Best Bars in Buffalo

10 Best Bars, Clubs, and Nightlife Hotspots in Buffalo, New York

If your idea of nightlife includes hitting a bar for drinks and socializing, then our Buffalo guide is just what you want. Capitalizing on first-hand experience and extensive research, we've located the best bars in Buffalo for hanging out and kicking back in. From long-lived mainstays like The Old Pink to busy places like Bar-Bill Tavern that get lots of 10Best reader approval, we present the top bars in town and offer details about them all. What's the energy like? How do the bartenders pour? Are most bars located in the Downtown area? No fear - we share all the facts!

For those looking to bar hop, head to Chippewa Street. Lined with bars and live music venues, it is emerging as one of the hottest nightlife strips in the Northeast. If you are a fan of craft beer then you'll find yourself at home in Buffalo. A number of bars like Mr. Goodbar and Allen Street Hardware Cafe serve a wide variety of beer and Pearl Street Brewery is reinventing the brewery district with homemade brews, tastings, and tours.

No matter what type of bar scene you are seeking, you'll find it in Buffalo. We've created our list of 10 favorites to help guide your night. Cheers!


It's not uncommon to see a long line at the entrance to this summer hot spot and it's easy to see why. Skybar is located on the rooftop of D'Arcy McGee's Irish Pub and has killer views of downtown Buffalo. The bar tends to attract the under 25 crowd with an amazing sound system and talented DJs. Drinks are averaged priced, service is attentive and music includes top hits, pop, rock, and techno/dance. Be aware that they are only open Thursday through Saturday during the summer months. For a special evening out, they also offer VIP bottle service in outdoor cabanas.

Recommended for Bars because: This is the place to be during the summer months and the views are incredible.

Amber's expert tip: They do enforce a dress code, so the same outfit you wear to the pub isn't going to cut it.

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While bars across the street seem overflowing with attempts at being trendy, Allen Street is genuine version of the bohemian-meets hipster neighborhood hangout. This intriguing coffeehouse (by day) features savory bites, a full bar and frequent live music. Art by local artists lines adorns the walls and entertainment ranges from jazz to folk to blues bands. You'll find an extensive variety of liquor including a wide selection of premium malt scotches, and the food menu offers dishes like Asian chicken salad, Norwegian smoked salmon, and 10 irresistible versions of the panini. Friendly staff members actually want to talk to patrons, no matter how busy the night is.

Recommended for Bars because: An incredible beer selection and an unpretentious vibe in a trendy neighborhood set this bar apart.

Amber's expert tip: After a late night out, this place is perfect for a "recovery" brunch.

Read more about Allen Street Hardware Cafe →

With over 30 taps and a beer engine pouring micro and import cask-conditioned ales, Mr. Goodbar is one of Buffalo's premier destinations for craft beer. Located on the Elmwood Strip, a number of nearby restaurants and shops are within walking distance. Boasting two floors, a large patio, a Juke box, live Djs, and several large televisions for watching the game there is no shortage of fun activities at this easy-going bar. On Friday nights, they host several local bands and even larger acts like Fastball and Rusted Root. No frills here; beers are displayed on a massive chalkboard and there's a trough in the bathroom.

Recommended for Bars because: Mr. Goodbar's is a classic dive that's a great place to catch the game or enjoy happy hour.

Amber's expert tip: Ask about the Wednesday night beer club.

Read more about Mr Goodbar →


Club Marcella is located on Buffalo's Main Street, and is one of Buffalo's premier gay clubs. Enjoy the hip sounds spun by great DJ's on the large dance floor or relax with friends around the bar. Special events like college wars, 90s night, glow night, and holiday events. Female impressionists are featured throughout the year performing "Life's a Drag," Western New York's longest running drag show. Heterosexual couples join the fun on Friday nights, a hot underwear contest kicks off on Saturday, and the first Sunday of each month is hip hop night. The owner and bartenders, native to the area and true gentlemen, make sure that everybody has a great time.

Recommended for Bars because: With exciting events planned every evening, Marcella's guarantees a fun night on the town.

Amber's expert tip: Don't miss glow night, and bring the glow-in-the-dark nail polish!

Read more about Club Marcella →

Modeled after an early 20th century pub, this friendly Irish establishment is outfitted with worn wood, brick walls and a pressed-tin ceiling. Locals, drawn from every walk of life, frequent the digs and chow down on burgers and fried bologna with a pint of ale. The atmosphere's conducive to long chats, and everyone's made to feel welcome here. It's nothing fancy, and yet the limited menu - primarily sandwiches, burgers, and homemade soup - is of solid, good quality. Friendly service and a casual atmosphere make this downtown pub stand out among the "trendier" scene nearby. In the warmer months, patrons can enjoy the outdoor patio.

