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8 Destination Restaurants in WNY That Are Totally Worth The Drive

City Guide, Food & Drink

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Written by Step Out Staff

Published on September 21, 2022
Photo courtesy of Shirt Factory

Ever find yourself traveling through a fairly remote area looking for a quick bite before hopping back on the road to your actual destination? While these small towns are typically overlooked, some of the best restaurants you’ll ever visit are hiding in the “middle of nowhere”.

To give these places their proper recognition, we are rounding up 8 destination restaurants in Western New York that are totally worth the… dare we say, long drive from Buffalo and the many of the surrounding suburbs. If you happen to be passing through town, you’re in for a treat, but we’re here to tell you that these spots are reason enough to make the trip all on their own.

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

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Photo courtesy of Iva Ann’s on Main

1. Iva Ann’s on Main

29 East Main St. Cuba, NY 14727 / More Info

Located in the Southern Tier, Iva Ann’s on Main is a newly opened fast casual restaurant offering a variety of chef-driven menu items as well as classic southern comfort style food options. A must-have item when making the trip here is the Yardbird Chicken sandwich which is smothered in Alabama white barbecue sauce and a decadent pimento cheese spread. Read more about Iva Ann’s opening here!

Photo courtesy of Zambistro

2. Zambistro

408 Main St, Medina, NY 14103 / More Info

Zambistro is one of the many go-to restaurants hiding in Medina. This small bistro offers high quality food in a comfortable atmosphere and has quite the impressive wine list. Come by at lunch for soup, salads, and sandwiches or make a fancier evening of it and enjoy dinner options including steak, seafood, and chicken & duck. In the warmer months, head up to the rooftop patio to enjoy a cocktail or two.

Photo courtesy of The Borikén Restaurant

3. The Borikén Restaurant

4 O’Connell Ave, Mt Morris, NY 14510 / Website

Offering tropical flavors in the Finger lakes region, The Borién specializes in fresh, homemade, Puerto Rican cuisine. A popular traditional Puerto Rican option you’ll find here is their Mofongos which are mashed plantains that are stuffed with a choice of meat or veggies and topped in a garlic, Caribbean, or butter sauce.

Photo courtesy of Amanda Huff via Beef ‘N Barrel’s Facebook Page

4. Beef ‘N Barrel

146 North Union Street Olean NY 14760 / More Info

Serving the greater Olean area for more than 40 years, Beef ‘N Barrel has gained a positive reputation among locals in the region. As one would guess based on their name, Beef ‘N Barrel is known for their beef options, in fact they have a whole beef bar dedicated to them! We recommend staying for dessert to try one of their homemade pies including their famous Beef ‘n’ Barrel Apple Pie which is enhanced by a specially prepared spiced apple syrup.

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Photo courtesy of Mariachi de Oro

5. Mariachi de Oro

11417 Maple Ridge Rd. Medina New York 14103 / More Info

Head to Mariachi de Oro to experience authentic Mexican cuisine. From mariachi nights and tequila tastings, to margarita happy hours, the atmosphere here is always ready to entertain. The recipes here have been passed down from generation to generation guaranteeing you a true taste of Mexican culture.

Photo courtesy of Shirt Factory

6. Shirt Factory

115 West Center Street Medina NY 14103 / More Info

Located in the historic Robert H. Newell & Co. shirt factory, is a cafe/cocktail bar tying its name to its former glory days. At Shirt Factory you’ll find their skilled mixologists crafting up new cocktail creations as well as a seasonal farm to table menu. If you find yourself in Medina on a Sunday, the brunch here is a must!

Photo courtesy of Red Osier

7. The “Original” Red Osier Landmark Restaurant

6492 E. Main Street (Rt. 5) Stafford New York 14143 / More Info

Serving their signature prime rib since 1979, Red Osier is a steakhouse staple in Genesee County. While they offer a variety of menu items, Red Osier has gained attention for their prime rib which is carved table-side. Other menu options include steak and filets, seafood platters, and pasta dishes.

Photo courtesy of Whistling Farmer Pub

8. Whistling Farmer Pub

8780 NY-408, Nunda, NY 14517 / Website

If you are looking for a farm-to-table gastropub, this is it. Whistling Farmer Pub located at Woodlynn Hills Golf Course in Nunda, NY offers farm-fresh cuisine sourced by local farmers, breweries, cideries, and wineries. On the menu you’ll find a variety of options from salads to steaks as well as vegan, vegetarian, and gluten free options.

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/step-out-staff/" 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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