When visiting a new city you learn the most about its culture through its people, its history, and most importantly (jk…kinda) its food. So why not take in all of the above in your own city? Buffalo Bites Food Tours combines all of these and more in their compact Elmwood and East Aurora tours. In just 3-4 hours you’ll journey through these respective neighborhoods, visiting 6 different locations and sampling some of the area’s best flavors all while meeting new friends and learning new facts along the way. Even if you’ve been to a few stops on the tour before it’s a fun way to learn about each establishment and try something you may not have had. Plus who doesn’t want to learn cool things about our beloved city, like that there’s a house President Millard Fillmore built with his own two hands a mere few minutes down the road from Bar Bill Tavern and The Roycroft Inn!
Obviously the minute we heard about Buffalo Bites we had to see/taste the experience for ourselves and made a beeline to the East Aurora leg of their tour to eat, explore, and experience everything it has to offer. We won’t spoil all of the surprises for you, but food-wise here’s what you can expect when you grab your friends/family/significant other and head out on one of their East Aurora tours (which if you’re smart you’ll do, like, now):
We met our guides for the afternoon, Sue who guides the East Aurora tour and Laura who typically guides the Elmwood tour, in front of Riley Street Station. After introductions and receiving our tour booklets (which have a list of every venue you will be visiting, a detailed map, and even additional coupons for each place you visit #score) we made our way inside this gastropub and found ourselves immersed in what used to be the Pennsylvania Railroad Station. Once seated we sampled their Union Pacific Slider, an angus beef burger topped with American cheese and caramelized onions served on marble rye bun, and a Piper Prairie Salad which features pineapple, mandarin oranges, craisins, candied walnuts, and crumbly blue cheese over a bed of mixed greens with homemade poppy seed dressing. Might be just us, but eating inside old train stations seems to make everything just taste that much better.
Next we headed over to Firefly Cupcakes and were pleasantly surprised when we were told we got to pick a WHOLE cupcake (and these are BIG cupcakes). Firefly Cupcakes features a few tried and true cupcakes that have a mainstay in their shop as well as different cupcakes that change week depending on their weekly theme. We tried the ‘Nilla Birthday and Red Velvet cupcakes which are both mainstays that you (we*) can go back and get all year long…which we’re 100% going to so don’t judge us. If you find yourself getting full or just want to save room so you can enjoy the next 4 stops on the tour the fine folks at Firefly Cupcakes will be more than happy to give you a to-go container for your treats. This doesn’t make you weak it makes you smart…and in the possession of leftovers.
After satisfying our sweet tooth’s we made our way to Taste Bistro to TASTE some amazing samples (get it?). Here we had their E.T. Mocha, which is a secret recipe they brew for 24 hours, and their Hubbard- in-the-Cupboard -Chunky Chicken Salad loaded with walnuts, cranberries, greens, Asiago Cheese, Balsamic Vinaigrette, and Gourmet Crackers served in a nice, portable cup. Trust us, the fresh goodies make you feel a lot better about those aforementioned cupcakes. And while you’re sipping your coffee feel free to play a game of checkers on one of their larger-than-life checkerboards in their seating area with someone else on the tour.
As if we hadn’t had enough delicious food already, the tour then led us to one of our favorite spots in Western New York, Elm Street Bakery. You may have read about this place before as we’ve mentioned them a *few* times (their new chef, their pizza, their brunch, their dinner, their Vine and Dine Series, their Tapas Night in conjunction with 5 Plates). We got to sample their signature Margherita Pizza made completely from scratch – we’re talking homemade dough and wood fired here – and topped with tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella, and basil. If you want to know why everyone loves this place just click any of the links above and you’ll be drooling too.
With our stomachs filled nearly to the brim we were relieved that our next stop was Purrfect Teas. The tea samples tend to vary per visit but during this visit we were lucky enough to sample one of their amazing green teas. They were given to us in to-go cups so we could take them with us on our journey (as with all good teas this tea is better sipped than chugged) and the cups had their own built-in filters to make sure each sip tasted as good as the last. Finally, a tea place that gets it.
Our last stop was the famous Roycroft Inn, which if you haven’t been here is almost worth the trip alone and if you have you know what we’re talking about. The stunning views, the history, the architecture, this place has it all…and it also has food. Here we tasted their Inn Made Truffle Potato Chips topped with smoked gorgonzola cheese, white truffle oil, and sea salt and their Caprese Chicken Sandwich made with fresh mozzarella cheese, red and yellow tomato, spinach, and basil pesto.
When you’re finished with your meal and the tour concludes there’s no need to rush out of here as there’s a lot to see and do (and eat and drink, if you can). Take a walk around the Roycroft Campus, explore more of the Town that’s just down the road, or if you’re feeling outdoorsy check out Knox Farms State Park for some great hiking trails and lots and lots of dogs.
Buffalo Bites Food Tours take place on Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday and last approximately 3-4 hours. Tours run April – November and happen rain or shine. Visit buffalobitesfoodtours.com or call 1-800-656-0713 for more info and to book tickets and follow them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
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