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Everything You Have to Eat in Greater Niagara

by Ohio Digital News

From Buffalo wings and beef on weck to international delicacies and world-famous food festivals, Greater Niagara’s food scene is unlike any other! As a renowned melting pot for diverse dishes and dining experiences, there’s something to please every palate from delicious hidden gems to decadent fine dining. Be sure to bring your appetite because here’s everything you have to eat in Greater Niagara. Photo credit: @thelastwingette on Instagram.

Hometown Classics


Table with bowls of different flavored wings, onion rings, celery, and carrots.Credit: @gregs_adventure on Instagram

Welcome to the home of the Buffalo wing! Invented at Buffalo’s own Anchor Bar in the 1960s, no trip is complete without indulging in one of America’s favorite foods. Known to locals as just wings, you’re spoiled for choice with all kinds of beloved establishments like Gabriel’s Gate, Nine-Eleven Tavern, and Duff’s Famous Wings serving up the tastiest and sauciest flavors. Plus, the city even has its own Wing Trail if you’re looking to sample wings as unique and distinct as Buffalo itself. 

Buffalo-Style Pizza

A slice of cheesy pizza with cup-and-char pepperoniCredit: @theeverydayfoodie on Instagram 

A hybrid between a classic New York thin slice and Chicago deep dish, Buffalo-style pizza offers a slice of comfort for anyone looking to indulge in ooey gooey goodness. The crust is neither too thick nor too thin, making it the perfect base to support a hefty amount of cheese, semi-sweet sauce, and region-famous cup-and-char pepperoni. Bocce Club Pizza (pictured) has been the place to grab a slice since 1946 alongside Bob and John’s La Hacienda and Imperial Pizza.  

Beef on Weck

Beef on weck, onion rings, and a loganberryCredit: @badyuma on Instagram

Beef on weck, Western New York’s longtime favorite sandwich. For those who are unfamiliar, beef on weck is carved roast beef served on a salted hard roll with caraway seeds. While there’s a few different stories about its introduction, this tasty sandwich arrived decades before the Buffalo wing and has been a staple ever since. These beauties can be found all around the region including popular spots like Schwabl’s, Charlie the Butcher (pictured), and Bar-Bill Tavern. Bonus points if you have it alongside a glass of Loganberry. 

Sponge Candy

A stack of sponge candiesCredit: @niagarabyfrey on Instagram

Craving a sweet treat? You’re in luck! The Greater Niagara region is the beating heart of the “sponge belt,” where sponge candy can be found around every corner. Made up of caramelized sugar spun into a light, airy honeycomb and covered in chocolate, this crunchy-yet-creamy confection is as good as it sounds. Taste it for yourself at Fowler’s Chocolates, Watson’s Chocolates, or Oliver’s Candies

Charcoal-Broiled Hot Dogs

Two hot dogs with pickles, mustard, and onions on a plate with fries and a cup of cheeseCredit: @theeverydayfoodie on Instagram 

Boasting more than 250 years of hot dog history thanks to long-time frankfurter manufacturers Sahlen’s and Wardynski’s, Buffalo has perfected its version of the American classic: the charcoal-broiled hot dog. For generations, roadside stands have been charcoal broiling their hot dogs, creating crispy, flavorful goodness in every bite. Ted’s Hot Dogs, Frank Gourmet Hot Dogs, and Red Top are all popular spots, but no matter where you go, be sure to order it with the works and a side of hand-cut fries. 

Must-Try Meals

The Silo 

Haystack Sandwich at The Silo

Housed in a structure from the 1930s that once held coal for steamers, The Silo in Lewiston is the place to go for new American favorites and jaw-dropping sandwiches. Face the famed Haystack Sandwich (pictured), seasoned rib-eye steak with loads of melted mozzarella, piled high with toasted hash browns, and served on a fresh baked hoagie roll with mayo, which was featured on the Travel Channel’s “Man V. Food.” They even have a meatless version alongside other vegetarian and vegan options. 

