Cafe hopping around Buffalo
Not sure of which cafe to go to? We have a graph for that
There’s no more stereotypical place to find a college student than a café. With so many in Buffalo, it can be hard to pin down a good place for a cup of Joe and maybe something more. If you need a caffeine boost, a table to plop your laptop on for several hours or just looking to go meet some people, there’s a café for you.
Five Points Bakery and Toast Café
44 Brayton Street
Five Points is best described as charmingly specific. The bakery serves coffee or tea with a wide variety of bread. From your staple whole wheat to the German rye vollkornbrot, all toasted and served with sides, including many cheeses and jams.
The bakery itself is a large brick building dotted with succulents in the window and a calm atmosphere to enjoy your toast with friends. The bread is baked in the same room as the café, so you can enjoy the scents of cinnamon and cider while you lounge.
The outside features a few tables and couches, surrounded by flowers and a “bikery”: a separate structure to store your bike. Come for the bread, stay for the puns.
402 Connecticut Street
For those interested in coffee, sandwiches and famous female singers – and there are plenty of you – BreadHive is the place to go. Self-described as “Buffalo’s only worker-owned bakery and café,” BreadHive offers fresh-baked sourdough, rye and multigrain bread, pretzel bagels and a plethora of sandwiches to choose from.
Each sandwich is named after a famous female singer. The Gwen features turkey, pepper jack cheese and whipped avocado. The Whitney has roast beef, coleslaw and cheddar. The Dolly comes with BBQ sauce, onion and pickles.
The walls are covered with bread-based cultural artifacts: bread bandanas, a painting of a hippopotamus baker holding a loaf, the “Don’t Tread On Me” flag replaced with “Throw Bread On Me.” BreadHive is an immersive gluten experience.
Ashker’s on Elmwood
1002 Elmwood Ave.
An Elmwood landmark since its opening, Ashker’s serves breakfast foods and juices, alongside several varieties of coffee. The lines are often long but the food and drinks are certainly worth it.
Ashker’s food choices range from breakfast biscuits to black forest ham and cheese panini. The juices, freshly made onsite, fill the room with fruity scents. As the weather’s getting colder, maybe a breath of summery smells is just what we need.
1406 Hertel Ave, 765 Elmwood Ave, 225 Delaware Ave
SPoT Coffee is a local café chain with many locations in WNY. There are three listed here, located in N. Buffalo, Elmwood Village and downtown.
The benefit of going to a chain is usually a wider variety of choices. The cafés all feature salads, pizzas, sandwiches, omelets and waffles as well as every variety of espresso drinks, coffees and teas you could want.
Unlike big chains like Starbucks, SPoT makes an effort to individualize each store to fit the neighborhood more. While there still is certainly an element of cohesion among each café’s vibe, it is definitely worth checking out each SPoT you come across.
957 Elmwood Ave
One of the famous cafés among locals, Aroma is a European-style chameleon of a café. It takes on the role of meeting place, morning coffee stop, poetry reading venue and bar. If you want to do something, you can probably do it at Aroma.
The café has an outdoor sitting area that wraps around the corner of Elmwood and Bidwell. In recent years, it has become a common place for dog owners to sit with their pets and luckily, the dogs are usually eager for belly rubs from any patron.
Aroma serves alcohol and is open most nights until midnight, making it a viable alternative to the loud bars of the Elmwood Strip. Try the Gaelic coffee.
100 Elmwood Ave
Located in Allentown, Taza is a small hole-in-the-wall café with as much character as you could possibly squeeze into it.
There’s a large stack of books, covering topics from architecture to spies and the folks who go there are often up for a chat about pretty much anything.
Elbowroom is in short supply and seating is limited, but the people are friendly and talkative. Besides, sometimes a coffee-to-go and a walk around the neighborhood is an experience all in itself.
1862 Hertel Ave
A popular spot among professors and students alike, Daily Planet serves the N. Buffalo and University Heights area good coffee and soups.
The café receives daily deliveries of pretzel bagels from BreadHive and makes fresh soups and chilies. A long bench lines the wall with convenient plugs just below it, making it an ideal study spot.
Daily Planet hosts plenty of musicians as well. Studying with a cup of coffee to a finely trained classical guitarist picking away is not a bad deal at all.
Located in the dining hall of the Ellicott dorms, Perks can be a great place to escape your dorm room for a bit.
The café serves Starbucks coffee and, for many students living in the dorms, is only a short walk away. The recently remodeled stop offers comfy couches and plenty of space to hang out for a bit.
Not into coffee? Not sure why you’re reading this article. But Perks also serves ice cream, cookies and milkshakes, making it a fun lounge for freshman and sophomore students not so into the caffeine grind.
Center for the Arts
Seasons is one of the healthier options offered at UB, situated in one of the nicer buildings. The CFA lets in plenty of natural light through its huge skylight and that makes Seasons, situated in the center, a nice break from the usual drab greyness of North Campus.
The cafe serves fresh juices, healthy snacks and sandwiches and of course, coffee. The CFA is off the Academic Spine but that makes Seasons more of a retreat from campus life.
Dan McKeon is a copy editor and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org