The Insider Hit List: Holiday Edition 2022

City Guide


Written by Step Out Staff

Published on December 7, 2022

Step Out Buffalo’s Holiday Edition of The Insider Hit List

Have you ever wondered to yourself, “Step Out Buffalo is great, but this is a lot. I wish there was a short list to point me in the right direction.” Or maybe, “I wonder where the SOB staff would send me today if i could talk to them personally…”.

Ask and you shall receive – this is that list. Keep reading for things to do, restaurants and bars, shops and more recommended straight from the Step Out Buffalo staff!

We’ll release a new Insider Hit List every few months – so stay tuned with your appetite for adventure ready and your eyes peeled, WNY!

Things To Do

Hofbräuhaus Buffalo Christkindlmarkt

190 Scott St, Buffalo, NY 14204 / More Info

The Christkindlmarkt at Hofbräuhaus is a must visit this holiday season. Pretzels, giant beer steins, and tons of local vendors to shop from – what more could you ask for. The food is also great! We most recently got the schnitzel with spaetzle along with an assortment of German sausages. It’s the perfect way to spend an afternoon with good food, drinks, and shopping.

Photo courtesy of Hofbräuhaus Buffalo

Carolcade in East Aurora

Main Street, East Aurora, NY 14052 / Sat, Dec, 17 / More Info

This literally feels like a Hallmark film! If you’ve never been, this is such a fun activity for the whole family. This year marks the 50th year of this celebration where locals fill the streets of EA to sing carols with lots of local vendors and shops open. Pro-tip: Check out Vidler’s 5 & 10 for stocking stuffers!

Photo courtesy of Carolcade

Stony Brook Legendary Lights

Stony Brook/Quail Run Development, Lancaster, NY, 14086 / More Info

The light display at Stony Brook Shines is honestly iconic. Hundreds of houses decked out with crazy light displays, lit walkways, music, projections, and more. Grab a hot cocoa or coffee from Tim Hortons a couple minutes away and bring everyone + your dog to check it out.

Photo courtesy of Stony Brook Legendary Lights

Ice at Canalside

44 Prime St, Buffalo, NY 14202 / More Info

Canalside is fun all year round, but it truly shines during the holiday season. Listen to holiday tunes while you ice skate, play a round of curling, or zip around in an ice bumper car! Plus with dining options within walking distance and pop up events, you can truly spend the day here.

Photo courtesy of Buffalo Waterfront

Eat & Drink

Mulberry Italian Ristorante

64 Jackson Ave, Lackawanna, NY 14218 / More Info

First of all, if you havent been to Mulberry Italian Ristorante in Lackawanna any time of the year, you’re missing out. They have some of the absolute best Italian food in all of WNY – people love their lasagna, they have giant, delicious meatballs, but most of all don’t sleep on their gnocchi dishes. Anyway, their holiday decor is off the charts and they hands down win the contest for best decked bar/restaurant in town to get the holiday spirit flowing.

Photo courtesy of Mulberry Italian Ristorante

The Coffee Pot Café

114 E Center St, Medina, NY 14103 / More Info

The new Coffee Pot Café gives off winter cabin vibes and has some of the best chai we’ve ever had. On the menu you’ll find decadent pastries including huge cinnamon rolls as well as a variety of hot drinks. Cozy up by their fireplace or take a drink to go and explore the charming village of Medina during the holiday season!

Photo courtesy of The Coffee Pot Café

The Crepe Chalet

888 Main St, Buffalo, NY 14202 / More Info

The Crepe Chalet is a holiday/winter bucket list must. They have hot cocoa, savory and sweet crepes, soups from inside, and sometimes even a fresh bread stand popped up along the side. Bonus they also provide blankets to keep you warm!

Photo courtesy of The Crepe Chalet

Fattey Beer Co. Downtown

5 Genesee St, Buffalo, NY 14202 / More Info

Fattey Beer Co is a great place to gather with friends during the holidays to enjoy a few seasonal beers or grab a beer advent calendar. The atmosphere here is super laid back with board games and is dog-friendly. Plus, their downtown location is a favorite of ours during the holidays since it is just a short walk from the ice rink at Fountain Plaza.

Photo courtesy of Fattey Beer Co

Tappo Igloos

Dine in an Igloo

More Info

We all know how cold it can get in the winter in WNY which is why the igloo dining options have become an annual attraction around town. Our favorite places include Deep South Taco for their fun atmosphere, Tappo which includes tons of booze and a 3-course meal for everyone, and Rick’s on Main for an upscale vibe.

Photo courtesy of Tappo


Shopping in East Aurora

Main St, East Aurora, NY 14052 / More Info

Spending the day in East Aurora is fun any time of year but especially during the holidays. If you have friends and family in town or are looking for a great spot to shop local where there are lots of options and something for everyone on your list, you cant beat this quaint little village. Plus the lunch/drinks/dinner possibilities are nearly endless.

Photo courtesy of Vidler’s 5 & 10

Sweet Treats by The Sweet Whisk

27 Chandler St, Buffalo, NY 14207 / More Info

These insanely beautiful chocolates make the perfect hostess gift or gift to someone who has everything. They are stunning, decadent, and handcrafted by a small local business. They have so many great holiday offerings and we *especially love* their hot chocolate bombs but honestly, you can’t go wrong with anything you choose.

Photo courtesy of The Sweet Whisk

Gifts from Dangled Honey

More Info

This small local artisan sells the most unique and playful handcrafted ceramic jewelry (And other fun stuff too). They make the best “one for me, one for you” gifts this time of year. It’s the kind of handcrafted jewelry you always hope to stumble upon but can be hard to come by. Now that you found it, don’t pass it up!

Photo courtesy of Dangled Honey

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Written by <a href="" 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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