Jay’s Artisan Pizzeria 

'Nduja pie from Jay's ArtisanCredit: @jaysartisan on Instagram

A stop at Jay’s in Kenmore is one you won’t regret. This laid-back pizzeria serves up Neapolitan and Detroit-style dishes that have been ranked 8th in the U.S. and 28th in the world for 2023 by 50 Top Pizza, an Italian guide that evaluates pizza from around the world. Each pie is made with locally-sourced, fresh ingredients from the open-air kitchen which features a hand-built brick Pavesi oven. The ‘Nduja pie (pronounced doo-ya) is a favorite on the menu, made with a spiced pork spread and Fontal cheese.

Red Coach Inn

Red Coach Inn - Photo Courtesy of Red Coach InnPhoto courtesy of Red Coach Inn

If you’re visiting the mighty Niagara Falls, be sure to add the Red Coach Inn’s AAA Three Diamond restaurant to your itinerary. This full-service establishment was rated “Four Stars-Excellent” by the Niagara Gazette, and was the winner of two Taste of Buffalo’s People’s Choice awards. The extensive menu, which includes Bruschetta pasta, Crème Brulee French toast, and scallops Florentine, among other delights, is best enjoyed from the outdoor patio or Rapids Room, featuring a panoramic view of the Niagara Rapids. 

Waxlight Bar à Vin

2024 James Beard Award finalist for Outstanding Wine & Other Beverage Program, Waxlight Bar à Vin is a modern, wine-focused restaurant in the Black Rock neighborhood of Buffalo. Led by a team of owner-operator sommeliers and chefs, this is the place to indulge in a delicious meal and unique beverage pairing. The menu features larger plates like duck leg confit and freekeh bigoli, and smaller plates like carrot toast with citrus ricotta. 

Southern Junction

Texas-style cooking meets South Asian flavors at this 2024 James Beard finalist for Emerging Chef. Follow your nose through Buffalo’s West Side as the scent of fire-licked smoked meat draws you into the lively atmosphere of Southern Junction. The menu features a variety of indulgent meats like oak-smoked pulled pork with coconut curry sauce and Barbacurry smoked beef brisket, as well as sides that include cauliflower Manchurian “burnt ends” and Cardamom cornbread. 

Unique Dining Experiences 

Top of the Falls 

A group of people enjoy a meal from the Top of the Falls outdoor patio looking out at Niagara FallsCredit: Top of the Falls Restaurant

We doubt you’ll find a better view than from Top of the Falls Restaurant overlooking Niagara Falls! This establishment is truly a one-of-a-kind dining experience being the only restaurant at the falls. If you can peel your eyes away from the stunning view, the menu offers American cuisine and classic dishes with local flair including house-made Bavarian pretzels, Niagara fish and chips, and Loganberry Creme Brulee for dessert. 

Niagara Falls Culinary Institute 

Exterior of the Niagara Falls Culinary Institute

A visit to the Niagara Falls Culinary Institute is a must-stop for those looking for a unique and upscale meal. At the student-run fine dining restaurant, Savor, you can watch your meal be prepared from the open kitchen as student chefs showcase their talents. Dinner is prix fixe and includes bread service, a starter, main course, and dessert. Good luck choosing what to eat with a lineup that includes hearth-roasted Atlantic cod, blackened striploin pizza, ricotta Gnudi, and delights like mango passion fruit pavlova and white chocolate pots de crème for dessert. Plus, if you’re looking to make culinary creations of your own, the institute holds cooking classes that are open to the public. 

Dubby’s Tailgate 

Tailgating isn’t only reserved for Bills season. At Dubby’s in Albion, it’s a year-round practice! The 10,000 square-foot warehouse space dubbed an “eatertainment” facility features a wood-fired kitchen and lively bar scene alongside classic tailgate games like cornhole, darts, soccer pool, foosball, billiards, and Dubby’s very own fowling (a bowling and football hybrid). Delicious pizza creations are on the menu including Reuben and breakfast pies as well as wood-fired wings.  

Chenez’s Popcorn

Pop on over to Chenez’s in Lockport for a popcorn experience like no other! Breathe in the smell of freshly-popped goodness as you step into this family-run business featuring more than 40 plain to insane flavors of hand-crafted gourmet popcorn. No matter if you prefer sweet, salty, savory, or spicy, Chenez’s is sure to have a flavor for everyone. Birthday cake, bacon, grilled cheeseburger, and Buffalo-style (Buffalo cheddar cheese and Frank’s Red Hot) are just a few of the shop’s out-of-this-world creations. 

