Western NY-I-90 Corridor-Rochester, Buffalo, Syracuse, Niagara Falls US and Canada

Birthplace of the Buffalo Wing

Buffalo, NY

Buffalos alternative weeklies are the ARTVOICE and Buffalo Beat.

Local specialty drink-Loganberry soda

Regional Specialty Candy- Sponge Candy (similar to a crunchie bar) available at Fowlers or Watsons Chocolates.

When in Buffalo, visit the birthplace of the Buffalo Wing at theAnchor Bar, 1047 Main Street, Buffalo

Other Regional specialites are MIGHTY TACO, with many locations.

Here’s an article on Buffalo Style Pizza and one from Pizza Magazine.
Then there is Beef on Weck at Charlie the Butcher, 1065 Wehrle Dr., Buffalo, NY,716-633-8330 – Slow-roasted beef, sliced thin and piled on a hard roll that is crusted with pretzel salt and caraway seeds. The top half of the roll gets dipped briefly in beef juice.

Beef on Weck, Slaw, Asparagus and onion rings.

You can also get Beef on Weck at Schwabls, a hundred and fifty year old joint serving many Roast beef delights.  789 Center Rd, Buffalo, NY 14224, (716) 674-9821
They also love their hot dogs, like the red hots served at Ted’s Jumbo Red Hots – 2351 Niagra Falls Blvd in Amherst, Outside the City   716-691-7883  served plain, with cheese, and/or chili.  charcoal grilled, also, other locations.

Also, for beef on Weck, Charlie the Butchers, 295 Main Street, Buffalo, NY 14203-2408  (in Historic Ellicott Square Building) plus other locations
Bar Bill Tavern-185 Main St, East Aurora, NY – (716) 652-7959  Some people claim that this place has the best wings AND the best beef on weck

 Blackthorn Restaurant & Pub, 2134 Seneca St, Buffalo, NY 14210-2365
(716) 825-9327-Beef on weck, and crab cakes along with
 Irish Beer Cheddar Soup, 

Lake Effect Diner-they smoke their own bacon and make ham and red-eye gravy .  Meatballs, pizza, chicken parmesan, and Italian fish. 3165 Main St. Buffalo, NY 14214 (716) 833-1952
Mulberry Café-fist sized meatballs and  fresh made daily lasagna. 64 Jackson Ave.Lackawanna, NY 14218  (716) 822-4292
More Eats-
Brennans-4401 Transit Rd, Buffalo, NY 14221-Strip mall bar (open til 1 am) serving one Buffalo Native friends favorite rendition of the buffalo wing.
Ulrich’s 1868 Tavern– 674 Ellicott St, Buffalo, NY 14203  (716) 989-1868-Old bar serving German Food.
Art Space-
Sugar City1239 Niagara St, Buffalo, NY 14213, punk shows, record fairs, etc.
Attraction-Frank Lloyd Wright’s Darwin Martin House
125 Jewett Parkway , Buffalo, NY 14214
Tours run 90 minutes and reservations are recommended due to the limited space on each guided tour.
Adults: $19
Frank Lloyd Wright Tour here.

Drive In-Transit Drive In-6655 Transit Rd., Lockport, NY (Outside of Buffalo), 14094 (716) 625-8535

Live Music-

Mohawk Place-47 East Mohawk Street Buffalo, New York (716) 855-3931
Nietzsche’s -248 Allen St., Buffalo, NY 14201  (716) 886-8539-Regional acts play here.Record Store-
New World, 512 Elmwood Ave, Buffalo, NY 14

Town Ballroom-1940s-era venue for indie & rock concerts in building where Sinatra & Coltrane played. Address: 681 Main St, Buffalo, NY 14203 Phone:(716) 852-3900

Amhearst, NY

Duffs– 3651 Sheridan Drive, Amherst, NY 14226 (716) 834-6234-another contender for wing favorite.  Several locations but this is the original.

Avon, NY

Tom Wahl’s-283 East Main Street, Avon, NY – (585) 226-2420-This is the original Tom Wahl’s, a local chain. The Wahlburger is a burger with grilled ham, Swiss cheese, tomato, and Wahl’s special sauce. Get a root beer to wash it down

Clayton, NY
1000 Islands River Rat Cheese -Cheese Shop and home to the original 1000 Island Dressing. Take home a bottle plus some Oscars summer sausage and Garlic Cheese Curds. 242 James St, Clayton, NY 13624 (315) 686-2480

East Amherst, NY (near Buffalo)

Grover’s Bar and Grill-burgers and delicious cheeseburger soup.9160 Transit Road East Amherst, NY 14051 (716) 636-1803-Grilled cheese hamburger.

