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Black Rock and Riverside are in Buffalo. blah blah blah


EDIT AS NECESSARY, incorporating the following

  • There are two halves to 1 Black Rock, separated by the former Belt Line of the New York Central Railroad: the older part west of the tracks is a quiet, historic residential area still populated by... working-class Germans and Poles... today affectionately known as "river rats", while the business district to the east, centered around the corner of Grant and Amherst Streets, has always had a distinct identity... immigrants, Hispanics, college students, urban pioneers, and blue-collar whites like those in Black Rock all rub shoulders.
  • Further north, 2 Riverside is an off-the-beaten-path area of working-class homes and neighborhood shops whose centerpiece, Riverside Park, boasts wonderful views over the Niagara River.
  • ...3 West Hertel, a quiet, off-the-beaten-path area where working-class apartments and industrial warehouses coexist.


write this out and incorporate the following facts

(early history of Black Rock, summarized from UWS article)

  • ...the smaller Lower Black Rock (later also known as Black Rock Dam for the lock and dam that was installed on the Erie Canal in 1833), which corresponds to today's neighborhood of Black Rock
  • ...Between Upper and Lower Black Rock was the harbor, located at the mouth of Scajaquada Creek and dominated by a shipyard owned by Porter. don't use this verbiage here if it's already used in UWS article

(War of 1812, construction of the Erie Canal, panic of 1837)

  • ...Lower Black Rock was able to retain much more of its distinct identity and pastoral character, with a small-town feel to the streets around Market Square...

(Annexation of Black Rock by Buffalo)

  • The New York Central Railroad's Belt Line, a commuter loop built in 1883 through Buffalo's outer neighborhoods, attracted residents to the undeveloped eastern outskirts of Black Rock: a community of industrial workers from Poland, Hungary and Ukraine gathered around the new Church of the Assumption near the corner of Grant and Amherst Streets. Meanwhile, as the more affluent Germans and Irishmen continued to push outward, the land north of increasingly industrial Black Rock also began to develop, with a second Olmsted park, Germania Park (soon to be renamed Riverside Park), built around 1900 as the centerpiece of the area in Buffalo's far northwest corner now known as Riverside. Originally the site of many summer homes belonging to Buffalo's elite aristocracy, Riverside became a pleasant "suburb" of Black Rock, with a greener, more countrified ambience, larger homes on more spacious lots, and a wealthier citizenry.
  • Also around the same time: "further west, the first houses and streets began appearing in what is now West Hertel, just northeast of the corner of Hertel Avenue and Military Road" (from NoBu article).

(peak years, WWII - isn't this when much of West Hertel was developed with wartime factories and GI housing? - then late-20c decline)

  • Riverside Park's serene river views were replaced by that of a noisy expressway. Don't use this verbiage if used in LWS article

(end of decline, gentrification, arrival of immigrant presence)

Get in and aroundEdit

Map of Black Rock-Riverside

By carEdit


  • Exit 12 (Amherst Street) and Exit 13 (Austin Street) are accessible from the northbound lanes only, providing access to Black Rock and, in the former case, also to Grant-Amherst slightly further afield.
  • Exit 14 (Vulcan Street via northbound lanes; Ontario Street via southbound lanes) is located in Riverside.

As well, the Scajaquada Expressway (NY 198) is a short highway that begins at Exit 11 of I-190, passing eastward through Black Rock and North Buffalo and ending on the East Side at the Kensington Expressway. There's also a Niagara Street exit accessible to westbound traffic only.

surface streets: Niagara Street as main thoroughfare

Ontario and Tonawanda Streets as diagonal arteries branching off Niagara

Military Road and Grant Street

Cross streets: Amherst, Hertel, Vulcan, Skillen, Kenmore - NYCRR tracks as barrier to much traffic between western & eastern halves of district

Parking meters are in place in Riverside along Tonawanda Street between Hunt and Crowley Avenues. Signs indicate that paid parking in Riverside is in effect till 6PM every day but Sunday with rates of 50¢ per hour to a maximum of 2 hours, but word is that some or all of the meters don't work and are slated to be removed. verify the continued existence of these As well, the 2-hour maximum rule is also in effect along Ontario Street between Tonawanda Street and Kenmore Avenue

Curiously, Amherst Street in downtown Black Rock has no parking meters or restrictions of any kind, but visitors to that neighborhood should keep in mind that the lot on the north side of Amherst Street between Howell and Bush Streets is for the exclusive use of customers of Casey's Tavern and Nick's Place, and enforcement is vigilant. If you can't find on-street parking along Amherst (unlikely), try the large lot at Tops Plaza at the corner of Grant Street.

By public transportationEdit

Public transit in Buffalo and the surrounding area is provided by the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority (NFTA). The NFTA Metro system encompasses a single-line light-rail rapid transit (LRRT) system and an extensive network of buses. The fare for a single trip on a bus or train is $2.00 regardless of length. No transfers are provided between buses or trains; travelers who will need to make multiple trips per day on public transit should consider purchasing an all-day pass for $5.00.

If you'll be doing a lot of coming and going via public transportation during your visit to Buffalo, you're likely at some point to have a transfer at the 1 Black Rock-Riverside Transit Hub, located at the corner of Niagara and Ontario Streets. It's a major nexus for many of the Metro buses that serve the West Side, North Buffalo, and the northwestern suburbs of Tonawanda and Amherst.

By busEdit

Black Rock and Riverside are traversed by a number of NFTA Metro bus routes:

To and from downtownEdit

NFTA Metro Bus #3 — Grant. Beginning at the city line at the corner of Tonawanda and Vulcan Streets, Bus #3 serves Riverside via Vulcan and Skillen Streets, proceeding thenceforward through West Hertel and Black Rock via Military Road and Grant Street before ending its run downtown.

NFTA Metro Bus #5 — Niagara-Kenmore. Beginning at the University Metro Rail Station, Bus #5 serves West Hertel via Kenmore Avenue, then meanders through Riverside via Ontario, Tonawanda, and Vulcan Streets. At Niagara Street the route veers sharply southward and passes through Black Rock, with service to the Black Rock-Riverside Transit Hub. Bus #5's run ends downtown.

NFTA Metro Bus #40 — Buffalo-Niagara Falls. Beginning at the Portage Road Transit Center in Niagara Falls, Bus #40 proceeds through both Riverside and Black Rock via Niagara Street, serving the Black Rock-Riverside Transit Hub on its way south toward downtown, where it ends. It is important to note that Route #40 does not serve passengers whose trips are located entirely south of Hertel Avenue.

Crosstown routesEdit

NFTA Metro Bus #23 — Fillmore-Hertel. Beginning at the Black Rock-Riverside Transit Hub, Bus #23 serves Black Rock via Niagara Street before turning eastward at Hertel Avenue with service to West Hertel. From there, the bus enters North Buffalo, continues through the East Side via Fillmore Avenue, and finally ends in South Buffalo.

NFTA Metro Bus #32 — Amherst. Beginning at the Black Rock-Riverside Transit Hub, Bus #32 serves Black Rock via Niagara Street and Amherst Street, with service to the business district. From there, the bus enters North Buffalo before finally ending its run at the Thruway Mall Transit Center in Cheektowaga.

NFTA Metro Bus #35 — Sheridan. Beginning at the Marina Vista Apartments, Bus #35 heads northward on Niagara Street, passing through Black Rock and Riverside with service to the Black Rock-Riverside Transit Hub. From there it crosses the city line into Tonawanda and ends its run in Amherst at the North Campus of the University at Buffalo.

By Metro RailEdit

doesn't come anywhere near Black Rock or Riverside - easiest access is via Amherst Street Station --> #32 or University Station --> #5 but that's a pain in the ass, do we want to even bother mentioning this?

By bikeEdit

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photo of Riverwalk in Riverside Park?

replace the following verbiage Buffalo's oldest, largest, and best-known bike path is the Shoreline Trail, a multi-use trail that connects the Bethlehem Steel site in Lackawanna to Gratwick Park in North Tonawanda via the West Side waterfront, for a total distance of 22.6 miles (36.4 km). The Shoreline Trail passes into Black Rock via the International Railroad Bridge from Unity Island, then along the shore of the Niagara River through some newly created waterfront parkland - Tow Path Park, Black Rock Canal Park - and into the older, Olmsted-designed Riverside Park

entire stretch through BRR is along its own off-street ROW, paved w asphalt, 15 mph/24 kph

As well as being a lovely trail in itself, the Shoreline Trail also serves as a central spine for Buffalo's larger network of bike paths. Branching off of it is the Jesse Kregal Pathway. The path follows the north shore of Scajaquada Creek opposite the expressway for a distance of 2.4 miles (3.8 km), with the attractions of Black Rock within easy striking distance. Passing eastward, the Scajaquada Creekside Trail enters Delaware Park and ends near the Buffalo History Museum. Near its northern terminus in Tonawanda, the Shoreline Trail also connects with the Erie Canalway Trail.

On-street bike infrastructure: scanty

  • Niagara Street - bike lanes from Ontario St north to Riverside Park and city line
  • Amherst Street - from Bridgeman Street east into North Buffalo.

Bike sharingEdit

Black Rock has two Reddy Bikeshare racks:

  • on the north side of Amherst Street between Bush and Howell Streets, across from The Dapper Goose
  • on the east side of Military Road just north of Amherst Street, on the side of Hot Mama's Canteen

On footEdit

blah blah blah



  • 1 Black Rock Historical Society, 1902 Niagara St. (Metro Bus 5, 32 or 40), +1 716 874-2863. F 10AM-4PM, Sa-Su 11AM-3PM. The Black Rock Historical Society's small storefront exhibit space opened in May 2015 in a building they share with the Black Rock Riverside Alliance, and its exhibits represent ten years of acquisition by museum curator Mark Kubiniec from both his personal collection and donations from neighborhood residents and businesses. Through a series of historic photographs, artifacts, and other exhibits, the 200-year story of the Black Rock, Riverside, Grant-Amherst, and West Hertel neighborhoods — one of the most historic areas of Buffalo — is recounted. The Black Rock Historical Society also offers brochures for several self-guided walking tours around the neighborhood, covering everything from historic sites from the War of 1812 to modern-day community gardens.