The Plating Society 

Indulge in private fine dining alongside celebrity chef, Darian Bryan, who has been featured on Food Network, CBS News, ESPN, The Jamaican Observer, The Gleaner, TVJ, and more! As founder of The Plating Society, Chef Darian specializes in everything extra, offering private dining experiences, take-out, meal prep, cooking classes, pop-up dinners, and catering. If you’re looking for an extra special place to sit down for dinner, book a four or six course meal at the Boutique in Buffalo. Chef Darian will cook up delicious bites right before your eyes like Jamaican-style oxtails, Arancini Croquettes, his famous colossal surf and turf, and delights like Jamaican bread pudding and bananas foster for dessert. 

International Cuisine

WEDI’s Bazaars

White rice, beef tips, a salad, and two chips in a to-go containerCredit: @buffalobodega on Instagram

Taste cuisine from all around the world in one place! Pay a visit to one (or both) of WEDI’s bazaars, West Side and Downtown, both of which are small business incubators and hubs that help aspiring entrepreneurs learn the fundamentals of running a business. Both locations feature some of the most delicious international dishes around including cuisine from Ethiopia, South Sudan, Mexico, the Philippines, Myanmar, Taiwan, Congo, and more. After you finish eating, be sure to stop at some of the retail kiosks selling beautiful handmade items like jewelry and clothing. 

Sun Cuisines 

Black rice sushi and pieces of sashimi on a plateCredit: @sun_cuisines on Instagram

Indulge in authentic and delicious Asian cuisine unlike any other. For more than 20 years, Sun Cuisines has been serving up some of the best-prepared Burmese, Thai, and Japanese food around. Stop by their two locations in Williamsville and Buffalo and be sure to order something from their Black Rice sushi menu; it’s the first to be offered anywhere in the United States! Other menu highlights include mango chicken, Panang Curry (Gaeng Panang), Black Rice Salad, and Pad Ga Pow.

Mariachi De Oro 

A plate of three Birria tacos and salsaCredit: @mannvsfood on Instagram

Get a taste of authentic Oaxacan Mexican cuisine at Mariachi De Oro in Medina! The menu is jam-packed with traditional favorites made from family recipes that have been passed down for generations. There’s something for everyone and every occasion with refreshing margaritas, loaded steak burritos, street food-style tacos, and traditional dishes like Mole Negro. For a real treat, stop by for Mariachi nights, where a live Mariachi band plays all night long alongside drink specials and raffles. 


A plate of Pierogies with onions and sour creamCredit: @seth_piccirillo on Instagram

Gadawski’s in Niagara Falls has been serving up some of the region’s best Polish cuisine for more than 100 years! At this family-run restaurant, now owned by third-generation Gadawski’s, everything is still made the “old-fashioned” way, by hand and with tried-and-true family recipes. On the menu, you’ll find favorites like pierogies (with choices of four different fillings) and Polish sausage on rye, as well as fish fry Fridays.    

Yalley’s African Restaurant 

A plate with fried fish, fried plantains, jollof rice, beans, boiled egg, side salad, and noodlesCredit: @yalleysrestaurant on Instagram

Enjoy authentic West African cuisine from the welcoming atmosphere at Yalley’s in Buffalo. Admire the tropical decor and African art that decorates the walls of this Ghanaian-owned restaurant while you take a look at the menu that’s jam-packed with mouthwatering dishes. Good luck deciding what to order with a lineup that includes Fufu Peanut Chicken Soup, Jollof rice, fried ripe plantains, Suya Kebab, and more.  

Sweet Treats 

Platter’s Chocolates 

A box of chocolates and a coffee from Platter'sCredit: @i_now_pronounce_you_delicious on Instagram 

Home of the orange chocolate! For those who are unfamiliar, orange chocolate is a staple throughout the Greater Niagara region, featuring smooth milk chocolate with natural orange cream filling, and Platter’s is where it all began. Located in North Tonawanda, this sweet shop makes all of its treats at its on-site factory which you can tour to learn about the history, production, and art of chocolate making. Platter’s also whips up a variety of other chocolate creations including chocolate-covered potato chips, fudge, coffee, ice cream, and pastries. 