Farmingdale, NY

Amusement ParkAdventureland-2245 Route 110, Farmingdale,  (516) 694-6868- Small family park.Live Music-

The downtown-190 main street , Farmingdale Long island-accessable from NYC via LIRR.Fire Island

For info on Fire Island Clubs and events go to

Mr. Ladybug.

Fulton, NY


Mimis- 201 N. Second St., Fulton, N.Y. 13069 315-593-7400 Diner with the normal stuff and prime rib cheap dinners

Garrison, NY


The Bird & Bottle Inn 1123 Old Albany Post Road Garrison, NY 10524 (800) 782-6837.  Nice dinners served in this 18th Century House.  They have rooms which are pricey, but really not because they include a credit for dinner.Hillburn, NY


Mount Fuji-Route 17 North, Hillburn, New York-845-357-4270-Hibachi style japanese steakhouse in a giant pagoda, with a tiki bar.

Homer, NY

Bobs Barbecue ?-5290 NY-281, Homer, NY 13077 (607) 753-7098. The BBQ gets mixed reviews especially with Dinosaur BBQ so close, but they have the very local and delicious Syracuse Salt Potatoes. vinegar-based, tomato-free barbecue sauce

Hudson, NY
Live Music

The Hudson River Theater, 521 Warren Street.  Hudson, NY-Odd collection of shows here, like Marshall Crenshaw or Graham Parker, then things like Monade, a Stereolab side project.

Helsinki Hudson-405 Columbia Street, Hudson, New York 12534

Huntington, NY


Herrell’s Ice Cream Huntington-46L Gerard Street, Huntington, NY  11743 631-673-1100

Ithaca, NY

Ithacas alternative weekly is the Ithaca Times.

Check out Ithaca Underground for DIY shows also the Super Dark Collective does shows.

Lake George, NY-Lake George is a resort area in Upstate NY. You can take a train to Albany from Penn Station and take a cab to Lake George Village for about $90 rt.  While in the Neighborhood, you can also drive up to Lake Champlain and take a ferry to Burlington, VT.


Shortstop Deli -200 W Seneca St, Ithaca, NY 14850 (607) 273-1030-Open 24 hours, home of the Hot Truck Pizza subs which are subs with pizza toppings. Doesn’t get more trashy than that! Also regular sandwiches including ones made with Dinosaur BBQ Pulled pork and breakfast sammys
The Boardwalk-518-668-5324-Burgers, crabcakes on the lake and very reasonable 2 Lower Amherst Street, Lake George, NY. 12845
The Sagamore Club Grille-800-358-3585-pricey restaurant in 115+ year old hotel in Bolton Landing, 10 miles from Lake George.

John Thomas-1152 Danby Rd., Ithaca, NY – (607) 273-3464-Pricey steakhouse in 150 Year old Farmhouse. Get a half and half to share, half fries and half onion strings.

Glenwood Pines-1213 Taughannock Blvd., Ithaca, NY (607) 273-3709, cool old sign, old joint, old games, and home of the pinesburger, which is cheap!  Homemade chili, cheap crabcakes.

Hals Deli-115 North Aurora St., Ithaca, NY
(607) 273-7765 old timey kosher style deli since 1961

Moosewood-215 N. Cauga St., Ithaca, NY, (607) 273-9610 Rare I would dare put a vegetarian joint on here, but these guys wrote the Enchanted Broccoli Forest and other cookbooks

King Neptune’s Pub-518-668-2017-Bar with live music directly on Lake George

Amusement Park-
Great Escape Fun Park-Route 9, , Lake George,  (518) 792-3500 -excellent park with amazing Comet rollercoaster.

Lake Placid, NY
One of the last 4 howard johnsons restaurants is in lake placid.  98 Saranac Avenue, Lake Placid. 1-800-858-4656

Lockport, NY
Lockport Cave & Underground Boat Ride, 2 Pine St. (near Main St.), Lockport, NY 14094 716-438-0174 -A historical guided 70-minute tour through America’s past, viewing the Erie Canal Locks, walking through a 1600 foot water-power tunnel blasted out of solid rock. View geologic cave formations whilst riding in an underground boat.  Seasonal, May 7 – Oct. 10. Admission.  Trashy travel loves riding in boats in caves.
Historic Palace Theatre, 2 East Ave.Lockport, NY 14094 (716) 438-1130
Reids-150 Lake Ave, Lockport, NY 14094-(716) 471-0701-One yelp review sums it up….”If your (sic) in Lockport Reid’s is a must-see.  Mediocre burger patties, cheap buns, mediocre hotdogs and ok French fries.  Why would I recommend it then?  Because Reid’s sauce.  It makes everything mediocre taste spectacular and is a staple in Lockport, NY!”
Liverpool, NY (near Syracuse)
Heid’s of Liverpool: 305 Oswego Street, Liverpool NY-Hot dog Joint-white dogs topped “coney” style or with mustard and pepper relish in a very cool deco building.