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  • 2 Argus Gallery, 1896 Niagara St. (Metro Bus 5, 32 or 40), +1 716 882-8100. Operated by the same team of folks behind the Eleven Twenty Projects gallery on Main Street in Midtown, Black Rock's Argus Gallery launched in spring 2017 with a focus on supporting and nurturing emerging artists who come from communities that are underrepresented in the art world, through the exhibition of contemporary works in a variety of media that explore thought-provoking and sometimes controversial themes.
  • 3 Artsphere Studio & Gallery, 447 Amherst St. (Metro Bus 3 or 32), +1 716 874-2863. Th-F noon-5PM, Sa 11AM-3PM or by appointment. A pioneering institution in the now-burgeoning art scene in Grant-Amherst, Artsphere Studio opened in 2003, across the street from its current building. This bright, airy, and spacious gallery features the work of its owner Doreen Boyer DeBoth, a painter, photographer and jewelrymaker; her husband, noted potter Douglas DeBoth, whose works are available for sale at the gallery; and other local artists working in a diverse variety of media. As well, temporary exhibitions are frequently held whose themes are often related to the rich history and unique identity of Black Rock and Grant-Amherst: Boyer DeBoth is a founding member of the Black Rock Historical Society and spearheaded the Black Rock Historic Photo Project whose constituent works can be seen on the exterior walls of several Amherst Street buildings. As well, a modest selection of books on local history and art are available for sale.
The gargantuan complex in Black Rock that was once St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church, which closed in 2007, is now the home of the Buffalo Religious Arts Center.

  • 4 Buffalo Religious Arts Center, 157 East St. (Metro Bus 5, 32 or 40), +1 716 481-2350. By appointment. Located at the former St. Francis Xavier Roman Catholic Church in the heart of historic Black Rock, the mission of the Buffalo Religious Arts Center is to salvage and display some of the works of religious art contained in the many churches and other places of worship (particularly on the East Side) that have closed their doors in the wake of Buffalo's half-century of population loss. In addition to the priceless works from other churches that curator Mary Holland has collected, such as statuary from St. Mary of Sorrows, icons from SS. Peter & Paul Russian Orthodox Church, and various items from Temple Beth El, St. Francis Xavier itself is a magnificent old building full of beautiful and uplifting art which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and was a longtime cornerstone of the Black Rock community. $10, students $5, members free.  


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  • 5 Riverside Park, West side of Tonawanda St. between Vulcan St. and Crowley Ave. (Metro Bus 5, 35 or 40). Situated on 39 acres (16 ha) in the far northwest corner of the city, Riverside Park features facilities for every outdoor activity imaginable: baseball diamonds, football and soccer fields, basketball and tennis courts, a swimming pool, a playground, and the Ruben "Bud" Bakewell Ice Rink. Riverside Park was the last addition to Buffalo's Olmsted park system — it was not conceived and built until after Frederick Law Olmsted's death, commissioned by the city in 1898 and designed by his two sons. Riverside Park was intended to finally fulfill the elder Olmsted's dream of a true waterfront park for the city and included all the classic Olmsted elements — a meadow, footpaths, wooded thickets, and a carriage concourse — as well as pleasant minnow pools along its northern boundary. It was to have been connected to the rest of the park system by Roesch Avenue, a parkway leading north and west from Delaware Park which was never built. Sadly, Riverside Park is probably the least well-preserved of Buffalo's Olmsted parks today, owing to the construction of Interstate 190 along the canal bed and the removal of many of the historic Olmsted features. However, the scenic overlook still provides a stunning view over the Niagara River (with direct access to the shore provided by the Irene K. Gardner Pedestrian Bridge over the expressway), and the Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy recently unveiled River Rock Gardens on the former site of the minnow pools, now reinterpreted as a large chain of stone-bedded rain gardens peppered with greenery, traversed by footpaths, and centered on an elegant stone arch bridge.  


6 Tow Path Park - explain meaning of name - also monument to Fenian raids, views over river, greenery in general

7 Black Rock Canal Park contains a dog run, fishing pier, and boat launch and boasts lovely views of the Buffalo waterfront, Grand Island, and Canada.


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  • 8 Market Square Historic District. This small historic district is centered on the three blocks of Amherst Street between Niagara and Tonawanda Streets, represents what was originally the village center of Lower Black Rock; the wide grassy esplanade flanking each side of Amherst Street's westernmost block, now filled with historic monuments and interpretive panels, was once the site of a large public market gifted to the village by its founder, Peter Porter. In contrast to what was once called Upper Black Rock, which became heavily industrialized after annexation and grew into an integral part of the city, Lower Black Rock retained its independent spirit and, even in the present day, still has the look and feel of a small village. The architecture of the buildings here — which include some of the oldest extant houses in Buffalo — comprises fine examples of such styles as the Italianate, Queen Anne, Greek Revival, and Federal. The red-brick Gothic St. John's United Evangelical Church (81 Amherst St., 1890), the Federal-style Jacob Schmidt House and Tavern and Stephen W. Howell House and Store (71 Amherst St. and 189 Dearborn St. respectively, both c. 1830), and the gargantuan St. Francis Xavier Roman Catholic Church (161 East St., 1912) are some of the historic sites to be found in the Market Square Historic District.  


Festivals and eventsEdit

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  • Discover Downtown Black Rock. Every year since 1997 on the third Saturday in June, the Discover Downtown Black Rock festival has shined a limelight on the newly revitalized Amherst Street business district. A huge variety of activities, events and sales are put on by neighborhood businesses all day, culminating with a parade that begins at noon at the festival's ground zero, the historic Flemish Renaissance-style Ladder #12 Firehouse. Trolley rides and horse-drawn buggies traverse Amherst Street all afternoon, live music is performed at various places around the neighborhood, and don't forget the annual weiner-eating contest at Spar's European Sausages!
  • Black Rock Riverside Oktoberfest. Inaugurated in 2016 as the largest of several observances that compete for the attention of Buffalo's German-American and Germanophile communities (others include River Rocktoberfest on Grant Street and a celebration at the Central Terminal on the East Side), the festivities at Black Rock Riverside Oktoberfest begin in the afternoon at the 1 Artisan Kitchens & Baths warehouse on Amherst Street with live oompah music, a ceremonial keg tapping of special Oktoberfest beer, and kiosks staffed by various neighborhood businesses and restaurants, before continuing late into the night at a range of bars and restaurants all over Black Rock, Riverside, Grant-Amherst, and West Hertel (shuttle service between venues lasts through 1AM), each of which have their own lineups of drink specials, delicious German food, music and revelry.

Ice skatingEdit

  • 1 Ruben (Bud) Bakewell Ice Rink, 2607 Niagara St. (At Riverside Park; Metro Bus 5, 35 or 40), +1 716 875-4820. Su & F 2PM-3:50PM, M 3PM-4:50PM, Th 5PM-6:50PM, Sa 1PM-2:50PM except during special events, Oct-Feb only. City residents $2, non-residents $3, skate rental $3.

Boat cruisesEdit

  • Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper Tours, +1 716 852-7483. Check website for schedule. Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper, the community organization whose mission is to contribute to Buffalo's revitalization through the remediation of local waterways, holds a series of educational kayak tours in Buffalo, Niagara Falls, and points between. The lineup of tours changes from year to year, but as an example, on the West Side the 2014 schedule included the annual Scajaquada Creek Regatta, a "leisurely paddle down the Black Rock Canal and up historic Scajaquada Creek, an underutilized resource full of history and ecology" that launched at the Great Lakes Center off Porter Avenue on the Lower West Side. Participants can bring their own kayak or reserve one of Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper's limited supply. Free.
  • 2 Classic Cruises, 1 Dann St. (At Rich Marina; Metro Bus 5, 32, 35 or 40), +1 716 946-7246. By appointment. Offering customized cruises for up to 6 people on the Summerlove, a 1956-model Chris Craft express cruiser with ample room on the deck for sightseeing, sunbathing or just taking in the surroundings, "Captain Rich" and "First Mate Pat" will take you anywhere you want to go on the upper Niagara River — whether it be a trip through the historic Black Rock lock, a cruise down to Canalside, a visit to the Erie Canal or Beaver Island State Park, a full circle around Grand Island, or whatever suits your fancy. A relaxing day on the water is in store for customers: as the website put it, "the way she cuts through the water, the smell of varnish, the sight of glistening mahogany wood and the rumble of a vintage motor all lend themselves to an unforgettable experience." In case of inclement weather, you can reschedule your cruise at no charge (subject to availability) or else receive a full refund. $50 per hour.

Live musicEdit

Amherst Street is one of Buffalo's main destinations for live music especially if you like rootsy rock, blues, etc.?, with a trio of venues that are among the best-loved in Buffalo.

  • Hot Mama's Canteen, 12 Military Rd. (Metro Bus 3 or 32), +1 716 783-8222. Anchoring the west end of the Amherst Street strip, the favorite watering hole of Buffalo-area shuffleboard enthusiasts and hot sauce aficionados now does double duty as a music venue, where local funk, blues, and rock bands take the stage at least three (and usually more!) nights a week.
  • 3 Imagine Event Center, 71 Military Rd. (Metro Bus 3 or 32), +1 716 553-6794. Owned and operated by the impresarios behind the Sportsmens Tavern (see below) yet about as far as you can get from the rowdy, raucous roadhouse vibe of that place, what the Imagine Event Center offers, in their own words, is "an intimate listening room, combined with wine, craft beers and topnotch acoustics for the best listening experience in Buffalo". What's to listen to? Local artists working in a wide diversity of genres, from rock to jazz to worship music to the "Bridging the Gap" live poetry/hip-hop series.
  • Rohall's Corner, 540 Amherst St. (Metro Bus 20 or 32), +1 716 939-2087. You can catch all kinds of performances at this hip yet unpretentious neighborhood watering hole at the heart of Grant-Amherst, but the marquee attraction happens the first Saturday of each month: the Black Rock Fiddle Jam, where local musicians get together for a rousing round of old-time acoustic music. It's an informal, freeform hoedown of fiddles, mandolins, banjos, guitars and good times. For those who would rather try their hand at playing instead of just watching and listening, lessons for all skill levels are provided free of charge.
  • 4 Showplace Theater, 1065 Grant St. (Metro Bus 3 or 32), +1 716 877-2200. It was scarcely possible to be a rock fan in Buffalo in the '90s and early '00s without having an intimate familiarity with the old Showplace — it was a linchpin of the local scene, with a list as long as your arm of punk, alternative and indie bands who graced the stage at this former silent movie palace just before reaching megastar status. Then in 2019, after a twelve-year hiatus, the marquee lights flickered back to life and the Showplace went back to doing what it does best. Nowadays, rather than up-and-comers, new owner Joe Roxbury has a penchant for booking '80s and '90s throwback acts, especially in the glam-metal genre: recent shows as of this writing include Slaughter, Ratt, Bret Michaels, Aaron Carter, and the Ying Yang Twins.
  • 5 Sportsmens Tavern, 326 Amherst St. (Metro Bus 3 or 32), +1 716 874-7734. With an authentically gritty roadhouse vibe, the self-described "honkiest, tonkiest beer joint in town" is among Buffalo's premier places to see live local country, folk, blues, and roots-rock acts. Sportsmens is a venue by musicians and for musicians — its owner is a longtime stalwart in the Buffalo scene, and many local artists and bands cite it as their favorite place to play in the city. The 325 seats are regularly filled with an eclectic mix of hipsters, college students, and neighborhood regulars who probably remember the days when the place was just a garden-variety neighborhood gin mill. And the Grille at Sportsmens Tavern goes above and beyond the usual pub grub, serving probably the best food of any live-music venue in the city. For a truly unique experience, try to get seats in the upstairs balcony.


