Different foods for different moods

Restaurants, cafes and food trucks for any situation


Going out to eat is always a good time, but choosing where to eat rarely is. Questions of “where do you want to eat?” are often answered with “I don’t know, where do you want to eat?,” endlessly shifting the responsibility of choosing a spot.

Lucky for you, The Spectrum is really getting into flowcharts. We got this handy one here to help you figure out where you want to eat — both on and off campus. The city is filled with foods to fit any palate, and they’re all just waiting for you to find them.

Amy’s Place

3234 Main St.

Buffalo has a very good problem. There are far too many diners than the city knows what to do with. The North Buffalo-University Heights area hosts Lake Effect Diner, Bertha’s Diner, JJ’s Cafe and — if you have no tact — a Denny’s, among other options. But one breakfast hub rises above the others: Amy’s Place.

The vegan-but-not-too-vegan restaurant has become a staple in the Heights, increasingly so in the last decade. Anything you order comes in generous portions without being too expensive or sacrificing quality. The service is quick, the coffee and iced tea are bottomless, and the fries come in all sorts of shapes and flavors. There’s no downside. Go now.

Five Points Bakery And Toast Cafe

44 Brayton St.

Located in an absurd five-way intersection, Five Points is a cathedral to bread, coffee and good times. The toast cafe is one big room where baking ovens fill the air with the scent of cinnamon and the bread is freshly toasted in what one former employee described as “magical bread tanning beds.”

The toast –– while a little pricey –– comes with jam, cheese and all other side fixins. Also, the ice cubes in the iced coffee are made of more coffee.

Gino’s NY Pizza Elmwood

1009 Elmwood Ave.

Pizza is the king of quick bites and, as a “holier than thou” Long Islander, I declare New York-style pizza to be the king of pizza.

Gino’s in Elmwood Village serves the closest thing to downstate pizza you’ll find in Buffalo. The pizza comes in many varieties — classic cheese, Buffalo chicken, broccoli and spinach, etc. Want to grab a slice? You’re going to want to grab it here.

Lloyd Taco Factory

1503 Hertel Ave.

Lloyd Taco Factory, the brick-and-mortar iteration of the popular food truck fleet, is located on Hertel Avenue in the midst of new bars and restaurants, making it an especially busy place on weekend nights — sometimes frustratingly so.

If you’re someone who wants top-notch burritos and tacos, but doesn’t want to wait in a long line, why not Lloyd for lunch? It’s the same food, you just aren’t surrounded by a bunch of loud, drunk yuppies.

Buffalo Chophouse

282 Franklin St.

If you’ve got money to burn through, you should consider investing in your portfolio, buying property or just doing anything financially responsible. If not, maybe look into some charitable causes to donate to. Why not even just save it? I don’t know, just reflect for a second before you go to Buffalo Chophouse.

If even after all of these considerations you’re still going to drop $69 on a 32 oz. ribeye, I hope you at least tip well. And, I mean, it’s pretty good steak from what I hear so enjoy it, you elitist.

Allen Street Poutine Company

242 Allen St.

Poutine is pub grub through and through. French fries mixed with cheese curds bathed in gravy does wonders to quell an alcohol-filled stomach. I know this is a Jim’s Steakout town, and I know there’s a Jim’s just down the street from Allen Street Poutine, but this is poutine we’re talking about. When you’re drunk and hungry, there’s not much that can top it.

Allen Street Poutine also serves alcohol so you can continue your night smoothly.

Skip the Dishes

App Store

Let’s say you and your pals have been pounding them back at a friend’s house. And let’s say none of the places on this list are within feasible walking distance, and none of you are in any state to drive. But despite all this, you really want food and probably shouldn’t cook over an open flame.

Enter Skip the Dishes. The app lets you order food from multiple local places, including Jim’s Steakout if my whole poutine spiel got you all worked up.

The bonus here is that sometimes you forget you even ordered, so suddenly a stranger shows up at your house with some food you didn’t even know you were craving. I’m not religious, but that’s pretty holy to me.

Allen Burger Venture

175 Allen St.

Allen Burger Venture is a go-to restaurant for many that actually deserves its spot as one of the best burger places in the city. It’s a safe choice to grab some food with friends, to take your family when they visit town or take a special someone. You know, like your landlord.

The burger joint has a deep roster of craft beers on tap, including many from around New York state. Remember, if you’re not at least a little tipsy, did you really go to Allen Street?

Au Bon Pain

Greiner Hall

If you’re looking for a casual place on campus to get to know someone, Au Bon Pain may just be the best you can do. Soups –– the most wholesome dish –– and bread –– the holiest of foods –– give those early conversations a joyful tone.

It’ll give you fond memories to sadly look back on when the relationship comes crashing down, and you sit and wonder where it all went wrong. You’ll wish you could go back to those earlier times, sipping coffee at Au Bon Pain. Also, they’ve got some good juice options.


Red Jacket Quad, Ellicott Complex

Yeah, I know what you’re thinking. You’re saying to yourself, “C3? Is the writer OK? Do they have any taste at all? This is a sham of an article and just a waste of a well-designed flowchart. I’m going to comment angrily on Facebook without having read the full piece.”

Look, you’re the one who wants to go on a serious date on campus, buddy. I don’t care if you don’t have a car, take the bus to South. If you don’t want to do that, yes, I’d send you to C3. Enjoy the smorgasbord with this person you apparently don’t care enough about to take a bus ride with.

The cereal bar part is pretty cool though.

Food trucks

Various locations on campus

UB has two food trucks: Little Blue and Big Blue. Both pop-up all over campus –– often just outside the Student Union –– and have a menu that makes you forget North Campus is isolated in a suburb. You’ll think, “Wow! A food truck! It’s like I’m in a city!”

So gather your friends, wait in line and buy food being prepared in an automobile for some reason. If you’d rather not wait to just bump into Little or Big Blue, you can take all the mystery out of it by looking up their location on Twitter.


Student Union

Got the rumblies, but don’t have any friends? Head to Moe’s and grab a burrito! Nothing can replace human connection and the need for socialization except a big ol’ burrito. Moe’s often has a line that would make you consider going somewhere else, but the brave solo journey through the monotony of waiting makes the reward at the end all the better.

Dan McKeon is the copy chief and can be reached at dan.mckeon@ubspectrum.com and @Dan_McKeon_.