Record Stores-
Music Den, 4950 Nesconset Hwy, Port Jefferson Station, NY
Vinyl Solution, 33 N. Main St., Port Chester, NY 10573

North Tonawanda, NY

Pizza Junction-1269 Erie Ave., North Tonawanda, NY 14120 (716) 692-6366-Not my kind of joint but they have pizzas modeled after sandwiches like the beef on weck pizza.
Railroad Museum of the Niagara Frontier-111 Oliver Street, North Tonawanda, NY 14120  716-694-9588 Displays local railroad history and artifacts.  Children can play with wooden train models and operate electric trains.  Open Saturdays 1 -4 pm, from early June to late August. Free.
67 Webster Street, North Tonawanda, NY 14120  716-692-2413  A 1926 Riviera Theatre, with its classic “Mighty Wurlitzer Organ” presents monthly organ concerts as well as theatre, dance and a great variety of cultural events. 

Oswego, N.Y.


Rudy’s Lakeside Drive-In-since 1946 on the edge of Lake Ontario. With many seafood dishes and local specialties, such as Texas hots  78 County Route 89, Oswego, N.Y. 13126  315-343-2671

Bev’s Dairy Treat-60 Co Rte 89, Oswego, NY 13126 (315) 343-0839-Ice Cream shop next to Rudys that also has chili dogs.
Oswego Sub Shop-106 W Bridge St, Oswego, NY 13126  (315) 343-1233-Famous for a cheeseburger sub. Also other subs such as italian cold cut subs.
Garafolo’s Sandwich Shop-155 E Bridge St, Oswego, NY 13126-Italian market mostly takeout with sandwiches on whole loaves of Italian bread

Rochester, NY

Check Central New York for regional concert dates

.Live Music-

Bug Jar-219 Monroe Ave, Rochester NY (716)454-2966-oddly named music venue with great regional touring bands.

Skylark Lounge -Address: 40 S Union St, Rochester, NY 14607(585) 270-8106 live music and meatballs.  

The Cinema Theatre-957 South Clinton Avenue, Rochester NY 14620  585 271 1785 The Cinema Theatre is one of the oldest, continuously run, single-screen movie theaters in the United States.

Sticky Licks BBQ and Juke Joint-830 Jefferson Rd, Rochester, New York 14623  (585) 292-5544-BBQ with blues, rockabilly and more.


The Spirit Room-The Spirit Room -139 State St, Rochester, NY 14614-Craft cocktails-Most days  5PM–12AM, Thursday to Saturday til 2 am.  (585) 397-7595  Occasional music and DJ Nights too.

The Playhouse/Swillburger -In an old church building, burgers, cocktails & vintage arcade games.-820 S Clinton Ave, Rochester, NY 14620  (585) 442-2442-burgers are good but with so many regional foods, this should be further down your list unless you are here often.

Local specialty, The Zwiebel white hot, a brat usually served with a meat sauce on top, like a sweet meatless chili.

Nick Tahou’s Hots-Nick Tahou Hots is a Rochester, NY landmark restaurant famous for its Garbage Plate.3070 West Henrietta Road  Rochester, NY 14623 (585) 272-1182-garbage plate has mac salad, home fries, burgers, hot sauce or any custom combo.  It seems they don’t look kindly on anyone not ordering a garbage plate.  Not for Veggies

Dinosaur BBQ-99 Court Street, Rochester, NY.  The Original location of the chain.  Get the ribs.  Don’t be a a dummy.  Get the ribs.  Check out the super cool Mohawk Power building nearby.

The Original Dinosaur BBQ.

