Best Restaurants in Buffalo

10Best Selects the Best Restaurants in Buffalo, New York

Buffalo's restaurant scene may surprise visitors. While the city is known for its pub grub like beef on weck and chicken wings, a number of restaurants offer a more sophisticated dining experience and eclectic menus designed by well-known chefs.

Long-time favorites such as EB Green's and Oliver's continue to provide excellent service and cuisine that is perfectly prepared, with an impressive wine and cocktail list to match. With a rich Italian heritage, Buffalo has a wide variety of Italian food, including Salvatore's Italian Gardens and San Marco Ristorante, two elegant restaurants that are ideal for a night of fine dining.

Newcomer Mike A's is set in the jaw-dropping Hotel Lafayette, an architectural gem that features art-deco decor and a five-star dining experience.

Out of all the restaurants in a city, 10Best narrows the options to those places with the most appeal and the best reputations. We offer carefully vetted selections to let you explore Buffalo dining on your own. If time is really tight, though, and you don't have the leisure to look through all our offerings, we present our list of the best restaurants in Buffalo. Here, we distill the best businesses down to a special selection of ten. These places promise a stellar experience and a taste of the city that you just can't miss.


Artists and intellectuals are drawn to this unique downtown bistro for an evening of fine wine, foreign beers, enlightened conversation and soul music. Housed in a century old historical building, the Left Bank dining room features exposed brick walls and beautiful artwork. An interesting menu complete with decadent pastas, seafood, steak and vegetarian specialties delights guests. The gorgonzolla cheese fondue, served with beef tenderloin, focaccia points, portobello fries and asparagus spears, is perfect for sharing. Stop by for Sunday brunch from 11:30am to 2pm and enjoy live jazz music and a unique offering of breakfast items. On Wednesday nights, they offer Thai and Vietnamese specials.

Recommended for Best Restaurants because: A relaxing, yet romantic atmosphere, excellent cuisine and solid service makes this a favorite.

Amber's expert tip: Don't let the plain exterior fool you, this is one of the best restaurants in Buffalo.

Read more about Left Bank →


Elegant sophistication defines both the cuisine and d├ęcor at this Buffalo mainstay. Since 1936, Oliver's has been a premier choice for the city's elite. Appetizers such as grilled sea scallops with arugula or Oestra caviar may be included on the seasonal menu and might be followed by lobster with dill-lemon sauce or tournedos of beef tenderloin with truffles, twice-baked potatoes, and shallot glaze. For dessert, the house specialty, baked Alaska served with chocolate and caramel sauces, is spectacular. Be sure to ask about their specials menu; the soup of the day is consistently a quality appetizer. Be aware that lunch is only available Wednesday through Friday.

Recommended for Best Restaurants because: Even after 80 years of service, Oliver's is still serving excellent meals in Buffalo.

Amber's expert tip: If there is a wait, opt to eat at the bar and you can "skip" the line.

Read more about Oliver's →

Superb Northern Italian cuisine inspired by Tuscan and Venetian flavors highlights the seasonal menu at this quiet, elegant restaurant. After moving to Buffalo from Italy, owners Grimaldi and his then fiancee, Nancy, opened San Marco. The husband and wife duo have created a following and received much recognition, but they can still be found in the dining room and the kitchen each night. The grilled quail sauteed in cognac and shallots may be served as an appetizer with porcini mushrooms or as an entree over wild mushroom risotto. Game dishes are their specialty, such as tenderloins of wild boar, red tipped venison, and fresh deboned white rabbit. The excellent wine list offers vintages from Italy and California.

Recommended for Best Restaurants because: San Marco has been serving the Buffalo area for nearly 30 years, and continues to serve quality cuisine to guests.

Amber's expert tip: Be sure to try the gnocchi!

Read more about San Marco Ristorante →


Enjoy superb Italian dining in a delightfully flamboyant ambiance at this renowned restaurant. The classic menu features such favorites as osso buco, marsala, and rollitini, along with rack of lamb, Maine lobster, and roast Long Island duckling. The also serve one of the best steaks in Buffalo. The extensive wine list (18 pages long) includes local New York wineries as well as fine wines from Italy, France, Chile, Spain, and many other countries with a sommelier to guide you into the perfect wine selection. A private dining room and outdoor patio cater to your personal dining experience, and a florist is on hand for special events.

Recommended for Best Restaurants because: Salvatore's is a fine dining jewel in Western New York and has become a local landmark.

Amber's expert tip: If you visit around the holidays, the restaurant is transformed into a winter wonderland.

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Inventive small plates, stylish decor and great wine (of course) attract crowds to this fun wine bar. Patrons nibble on delicacies such as fried brie and seared tuna with Asian noodle salad, and the award-winning wine list, boasting over 200 labels and offering many selections by the glass, allows you to sample a variety of interesting choices. The menu is designed by Chef Brian Mietus, and includes large plates like shrimp crusted mahi mahi, roasted duck breast with cherry porcini, and pork milanese, and there is even a separate menu entirely dedicated to cheese pairings. Service is skillful and attentive.

Recommended for Best Restaurants because: Exquisite food, an award-winning wine list, and an upscale atmosphere make Bacchus ideal for an elegant evening.

Amber's expert tip: There is also a private dining room for large parties and special events.

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This dazzling addition to the Hotel Lafayette is quickly becoming a favorite new restaurant in Buffalo. Acclaimed Chef Mike Andrzejewski brings an eclectic menu to the fine-dining establishment. First courses include items such as glazed smoked pork belly and beef tarter, followed by sea scallops with red wine glaze, duck breast with chorizo stuffed figs, and filet mignon. Hand-crafted cocktails designed by an award-winning mixologist and served from the art-deco bar set the tone for an elegant evening. A lunch menu is also available with photo-worthy burgers, soups and salads. After your meal, wander through the opulent halls and lounges of the hotel and you will feel like you've been transported in time.

Recommended for Best Restaurants because: Mike's A's sets the bar high in Buffalo with a five-star menu and regal ambiance to match.

Amber's expert tip: Don't worry about parking; they offer complimentary valet.

Read more about Mike A's →


With a bistro ambiance that features white table clothes, dark lighting and a stylish bar, this restaurant offers interesting combinations of Asian, Italian, and American dishes. The cuisine is creative and features items like grilled fresh calves' liver with caramelized onions, jambalaya pasta with Gulf shrimp, and pepper-crusted tenderloin with brandy cream sauce. The saefood options are especially diverse and can include monkfish, oysters, Atlantic Halibut, Australian lobster, and Faroe Island Salmon. Attire is casually elegant, and reservations are recommended. Hand-crafted cocktails are made from scratch, and there is attention to detail on every small plate, large plate, or featured entree.

Recommended for Best Restaurants because: For a special night out, this upscale bistro has delectable entrees and hand-crafted cocktails to match.

Amber's expert tip: There is no on-site parking so arrive early to find a spot on the street.

Read more about Hutch's →


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