All over UB, students have embarked on a quest around Buffalo to find their favorite spot to grab a bite. Well look no further than Main Street and stop in to The Lake Effect Diner.
The Curtin family, which owns the diner, also owns The Steer – the popular bar located right next door – Dug's Dive, and Woody's Beach Club and Taqueria. All the Curtin's eateries are located in Buffalo.
About a 10-minute walk from South Campus, right down Main Street – in between Northup and Highgate – and around a 10-minute drive from North Campus, Lake Effect Diner is a convenient place to grab a bite for college students and all Buffalo residents alike.
Whatever you're in the mood for, the Lake Effect Diner probably makes it.
Fish? Haddock is a specialty, featured on Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives.
Breakfast? Try the French toast with some homemade sausage on the side.
Finger foods? You can't go wrong with chili cheese fries.
All of the restaurant's meat – sausage, turkey, and ham – is home-cooked, all products are locally bought in the Buffalo area (specifically from local farms), and the diner even has its own orange juice dispenser.
One of the fan-favorites is the 3-3-3 Breakfast – three eggs, three pancakes, and three slices of bacon. It's perfect for when you can't decide whether you're in the mood for sweet or salty.
One problem with the diner: the sign is quite misleading. Although it says the diner is open 24 hours, don't be fooled. The diner is open seven days a week, from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. So if you're looking for a late night snack, head to Tom's Family Restaurant on Sheridan instead. Just keep in mind that Tom's received a two and a half plate approval rating, while Lake Effect got three and a half, according to Tripadvisor.com.
Like many diners that still keep their old-fashioned '50s feel, Lake Effect is home to hand-dipped milkshakes, malts, and floats. The restaurant offers over 25 different flavors of milkshakes – from classic flavors like vanilla and chocolate to more Buffalo-inspired flavors like Loganberry. The best part? If you're really craving a milkshake, Lake Effect offers a two-for-one Tuesday milkshake deal. All you need to do is purchase one menu item and you get two large milkshakes for only $5.
A great thing about Lake Effect is that if what you want isn't on the menu, it's no problem. If the cooks can find whatever you're looking for in the kitchen, they'll make it. For someone with a cheesy mashed potato obsession, all you have to do is ask for some extra cheese on top. They place in front of you some delicious, cheesy mashed potatoes smothered in gravy, seasoned just enough to make your mouth water before you start devouring.
And here's a fun fact about the Diner: It's television famous. Ever seen Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives with Guy Fieri on the Food Network? The bleach blonde reality star took a trip up to Buffalo to visit the diner and see how the Curtins work their magic.
If you're one of those people that pick a meal and stick with it, the employee's got you. After visiting the diner often enough and ordering the same thing – special requests or not – they already know it when you walk in the door.
It gives the diner that personal, welcoming feel. In many students' hometown, they have that one place they go to where everyone knows their name. Lake Effect is a great replacement when those students are missing their favorite hometown diner.
The most common complaint about the Diner is its prices, which are not very diner-like at all. It's a bit pricey, but if it's quality you're looking for, the slightly expensive meals are worth it. And hey, at least they accept Campus Cash, right?