Sticky Lips Pit BBQ, 625 Culver Road, 585-288-1910. Rochester
(In VICTOR, NY) The Village Pig and it’s full of pork plus
smoked chicken, ribs and Creole dishes.    Interestingly, they don’t allow customers under the age of 25.  Jim Andres, owner of the new barbecue eatery and bar at 75 Coville St., set the unusual age restriction to avoid the undesirable behaviors of two subsets of customers: screaming or crying children and irresponsible younger drinkers. “We simply don’t want to deal with it.”Hours are 3:00 p.m. to midnight, Tuesday through Sunday.  Located at 75 Colville Street (585-924-3590).
Spot Coffee-a coffee theme park, 200 East Ave @ Matthews 585.613.4600, Rochester, NY 14604 (in the “hip” east end of town)

Also check out regional chains DiBellas Sub Shops, and the Red Osier Landmark Restaurant whose Red Osier Roast Beef, is available at local sports stadiums.Record Stores-
Fantastic Records, 3400 Monroe Ave., Rochester, NY 14618
Ultra Sonic Sound, 635 Monroe Ave., Rochester, NY 14607Other stores-
House of Guitars-8 floors of New and Used Musical Instruments-645 Titus Ave, Rochester, NY. 585-544-3500
You have got to see this store- It is the most amazing music store.
Amusement parkSeabreeze Amusement Park-4600 Culver Road, Rochester, NY  (716) 323-1900 (800) 395-2500
Rome, NY
Regional Specialty-Turkey Joints are a bone like sweet filled with nuts and chocolate.  Available at

Nora’s Candy Shop-321 N Doxtator St, Rome, NY 13440  (315) 337-4530

Teddy’s Restaurant – 851 Black River Blvd, Rome, NY 13440-Home of local dish Chicken Riggies, a chicken version of penne a la vodka sort of with hot and sweet peppers

Ferlo’s Original Bakery 522 Floyd Ave, Rome, NY 13440  (315) 339-8874-Bakery with the regional tomato pie, a pizza topped only with sauce and parmesean

Sylvan Beach, NY
Eddie’s Restaurant-901 Main Street, Eddie’s Restaurant
901 Main Street, Sylvan Beach, NY – (315) 762-5430 – (315) 762-5430 Hot Ham thinly sliced hot ham & melted provolone on Italian bread, Spagetti and Meatballs, Pies, Fish Fry.The Giant Beef BBQ sandwich is actually Roast Beef and you can get homemade mashed potatoes & gravy on the side. They also have regional specialty Italian Greens, sautéed escarole greens with onions, garlic, hot peppers, romano cheese and in this case, chopped ham.  They are only open seasonally from mid-February until mid-October, depending on the weather

Syracuse, NY
Syracuse’s local alternative weekly is the New Times.
Lost Horizon-5863 Thompson Road, Syracuse, NY 13214
Spark Art Space. 1009 E Fayette St, Syracuse, NY 13210
The F Shed 2100 Park St, Syracuse, NY 13208


Dinosaur Bar-b-que – 246 W. Willow Street, Syracuse, NY 315-476-4937-Dry rubbed and smoked BBQ ribs. The original location of this chain.

Stella’s Diner-110 Wolf Street, Syracuse, NY – (315) 425-0353, Home of Syracuse’s own “fretta” — a free-form fritatta

Clark’s Ale House-Cheap beef on weck, Roast Beef on DiLauro’s kummelweck bread only $5.50. quick, cafeteria-style service. Beef barley soup, pickled eggs, cheese plates, and baloney sandwiches, but like real baloney, not oscar meyer
Address: 100 E. Washington St., Syracuse, N.Y. 13202315-479-9859

Eva’s European Sweets -Polish small restaurant with pierogi & other classics, plus housemade, European-style desserts. 1305 Milton Ave, Syracuse, NY 13204

Pastabilities-311 S Franklin St, Syracuse, NY 13202  (315) 474-1153-Awful name, but pasta restaurant and bakery with the regional specialy Chicken Riggies, aka chicken rigatoni and a one of a kind “Hot Tomato Oil” they serve to dip the bread with.

Tonawanda, NY (Greater Buffalo)

Eats-Ted’s Hot Dogs-2312 Sheridan Drive, Tonawanda, NY 14150-2nd location of regional hot dog chain, opened in 1948. I believe its been renovated many times though.

Troy, NY
A couple of Blogs about the Troy area.  Bath on Hudson and Troy Night Out-Troy night out is actually an event

ground zero-Ground Zero is a student-run music club at RPI in Troy, NY

Utica, NY

Regional Specialty-Greens, aka Utica Greens are available at several restaurants, for instance Village Greens-Escarole, romano cheeses, prosciutto, hot cherry peppers with seasoned bread crumbs  and Georgio Greens, Escarole, romano cheeses, potatoes, salami, hot cherry peppers, with seasoned bread crumbs From Georgio’s Village Cafe, 62 Genesee Street, New Hartford , NY 13413.  Utica also has a specialty pizza where the tomato is on top on the cheese, but thats just wrong.