If art classes are your bag, check out...

  • 2 Queen City Fine Arts, 1111 Tonawanda St. (Metro Bus 5, 35 or 40), +1 716 222-1920. A two-year labor of love on the edge of Riverside Park, Justin Dahl singlehandedly converted this old Tonawanda Street storefront from an abandoned wreck to a multipurpose, minimalist, almost yoga studio-like space that plays host to an ever-changing lineup of art classes covering all media and appropriate for all skill levels (but especially novices!) Since its May 2019 opening, Queen City Fine Arts' roster of local artists have led introductory courses in pencil drawing, painting, and ceramics, as well as more advanced classes in jewelry design and such. Check out their website or Facebook page for the calendar of offerings — and even if nothing strikes your fancy, you're more than welcome to just peruse the onsite gallery of student work.


Black RockEdit

Amherst Street has made a name for itself in recent years as a small-business shopping district that, despite its upswing, proudly retains a blue-collar, "real Buffalo" feel. Art and antiques are a particular specialty in the area.

Additionally, proximity to campus makes Tops Plaza, on the southwest corner of Grant and Amherst Streets just across the bridge, a handy destination for the everyday shopping needs of Buffalo State students — it contains locations of Family Dollar and Tops supermarkets, as well as Burger King, a pizzeria, and a Chinese take-out.

Clothing and accessoriesEdit

Despite the status of the West Side as Buffalo's newest hotspot, the shops and restaurants on Amherst Street retain an unpretentious, old-neighborhood feel.

Among the small neighborhood shops of Black Rock are a number of purveyors of urban fashions.

  • 1 Doll House Boutique, 440 Amherst St. (Metro Bus 3 or 32), +1 716 877-1555. Tu-Sa 2PM-7PM. If a pair of thigh-high distressed-denim high-heeled boots sounds like something you absolutely must have in your closet, and if fur trim and sequins are staples of your fashion repertoire, you'll find everything you need (and, probably, a lot of stuff you didn't know you needed) at this urban fashion emporium. Shoes are the specialty at Doll House, but you'll also find a line of jewelry that's a good bit more subdued in style, plus sunglasses, scarves, handbags, and Doll Face by Ashley: a makeup and beauty bar in the back of the store whose eponymous owner's CV includes a stint as beautician for VH-1's "Black Ink Crew".
  • 2 Eve Fashion & Beauty Supply, 431 Tonawanda St. (Metro Bus 5, 23, 32 or 35), +1 716 877-4780. Daily 9AM-10PM. If you're a claustrophobe, beware: the walls are covered from floor to ceiling with merchandise on hangers, and the sales floor is packed with displays to the point where it's tough to walk around. But if you're in the market for urban fashions, cosmetics, and hair care products at logic-defying prices, you'll find a selection that goes toe-to-toe with the big department stores. Vivacious styles abound, jewelry trends toward the chunky and flashy, and you'll find baseball caps representing pretty much any sports team you can think of. But the specialty at Eve is barrettes, beads, pins and clips, and other hair accessories, as well as styling products for all hair types.
  • 3 Tomahawk Garments, 1968 Niagara St. (Metro Bus 5, 32 or 40), +1 716 873-1667, toll-free: +1 877 625-7230. M-F 9AM-5PM. Don't be fooled by first impressions: this small, unassuming Black Rock storefront on a mostly residential stretch of Niagara Street houses a real heavyweight of the local retail scene. Here you can purchase Tomahawk brand leather goods — coats, vests and jackets, biker gear, accessories such as belts, gloves and handbags, wallets, backpacks and on and on — produced right in Western New York and united by an unrelenting emphasis on quality. This stuff is really top-of-the-line: it's no wonder this stuff sells for a pretty penny at fine department stores in the area, but at their Niagara Street outlet you can get it for 50 to 70% off retail prices.


Black Rock is an emerging local destination for antique enthusiasts.

  • 4 Chotchky's Antiques and Collectibles, 352 Amherst St. (Metro Bus 3 or 32), +1 716 877-9692. Open by appointment or chance. Bravo for truth in advertising: this spacious antique shop is indeed crammed to the gills with tchotchkes of all descriptions; rare, original and unique examples of housewares, toys, clocks, baskets, and every miscellaneous trinket you could imagine that are the end result of over 100 years of family collecting. This is the kind of place you'd see on "American Pickers". Despite the vast variety of stuff to be found here, Chotchky's is at heart a small family business and a labor of love — owner Kathleen Arries has been the sole employee of this shop since it opened in 1998. This place does a brisk mail-order business as well.
  • 5 CooCooU, 111 Tonawanda St., second floor (Metro Bus 5, 32 or 40), +1 716 432-6216. Daily 11AM-5PM. The alpha and omega in Buffalo when it comes to everything Midcentury and Scandinavian Modern, CooCooU sports a myriad of one-of-a-kind items with a fanciful postwar aesthetic: whether it be furniture, lamps, decorative baubles, architectural elements, objets d'art, or even musical instruments and jewelry, the vast selection and impeccable quality are right up there with the best that places like Toronto and New York City have to offer. You could easily spend a whole day here. Hours of operation are variable — don't be surprised if the owner opens the place up early or stays late, especially during special sales and promotions or around the holidays.
  • 6 Gothic City Antiques, 1940 Niagara St. (Metro Bus 5, 32 or 40), +1 716 874-4479. Th-Sa 11AM-5PM, Su 11AM-4PM. The big, '50s-looking Streng Oldsmobile sign just past Exit 13 is a familiar landmark to those Buffalonians whose daily commute takes them along the northbound 190, but what many of them don't know is that the junkyard where it sits isn't a junkyard at all: it's Gothic City Antiques, Buffalo's longest-standing dealer in architectural antiques and artifacts. Outside you've got a full acre (4,000m²) of garden tchotchkes, old lampposts, and that famous sign that once stood guard outside the dealership on Main Street; inside is another wonderland of furniture, lamps, doors and doorknobs, mantels, vintage plumbing fixtures such as sinks and claw bathtubs, and on and on.
  • 7 Junk & Disorderly, 979 Grant St. (Metro Bus 3 or 32), +1 716 628-2792. F 6PM-9PM, Sa 10AM-3PM. The bountiful selection of merchandise at this shop represents the personal collection of antiques and vintage collectibles that the owners have been accumulating for north of 30 years. As you might have suspected from the name, there's a lot of retro kitsch to be had at Junk & Disorderly, but that's not the end of the story: it's difficult to sum the selection up succinctly, but midcentury vintage knickknacks seem to handily outnumber outright antiques (the cutoff date seems to be around World War II) and specialties seem to include lamps, kitchenware, and above all, a treasure trove of decorative Christmas baubles, vintage ornaments, and other holiday-themed items.

Furniture and home decorEdit

  • 8 Habitat for Humanity ReStore, 501 Amherst St. (Metro Bus 3 or 32), +1 716 852-6607. Tu-F 10AM-6PM, Sa 9AM-6PM, Su noon-4PM. Wherein Habitat for Humanity operates what basically amounts to a huge thrift store for furniture and housewares: the shelves are stocked with gently used (and some new!) chairs and tables, sofas, bedroom sets, lamps, cabinetry, doors and windows, building materials, and appliances donated to them by the public. Best of all, this place operates with very little overhead — it's staffed by volunteers, so almost all the money you pay goes to help Habitat for Humanity build new homes and rehab old ones to help out the less fortunate.
  • 9 Interior Design Resources, 463 Amherst St. (Metro Bus 3 or 32), +1 716 874-1737. M-W & F 10AM-5PM, Th 10AM-1PM, or by appointment. It doesn't look like much from the outside, but step through the doors and you'll be confronted with a somewhat jumbled showroom that's a lot bigger than you're expecting — not to mention an absolutely mind-boggling selection of merchandise, including what the owner claims to be the largest selection of fabrics on the East Coast. Beyond that, you'll find furniture, lamps, wall covers, and miscellaneous interior accessories from designers hailing from all over the country and world — including hard-to-find lines that folks used to have to travel to New York City to get — all available at a fraction of retail price.

Specialty foodsEdit

Though it's of decidedly less interest to foodies than Grant-Ferry and the Lower West Side, Grant-Amherst's variety of specialty food markets ably mirrors the diversity of the West Side.

  • Barrel + Brine, 155 Chandler St. (Metro Bus 3 or 32), +1 716 248-2761. W-F 11AM-9PM, Sa 3PM-9PM, Su 11AM-4PM. With Barrel + Brine's long-awaited move to Chandler Street has come a hugely expanded customer experience — nowadays it's not only a shop but a full-fledged restaurant serving upscale pub grub. But if you're just here to shop, you can expect the same merchandise as before, except more of it: from creative twists on sauerkraut, kimchi, and pickled cucumbers (try the "Southern Tier IPA Pickle" with fresh hops added to the spice blend) to more exotic finds such as fennel-pickled beets, Chinese-style pickled peanuts and Korean kkakdugi, pickled watermelon rind, and pickled sausage sourced from Spar's. They brew their own kombucha, too.
  • 10 Fresh Arabic Sweets, 560 Amherst St. (Metro Bus 20 or 32), +1 716 768-3826. Daily 10AM-9PM. Syrian sweets, to be exact, courtesy of owner Mohammed Altahla, who was a bakery owner in his hometown of Homs before fleeing the civil war in 2016 and resettling Stateside as a refugee. Baklava is the specialty of the house, and it's easily the tastiest in town; buttery, sweet, stuffed with pistachios, and a steal at $7.99 a pound. But that's just the tip of the iceberg: ma'amoul date cookies are winners too, and those without a sweet tooth can instead nosh on not-quite-as-exquisite-but-still-not-bad shawarma and falafel sandwiches.
  • 11 Gondola Macaroni Products, 1985 Niagara St. (Metro Bus 5, 32 or 40), +1 716 874-4280. M-Sa 9:30AM-6PM. First-generation Italian immigrant Guido Colla has been cooking ravioli with his own self-designed pasta maker since 1958, and now on the cusp of his seventh decade in business, his cramped little shop in Black Rock is a throwback to old times. You can get all kinds of pasta at Gondola, but ravioli is what they're most famous for — scratch-made daily in house with a simple recipe of durum flour, water, eggs, and various meat fillings; there are no additives or chemicals in this stuff, which is likely why its quality puts supermarket fare to shame. Service comes with a smile and obvious appreciation for your business, even if the owners' English isn't quite up to snuff.
  • 12 Lucky 7 Asian Market, 150 Military Rd. (Metro Bus 3 or 32), +1 716 541-0396. Daily 10AM-7PM. It's not the largest Asian food store on the West Side, but Lucky 7 is a lot bigger than it looks from the outside — and far better-organized than most of its competition! This store stocks mostly Burmese and Thai items and is set up mostly for those in search of the essentials of Asian cuisine, with a friendly staff that is eager to assist those who may still need a bit of help finding what they need. Lucky 7 stocks all the usuals: staples such as noodles and rice, nonperishable packaged groceries, fresh Asian produce, frozen meats (including unique items such as frog and eel), and a range of health and beauty items.
  • 13 Spar's European Sausage Shop, 405 Amherst St. (Metro Bus 3 or 32), +1 716 876-6607. Tu-W 10AM-5PM, Th-F 9AM-5PM, Sa 9AM-3PM. Founder and namesake Eric Spar hails from Augsburg, so it's no surprise that German wursts dominate the selection here. But Spar's is no one-trick pony: they carry everything from chorizo to andouille to merguez to double-smoked kabanosy; Swedish, Hungarian, Ukrainian, Polish, Italian, and on and on, all handcrafted in-house. Aside from sausages, there's also a selection of deli meats and specialty groceries to choose from, including local favorites such as Weber's horseradish mustard, the Broadway Market's Famous Horseradish, and Johnnie Ryan craft sodas.
  • 14 Yasin African Market, 1044 Grant St. (Metro Bus 3 or 32), +1 716 871-0453. Daily 7AM-7PM. Much like its counterparts on the other end of Grant Street, the Somali-owned Yasin African Market is a destination for those in search of ethnic groceries and halal meats such as fish, lamb, goat and chicken — with a surprisingly wide selection of all of the foregoing.


