Post-graduation gourmet

A guide to fine dining in Buffalo


College graduation is a significant milestone for many students. Graduation parties are gone, but it is still a time for celebration. Buffalo is known for wings and beef on weck, but that doesn’t mean there is a lack of fine dining in the area. The Spectrumcompiled a list of restaurants that are fancy enough to convince your mom that you took care of yourself for the last four years.


945 Kenmore Ave.

 Sinatra’s is a traditional Southern Italian restaurant with a welcoming atmosphere. It offers a moderately priced menu with a variety of pasta dishes and entrees. Prices range from $18-$40. It features traditional Italian cuisine like artichoke francese and braciole, as well as New York strip steak and veal. Sinatra’s also offers a vast wine list and multiple dessert options. 

The large dining room and ample bar seats ensure that there is room for visiting relatives. The restaurant is located nearby University Heights, which makes it an easy choice for those unfamiliar with the Buffalo area. 


1198 Hertel Ave.

 Ristorante Lombardo is another traditional Italian restaurant but with a more formal atmosphere. The restaurant includes valet parking and a complimentary coat check. In addition to an eclectic menu of Italian cuisine, it also features a menu of wood-fired pizzas. Prices range from $13-$53 The menu also features a large wine list and homemade dessert options. 

 The restaurant has a smaller, intimate dining area and an outdoor patio for warmer weather. The restaurant is located on Hertel Avenue, which also hosts a variety of bars and dessert locations nearby.


800 Maple Road.

 800maple provides fine dining less than 10 minutes away from North Campus. The restaurant is known for its vast menu of modern American cuisine. The menu features a variety of specials, like the filet mignon and Maine lobster linguini. It also features a variety of wood-fired pizzas. Prices range from $18-$48. 800maple offers full bar service.

 800maple is a popular location for students throughout the year. Despite the fancy cuisine, the restaurant is known for its casual and modern atmosphere. 

NOVEL Restaurant

7170 Transit Road

 NOVEL Restaurant is a bit further away from campus, but the high-quality food makes the drive worth it. The restaurant is known for its upscale Italian cuisine, with a variety of entrees like chicken marsala and Frenched pork chop. It also offers classic Italian pasta dishes. Prices range from $19-$48 and offer a $10 pasta special on Sunday.  

 Novel Restaurant offers full bar service and provides separate bar room tables. The dining room offers a modern, hip atmosphere.

Morton’s The Steakhouse

2 Fountain Plaza

 Morton’s is an upscale chain restaurant known for its prime-beef dinners. It is renowned across the country for its high-quality food and formal atmosphere. The menu is incredibly vast and features a variety of steak, chicken and seafood. The restaurant claims to provide the top 2% of beef available in the United States. Prices range from $27-$114. 

 Morton’s caters to a business casual atmosphere. The dining room is large and elegant. 

Oliver’s Restaurant

2095 Delaware Ave.

 Oliver’s may not have the largest menu, but each dish offered is crafted to be perfect for any special occasional. The restaurant is known for its upscale American cuisine with options like lobster tail, duck breast and grilled ribeye. It also offers decently sized dessert menu and full-bar service. Prices range from $24-$49. 

 Oliver’s is known for its vintage aesthetic with the focus on round booths surrounding the bar. They also offer a small number of tables. The restaurant occasionally hosts live music to accompany the atmosphere. 

Buffalo Chophouse

282 Franklin St.

 Buffalo Chophouse is a steakhouse located in downtown Buffalo near Shea’s Theater. While it is a bit further from campus, it is also accessible from the metro rail. While the restaurant is known for its variety of steak cuts, such as 20-ounce strip steaks and 32-ounce-ribeyes, it also features seafood and chicken. It also has a dessert menu and full service bar. Prices vary from $35-$99. 

Samantha Vargas is the assistant arts editor and can be reached at


 Samantha Vargas is an English/ film studies double major with a minor in media study. She spends her free time finding shows around buffalo and hanging out with her cat.