DiCamillo Bakery

A box of glazed and peanut stick donuts from DiCamillo BakeryCredit: @toronto2niagara on Instagram

Founded in 1920, DiCamillo has been a family-run favorite in Niagara Falls for more than a century! Breathe in the delicious scent of Italian-inspired baked goods and peruse the menu that features breads, pastries, biscotti, and beloved peanut stick donuts (pictured). Visit one of the four Greater Niagara locations in Niagara Falls, Buffalo, Lewiston, or Williamsville, you won’t be disappointed.

Lake Effect 

Lake Effect Ice CreamCredit: J. Wolf 

Small-batch artisan ice cream and locally-crafted mix-ins (like chunks of fry cakes from Paula’s Donuts) make for the perfect recipe for out-of-this-world sundaes. At Lake Effect, dig into high-quality, hand-crafted ice cream flavors from tried-and-true classics like cookie dough and mint chip to unique creations you can’t get anywhere else like loganberry. The shop has locations in Lockport and Buffalo and is a 12-time winner of Best Ice Cream in Western New York by Buffalo Spree Magazine. 

Yummies Ice Cream 

Get the scoop on all things artisan ice cream at Yummies in Warsaw. See for yourself why this scoop shop was awarded the Triple Scoop by the North American Ice Cream Association, only one of three ice cream shops in the country to receive a Blue Ribbon Award for vanilla, chocolate and strawberry. Get ready to dig in as Yummies crafts more than 100 flavors like blueberry cheesecake, PB s’more, and Chocoholic, as well as over-the-top sundaes, milkshakes, and floats.

Case-Nic Cookies 

Satisfying Medina’s sweet tooth since 1995, Case-Nic Cookies knows a thing or two about homemade baked goods. Stop in and choose from 12 flavors of cookies offered daily including snickerdoodle, chocolate chip, and oatmeal, or you can pre-order homemade pie, cheesecake, specialty cookies flavors, and frozen cookie dough to-go. If you’re up for something new, try one of Case-Nic’s “Janies,” a cookie made with chicken, potatoes, peas, protein powder, juice, and white chocolate chips.  

Food-Centric Events 

Taste of Buffalo 

A woman in an orange shirt hands a customer a slice of cheesecake topped with cherries at Taste of Buffalo

Bite into Buffalo at the annual Taste of Buffalo food festival. This delicious celebration (July 13-14, 2024) is the largest two-day food festival in the country and features the city’s most iconic foods! Not only will you get to try out all kinds of Buffalo-native treats like wings and beef on weck, you’ll also get to sample delicacies from all over the world from Pad Thai to Pierogies, as well as the area’s best restaurants and local businesses.

National Buffalo Wing Festival 

Celebrate all things wings at the National Buffalo Wing Fest! This annual festival, named one of the best city food festivals by USA TODAY 10Best, takes place Labor Day weekend at Highmark Stadium, home of the Buffalo Bills. Enjoy all kinds of wing-themed events, including competitive wing eating contests, wing pairings, and bobbing for wings, a contest that involves a baby pool filled with wings and Blue Cheese dressing.  

Lockport Food Fest 

Lock down one summer day on your calendar for Lockport’s annual Food Fest (August 11, 2024)! Stroll down Main Street, lined with local restaurants offering tastings of their most delicious specialty dishes. Be sure to check out the Marketspace featuring Lockport Community Farmers Market vendors and the family area with games, art, and activities for everyone. 

Niagara County Peach Festival 

Four days of peach-themed fun await at the Niagara County Peach Festival. This staple celebration taking place September 5-8, 2024, has been a Lewiston tradition for more than 60 years, serving up more than seven tons of peach shortcake annually! Plus, there will be carnival rides, live entertainment, a parade, food vendors, and more. Be sure to stick around until Sunday for the crowning of the Peach Queen. 

Festival of Slice 

Calling all pizza lovers! Celebrate the culture of cup-and-char at the Festival of Slice in Niagara Falls. Sample the region’s best pizzerias and slices from classic Buffalo slices to over-the-top creations and decide for yourself which are your favorites. This year’s festival takes place on November 23, 2024 and also features live music, a bocce tournament, and craft beer and wine options. 

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