  • 15 Steel Crazy Iron Art, 70 Tonawanda St. (Metro Bus 5 or 40), +1 716 876-7510. M-F 8AM-4PM. Using the latest in computerized design technology and their own shared background in structural iron and steel work, artists Ed & Brian Hogle — the same folks who forged the bright blue "buffalo head" bike racks you see along the sidewalk in trendy neighborhoods like the Elmwood Village and Allentown — custom-create functional "gifts for the ungiftable" ranging from key racks to desk mounts to clocks (and for those who served in the military, personalized medallions, dog tags, and the like are also favorites).


  • 16 Allentown Music, 497 Amherst St. (Metro Bus 3 or 32), +1 716 886-8742. Daily noon-7PM. Allentown Music may no longer be located in its namesake neighborhood, but it's still the same one-stop used musical instrument emporium that Buffalo musicians know and love, packed to the rafters with a wide range of merchandise: guitars (Fender, Yamaha, Danelectro, Ibanez, and Gibson are among the models), drum kits, violins, and brass-band instruments; oddities such as dulcimers, ukuleles, and bagpipes; amps, picks, and other supplies; instructional books and videos for beginners. Though this isn't the place to go for high-end gear, the instruments sold here are generally mid-range in quality and sold in decent condition for decent prices.
  • 17 Bike & Sign Shop, 247 Amherst St. (Metro Bus 3 or 32), +1 716 235-7935. W-Sa 11AM-7PM. Two businesses in one at the western entrance to the Grant-Amherst business strip: if you're in need of Jake Moslow's custom sign-painting services, you're probably not reading a travel guide, but if you're in the market for a previously-enjoyed bicycle to hit the Jesse Kregal Bike Path or the Shoreline Trail with, Jordan Kubik has got you covered with his half of the operation, dubbed "All Cycles". Kubik's hobby since childhood has been garbage-picking and repairing old bikes, and he brings his autodidactic expertise to bear in both sides of his business: selling carefully restored used bikes at down-to-earth prices as well as servicing, repairing, and selling parts for existing ones.
  • 18 The Fretted Buffalo, 466 Amherst St. (Metro Bus 3 or 32), +1 716 913-6487. T & Th noon-7PM, Sa noon-6PM. If you want to pick up a new guitar during your visit to Buffalo, you have several options, but none quite like the Fretted Buffalo: this is the only shop on the Niagara Frontier that specializes solely in acoustic guitars. You'll find many brands in stock, such as Huss & Dalton, Dana Bourgeois, Furch/Stonebridge, and Avalon (in fact, the Fretted Buffalo is America's largest volume dealer of those latter two), and if those names ring familiar to you, you know that means these guys know their stuff and don't bother with anything but the best. Sound intimidating? Not at all: the vibe here is cozy, friendly, and no-pressure.
  • 19 Obersheimer's Sailor Supply, 1884 Niagara St. (Metro Bus 5, 32 or 40), +1 716 877-8221. M-Sa 9AM-7PM, Su 10AM-4PM. Even nowadays, there are still a lot of folks who come to Buffalo by boat. If you're one of them, and you're in the market for some new gear, stop in to this huge chandlery in the heart of Black Rock for a full range. If you've got a sailboat, you're in especially good hands here — halyards, furlers, adjusters, and other supplies are sold for reasonable prices, ropes and wires are spliced, and the entire second floor serves as a full sail loft where expert technicians happily fit out, sew or repair sails with spars up to 65 feet (20 m) — but motorboaters aren't left out in the cold either, with a range of motors (especially Nissan and Tohatsu models) sold and serviced.


Riverside's shopping district is centered around the corner of Tonawanda and Ontario Streets in Riverside.

Clothing and accessoriesEdit

When the storied Riverside Men's Shop packed up and moved to a suburban strip mall in 2004, it left in its wake a retail scene much reduced in size and vibrancy, which consists today mostly of small thrift stores and urban fashion boutiques.

  • 20 Hearts Thrift Store, 890 Tonawanda St (Metro Bus 5, 35 or 40), +1 716 876-7346. M-Sa 11AM-5PM. This large thrift store in the heart of Riverside is one of Buffalo's best, but it's not known for the great diversity of its selection, nor are folks who come looking for the usual thrift-store fare — kooky vintage clothing, hip band t-shirts, designer jeans, and the like — likely to leave satisfied. Instead, the order of the day at this "businesswoman's thrift store" (as one reviewer put it) is high-end office attire and formalwear, sold in tip-top condition for prices that can't be beat. Best of all, the money you spend here could not go to a better cause: the store was set up to benefit Hearts for the Homeless, a faith-based charity that feeds, counsels and ministers to Buffalo's homeless.
  • 21 3 Star Fashion, 2211 Niagara St. (Metro Bus 5, 23, 32, 35 or 40), +1 716 995-6039. Su-Th 9:30AM-10PM, F-Sa 9:30AM-11PM. 3 Star Fashion is owned by the same folks who run Empire Kicks on West Ferry Street, and if you like the designer sneakers sold there, this place will be right up your alley. Like its sister store, the fundament of this place's inventory consists of Nikes, Timberlands, Air Jordans and other well-known brands of footwear, but there's also a full range of name-brand clothing for the streetwise man, woman or child on your list, as well as a blockbuster selection of fitted New Era caps. Notably, 3 Star is also a great place to seek out designer jeans at reasonable prices.

Specialty foodsEdit

It was only a matter of time before the ethnic food markets that are commonplace elsewhere on the West Side began to filter north. In Riverside the balance is tilted a bit more toward African groceries rather than Asian, but there's plenty of variety to choose from nonetheless (and more and more options each year, it seems).

  • 22 Fartun Express, 860 Tonawanda St. (Metro Bus 5, 35 or 40), +1 716 431-0218. M-F noon-10PM, Sa-Su 10AM-10PM. In the former location of Ricotta's Pizza on Tonawanda Street in the heart of Riverside is where you'll find this Somali-owned grocer. The specialty at Fartun is meat — and whether it's familiar staples like beef, chicken, and fish or more unusual selections like goat or camel, everything they sell is 100% halal. There's also a small selection of ethnic produce and general groceries to choose from.
  • 23 Fowler's Chocolates, 100 River Rock Drive (Metro Bus 23), +1 716 877-0083. M-F 8AM-5PM. An anonymous-looking industrial park backed up against the old Belt Line railroad in the back end of Black Rock may seem like an odd place for a location of Buffalo's favorite chain of chocolate shops — but after all, this is the same building where their factory has been located since 1993. Unsurprisingly, the small retail space just off the production floor keeps abbreviated hours compared to the other Fowler's locations, but if you happen to be in the neighborhood on a weekday morning or afternoon and have a hankering for sponge candy, chocolate truffles, or any of the other goodies these folks are famous for, you're more than welcome to stop in.
  • 24 Htar Ni Asian Market, 472 Ontario St. (Metro Bus 3 or 5), +1 716 876-3085. M-Sa 9AM-8PM, Su 9AM-7PM. Yet another in the seemingly endless parade of Burmese grocery stores on the West Side, Htar Ni Asian Market is located on Ontario Street toward the north end of Riverside. Inside, you'll find walls lined with rows upon rows of canned goods, jars of preserved vegetables, packaged groceries, frozen foods, and crunchy snacks. If you like Sriracha and other spicy Asian sauces and condiments, Htar Ni is the place for you.
  • 25 International Market, 916 Tonawanda St. (Metro Bus 5, 35 or 40), +1 716 597-2305. Tu-W noon-9PM, Th-Sa 11AM-9PM, Su noon-8PM. If you were intrigued enough by the tantalizing aromas of the cuisine at Lucy to want to try your hand at cooking tasty Ethiopian specialties of your own, head to the African food market next door, run by the same folks. The inventory at the succinctly but accurately named International Market trends heavily toward Ethiopian spices such as berbere, shiro, mitmita, and keba, but that's not all you'll find there: if your tastes run more toward Asian or Caribbean cuisine, stop in to pick up fresh banana leaves, the only place in Buffalo where they're available!
  • 26 Lin Asian Market, 929 Tonawanda St. (Metro Bus 5, 35 or 40), +1 716 235-8982. M-Sa 9AM-8PM, Su 9AM-6PM. Lin moved to Riverside in 2014 from its old location on Grant Street, but aside from more spacious digs, the story is largely the same: specialty Asian groceries, the same ones they use in the kitchen at Lin Restaurant next door, the better for those who just finished enjoying Buffalo's best Burmese food and want to try their hand at making their own version of the specialties served there.
  • 27 Ontario Buffalo Bakery, 205 Ontario St. (Metro Bus 5), +1 716 875-1709. Daily 7AM-10PM. Once a drive-in ice cream stand, contained within this unassuming little building in Riverside is a dazzling wealth of delicious Middle Eastern foods. Not surprisingly, baked goods are the star of the show here — the fresh, crusty bread whipped up in-house every day by friendly owner Omar Aldulaimi comes in several varieties, all out of this world, and he'll also bake custom orders if you call in advance — but at Ontario Buffalo Bakery you also have your pick of hummus, falafel, cheese, and delicious Levantine pastries. This is as authentic as it gets in Buffalo, so don't miss out.