Another Regional Specialty is Tomato Pie, a served cold pizza like object without mozzarella but usually sprinkled with Romano or Parmesean

Chesterfield Restaurant-1713 Bleeker Street, Utica, NY 13501
Phone:(315) 732-9356-more of those greens, and a number of other inexpensive hearty rustic beans and greens type dishes like pasta and Peas as well as your italian standards

Roma Sausage & Deli- 2029 Bleecker St, Utica, NY 13501 (315) 792-1445-Italian Specialties like sandwiches but most well known for the Tomato Pie, mentioned above.

Gerber’s 1933 Tavern-16 Liberty St, Utica, NY 13502  (315) 534-4835 1920s era bar with a small menu of bar food like the regional fried baloney sandwich and a roast beef sans weck.

Joey’s Restaurant- 307 Mohawk St, Utica, NY 13501 (315) 724-9769-A whats what of Regional Utica style italian dining.  Greens, roasted long hot peppers, great Pasta Fagioli, Mushroom stew over penne, Chicken Riggies, and you can even get chicken riggies with the greens and “Hats with Broccoli”

Waterloo, NY
Macs Drive Inn-Vintage drive in with burgers and seafood with signature mini honey buns. Closed Monday.  1166 Waterloo Geneva Rd, Waterloo, NY 13165 (315) 539-3064 Seasonal for the summer.
Watkins Glen, NY
Mr. Chicken-106 S Franklin St, Watkins Glen, NY 14891
Phone:(607) 535-2315 BBQ chicken and great coleslaw near Seneca Lake.Great Onion Rings and great sign.
Williamsville, NY (near Nigara Falls)
Teds Hots Dogs-7018 Transit Road, Williamsville, NY 14221-Right off I-90 on the way to Niagara Falls.  Great hot dog place that is a regional chain.

Westchester, NY

Record Store-
Music Arcade, 1077 Old Country Rd, Westbury, NY 11590

Yorkville, NY (Utica)


Symeon’s Greek Restaurant-4941 Commercial Dr, Yorkville, NY 13495  (315) 736-4074-Greek restaurant with Baklava Ice Cream.

Voss’ Bar-B-Q -Route 5A, Yorkville, NY -Not what you think of as BBQ, this place serves upstate style bbq which is slice roasted meat with BBQ sauce.  However, the hot dogs here are unusual overflowing gut bombs of amazing toppings.

Niagara Falls, NY


The Silo-in an old Coal Silo, have The Silo Haystack: a full pound of rib eye blanketed with melted mozzarella, onions, peppers mushrooms and a mound of crispy shredded hash browns.
115 North Water St, Lewiston, NY 14092
Tacky Activities-across the border in Clifton Hills, it is loaded with tacky like the wonderful
Galaxy Golf-
4960 Clifton Hill, Niagara Falls, ON L2G 3N4-indoor glow in the dark mini golf


Gadawski’s-1445 East Falls St., Niagara Falls, NY 14304  (716) 285-0320  Open daily for lunch. Featured on the TODAY show for their pierogi. Serving other Polish & Irish specialties.  Polish and Irish specialties???

The Whistle Pig-7001 Packard Rd., Niagara Falls NY 14304 – deep fried bacon dogs with cheese and frozen custard. (716) 299-0333.  They also serve regional Johnny Ryan Soda
Violas Subs-1717 Elmwood Avenue, Niagara Falls, NY (716) 282-7094-Been there for years, get a Cheesesteak and nothing else according to some
Sullivan’s Hot Dogs-501 Cayuga Drive  Niagara Falls, NY 14304
(716) 236-4119 – Chargrilled hot dogs and frozen custard


Red Coach Inn-2 Buffalo Avenue, Niagara Falls, NY 14303-since 1923 in a cool tudor style building (716) 282-1459

Niagara Falls, ON


Betty’s Restaurant 8921 Sodom Road, Niagara Falls, ON CA L2E 6S6 (905) 295 – 4436-Fried Fish Dinners.  Their “senior specials” might tilt the average age a bit.

Flying Saucer Restaurant-6768 Lundy’s Lane, Niagara Falls, ON L2G1V5 (905) 356-4553-OMG!!!  THIS RESTAURANT IS SHAPED LIKE  A FLYING SAUCER!!!!!
The Regal Diner-5924 Main St  Niagara Falls, ON L2G 5Z8, Canada (905) 351-2524-They have a five dollar burger.  Closed tuesdays?