Best restaurants in Buffalo

The Queen City’s best original food establishments


We’re supposed to eat three square meals a day – but where? UB has a variety of options on campus, but off campus is an entirely new world. Elmwood and Allen provide downtown goodies; Amherst has gems hidden amongst suburban neighborhoods. Here’s The Spectrum’s roundup of the best in the food business to satisfy any appetites.

Best Food Truck

Amy’s Food Truck

Amy’s Place has been serving up Lebanese-style comfort food near South Campus since 1981. Vegetarians and vegans rejoice at the menu options, which offers the most extensive list of meatless food of any restaurant in Buffalo.

Amy’s has just what college students are looking for in a food truck: a large menu, low prices and big portions.

The truck can be found serving up homemade food at many big local events, including Food Truck Tuesdays. The lines are usually long, but that shouldn’t discourage you from enjoying their delicious food. It’s well worth the wait.

Some of the most popular items on their menu are the Vegan Lentil-Berry Sandwich, the Biff and the Falafel Sandwich. Amy’s isn’t only for vegetarians; it has plenty of meat dishes to offer as well. The Dan Kabobs and the Margie Meal are sure to satisfy your carnivorous cravings.

Best Sit-Down Restaurant

The Left Bank

This restaurant is situated in Buffalo’s West Side on Rhode Island Street and has been a staple of fine dining for years. The Left Bank focuses mainly on Italian cuisine but offers plenty of variety.

The atmosphere here is intimate and warm. Dinners are eaten under candlelight and noise is never an issue despite the small size of the building.

The Left Bank has been near the top on’s list of best restaurants in Buffalo for years. The menu doesn’t change much, but the quality of the food is consistently exceptional.

The only catch is that you might have to make your reservations more than a week in advance since this establishment is in such high demand. There are many expensive options but this restaurant does offer a few lower priced meals, including $12 pasta dishes.

Best Vegetarian Food


Merge, located on Delaware Avenue in Downtown Buffalo, offers a lot of variety for different eaters. Vegetarians and vegans will feel at home here, as Merge has a long list of meat-free options.

The prices at Merge are very reasonable and the staff is accommodating. There are many healthy options that won’t break the bank. Some of their popular choices are the vegan seitan wings, vegan pancakes and the udon miso bowl.

The inside is adorned with a multitude of art and colors and the tall ceiling gives it a grand ambiance. There is also an expansive dessert menu, which also has options for vegans such as a vegan peanut butter cheesecake.

Merge enjoys a hefty amount of business since it is situated near a downtown hotspot. Fortunately, there is plenty of seating so reservations aren’t needed. On some nights, there’s live music to add to the lively and pleasant ambience.

Best Breakfast

Five Points Bakery and Toast Cafe

Located in an up-and-coming section of Buffalo’s West Side on Brayton Street, Five Points Bakery serves up the best toast in Buffalo. Toast doesn’t seem like an adventurous or particularly great food to base an entire restaurant around, but don’t make that assumption until you try it.

Five Points sources their ingredients locally and all of their food is homemade. The toast is thicker than any you’ve seen and the delicious cinnamon rolls are made on whole wheat bread.

There is indoor and outdoor seating and the restaurant offers a 10% discount for anybody who walks or bikes there. Dogs are welcome in the outdoor seating and the employees will offer a dish of cold water for your companion when they bring out your food.

You can’t go wrong with any of the toast here, but the power bread and the volkornbrot are especially impressive.

Overall, the staff is friendly and the entire place is a work of beauty. Sip on their delicious iced coffee under the pergola outside and enjoy the people-watching.

Most Underrated

Don Tequila

Don Tequila arguably serves the most authentic Mexican cuisine in Buffalo. Located on Allen St, the restaurant is packed on Friday and Saturday nights, yet it still flies under the radar compared to other restaurants in the Allentown area.

Your server starts you off with complimentary tortilla chips and salsa. The salsa is incredibly thin, but very garlic-heavy. The menu is the largest of any Mexican restaurant in the area.

There’s a vegetarian section on the menu. Many of the dishes are centered on yellow rice and pinto beans topped with melted cheese. The combos are very affordable and the options are endless.

Don Tequila is lively, fun and genuine. Traditional music plays in the background of this dimly-lit establishment. The portion sizes are generous here, so you’ll leave feeling satisfied.

Their margarita tower isn’t too bad either – priced at $30, it’s a perfect drink to share with a group for a night on the town.

Don Tequila’s location on the middle of Allen Street makes it a worthwhile stop, as it’s a short walk away from the medical campus metro station. This place is best for dinner or late night and it’s open until 3 a.m. for most of the week and weekends.

Andrew Safe is a staff writer and can be reached at