  • 28 Big Catch Bait & Tackle, 2287 Niagara St. (Metro Bus 5, 23, 32, 35 or 40), +1 716 877-0971. M-Sa 7AM-6PM, Su 7AM-4PM. An odd duopoly of items on offer here. The name is not inaccurate — they offer pretty much any type of bait you want, live or otherwise, along with various other outdoor goods, and you can get New York State hunting and fishing licenses here — but it only tells half the story. Big Catch is also a destination for Buffalo paintball fanatics in search of guns and supplies. Tippmann brand products abound (the A-5 and X7 Phenom guns are particular favorites sold at great prices), and CO2 refills don't come cheaper anywhere in Western New York.

West HertelEdit

nothing of note directly in West Hertel, but head east to Elmwood and Delaware for suburban-style strip-mall shopping aplenty


Black RockEdit

"Downtown Black Rock" — i.e., Grant-Amherst — boasts a small but interesting collection of neighborhood watering holes and surprisingly upscale restaurants.

section ledethere are some interesting options on the strip, at generally more reasonable prices to boot.


  • 1 Angie's Pizza House, 1904 Niagara St. (Metro Bus 5, 32 or 40), +1 716 873-2212. Lunch: M-F 10AM-2PM; dinner: daily 4PM-9PM. Don't come expecting textbook Buffalo pizza: Angie's version is a hybrid, sporting a thin crust and wide, flat pepperoni that are more typical of the New York style, but also the same odd, off-putting sweetness in the sauce that you'll find elsewhere in Western New York. Pizza is only the beginning of the story, though: simple but reliable Italian favorites like ravioli, eggplant parm, and spaghetti and (homemade) meatballs earn raves, and there are also hot and cold subs, more elaborate fare like steaks and chops, and a surprisingly competent rendition of chicken souvlaki. Friday fish fry packs the house, too. Cash only. $10-15.
  • 2 El Encanto, 2179 Niagara St. (Metro Bus 5, 23, 32, 35 or 40), +1 716 424-1891. Tu-Sa 11AM-8PM. El Encanto is Buffalo's largest Puerto Rican restaurant not only in terms of physical size, but also the variety on its menu. You'll find all the standards of boricua cuisine, of course, but also a selection of more obscure specialties not available elsewhere in the local area: bacalaitos (battered codfish fritters), asopao de pollo (a mildly spicy chicken and rice stew that is Puerto Rico's national dish), and jibarito de bistec (not on the regular menu but offered frequently on special, this shaved steak sandwich with lettuce and onion comes on slabs of fried plantain that substitute for the bread). The environment is bright and cheery, the flavors are as authentic as any you'll find in the city, and the owners really aim to please. They also offer delivery on orders of $15 or more. $15-25.
  • 3 Emily's, 183 Hertel Ave. (Metro Bus 5, 23, 32 or 35), +1 716 871-5991. M-Sa 8AM-8PM, Su 8AM-3PM. Emily's could be accurately described as a classic blue-collar, mom-and-pop Greek diner, but that would be selling the place a bit short: for one, a small slate of Lebanese specialties including kofta over rice and homemade labneh are also served; for another, the food is a cut above what you'd expect. In a delightfully dated ambience is served a host of hearty, homestyle American fare like meatloaf, liver and onions, and porkchops; sandwiches, burgers, and wraps (including that old-school Buffalo standby, fried bologna); and — of course — all your favorite Greek-American standards such as souvlaki and gyro, served either "open" or as full-size entrees with a side of potatoes prepared how you like them. $5-20.
  • Hot Mama's Canteen, 12 Military Rd. (Metro Bus 3 or 32), +1 716 783-8222. M-Sa 4PM-4AM, Su noon-4AM. Usually at a restaurant the condiments are little more than an afterthought, but at Hot Mama's Canteen they're the raison d'être: the place was conceived by co-owner Valerie Meli as a showcase for Headstone Heat hot sauces, which she owns and whose company headquarters share space with the restaurant. The menu is short and to the point, described in a recent Buffalo Rising article as "comfort food with a twist... familiar, but just different enough for you to think about why you had never thought to do that before": homemade sandwiches and burgers, heartier mains such as meatloaf dinners, and even breakfast fare are each paired with a fiery Headstone Heat sauce to accentuate the delicious flavors. And Hot Mama's hand-cut French fries are some of the best you're ever likely to taste. $10-20.
  • 4 Louie's Original Footlong Hot Dogs, 1893 Niagara St. (Metro Bus 5, 32 or 40), +1 716 877-3647. Daily 10:30AM-9PM. Not to be confused with the similarly named local chain, Louie's Texas Red Hots, the Black Rock satellite location of Louie's Footlongs sports an identical menu to the original in Tonawanda, featuring an ample selection of chicken, steak, and sausage sandwiches (if you're especially hungry, try the gargantuan half-pound "Big Luigi" Italian sausage sandwich topped with capocollo, provolone, roasted peppers, sautéed onions and spicy sauce), burgers, and — of course — flame-grilled, charred-to-perfection hot dogs. To drink you can enjoy your choice of fountain sodas or milkshakes if you like, but "loganberry iced tea" is the house specialty, and it's a real treat. $5-15.
  • 5 Nick's Place, 504 Amherst St. (Metro Bus 3 or 32), +1 716 871-1772. Daily 7AM-3PM. What sets Nick's apart from other Buffalo-area Greek diners are little homestyle touches like the delicious homemade bread baked daily, as well as its Texas sauce which is used not on hot dogs (as is customary in Buffalo) but as a topping for some of the omelettes that dominate the breakfast menu. These are huge and uniformly delicious, with items like feta cheese, souvlaki and gyro meat available alongside the usual ingredients as part of the "create your own omelette" option. Lunch is characterized by open souvlaki and gyro and the other Hellenic-American usuals, with burgers, wraps and club sandwiches rounding out the selections. Portions are huge and prices aren't, and a full kids' menu is available. $10-15.
  • 6 716 Cafe, 388 Amherst St. (Metro Bus 3 or 32), +1 716 931-5453. Tu-Sa 10AM-9PM, Su 10AM-6PM. When a restaurant advertises its food as "100% halal", what do you envision? Middle Eastern cuisine? Indian or Pakistani? Whatever it is, it's probably not what's served here, namely all-American diner food. Though 716 Cafe's owners first envisioned it as a breakfast destination (omelettes and breakfast wraps come with your choice of beef bacon, beef sausage, turkey ham, or just egg and cheese), customers reserve their highest praise for the lunch and dinner menus: burgers, melt sandwiches, and other familiar standbys, but above all, the glorious Sweet Chili Crispy Chicken Wrap. These folks took over the old location of HaliBoyz Mexican-American Grille, and as before, parking is available across the street at the Polish Cadets lot. $10-25.


  • 7 Barrel + Brine, 155 Chandler St. (Metro Bus 3 or 32), +1 716 248-2761. W-F 11AM-9PM, Sa 3PM-9PM, Su 11AM-4PM. No longer just a place to buy a comprehensive range of house-made fermented products, Barrel + Brine is now a full-fledged restaurant/kombucha tasting room where those same items are used to garnish a short but creative and constantly changing menu of small plates: lunch and dinner are all about gourmet sandwiches and upscale bar snacks (how about fried bologna with kimchi?), while breakfast sandwiches served on locally-baked BreadHive bagels rule the roost at their ever-popular Sunday brunch. They've done a spiffy job renovating the old Linde Air Products Factory, too: the ambience is spacious yet cozy, and the decor is sleek yet rustic (think long tables made of wooden planks and flights of kombucha served on wooden paddles with built-in coasters). $15-30.
  • 8 The Dapper Goose, 491 Amherst St. (Metro Bus 3 or 32), +1 716 551-0716. Tu-Sa 5PM-1:30AM, Su 11AM-5PM. Though best known for its wine and cocktail bar, the food menu at the Dapper Goose is no afterthought: diverse influences from Continental, Asian, and (especially) Latin American cuisines make their mark on a short but sweet, vegetarian- and locavore-friendly menu that's New American cuisine at its best. Shareable small plates abound — favorites include crispy golden-fried cauliflower drizzled in a dill-rich Green Goddess dressing, as well as snapper ceviche with coconut broth and hot peppers (deliciously fresh and not as daunting as it sounds for those who can't handle spice) — but easily the most popular item is sweet and spicy Korean fried chicken over kimchi fried rice and spicy pickled cucumbers. Best of all, you won't break the bank on the bill that comes at the end of the meal. $20-45.
  • 9 Faso's, 2126 Niagara St. (Metro Bus 5, 23, 32, 35 or 40), +1 716 873-4147. M-F 11AM-9PM, Sa-Su 4PM-9PM. The building is all decked out in red, white and green, prices are low, and the decorative elements are delightfully tawdry (colored Christmas lights up all year, framed portraits of the Rat Pack, and plaster Virgin Mary sculptures abound). But if you're expecting yet another cookie-cutter red-sauce joint, think again: with an owner who's "actually from Italy, not an nth generation [Italian-American who doesn't] know any Italian except throwing paisan' into conversation" (to borrow the words of one reviewer), what Faso's serves is the genuine article. Pasta is scratch-made in house, the "best seafood menu on the Buffalo Harbor" includes shrimp fra' diavolo, swordfish steak Italiano, and scallops cooked any way you like, and sandwiches and the like are on offer for those who want (marginally) smaller portions. $10-35.
  • 10 The Phoenix at 269, 269 Amherst St. (Metro Bus 3 or 32), +1 716 447-1100. Tu-Sa 5PM-11PM. Opened in March 2013 with a name that pays homage both to the renovation of the building after a devastating fire and the resurgent neighborhood in which it's located, this "American Tavern" is a place for simple but delectably-prepared food served in an ambience that is a pleasant blend of classy and casual. The menu betrays diverse influences — from Polish (lazy pierogi and kielbasa, one of the Phoenix's most popular main courses) to Belgian (steak frites) to South American (flatiron steak with chimichurri sauce). Reservations are highly recommended for Friday and Saturday nights especially; in warm weather, try for a table on the patio out back, whose pleasant coziness is an extension of the dining room's. $20-45.
  • 11 Sun, 1989 Niagara St. (Metro Bus 5, 23, 32, 35 or 40), +1 716 447-0202. M-Th 11:30AM-10PM, F-Sa 11:30AM-10:30PM, Su 11:30AM-9:30PM. It's old hat for local foodies these days, but Sun was the first place in Buffalo to serve Burmese food — back when it opened, owner Kevin Lin, unsure how locals would take to his homeland's specialties, hid them on a section of the menu labeled "Vietnamese". Today the range of offerings is gargantuan, with a menu broken down into Burmese (labeled as such), Thai, and Asian fusion sections featuring curries, rice and noodle dishes, soups, and yummy appetizers. Specialties include pickled tea leaf salad (Sun's version is no longer the best in town, with a more subdued flavor profile, but locals carry a torch for it), as well as the "black rice menu": a range of sushi rolls, salads and desserts prepared using an unusual variety of rice once reserved for the elites of the Chinese imperial court. $15-45.
  • 12 Tappo Wood-Fired Pizza @ Thin Man, 166 Chandler St. (Metro Bus 3 or 32), +1 716 393-4353. M-Th 4PM-9PM, F 4PM-11PM, Sa noon-11PM, Su noon-9PM. The satellite location of not one but two of Buffalo's favorite restaurants: Mike Andrzejewski of downtown's Tappo and Mike Shatzel of Elmwood's Thin Man team up to offer not only the latter's expertly curated beer list but also a spin on the former's Italian-American oeuvre focusing on wood-fired pizzas of which the favorite is the "El Padrino" (meatballs, cherry peppers, whipped ricotta, and basil on a sesame seed crust). The system is unusual: place your order at the bar, leave them your phone number, seat yourself, then when it's ready they'll text you to pick it up. Easy enough if you're on the breezy patio, but if you're found respite from the thunderous din in the upstairs dining room (bedecked with a massive Space Ghost mural!), it presents a bit of inconvenience. $15-40.
  • 13 Waxlight Bar à Vin, 27 Chandler St. (Metro Bus 3 or 32). W-Sa 5PM-10PM, Su 5PM-9PM; bar remains open 2 hours after kitchen closes. With the opening of Waxlight in the former Jewett Refrigerator Company building, the already intriguing Chandler Street dining scene took another huge step forward: the staff is a veritable All Star team of the local restaurant industry, the upscale ambience is perhaps best described as "industrial-chic meets steampunk meets retro lounge" (seating is on blue velvet couches; lighting comes courtesy of gaslamp-style sconces), and the menu is one of the most jaw-droppingly daring in town. Shareable small plates make up the bulk of the ever-changing offerings; if you've ever wanted to try (let's say) dried fermented smoked beef heart drizzled with onion butter on a bed of charred and brined cabbage, here's your chance. And if all of this sounds forbiddingly expensive, think again. $25-55.