Recommended for Bars because: Eddie Brady's is an authentic, simple pub with great service.

Amber's expert tip: They have great drink specials on Saturday nights.

Read more about Eddie Brady's Tavern →

East Aurora

Housed in a charming timber-framed building and packed with regulars, this friendly watering hole is an appealing spot to down an icy mug of beer and hearty sandwich. The kitchen's specialty, beef on weck, features slow-roasted beef, carved while you wait and available in three different sizes. Be aware that they only serve the beef on weck until 9pm - so get there early if you want to try it! Buffalo's namesake chicken wings come in a variety of seasonings - Sicilian, teriyaki, barbecue and even suicidal that rank at the top for the best wings in Buffalo. No reservations are accepted and the bar is cash only.

Recommended for Bars because: Bar Bill Tavern is known for both of Buffalo's specialties: wings and weck.

Amber's expert tip: If there are no seats available, talk to the bartender to get a table.

Read more about Bar-Bill Tavern →

Situated in a historic 19th Century building that had been a dressmakers shop, hardware store, and Irish pub, the Pearl Street Grill and Brewery has been beautifully restored and features oak claw foots, booths, an old-fashioned belt and pulley market fan system, and New Orleans-style, wrap around patios throughout the multi-level complex. Eight bars span four levels, and several beers are on tap, with seasonal options thrown in the mix. Try their signature "train wreck" amber ale, or opt for the Saber's Edge, an IPA with hints of toffee. Air hockey, foosball, and pool are available for patrons, and a pub menu offers sandwiches, wings, and entrees.

Recommended for Bars because: This stunning space is helping to reinvent the "Brewery District."

Amber's expert tip: They also offer brewery tours and tastings.

Read more about Pearl Street Grill and Brewery →


Renowned for its fabulous beer and savory grub, this popular bar's the place to grab a bite of some of the city's famous fare. Try the sampler platter, which features chicken wings, seasoned to your liking, and a mini beef on weck, or order the full-sized sandwich, stuffed with slow-roasted beef that's been soaked in ale. In addition to several house brews, there's a wide selection of beer on tap that might include Guinness, Stella Artois, Newcastle and Sam Adams. Feel free to throw those free peanut shells on the floor - it's that kind of place. If you are in town for a while, ask about their mug club.

Recommended for Bars because: With five home brews on tap at all times, this laid-back pub has its share of micro-brew loving regulars.

Amber's expert tip: If you are around in October, this is a great spot to celebrate Oktoberfest.

Read more about Buffalo Brew Pub →

Old Pink
Photo courtesy of Amber Nolan

This bar is not for everyone, but it wins the award for best dive bar. For most, it is their last stop on an evening of bar hopping and seems just about everyone - including the staff - has had a few too many. Old Pink is the reliable place that stays open after all the others have shut their doors for the night. Try your best at darts and do not miss the steak sandwich - a thick cut of juicy steak grilled to perfection. If you drive by during the day, you may not recognize it: the outside walls are covered in flames and lightning bolts.

Recommended for Bars because: It's grungy, filled with locals and is the best place in town place to end your night.

Amber's expert tip: Contrary to the name, the building itself is dark blue and covered in artwork.

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Built in 1874, this historic pub will bring out the independent spirit in its patrons. Tucked away on Delaware Ave, the interior is decorated with flags, news clippings and other patriotic memorabilia. The pub itself feels downright cozy and feels like a place the Founding Fathers would call their local pub. Play trivia (the first Tuesday of every month), take in a game of darts, and dine on items that are a step up from your traditional pub grub: like pita pockets with fresh vegetables, tortellini pesto pasta, and sirloin steaks. Although it is located near many college hangouts, this tends to attract the over 25 crowd.

Recommended for Bars because: A few steps up from the drunken college student scene, this is a place for people who want good brews and conversation.

Amber's expert tip: Try their famous grilled bologna sandwich, and don't forget about the free nachos and popcorn!

Read more about Founding Fathers Pub →


Meet Amber Nolan

Originally from upstate New York, this restless traveler has a knack for befriending interesting characters. You can usually find her just about anywhere that has a hammock. Amber's favorite...  More About Amber