The Swannie House

Food & Drink


Written by Homer Enthusiast

Published on December 11, 2014

The Facts

170 Ohio St, Buffalo

(716) 847-2898  |  FACEBOOK  |  SOB LISTING

Open for lunch, dinner and fun seven days a week


The Dish

The Swannie House has been a Buffalo staple pretty much forever. It occurs to me that walking through the front door here is as close as I’ll probably ever get to traveling back in time (not that I’m giving up on that dream). You can just imagine what this place was like a 100 years ago when Buffalo was one of the largest seaports in the  world, and the waterfront was alive with hard drinking sailors and dock workers. Today the servers and patrons are much more congenial (I’m sure), down right friendly.

The Swannie House looks like a tavern first and a place to eat second, but it seems like somebody in the kitchen didn’t get the memo. They are well regarded for their fish fries, and we’d heard good things about lunch, so we gave it a try.

You might also find interesting…

[justified_image_grid preset=4 row_height=130 height_deviation=1 prettyphoto_social=yes prettyphoto_analytics=yes timthumb_crop_zone=t limit=3 hidden_limit=5 max_rows=1 aspect_ratio=16:9 disable_cropping=no recent_posts=yes recents_description=nicetime recents_include=restaurant-reviews]

The Recommendation

If you’re looking for some quality pub food with some atmosphere and a side of history, then the Swannie House is calling your name. Don’t let the rough exterior fool you, someone is working hard in the kitchen. I’d be tempted to go for a late lunch, and let it roll right into happy hour and a Sabres game. Substitute Bisons for Sabres come spring.


The Story

We stopped in on a breezy weekday. Another Buffalo staple is the unforgettable smell of Cheerios roasting. The Swannie House is located right next door, across the street from the river by the Michigan street bridge. There was a small group at the bar with five or six tables available adjacent. We were immediately greeted by our friendly server (also the bartender), and treated to some fine draft beer choices . I went with the Smitwick’s.

For starters we ordered the house-made chili ($3.95), and beer battered Stuffed Peppers – $7.25. I was a bit nervous about the deep fried banana peppers. Maybe too much of a good thing? Not so, they were nicely battered, with a light crispy shell that seems to hold everything together. Put these babies on the top of the stuffed banana peppers in Buffalo list. The chili was good and meaty with cheese on top and some hot sauce served on the side. Perfect for a cold day.

I was impressed with the menu.  For a “dive bar” (meant affectionately) they clearly have someone taking the food/kitchen thing seriously.  Some of the menu items are as classic as the Swannie, with a few Buffalo standards, but they also offer some good looking salads, appetizers, burgers, wraps and entrees.

It’s been a while since I’ve seen Liverwurst on Rye ($5.95) on a menu so I just couldn’t help myself. My companion went old school too with the Fried Bologna sandwich with onions and a Mac Salad side – $7.95

The liverwurst was great, cut thick and piled high with fresh, full flavored slices of red onion, on a nice fresh rye bread. Probably enough liverwurst to last me another 10 years. The Fried Bologna was even better and I’ll be back soon for another. The bologna was cut think too, as it should be, piled with grilled onion and cheddar on a nice Costanzo roll. The Mac salad was tasty – clearly house-made with fresh herbs.

What Else Looks Good

 Fish Fry (any day) – $10.95

 Mushroom Burger – sautéed mushrooms, Swiss – $6.75

Spinach Chicken Sandwich – $6.95

House-made Sheppard’s Pie – $7.95

Grilled Cheese – $3.95

Fresh Cut Sweet Potato Fries – $3.75/$4.50


We launched a new look!

Our new design features a better browsing experience, modern mobile navigation, more visual displays of key info, better filtering options on the search page, and much more.

We hope you love our new look! That said, we’re #ForeverTweaking and would greatly appreciate your feedback so we can make *all* you want and need as your go-to resource for the best of Western New York!

Send feedback >

Written by <a href="" target="_self">Homer Enthusiast</a>

Written by Homer Enthusiast

A born and bred Buffalover.
Find More ➭ Lunch, South Buffalo


Forgotten Password?

To save to your favorites you must login first.
Login Here
You must be logged in to use this feature.