  • 14 Viking Lobster Company, 366 Tonawanda St. (Metro Bus 5, 32 or 40), +1 716 873-1079. W-Sa 5PM-9PM. A classic case of "don't judge a book by its cover": hidden inside a somewhat shabby-looking building in a residential area is arguably the finest restaurant in Black Rock. Viking Lobster's menu comprises all the seafood basics while also making room for a few interesting innovations, such as steak-stuffed lobster and a creative take on paella. The prices are justified by the impeccable quality of the food, which either comes from Upstate New York's largest live-lobster holding pens located onsite, or is shipped directly from coastal processors for maximum freshness. If seafood isn't your thing, the modest range of steaks, ribs, and roasted chicken dishes tend to be lower in price than the rest of the menu. Summertime sees folks flock to the raw bar on the patio. Reservations required. Cash only, but there's an ATM onsite. $25-65.


The following pizzerias are located in Black Rock. Those who are interested in pizza delivery (as opposed to pickup) might want to also check listings in adjacent districts; local pizzerias will often deliver to several different neighborhoods of the city.

  • 15 Doyle's, 1981 Niagara St. (Metro Bus 5, 32 or 40), +1 716 875-5550. Daily 9AM-10PM.
  • 16 Joe's NY Style Pizza, 345 Amherst St. (At Tops Plaza; Metro Bus 3 or 32), +1 716 447-0165. M-Th 11AM-11PM, F-Sa 11AM-midnight, Su 11AM-10PM.



section lede - start with something that contrasts with the followingBut meanwhile, the dazzling multicultural diversity of the West Side has been bleeding northward, and there's now a healthy roster of Asian, African, and Latin American options to choose from as well.


  • 21 Family Thai, 863 Tonawanda St. (Metro Bus 5, 35 or 40), +1 716 783-9285. M & W-Sa 11AM-9PM, Su 11AM-6PM. If you've been to the West Side before, you may remember Family Thai from their lengthy stint in the West Side Bazaar's International Kitchen a couple years back. If so, you know the drill: the menu does not stray far from usual standards like pad thai, tom yum soup, red and green curry, and the like, but rest assured that the flavors are far more vibrant and the preparations far more authentic than your average American Thai joint. Sadly, it's not completely the same experience — many popular favorites from the Bazaar days (including the spicy yum nua beef salad) have been axed from the menu — but there's now a selection of Burmese specialties on offer that rivals the Thai ones in deliciousness. Service is friendly, portion sizes are huge given what you pay — what more could you ask for? $10-25.
  • 22 Lucy, 916 Tonawanda St. (Entrance on Crowley St., Metro Bus 5, 35 or 40), +1 716 597-2305. Tu-Th 10AM-9PM, F-Sa 10AM-10PM, Su noon-8PM. Much like its namesake (a 3.2 million-year-old fossil australopithecus discovered in 1974 in Ethiopia), Lucy is a pioneer: Buffalo's first Ethiopian restaurant, in business since 2012. Slow and inattentive service are forgiven for the chance to feast on huge portions of doro watt, tibs, sambusa, and other favorites that come packed with flavor, not overwhelmingly spiced, and with plenty of injera on the side. Vegetarians and vegans are well cared for, and unique among Buffalo Ethiopian eateries, a full slate of breakfast options are offered (you can sample four of them via the $9.99 "Lucy Special"). Wash it all down with some of the most delicious sweet chai Buffalo has to offer, but perhaps more interestingly, on Saturday evenings from 3PM-7PM a free traditional coffee ceremony is held. $10-25.
  • 23 Riverside Café, 800 Tonawanda St. (Metro Bus 5, 23, 32 or 35), +1 716 876-0305. M-Th 7AM-2PM, F 7AM-7PM, Sa 8AM-7PM, Su 8AM-3PM. "Local" is the operative word at this friendly, homey greasy spoon (actually, that's probably not the right term to use — this place is spic and span): the lunch menu features a rogue's gallery of Buffalo specialties like beef on weck, Texas hots, fish fry on Friday and Saturday nights, and fried bologna sandwiches made with locally-produced Sahlen's frankfurters, Mineo & Sapio Italian sausage, and Costanzo's rolls. But Riverside Café may be even more popular at breakfast, with a gargantuan menu that ranges from the usual eggs-toast-sausage-bacon permutations to more specialized dishes like a pepperoni and salsa omelette and flaky homemade biscuits topped with sausage gravy. $5-20.


  • 24 Lin Restaurant, 927 Tonawanda St. (Metro Bus 5, 35 or 40), +1 716 260-2625. Daily 11AM-10PM. Yet another addition to the roster of options on the West Side for fans of Southeast Asian cuisine. Though more than half of Lin's menu is comprised of Thai dishes (mostly the standard lineup of curries, fried rice, and noodle dishes available with chicken, beef, pork, or seafood, but with a few surprises mixed in if you look), it's in the Burmese section where the cooks here really strut their stuff in terms of creativity and authenticity: savory samosas are the star of the show in the appetizers department, tea leaf salad rivals the stuff at Sun, and mohinga is made the authentic Burmese way. Copious options are available for vegans and the gluten-free crowd, but those who like spicy food might not be quite satisfied with the preparation here (for best results, have them make your food "Thai hot"). $15-35.



The following pizzerias are located in Riverside. Those who are interested in pizza delivery (as opposed to pickup) might want to also check listings in adjacent districts; local pizzerias will often deliver to several different neighborhoods of the city.

  • 28 Angelo's Pizza Plus, 955 Tonawanda St. (Metro Bus 5, 35 or 40), +1 716 875-1249. Tu-F 11AM-10PM, Sa 2PM-10PM, Su noon-10PM.
  • 29 Pat's, 544 Ontario St. (Metro Bus 5), +1 716 874-1233. M-Th 10AM-midnight, F-Sa 10AM-1AM, Su 2PM-11:30PM.

West HertelEdit

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  • 30 Catch 22 Bar & Grill, 715 Military Rd. (Metro Bus 3 or 5), +1 716 768-0358. Tu-Th 2PM-midnight, F 2PM-2AM, Sa 4PM-2AM. Under its former incarnation, Maggie's, this unpretentious neighborhood spot was most famous for its Friday fish fry, which aficionados classed among the best in town. Seafood lovers can still indulge in style at Catch 22, but there's now an expanded menu to go along with it, comprising both all-American pub grub classics to nosh on at the bar (a creative menu of burgers and grilled cheese sandwiches as well as local specialties like chicken wings and beef on weck), and a dining-room menu that skews Italian. Prices are a touch on the high side, but large portions make up for that. $10-25.
  • 31 The Kitchen Table, 690 Hertel Ave. (Metro Bus 20 or 23), +1 716 622-6001. M-F 8AM-3PM, Sa-Su 8:30PM-4PM. The Kitchen Table moved in July 2014 to a larger location in West Hertel, but otherwise it's the same deal as before: they still serve up classic, unpretentious, all-American comfort food in a downhome atmosphere described in Buffalo Rising as "a mix between a greasy spoon and a country kitchen". Burgers (served with heaping sides of fresh-cut fries that customers rave about), club sandwiches, fish fry, and multitudinous flavors of Turkey Hill ice cream can be had, but the Kitchen Table's true claim to fame is their hearty, homestyle all-day breakfasts. The staff here really goes out of their way to please, and they treat customers like family. $10-15.
  • 32 Sophia's, 749 Military Rd. (Metro Bus 3 or 5), +1 716 447-9661. Tu-Su 7AM-3PM. This humble establishment operated by Sophia and Sam Ananiadas serves some of the best (and biggest) breakfasts in Buffalo — so good, in fact, that they caught the attention of celebrity chef Guy Fieri, who dedicated a segment of his Food Network series Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives to the place. In addition to the usual lineup of pancakes, omelettes, French toast and the like, the Mediterranean flair of Sophia's cuisine is on full display in the giambotta, their signature breakfast platter of eggs, home fries, homemade Italian sausage, peppers, onions, and garlic. For lunch, an array of burgers, club sandwiches, and salads are on offer, as well as what may be the best souvlaki in Buffalo. Best of all, customers rave about the genuine warmth and friendliness of Sophia's staff that keeps them coming back. $10-15.


  • Roaming Bison Tavern, 732 Hertel Ave. (Metro Bus 20 or 23), +1 716 235-8281. Su-W 4PM-midnight, Th 11AM-midnight, F 11AM-2AM, Sa 4PM-2AM. The name of the game at Roaming Bison is pub grub tempered with Southern barbecue influences that are a perfect match for the dizzying selection of bourbon at the bar. Favorites on the menu include the Nashville Chicken Sandwich (a juicy breast deep-fried to perfection, served barbecue or Buffalo-style), the ingenious "mac-ancini" appetizers (balls of macaroni and cheese coated with crispy panko breading in an imitation of Italian arancini), and — most popular of all — huge platters of grilled smoked chicken wings coated in a savory-sweet blueberry-bourbon barbecue glaze. Better even than the food is the service, which in the words of one reviewer "makes you feel like you've been friends [with owner Greg Herzog] for years". $15-30.



