100 Things To Love About Buffalo, NY

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Today – July 16 – is affectionately known as #716Day in the Buffalo, NY area. It’s a wonderful day for Buffalonians and ex-pats alike to celebrate this fair city and all the incredible things it has to offer. As someone who’s lived in Buffalo my whole life – 24 years – I simply have so much love for this city. It’s my home, and even on those days when it seems less than perfect, it’s where I feel like I belong.

What better day than today to share my “Buffalove” with all of you?

So — here it is: my list of 100 things to love about Buffalo, NY.

  1. The revitalization of Canalside. Check it out now as opposed to a few years ago, and it’s hard to believe it’s even the same place.
  2. Duff’s…
  3. Anchor Bar….
  4. … and Wingfest, just in case you can’t quite make up your mind.
  5. The view from the top of City Hall. Arguably the best view in the city.
  6. Shark Girl. Hate it, love it, don’t understand it… public art in Buffalo is a damn wonderful thing.
  7. Driving on the Skyway at night and smelling…. Cheerios!!!
  8. Bars stay open until 4 a.m. Enough said.
  9. Might-y Taco. Might-y Taco. (To Taco Bell I say, pffffft.)
  10. PLENTY of local art galleries, big and small.
  11. Shakespeare in Delaware Park
  12. The Taste of Buffalo
  13. Shea’s Performing Arts Center. A truly beautiful, historic theater – and one of many…
  14. So many other theatres, in fact. From 710 Main to Theatre of Youth, the Irish Classical Theatre and so much more. There’s always a live show to be seen somewhere in Buffalo. If you’re up for it, go a little further out and take in a show at the Lancaster Opera House.
  15. The Buffalo Sabres. Of course.
  16. Food Truck Tuesdays
  17. Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural National Historic Site
  18. Bisons games
  19. Kleinhans Music Hall
  20. The Karpeles Manuscript Museum
  21. The Chip Strip
  22. All the beaches.
  23. Driving into the city on the 190 because… that skyline.
  24. Four words: The World’s Largest Disco.
  25. Books, books, books. I still remember being sad when Borders closed out of the mall, but there are plenty of other bookstores locally, including Talking Leaves, Old Editions, Rust Belt Books and Westside Stories. You also can’t forget the 37 Buffalo & Erie County Public Library locations.
  26. The Buffalo Bills
  27. Fish fry. Nom, nom, nom.
  28. The Burchfield-Penney
  29. The people. Buffalo is known as “The City of Good Neighbors” for a reason.
  30. Jim’s Steakout and the fact that it’s open so late. Seriously – I had a moment the other day where I thought they’d be close before my fiancé got out of work (9 pm). I quickly realized my mistake and burst out laughing at the thought that they’d close so early.
  31. HARBORcenter
  32. The Broadway Market, especially at holiday times
  33. FC Buffalo games, because… “We are FOR OUR CITY.” Also, where else can you hear a crowd of people sing along to “Bohemian Rhapsody” right now?
  34. Post-tailgating a Bills game to avoid traffic.
  35. Lake Effect Ice Cream. Because really, where else can you get an ice cream called “The Aud?”
  36. Tifft Nature Preserve
  37. The Darwin Martin House
  38. Pearl Street Grill & Brewery.
  39. Silo City
  40. If you’re walking – it’s pretty easy on the feet. Don’t get it? Visit a city like Pittsburgh, filled with hills on hills on hills, and then come back to Buffalo. You’ll understand then. (Nothing against Pittsburgh – just saying, the feet love flat sidewalks!)
  41. Kayaking on the Buffalo River
  42. Going to a free Thursday concert at Canalside
  43. Expansion of the Outer Harbor
  44. Garden Walk time of year.
  45. Watching the revamp of The Hotel Lafayette
  46. Being a five-minute drive from Canada.
  47. The Albright-Knox Art Gallery – truly a local gem.
  48. All the other things you can do in Delaware Park. From foot golf to tennis, a Japanese garden to the Marcy Casino, trails for running/walking and so much more…
  49. Frank Lloyd Wright’s history with the city.
  50. Architecture, architecture, architecture!
  51. Dyngus Day in Buffalo is the bomb dot com.
  52. If you want poutine, you can get poutine. Try the Allen Street Poutine Co. for starters.
  53. That feeling you get when you go on vacation/etc. and then come back to Buffalo. Ahhhh. Home, sweet home.
  54. Heading to the Erie County Fair on a sunny summer day.
  55. How much we love our sports. Don’t even bother asking us about “No Goal.” We’re never going to let it go.
  56. Visiting the shops at Elmwood Village. Plus restaurants, galleries and so much more.
  57. The sheer number of outdoor rinks. From the skating rink at Fountain Plaza, to Canalside, to RiverWorks, to – outside Buffalo – the Healthy Zone Rink at East Aurora…. And many more.
  58. South Buffalo’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade.
  59. … and the Italian Festival, Greek Fest, Juneteenth, the Grease Pole Festival….
  60. The local brewery scene (Community Beer Works, Big Ditch Brewery, Hydraulic Hearth)
