusive bottles, specials and a champagne toast at midnight.

$5 cover

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Duke’s Bohemian Grove Bar

Brother bar to the Gypsy, Duke’s also has a buffet with bottomless champagne; as well as a $30 surf-and-turf dinner for people looking to upgrade their night. Duke’s, however, is for the serious partier. With DJs spinning underground dance music and an all-night license, the party will rage until 9 a.m. on New Year’s Day. What the place looks like at closing is anyone’s guess…

$5-10 cover

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Buffalo Iron Works

This year, Iron Works is hosting the ultimate NYE party for the jam-band set with local rock, reggae, and funk act Funktional Flow. The five-piece band will be playing to the ball drop and beyond, so if you want to wring in 2016 amongst gyrating and sweaty bodies – pop in to this Cobblestone hot spot.

$10 in advance/ $15 day of

More Info

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Written by <a href="" target="_self">Brett Llenos Smith</a>

Written by Brett Llenos Smith

Brett Llenos Smith is a freelance writer based in Buffalo’s Allentown neighborhood who has been covering local food and culture for Step Out Buffalo over the past six years. As someone with a multi-ethnic background, he has a passion for exploring and understand the many diverse corners of Western New York.
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