Black RockEdit

The ascent to hipness of the Grant-Amherst bar scene is still in its early stages, so a night out here is still a good way to experience Buffalo's unpretentious, blue-collar side. These places really pack 'em in during Bills and Sabres games, and if you're on the lookout for a good fish fry, you're in luck.

  • 1 Barry's Bar & Grille, 277 Amherst St. (Metro Bus 3 or 32), +1 716 873-1206. Barry's is a lovably scruffy dive where a cross-section of Grant-Amherst residents — everyone from blue-collar construction workers to college kids to the hipsterati — come to enjoy cheap cold beer in an unpretentious environment. But they're probably best known for their superlative food menu, which includes a great beer-battered fish fry made with Yuengling beer. Don't expect much in the way of customer service, though; these folks tend toward the surly.
  • 2 BlackBird Cider Hall, 155 Chandler St., Suite 4 (Metro Bus 3 or 32), +1 716 240-9689. Newly hip Chandler Street is home to this second location of Niagara County's farm-to-table craft cidery of choice (the original is located next to their orchard in Barker), with over 30 ciders and beers (their own and those of other New York State producers) to enjoy either in the indoor barroom, which has preserved all the rustic charm of the former Linde Air Manufacturing building, or outside in the courtyard on a patio complete with bocce ball court and a couple of firepits for those nippy autumn evenings.
  • 3 Casey's Black Rock, 484 Amherst St. (Metro Bus 3 or 32), +1 716 436-6959. Back after an extensive renovation process, the venerable Casey's Tavern has upped the ante. No longer just another in the lineup of Amherst Street gin mills; the new owners have revamped the place into a friendly neighborhood haven for fans of old-school bar games (there are four pinball machines and an old school Pac-Man arcade console to whet your competitive whistle), a solid beer list and competently-made classic cockatils, and a comfort-food menu lauded in the pages of Gusto (if you're a soul food aficionado with a big appetite, try the chicken & waffles bucket). But the most shocking development of all? Casey's 2.0 is a Kansas City Chiefs backer bar (owner Vincent Garofalo is an expat), which as you can imagine takes cojones in a town where loyalty to the Bills runs deep.
  • The Dapper Goose, 491 Amherst St. (Metro Bus 3 or 32), +1 716 551-0716. Though the food menu is no slouch, it's the bar that has earned the Dapper Goose most of its hype thus far — served in a rustic, pastel-painted dining room with what Step Out Buffalo described as a "turn-of-the-century supper club feel" is a modest but carefully selected range of creative cocktails that highlights locally produced craft spirits from the likes of Lockhouse Distillery and Tommyrotter, as well as an impressive wine list founded on European (especially French) vintages and a respectable selection of beer and cider too.
  • 4 Hot Mama's Canteen, 12 Military Rd. (Metro Bus 3 or 32), +1 716 783-8222. The bar at Hot Mama's features not only a great selection of beers on tap but also a fully restored vintage shuffleboard table left over from the old days, when the bar was called Hilliker's Pastime. Co-owners Valerie Meli and Jeff Davis bring a funky Allentown-type vibe to this place — they're alumni of Nietzsche's and Allen Street Hardware, respectively — for an overall effect that is "a throwback to the old muscle car and pinup days", according to one reviewer.
  • The Phoenix at 269, 269 Amherst St. (Metro Bus 3 or 32), +1 716 447-1100. Going toe to toe with the Phoenix's ambitious food menu is their barroom, serving a modest but expertly curated selection of wines and specialty cocktails that really attest to this place's upscale touch, as well as a decent selection of local and regional craft brews in bottles.
  • 5 Poize, 2081 Niagara St. (Metro Bus 5, 23, 32, 35 or 40), +1 716 551-6062. If you're looking to dance the night away at a club but don't want to deal with the parking hassles of Chippewa — and especially if you like hip-hop music — then Poize might be the nightlife option for you. A classy experience tailored to an urban clientele, here you can sip on top-shelf liquor at a bar lit up with rainbow LED lights, have a snack from a food menu featuring the best lemon-pepper wings you've ever tasted, or bust a move on one of two dance floors during Friday and Saturday night DJ sets.
  • 6 Rohall's Corner, 540 Amherst St. (Metro Bus 20 or 32), +1 716 939-2087. Amherst Street's roster of bars includes a wide diversity of places, from scruffy dives full of hardscrabble working Joes to hoity-toity establishments where trendy hipsters congregate. And then there's Rohall's, the best of both worlds: a hipster dive. (Don't misinterpret that: the ambience is not seedy, but it definitely feels like you've gone back in time to an old corner tavern from the '50s or '60s.) Belly up to the bar for a beer list that splits the difference between obscure imports, local microbrews, and workmanlike PBRs and Genny Cream Ales, or else head to the back room to shoot some pool, play a tune on the upright piano, or take in some live music.
  • Thin Man Brewery, 166 Chandler St. (Metro Bus 3 or 32), +1 716 393-4353. The satellite location of not one but two of Buffalo's favorite bars and restaurants: Mike Andrzejewski of downtown's Tappo and Mike Shatzel of the original Thin Man on Elmwood team up to offer not only a selection of tasty wood-fired pizzas from the former but also the same fantastically discerning eye for fine beer that you see at all the latter's various area spots. On tap here are mostly selections from Thin Man's own superlative line of house-brewed beers as well as a handful of New York State-sourced hard ciders, with only a scant few of the craft brews and imports Shatzel is known for. They serve mixed drinks too, but be prepared to pay ungodly prices for middling portions.
  • 7 Ukrainian-American Civic Center (Narodnij Dim), 205 Military Rd. (Metro Bus 3 or 23), +1 716 877-7200. One of the last of the old ethnic social clubs that Buffalo used to have by the dozens, the "Uki Club" isn't like the other bars on this list. It's only open on Thursdays and Fridays, and to get in you must either be a member or be sponsored by a member (usually as simple as calling ahead and asking). But it's worth the trouble, especially on Fridays when Maria is on hand to serve some of Buffalo's best pyrohy and holubtsi to go with your ice-cold Ukrainian and Polish beers, along with a killer fish fry, in an unpretentious old-school ambience. Plus, they've got the hard-to-find "One Foot Cock" barreled krupnik from the Buffalo Distilling Company around the holidays.
  • Waxlight Bar à Vin, 27 Chandler St. (Metro Bus 3 or 32). The offerings at the bar may not quite compare to the astounding diversity of their food menu — indeed, that would be a high bar to clear — but that's not to say the wine list doesn't run the gamut of styles and regions and plumb more deeply into the "deep cuts" than practically any other place in Buffalo. If the variety is a bit too much, the knowledgeable staff is always more than happy to suggest a pairing. Cocktails (tea-based, even!) are creative and crowd-pleasing as well.

Coffee shops and juice barsEdit


The bars of Riverside are real, honest-to-goodness blue-collar gin mills. No fancy microbrews or other pretenses here, just a room full of neighborhood Joes knocking back cold ones after a long day on the job. If you want local color, you can do no better.

  • 9 Croatian Club (Holy Name of Jesus Croatian Fraternal Union Lodge #557), 226 Condon Ave. (Metro Bus 3, 5, 35 or 40), +1 716 877-7725. Like the Ukrainian Center on Military Road, this is another of Buffalo's dwindling roster of ethnic social clubs that testify to the true melting pot that this part of town was in the early 20th century. If you're picturing a dimly-lit, wood-panelled barroom with neighborhood old-timers warming the stools, you're on the money, but since the Cro Club was bought from its former owners by longtime city councilman Joseph Golombek, the ethnic identity has been as much Polish as it is Croatian: yes, you can still get šljivovica plum brandy imported from Croatia, but also ice-cold Tyskie beer on tap.
  • 10 Parkside Tavern, 1125 Tonawanda St. (Metro Bus 5, 35 or 40), +1 716 200-8838. It's not called Kate's anymore, but the "friendly neighborhood watering hole on the corner" vibe is intact at this newly reopened spot in the heart of Riverside. The cozy Parkside Tavern sports a limited yet gamut-running selection of beers on tap (plus a range of hard liquor that's describable in similar terms) sold to you in a spotlessly clean and warmly convivial environment at down-to-earth prices.
  • 11 Unknown Club, 44 Saratoga St. (Metro Bus 5, 35 or 40), +1 716 877-0671. This unusually-named, delightfully rough-around-the-edges neighborhood dive has been pouring cheap cold beers since 1970 to a rogue's gallery of regulars who all know each other, which is not to say that you as a newbie will be made to feel left out. The Unknown Club really packs 'em in on Sunday afternoons when the Bills play, as well as during the annual Black Rock Riverside Oktoberfest celebration.

West HertelEdit

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  • 12 Amity Club, 340 Military Rd. (Metro Bus 3 or 23), +1 716 877-9025. A "non-alcoholic bar" serving soda, energy drinks, juice, coffee, tea, and hot chocolate as well as simple food from the grill. The $6 monthly membership fee entitles you to 25% off drinks.
  • Catch 22 Bar & Grill, 715 Military Rd. (Metro Bus 3 or 5), +1 716 768-0358. Nothing fancy at this old-school neighborhood dive, just ice-cold beers and a range of specialty mixed drinks that is pleasant and well-executed if not exactly cutting-edge. Catch 22 comes alive on weekends with karaoke and DJ sets on Friday night and open mic on Saturday; there's also pub trivia on Tuesday.
  • 13 Dill's Military Road Tavern, 362 Military Rd. (Metro Bus 3 or 23), +1 716 877-9708. Miles away from the snooty hipster BS you'll find elsewhere in town, walking through the front door at Dill's is like stepping into a time machine (so much so that it's a regular stop on Eddy Dobosiewicz's Forgotten Buffalo Tours of the dwindling remnants of the rough-and-tumble, blue-collar Queen City of old). With its tile floor and wood-panelled walls, a beer list that doesn't go far beyond Labatt's, Coors and Genny, and even an original 1950s-vintage phone booth in working order, the place has been preserved almost exactly as it was in the days when it was the favorite lunch-break and after-work pit stop of workers at the old American Brass factory up the road apiece.
  • 14 Froth Brewing Co., 700 Military Rd. (Metro Bus 3 or 5), +1 716 783-8060. The seemingly neverending craft-brewery craze in Buffalo set its sights on West Hertel in early 2019, with the opening of this 10-barrel operation on Military Road — and with a topnotch roster of beers right out the gate, plus a cozy ski-lodge ambience in the tasting room, Froth is quickly becoming a standout on the scene. That's especially true if sours are your thing: Froth brews no fewer than three of those, the "Mango Peach OG" sour ale, "Tangerine Sunset" sour blonde ale, and "Lemon Raspberry Sourbet" sour IPA. A sticking point are the prices, especially when it comes to the food menu of upscale pub grub.
  • 15 Roaming Bison Tavern, 732 Hertel Ave. (Metro Bus 20 or 23), +1 716 235-8281. The old Nor-Tel Grille in West Hertel is now the place to go for bourbon aficionados in Buffalo, with over 100 varieties of Kentucky's favorite spirit poured at the bar, and a food menu of Southern barbecue specialties to go with. If the selection is a bit overwhelming, never fear — the ever-personable owner and his staff know the menu inside and out — and if you'd rather knock back a beer, the Roaming Bison has you covered with a decent selection of options from the local craft microbrew scene.


nothing in the district itself. Motels along I-190 in Tonawanda are the nearest if you want something cheap; try the Foundry Suites on Elmwood in NoBu if you want something distinctive & hip


The 3 North Side Post Office is located in West Hertel at 725 Hertel Avenue, just west of Elmwood Avenue.

