Best Things to Eat in Buffalo, According to a Local

  • Buffalo, New York, has an abundance of iconic restaurants and eateries you have to try.
  • Get a taste of the city’s famous treats, like spicy wings and sponge candy. 
  • If you’re in the mood for brunch, head over to Caffé Aroma, Betty’s, or Spot Coffee.

Whether you’re looking to grab a quick coffee on Elmwood Avenue or fulfill your sugar cravings with decadent sweets, Buffalo has it all.

Here are all the places you have to try, according to a local: 

La Divina has the most authentic tacos in town

La Divina mexican restaurant in Buffalo

Try flan and churros at La Divina.

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This simple, counter-service restaurant serves up tacos in double-upped tortillas for just a couple of bucks apiece.

La Divina also has quesadillas and desserts such as flan and churros, as well as a selection of authentic sodas and drinks to wash it all down.

Tip: Weekend lunchtimes here can fill up fast, so don’t be surprised if you’re greeted with a line. Luckily, it typically moves swiftly.

For wings, Duff’s is an iconic dive 

Duff's Famous Wings in Buffalo, NY.

Try the “death sauce” at Duff’s.

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It wouldn’t really be a trip to Buffalo without an order of wings.

There’s plenty of debate over what restaurant developed the first Buffalo wings, but one thing is certain, the menu at Duff’s has it all.

From mild to hot to something called “death sauce,” you’ll get the full wing experience.

Tip: To soothe your flaming mouth, order a Loganberry, a dark red, non-carbonated beverage beloved by both Buffalonians and Canucks. 

Paula’s Donuts has a wide range of doughnuts and pastries

Paula's Donuts in Buffalo, New York.

Paula’s Donuts has a wide selection.

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At Paula’s Donuts, you’ll find a sweet treat in more flavors than you ever thought possible.

It has the regulars — chocolate, honey dip, jelly-filled — but the really exciting sweets are the specialty doughnuts: red velvet, cannoli, maple bacon, and more.

Tip: Keep an eye on the specials board. It often has deals such as a free doughnut with the purchase of a dozen, or a free doughnut if you buy a beverage.

Mississippi Mudds has the perfect warm-weather menu and view

Few things scream summer more than a hot dog with the works and an ice-cream cone from a local waterfront shack.

Mississippi Mudds is a fantastic warm-weather spot for dogs, burgers, fries, specialty sandwiches, and dozens of ice-cream options. Grab a seat at the restaurant or carry your delights across the street for a picnic overlooking the Niagara River.

Tip: If you’re feeling especially ravenous, opt for the foot-long hot dog instead of the regular.

Head to Spot Coffee for your morning joe or afternoon lunch

Spot Coffee overview in Buffalo, New York

Get your caffeine fix at Spot Coffee.

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For a good cup of coffee from a locally owned company, Spot Coffee has your fix.

With a wide selection of espresso, iced drinks, smoothies, and lunch options, it’s good for pretty much any time of day. Plus, you can pick up bags of coffee to take home.

Tip: There are multiple locations, so look up which one you’re closest to.

Explore more of Buffalo’s extensive culinary scene at the West Side Bazaar

Buffalo is well-known for its wide array of international-inspired food options.

At the West Side Bazaar, you’ll find food inspired by a number of cultures, including Burmese, Thai, Ethiopian, and Japanese.

Tip: Even if you’re not hungry, the bazaar is home to various local retailers selling traditional clothes, jewelry, and other items from ex-pat artists hailing from Rwanda, India, Iraq, and more.

Caffé Aroma offers coffee by day and cocktails by night

Caffe Aroma in Buffalo, NY

This tiny café packs a punch.

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Located on Elmwood Avenue — a bustling street with dozens of retail shops, restaurants, and local bars — Caffé Aroma provides both morning coffee and evening cocktails.

At night, it also usually features local craft brews alongside light bites and pastries.

Tip: The café itself is relatively small, so consider taking your coffee to go and heading across the street to sit in Bidwell Parkway.

Ristorante Lombardo is an excellent choice for date night or special occasions

For some upscale Italian cuisine, the family-run Ristorante Lombardo on Hertel Avenue provides an elegant dinner menu and a spectacular selection of wine and cocktails. 

The restaurant is only open for dinner, so reservations are suggested.

Tip: If you’ve got some time before dinner, take a walk down Hertel Avenue to check out some of the local shops or stop into one of the nearby bars for an aperitif. 

Betty’s boasts an impressive breakfast and brunch menu for all diet options

Betty's in Buffalo, New York.

Betty’s has options for those with dietary restrictions.

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Located in an adorable red building on Virginia Street, Betty’s breakfast and brunch food has kept customers coming back for years. 

It offers tons of vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options as well, so there’s something for everyone.

Tip: This is a popular weekend brunch spot, so maybe aim for a weekday morning when it may be less crowded.

Condrell’s is a must-visit for those with a sweet tooth

Condrell's candy story in Buffalo, NY.

Try sponge candy, a Buffalo classic.

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Not only does the locally owned Condrell’s offer a massive menu of ice-cream sundaes, floats, and shakes, it also doubles as a candy shop, serving everything from fudge to licorice in a retro-style setting.

Tip: Try one of Buffalo’s signature treats: sponge candy. It’s a crunchy, lightly toasted, and airy toffee-flavored candy covered in chocolate.

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