/ On The Road
On The Road — By Andy Hayes on July 25, 2010 at 12:09 am
Filed under: culture, food, neighborhood, Shopping, top-feature

The Best of Buffalo: Elmwood Village

I was pleasantly surprised during my recent travel to Buffalo, New York. My visions of snowdrifts and snowplows did not come to fruition, though I was smart and visited during the height of summer.  However, I was blown away but the charming communities and superb architecture all over the city.  One area, though, really stood out to me as a special place, one worth making the trip to Buffalo only to see.  That’s Elmwood Village, just north of the city’s downtown quarter.

Elmwood Village was recently voted as one of the top ten neighborhoods in the United States to live in.  With so much on ones doorstop, its easy to see why it was a winner.  But what’s there to do for a visitor?

Things To Do

Elmwood Village (or, in this case, Elmwood Avenue) stretches for a couple of miles, alternating between more residential areas and clusters of shops and attractions.  Some recommendations and highlights:


At the north end of Elmwood Avenue are a couple of great museums, as well a great park for walks and relaxing.  The two museums:

  • Albright-Knox: This venue is one of those great museums which seems to have a little bit of everything, so you get a nice sampling of pieces, from local modern art to classics like Monet for Joan Miro.  A bright, airy gallery that makes a great respite from a the hot sun or a rainy afternoon.
  • Burchfield Penny:  The Burchfield sets to highlight famous and up-and-coming Western NY artists, and does a fine job of doing just that.  It’s not surprising to see such talent coming from the area, given the beautiful surroundings in which they can be inspired.

Food and Drink

I think you can eat your way down Elmwood Avenue – I tried but got full half way.  That shouldn’t stop you – I can’t list everything here, but I can definitely give you some suggestions:

  • Spot Coffee:  Spot was one of my favourites from Rochester, and this location is huge.  The coffee is tasty, and so are their sandwiches and pastries.  If you’re looking for a heavy, but good option have the Mike Sandwich (cream cheese, eggs, and a meat of your choice.  Yum.)
  • Cafe Aroma:  This place is always crowded, and for good reason:  good food, good drink, good ambience.  If you see a table, grab it!
  • Cozumel Grill:  This is the local Mexican joint – you can’t miss it from the loud paint job on the exterior.  Good for drinks, socialising, and relaxing.
  • Sweet Tooth:  Ice creams!  Milkshakes!  Chocolates!  This is a dairy-lovers and chocaholics heaven.


Again, the options here are pretty..eclectic. Which is nice – you will definitely find the exact thing you didn’t know you were looking for. Allentown Music is kind of cool just to see the old house with guitars plastered everywhere.  Other shops you’ll find:

  • Two day spas
  • Lots of gift shops
  • Bars and cocktail lounges
  • Treats and gifts for your doggy or kitten
  • Candy shops
  • Local art galleries/studios
  • A really funky tattoo parlour (the building is purple!)

Seriously, just when you think you’ve decided where to eat and you’ve bought everything you want/need, the next corner will tempt you with more fun shops and sights.

Essential Info

So, you’re ready for your Elmwood Village adventure, right?  A few pieces of essential info:

Official website:  www.foreverelmwood.org

Getting There:  If you are staying in a downtown hotel, then just hop on the NFTA Metro Rail – it will take you a bit east of Elmwood, but it’s only about a 10-15 minute walk over.  Everything is on Elmwood Avenue (map).

There are also parking lots throughout the area so have a look around.  Though I suggest you park in a lot and get a day rate, then just walk to your various stops, instead of trying to move your car around a lot.

Photo by chrisdlugosz, gleepythelen

Note: Portions of the author’s trip were sponsored by the NY state tourism organization.  The opinions expressed here are the author’s.

Related places:
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    Elmwood, Buffalo, NY 14207
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Tags: culture, food, neighborhood, Shopping, top-feature

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