4 Elaine M. Panty Library located at 820 Tonawanda St. for WiFi; 11 comps free of charge and available to all

Stay safeEdit

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crime hotspot @ Black Rock - Niagara Street between Austin Street and Hertel Avenue - can you be more specific re type of crimes?

West Hertel is another minor area of concern, especially the closer you get to Military Road.

By contrast, Riverside is merely average in terms of crime, and Amherst Street's crime rate is downright low.

Panhandling isn't nearly as big a problem around here as in other areas of Buffalo. You'll occasionally see a few of them near the shelter on Tonawanda Street in Riverside blah blah, don't worry about aggressiveness among panhandlers either



The Riverside Review kis the neighborhood paper of record, with news, business listings etc


Nearest hospital is Kenmore Mercy Hospital, at 2950 Elmwood Ave. in Tonawanda.

Laundry and dry cleaningEdit

  • 5 Military Laundry & Lounge, 346 Military Rd. (Metro Bus 3 or 23), +1 716 447-2170. Daily 11AM-2AM.
  • 6 Riverside Laundromat, 252 Ontario St. (Metro Bus 5). Daily 7AM-9PM.

Places of worshipEdit

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Roman CatholicEdit

  • 7 All Saints RC Church, 127 Chadduck Ave. (Metro Bus 5), +1 716 875-8183. Mass Su 8:30AM & 11AM, Sa 4PM, M-F 8:30AM (in parish center). All Saints Catholic Church was founded by Bishop Charles Colton to serve the largely Irish population of the then-new neighborhood of Riverside. The present building — the third to house the congregation — is a handsome Colonial edifice dedicated in 1937 and home to a "Mighty Wurlitzer" organ donated by famous hotelier and local native son Ellsworth Statler. All Saints remains a robust congregation headed by longtime pastor Angelo Chimera.  
The twin towers of the Church of the Assumption dominate Amherst Street a block east of Grant Street.
  • 8 Assumption RC Church, 435 Amherst St. (Metro Bus 3 or 32), +1 716 875-7626. Mass Su 9AM & 11AM, Sa 8AM & 4PM, M-F 7AM & 8AM. With the completion of the New York Central Railroad's Belt Line in 1883, the eastern outskirts of Black Rock began to develop into Buffalo's second Polish neighborhood — a sort of little brother to Broadway-Fillmore — and Assumption Church, headed at the outset by the Rev. Theophil Kozlowski, was its nucleus. The current church, a majestic "Polish Cathedral style" edifice built in 1914 to a design by the local firm of Schmill & Gould, is still a fairly active one of about 2,500 registered members.


  • 9 Charity Baptist Church, 350 Austin St. (Metro Bus 3 or 32), +1 716 598-7363. Services Su 11AM. The former First Hungarian Baptist Church — a humble yet handsome wood-frame building on Austin Street in Grant-Amherst erected in 1912 as one of the few surviving works of local architect John Coxhead — has been reborn as the home to an "independent, fundamental, Bible-believing, soul-winning, compassionate gospel-preaching Baptist church" where the imposing Pastor Pete Wigdor offers old-fashioned, plainspoken solutions to the real problems of modern-day people. Charity Baptist Church's dedication to community outreach is exemplified not only in the Sunday morning services where regulars and visitors alike are welcomed with open arms, but with programs such as a weekly "Movie Night", a community food pantry, and occasional special events.
  • 10 Nazareth Lutheran Church, 265 Skillen St. (Metro Bus 3 or 5), +1 716 876-1787. Services Su 9AM. Nazareth Lutheran Church has been a steadfast presence in Riverside almost since the dawn of the neighborhood's history: it's been located on the same site since it was founded in 1914 as a mission of Calvary Lutheran Church in Cold Spring, and its current building — a charming little red-brick church in a simplified English Gothic style, with stained-glass windows from Pike Studio in Rochester — was erected in 1949. Today, Nazareth remains a friendly and welcoming congregation headed up by Pastor Dwayne Hendricks and affiliated with the Missouri Synod Lutheran Church. The church also does double duty as home of the Boys' & Girls' Clubs of the Northtowns, a testament to its commitment to community betterment.
  • 11 Ontario Street United Methodist Church, 179 Ontario St. (Metro Bus 5), +1 716 875-5639. Services Su 9AM. Founded in 1891 as a mission of the Richmond Avenue Methodist Episcopal Church, the Ontario Street United Methodist Church is a community linchpin whose humble but handsome 1914 edifice has been spruced up with a community garden, learning center, meeting space for neighborhood improvement programs, and other resources for Riverside residents. Best of all, pastor Nathan Lange, who also does double duty as leader of Trinity Methodist Church in Grand Island, maintains a friendly, open congregation that receives visitors with the utmost hospitality.
  • 12 RiverRock Church (Buffalo Myanmar Indigenous Christian Fellowship), 410 East St. (Metro Bus 5, 23, 32, 35 or 40), . They call themselves "An Assembly of Nations in the City", and it's no exaggeration: much like Victory International (see below), the congregation that meets in the former St. John the Baptist Catholic School building in Black Rock is a multicultural and multilingual one, with Sunday services held onsite in English (10:30AM), Burmese (2PM), plus Kirundi-language worship in the home of parishioner John William (email the church for details regarding this). Whatever your background, RiverRock is a welcoming and nonjudgmental venue for heartfelt worship in the Wesleyan tradition, headed up by the Rev. Dr. Robert Tice, a man with an interesting life story (according to his bio on the church's website, he was "converted to Christ out of Buffalo’s drug and music culture in the 1970s — from the Rolling Stones, to the Rock of Ages") and a long resume in the Western New York faith community.
  • 13 Riverside Baptist Church, 346 Ontario St. (Metro Bus 5), +1 716 876-3994. Services Su 11AM. From humble beginnings as a small mission in a little-developed tract north of Black Rock, Riverside Baptist Church's storied, century-long history has as a common thread an emphasis on bringing the faith into the community at large — ministering to children, the sick, and the elderly, organizing charitable efforts and programs for the less fortunate, and, of course, feeding the spiritual hunger of a robust and diverse congregation. An independent, Bible-believing Baptist church headed by the Rev. Rick English, Riverside Baptist is an inclusive congregation that welcomes all.
  • 14 St. John's United Church of Christ, 85 Amherst St. (Metro Bus 5, 32 or 40), +1 716 873-1642. Services Su 10AM. One of the oldest extant churches in the city, what was once called St. John's United Evangelical Church was founded in what was then the independent Village of Black Rock in 1847 — a fortuitous time, shortly ahead of a flood of German immigrants who would soon populate the vicinity. The interior of the current building, which dates to 1891, has been painstakingly restored to its original splendor. For all the history surrounding it, today St. John's United Church of Christ is a fairly unassuming place — set back on a leafy street surrounded by picture-perfect 150-year-old saltbox houses — and the congregation is as warm and friendly as all that sounds.
  • 15 St. Mark's & All Saints Episcopal Church, 311 Ontario St. (Metro Bus 5), +1 716 875-8374. Services Su 8AM & 10:30AM. The Reverend Henry Grace is the preacher at the West Side's sole Episcopalian church, the product of a merger between the two titular parishes that occurred in recent years. Adding to the pleasure of worship among St. Mark's & All Saints' friendly congregation is the building itself, a little sandstone church in Riverside built in a charming English country style.
  • 16 Victory International Assembly of God, 688 Tonawanda St. (Metro Bus 5, 23, 32 or 35), +1 716 873-2728. Services Su 10AM (English), 1:30PM (Burmese), 4PM (Kinyarwanda), & 7PM (Spanish); M 7PM (Burmese); Th 7PM (Spanish). An integral part of the Riverside community since 1933, the word "international" is no misnomer here: under the leadership of head pastor Dr. Ronald Thorington, Victory International Assembly of God goes further than any other West Side parish in spreading the good news to all the stripes of the neighborhood's ethnic rainbow — Sunday services are held in four different languages! Dr. Thorington's preaching style mixes the traditional with the contemporary, the rousing with the pensive, and the emotional with the didactic — the best of all possible worlds for everyone of all stations in life.
Hispanic ProtestantEdit
  • 17 Asamblea de Iglesias Cristianas Buffalo (Assembly of Christian Churches), 213 Ontario St. (Metro Bus 5), +1 716 883-1739. Services Su noon. Erected in 1931, the former Ontario Street Presbyterian Church is now home to Buffalo's chapter of this Hispanic Pentecostal denomination. Asamblea de Iglesias Cristianas is "a church that loves the Lord and our community" and visitors, too, with an approach that emphasizes evangelism and community outreach. Sunday services are followed by a free lunch for all congregants.
  • 18 Iglesia El Calvario, 221 East St. (Metro Bus 5, 32 or 40), +1 716 440-3410. Services Su 2PM. Rev. Osvaldo Torres heads up this friendly, family-oriented Assemblies of God congregation that meets weekly in the former Ripley Memorial Methodist Church, a handsome Romanesque Revival building in Black Rock that dates back to 1889. Services at El Calvario are generally in Spanish, but the congregation is bilingual and welcoming to folks of all stripes — and the rousing sermons and loving environment make for a moving faith experience.


  • 19 Debre Selam Medhane Alem Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church, 700 Tonawanda St. (Metro Bus 5, 23, 32 or 35), +1 202 710-0752. Services Su 8AM. Buffalonians of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo faith — a growing community of immigrants from Ethiopia, Eritrea and neighboring countries that's centered around Grant Street in the Upper West Side — now have a place of worship to call their own. The former West Side Hungarian Evangelical & Reformed Church, a stout brick edifice in Riverside that dates back to 1923, has been repurposed as the Debre Selam Medhane Alem Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church. Lively, friendly, and multiethnic services led by head priest Aba Hailemariam Mewded take place weekly.

Go nextEdit

Upper West Side, North Buffalo, Kenmore/Tonawanda

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