Check out eight fun things to do in Buffalo. And guess what? Only one of these things involves eating those famous wings invented in New York’s Queen City.
For many travelers, Buffalo’s proximity to Niagara Falls is the main reason to visit the home of Buffalo Wings. However, we’d argue that the main reason to visit Niagara Falls is its proximity to Buffalo!
Then there are fast travelers who dine on Buffalo Wings before dashing to their next destinations which is a shame. Not only are they skipping a myriad of fun Buffalo attractions, but they’re also missing out on food in Buffalo which transcends well beyond the city’s world-famous poultry dish.
Our Favorite Things To Do in Buffalo
Spending a winter week in Buffalo seemed crazy until we arrived. Not only was the weather surprisingly mild during our visit, but the city’s warm welcome negated any chill we felt in the air.
It didn’t take us long to realize that Buffalo isn’t just an affordable road trip stop. As we quickly learned, this upstate New York city is a worthy destination in its own right.
These were our favorite things to do in Buffalo and the activities you shouldn’t miss during your visit:
Eat Buffalo Wings
Buffalo Wings may have roots in Buffalo but their popularity spans the world.
We’ve eaten Buffalo Wings on four different continents so far and we’ve baked Buffalo Wings at home but there’s nothing like eating the crispy American food favorite in the city where they were invented back in 1964. After more than a half century, Buffalo Wings are as popular in Buffalo as ever and maybe even more so.
Plan to eat as many Buffalo wings at as many Buffalo bars and taverns as your stomach can handle. Not only is that the best way to find your favorite, but it’s also something you’ll regret not doing later.
Be sure to include Anchor Bar, Duff’s Famous Wings, Elmo’s Bar and Restaurant, Gabriel’s Gate and Bar-Bill Tavern on your Buffalo Wings crawl. Otherwise, your crawl will be incomplete.
Try Other Buffalo Food Favorites
Buffalo has a bounty of tasty foods that food travelers won’t want to miss.
You’ll want to start any Buffalo food tour with Buffalo Wings but don’t stop there. Continue with local food favorites that include Beef on Weck sandwiches, Charbroiled Hot Dots, Spaghetti Parmesan and Buffalo Style Pizza.
Don’t forget to eat desserts like Peanut Sticks, Ice Cream Sundaes and Sponge Candy. These sweet treats are equally iconic. Plus, they’ll make you smile.
Check out our Buffalo food guide to discover where to eat all of these local food favorites. Then check out our Buffalo cafe guide to find the city’s best coffee shops.
Visit Frank Lloyd Wright’s Martin House
Architecture fans will hit the jackpot in Buffalo as they traverse the city designed by Frederick Law Olmstead and check out its many interesting houses and buildings.
The city’s most notable building, Frank Lloyd Wright’s Martin House is a fascinating Buffalo attraction that’s a must-visit for all travelers who appreciate architecture and history.
From comfortable yet open, fireplace-adorned living spaces to Wright’s neoclassicist walkway to a replica of the Winged Victory of Samothrace in the conservatory, this house has livable yet jaw-dropping architecture that can’t be expressed in mere photos.
The story of the Martin House and its owners is part of Buffalo’s fabric. Not only is the restored house an architectural treasure, but its history is a nail biter.
Get Your Art on at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery
Culture vultures won’t be disappointed when they visit Buffalo.
The Albright-Knox Art Gallery features a world-class modern art collection with works by Picasso, Pollack and Matisse. No flash in the pan, this Buffalo art museum is the sixth oldest public art institution in the USA.
This museum is conveniently located and offers ample parking. Regardless of the weather, plan to spend some time here feeding your soul between meals.
The Albright-Knox Art Gallery is closed until 2023 while the museum is under renovations.
Step Back in Time at the Pierce-Arrow Museum
Antique car buffs can step back in time with a visit to the Pierce-Arrow Museum. This unique museum packs a prodigious amount of memorabilia from the western New York auto manufacturer as well as antique cars, bikes, motorcycles and even golf carts.
Highlights are the Pierce-Arrow cars and a one-of-a-kind Frank Lloyd Wright filling station located inside the museum. In many ways, this museum provides a history lesson about Buffalo through its eclectic automotive collection.
Spend Time with Family
Beyond visiting the Pierce-Arrow Museum, families can venture to Canalside on the Erie Canal’s harbor to enjoy activities including boating in the summer and ice skating in the winter. They can also hang out at Larkinville and enjoy activities like outdoor concerts and Food Truck Tuesdays.
Take a Beer Crawl
You might expect Buffalo to be a beer city and you’d be correct. However, you might be pleasantly surprised to discover a thriving craft beer scene at the city’s best bar and breweries.
We found our favorite Buffalo beers at Community Beer Works, Big Ditch Brewing Company and Thin Man Brewery. The only way to find your favorites is to drink lots of beer in Buffalo.
Explore Buffalo Neighborhoods
We enjoyed exploring diverse Buffalo neighborhoods, especially Allentown and Elmwood Village. Coincidence or not, these neighborhoods host many of the city’s new restaurants and bars.
At the end of the day, Buffalo is a city of neighborhoods. And food. In other words, it’s our kind of city.
Plan Your Buffalo Trip
Consider staying at Hotel Henry, a former mental asylum with 88 stylish rooms. Not only will you sleep in elegant comfort, but you’ll also stay in an epic national historic landmark with a story to tell.
Beyond its history, Hotel Henry offers the modern amenities we covet like flat screen tv’s, free parking and free wireless high-speed internet access. We aren’t exaggerating when we say that this hotel’s internet is the fastest we’ve ever experienced in a hotel.
The hotel also has bars, restaurants and a cafe for those days when you don’t want to leave the hotel, possibly because you want to take advantage of the fast internet.
The Hotel Henry has been purchased by Hilton and is temporarily closed.
Hungry for More in New York?
Check out our guides for New York City, Kingston, Woodstock and the Finger Lakes.
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About the Authors
Daryl & Mindi Hirsch
Saveur Magazine’s BEST TRAVEL BLOG award winners Daryl and Mindi Hirsch share their culinary travel experiences and recipes on the 2foodtrippers website and YouTube. The married Food and Travel content creators live in Lisbon, Portugal.
We thank Visit Buffalo Niagara for sponsoring our trip to Buffalo to facilitate this and other articles.
We update our articles regularly. Some updates are major while others are minor link changes and spelling corrections. Let us know if you see anything that needs to be updated in this article.
Original Publication Date: May 22, 2022