Headed down to the Buffalo Theater District and looking for a good place to grab a bite? Sure you are. Take it from us, don’t let a perfect excuse to check out a new restaurant go to waste. Just be careful not to eat too-too much before the show or you might doze off – hey, it happens. Here is a list of restaurants in or near the Theater District and what they’re good for!
Think we missed one? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or DM us on Instagram @stepoutbuffalo.
Bacchus Wine Bar & Restaurant
WEBSITE / 56 W Chippewa St, Buffalo
Consistently good Bacchus is an often overlooked gem offering up fine dining and an excellent wine list. They too have a nice back patio. I’m a big fan of the Tuna Tartar in the small plates section.
WEBSITE / 643 Main Street, Buffalo / (716) 847-1512
It doesn’t get any more convenient than these guys. The Bijou has been serving theatergoers for decades. With this Italian focused menu offering lunch, soup, sandwiches, and dinners it’s easy to find something you’ll like.
Buffalo Chop House
WEBSITE / 282 Franklin St, Buffalo
Perhaps best post-show as the servings are robust and often the wait at the bar both enjoyable and sometimes long. You know it’s coming – maybe save this for that special occasion, like your own birthday.
WEBSITE / 333 Franklin St, Buffalo / (716) 783-869
If you haven’t been yet then this is the excuse you’ve been waiting for. Live a little damn it! The menu changes often, but the quality and excitement never does.
WEBSITE / 490 Pearl St, Buffalo / (716) 842-4181
True theater geeks know that this place is a hidden gem, but if you only go to a show a year or fewer, you might not consider stopping into this Pearl Street restaurant. The decor inside is fun (in a very theatrical way), the staff friendly, and the menu has something for everyone.
WEBSITE / 257 Franklin St, Buffalo / (716) 853-3600
Maybe you’re headed to the theater but aren’t into all the fuss of fancy food and dress? D’Arcy McGees has the Irish pub vibe down and their menu ranges from Irish to Buffalo classics.
WEBSITE / 301 Franklin St, Buffalo / (716) 880-1677
Who doesn’t love a good barbecue? Sure it can get a little messy but don’t worry, they have hand wipes. Service is generally pretty quick if you’re in a hurry but crowds have been known to form here too. They do take reservations and have a quaint outdoor patio if the weather permits. I personally like the Big Ass Pork Plate ($16.50) but heed previous warnings. They have a kids menu too if you bring the family.
WEBSITE / 492 Pearl Street, Buffalo / (716) 931-5001
If you’re worried about the timing pressure that unfortunately often goes hand in hand with eating out before a show, Encore usually offers a special menu on show nights, allowing you to try multiple things while simultaneously warning your server that you’re likely on a deadline. The service handles it very well and you’re just a hop skip and a jump (maybe not even) from Shea’s.
WEBSITE / Market Arcade, 617 Main St #200, Buffalo / (716) 218-8989
If you’re looking for options, check out Buffalo’s first Food Hall, located right across the street from Shea’s. Inside you’ll find a bar, pasta and sandwiches by the people of Osteria 166 at Mercato, black rice sushi by Sun Cuisines, salads, and more. This is perfect for a quick bite if you’re tight on time.
51 W Chippewa St, Buffalo / (716) 855-3739
This chill Italian Bistro has great food and a stylish interior. If your mouth is watering for go-to Italian dishes like arancini, Scampi, paninis, pasta, or pizza, Frankie is your guy.
Hearth + Press
WEBSITE / 665 Main St, Buffalo / (716) 262-0866
This newer pizza cafe aims to bring an authentic Mediterranean experience to the Downtown area. Located right on Main Street across from Shea’s, these guys have a 1000 degree Stone Hearth oven, and a family dough recipe which was brought over from the Old World. FYI: the pizza is delish and you can’t beat the location if you’re going to see a show.
Soho Burger Bar
WEBSITE / 64 W Chippewa St, Buffalo / (716) 856-7646
This Chippewa burger joint gets all of their beef ground exclusively for their restaurant, to their specifications at Johnny’s Meats. Plus their signature and mini buns are “artisanal sweet brioche” made locally. Put the two together with some unique toppings and you have yourself a full-on burger menu second to none in the Theater District.
Not Far Away
If you’re looking for something with an upscale atmosphere to accompany your theatre night out, check out 31 Club. Did you know they offer a complimentary shuttle to and from events at Shea’s and Kleinhans and a $40 3-course dinner Sunday through Thursday starting at 5pm? #nowyado
Big Ditch Brewing Co.
Always a great option if you’re grabbing a bite with friends. The wide open brewery atmosphere is casual and inviting, and the Big Ditch is always flowing. Just remember what we told you at the beginning of this article – too much and you might fall asleep. That goes for beer too. 😉 Pro Tip: get the mac and cheese – whatever version they’re serving.
If you have a hankering for upscale Mexican (always) this should be your go to. Just a couple blocks over from the Theater District on Genesee in the former Dog e Style location, this restaurant has two concepts in the same building – one is casual quick serve (downstairs), and one is more of a formal sit-down experience (upstairs). We’re obsessed.