  61. Pride Festival
  62. The fact that the Bills are, indeed, the only NFL team in New York State.
  63. Going for ice cream from Anderson’s… and maybe some roast beef, too.
  64. Where else can you get Christmas tree ornament shaped like chicken wings, Beef on Weck, sponge candy, pierogies and a butter lamb? Seriously.
  65. Ted’s. Always. (And then checking out Theodore’s to see how the two compare.)
  66. Checking out the Allentown Art Festival… even if you don’t buy anything.
  67. Sponge candy locale. Seriously – some people outside Buffalo have never heard of it!
  68. B-I-N-G-O. It’s not lame, we swear.
  69. The fact that someone turned grain elevators into giant Labatt Blue beer cans. Well, sort of.
  70. It’s hard to believe some places around the country aren’t fortunate enough to have it. But we are, so let’s go get a sub and celebrate.
  71. Being able to pronounce things like “Scajaquada” and “Cazenovia” and “Cheektowaga.”
  72. The diversity of the West Side Bazaar.
  73. Eating the BEST Beef on Weck…. with horseradish, of course. (Or if you’re really hardcore, making your own horseradish. Hoo boy, that stuff is potent.)
  74. How bicycle-friendly the city is (or is becoming.)
  75. Riding the Metro Rail after a Sabres win – bonus points if it’s against the Leafs.
  76. The glorious, possibly-heart-attack-inducing Paula’s Donuts.
  77. Watching a Sabres game outside in the Party in the Plaza.
  78. We hate it, we love it, but… it’s ours, regardless. And let’s face it, a lot of other places would go crazy with eight feet of snow – but we basically know how to handle it.
  79. Chef’s. (and now, their food truck!)
  80. Many great venues to catch a show at, depending on your flavor: Helium, Broadway Joe’s, The Waiting Room, Town Ballroom…
  81. How proud of the city the citizens are – and how quickly they’ll defend the 716 when non-Buffalonians try to criticize. Just look at the uproar that came when Bon Jovi tried to move the Bills to Toronto. Nope.
  82. From Bocce to Imperial, Just Pizza to Gino & Joe’s, Pizza Plant to La Nova and so much more. If you look hard enough, even the toughest eater will find a pizza to love. Yum. (Can someone bring me a slice of chicken finger pizza, please? Thank you.)
  83. No matter where you go, Buffalo is always going to be home – and will always welcome you home, possibly with some snow.
  84. All the history that’s happened here, from the Underground Railroad history at the Michigan Avenue Baptist Church, to the architectural history, to visiting the spot where President McKinley was shot, and the fact that President Fillmore grew up here.
  85. “JOHNNY…. WHO?” Because Bandits games are always a blast, even if you don’t know all the ins and outs of lacrosse. (I don’t.)
  86. Frank’s Hot Sauce, Weber’s mustard, and all the other intricate food delicacies from Buffalo.
  87. You never have to go far for Tim Hortons.
  88. Great local start-up projects like Breadhive and the University Heights Tool Library.
  89. TBN may be the area’s major local paper, but there’s also the Bees, Artvoice, The Loop and many more that can quench your thirst for a good story.
  90. Buffalo is headquarters for New Era. Those Stanley Cup Champions hats? Made here. Super Bowl hats? Made in Buffalo. Kind of awesome to see those Buffalo-made products sported nationwide.
  91. At some point or another, Buffalo does get all four seasons. Even if winter lasts until May and we get two weeks of something sort-of called spring and then *maybe* summer comes in late July. Of course, we could also get all four seasons in one week…
  92. The true feeling of resurgence and rebuilding throughout the city.
  93. Think of all the great people who have been born here – from David Boreanaz to Chad Michael Murray, Rick James to Wolf Blitzer, Tim Russert to Grover Cleveland, the Goo Goo Dolls and so many others. Including me.
  94. Public transit. Sure, buses aren’t always on time and sometimes you run into some less-than-friendly characters, but the fact is that Buffalo has a decent bus system, at least within the city. Of course, there will always be talk about extending the Metro Rail… any day now.
  95. Lots of great options to dine lakeside. From Templeton Landing downtown to restaurants all along Lake Erie, if you’re ever looking for a meal with a view, Buffalo can give it to you.
  96. The “Shout!” song.
  97. How about other attractions outside the city? From Niagara Falls, to the quaint history & arts in East Aurora, Chestnut Ridge Park, the Basilica in Lackawanna, and so much more…. It’s not just Buffalo, but the whole WNY region.
  98. The Pegula family. How can you *not* love them and what they’ve done for the city?
  99. The fact that Buffalonians are everywhere. Has anyone else experienced this? You go out of town and somehow, no matter the odds, you stumble upon someone else who grew up in or once lived in the 716.
  100. The fact that Buffalonians actually celebrate #716Day. THAT is how proud we are.

What did I miss? What else do you love about Buffalo?

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