WEBSITE / 210 Franklin St, Buffalo / (716) 842-6800
As the restaurant inside the new Curtiss Hotel on Franklin Street, this place is pretty swank with prices to match. They have a large bar area (complete with rotating bar) and dining room, valet, fancy chandeliers, and a mixed menu with pizza, burgers, oysters, salads, fresh pasta, and small and large plates.
Coco Bistro & Bar
WEBSITE / 888 Main St, Buffalo / (716) 885-1885
This classy bistro will make you feel as if you’re not in Buffalo. They offer classic bistro fare in a delightful atmosphere complete with a great garden patio.
FACEBOOK / 97 Genesee St, Buffalo / (716) 854-7017
A quiet spot for a casual and simple yet satisfying bite to eat before or after a nearby show.
Kaydara Noodle Bar
WEBSITE / 777 Main St, Buffalo / (716) 768-0038
Perhaps one of the most underrated restaurants in Buffalo, this elegant yet casual noodle bar serves treats for the eyes and mouth regularly. They recommend calling ahead if you have a show to catch. Which you do.
Local Kitchen & Bar
WEBSITE / 88 W Chippewa St, Buffalo / (716) 259-1810
This newer Chippewa restaurant aims to use as many local ingredients as possible. Their menu consists of gastro-pub style eats like Beef on Weck Rolls, Taquitos, Bacon & Jalapeno Hush Puppies, Sandwiches, a variety of entrees and salads, and all at a pretty decent price point.
Lucky Day Whiskey Bar
Lucky Day Whiskey Bar opened recently in the building previously occupied by Century Grill. It’s Ballyhoo co-owners Tim and Morgan Stevens’ latest business venture, and pretty much everyone is loving the dark, sexy interior and legit food and drink options. Lucky Day features a full menu with a focus on hand pies. The pastry pies feature a variety of options for ingredients, ranging from rabbit stew to vegetables, similar to a calzone. Plus, there’s no shortage of Whiskey, obv.
Marble + Rye
WEBSITE / 112 Genesee St, Buffalo
Another newbie on the block, this small, simple, thoughtful new addition to the downtown dining scene is a pleasure. The menu is brief but you can be sure it will be fresh and purposeful.
Merge is more than just a healthy, close by option for a night out ending in the Theater District. Sure they have tons of options for the vegan, vegetarian and gluten intolerant but there are also plenty of seafood and chicken dishes for the omnivores. Good food is good food. Just go with it. Read More
WEBSITE / 166 Franklin St, Buffalo / (716) 858-3118
A little further downtown than some of the others on this list but still close enough to make for an easy theater evening is casual Italian pub Osteria 166. If you’re going for good, comfort Italian food, this is a great option.
WEBSITE / 118 W Chippewa St, Buffalo / (716) 856-2444
This Asian kitchen and bar on West Chippewa has an elevated casual atmosphere and serves up Asian inspired dishes including everything from sushi and noodle dishes to steak and a Bento Box. They even have an Asian kids menu. No chicken fingers here kiddos.
WEBSITE / 250 Delaware Ave, Buffalo / (716) 290-0600
Looking for a gorgeous place to start your night out? Patina is it. We love the space for it’s copious amounts of natural light, upscale pinterest-worthy decor, and refreshing menu. Be forewarned – the menu is a bit pricey. Also, they have a giant cherrio sculpture. So that’s happening.
WEBSITE / 537 Main St, Buffalo / (716) 436-3244
This newer French restaurant is an ideal spot in our opinion for a pre-show meal thanks to the atmosphere. The menu consists of daily specials, “the cheesy meal”, tartines, sandwiches, soups, salads, moules, and plenty of dessert options for those who leave room in their schedule and stomachs.
WEBSITE / 475 Ellicott St, Buffalo / (716) 332-2928
Seabar, just a few doors down from Toutant, is a classic sushi restaurant that will never go out of style. Don’t worry, they have more than just seafood and you will fit right in with understated Buffalo theater attire.
WEBSITE / 200 Delaware Ave, Buffalo / (716) 319-1090
Located on Delaware just a few blocks from Shea’s, SEAR is a modern take on the traditional steakhouse and features a contemporary, chef-driven menu, an extensive wine list and curated craft cocktail program. The newish restaurant is located on the first floor of the Avant building and can provide a pretty special occasion / steakhouse experience before or after a show, as they’re open until 11 pm on most nights.
Edgy meets classic at Tappo with their urban chic atmosphere and American Italian food. If you’re looking for a great evening at a decent price point (bottles of wine included), make a reservation here.
WEBSITE / 437 Ellicott St, Buffalo / (716) 342-2901
Looking for something new you may not have been to yet because it didn’t exist last theater season? This is that. Plus they have a great bar for pre-theater cocktails or plenty of room (as long as you have a reservation) upstairs for a fabulous, yet down-to-earth, Southern meal.
WEBSITE / 674 Ellicott St, Buffalo/ (716) 989-1868
Another casual, German pub-style restaurant with a great atmosphere and perfect for a comforting bite to eat before a show – they won’t be open after.
Think we missed one? Email us at email@example.com or DM us on Instagram @stepoutbuffalo.