Buffalo has many lovely neighborhoods which makes choosing where to settle down very challenging. Each neighborhood has its own distinct characteristics and these appeal to different people at different stages in their lives. This guide breaks it down so you can decide where to call home sweet home.
1. Elmwood Village
— Sharon Mendelaoui (@DailyDream360) July 9, 2018
Perfect for: singles, couples, families
Elmwood Village is a charming, artsy, and vibrant neighborhood. Plus, it is a super walkable and culturally rich community. You’ll find locally owned boutiques, cafés, restaurants, and bars up and down Elmwood Avenue, and Victorian-style homes scattered throughout the neighboring side streets. These homes are colorful and gorgeous on the outside and beautifully restored on the inside. Many of them are split into apartments for renters.
You can expect a more laid-back nightlife experience in the Village. Come Friday and Saturday nights, the bars get busy welcoming drinkers of all ages. The best part? When you need a change of scenery, there are options to your left and right. Plus, Allentown’s more eclectic bar scene is only a short drive away.
This mixed-use, urban neighborhood has been on the up-and-up for a few years now, with no signs of slowing down. Moral of the story? EV is the place to live, work, and play.
- Albright-Knox: This world-renowned art gallery is a must-see. For the past 150+ years, they have been collecting and exhibiting art, and it is truly a treasure worth discovering.
- Hotel Henry: An abandoned insane asylum sat empty for years before undergoing a $100 million transformation. Today, this gorgeous urban resort, complete with a restaurant and lounge, welcomes guests for an elegant stay.
- Thin Man Brewery: Attention craft beer lovers—Elmwood Village’s first and only brewery is calling your name. Besides the excellent beer selection, patrons can enjoy there’s live music and a spacious second-floor patio overlooking Elmwood Avenue.
2. Old First Ward/Ohio Street
When you take time to explore Buffalo's #OldFirstWard, you'll find strong Irish history, vibrant new shops, cafes and breweries, and loads of charm. Check it out! https://t.co/sDFqdUMQJ4 pic.twitter.com/J1dFfRJton
— VisitBuffaloNiagara (@BuffaloNiagara) February 18, 2018
Perfect for: professionals, couples
The historic Old First Ward was once the center for Buffalo’s industrial growth back in the 1880s. Back then grain workers walked to work and families passed down homes for generations. Fast forward to today, and this neighborhood is the definition of redevelopment. Thanks to many projects, the Old First Ward is once again a place to be.
The new apartment complexes are upscale. Think bright, open spaces with natural light pouring inside and balconies with a view of the Buffalo River and Lake Erie sunsets. If kayaking from your place to nearby restaurants and bars is your dream, you’ll fall head over heels for this location. All in all, this community is vibrant, growing, and most definitely worth exploring.
- The Barrel Factory: This newly-restored 115-year-old historic factory houses a distillery, brewery, restaurant, and kombucha shop all under one roof. Plus, you can rent a kayak, canoe, stand-up paddle board from Elevator Alley Kayak.
- Buffalo Riverworks: This massive waterfront complex is the ultimate destination to drink, eat, and play. There are two hockey rinks, a roller derby track, and a zipline course. In the beer garden, you’ll find the iconic six-pack of Labatt Blue beer cans made from restored silos.
- Cobblestone District: Buffalo’s Historic Cobblestone District is right in your backyard, and there are lots of local eats and drinks. For starters, check out Lockhouse Distillery, Buffalo Iron Works, and Helium Comedy Club.
— Buffalo News Gusto (@GustoBuffalo) May 29, 2018
Perfect for: families, young professionals
Just south of the city of Buffalo is the town of Hamburg. If you grew up here, you will likely tell people to live here no questions asked. For those of us who did not grow up in Hamburg, myself included, there is something to be said about living in this neighborhood.
Small town spirit was born here, raised here, and stays here. As for newcomers, there are many. More and more businesses are choosing to call Hamburg home so much so that Main Street is becoming a shopping and dining destination. Plus, with the water so close by it’s easy to pack up for a beach day.
- Hamburg Brewing Company: Drinking a pint here is picture-perfect. Think good vibes, great views, and even better brews. This taproom is a dream come.
- Woodlawn Beach State Park: When you visit this particular beach, you can enjoy your swim drink in hand. With three tiki bars and VIP bottle service cabanas drinking and lounging is highly encouraged.
- Erie County Fair: This year marks the 150th year the Erie County Fair has been celebrated in Hamburg. This 12-day event is held each August at the Hamburg Fairgrounds.
4. East Aurora
— Luke Wochensky for NYS Assembly (@LukeforNY) July 9, 2018
Perfect for: families
If you are ready to buy a home and raise a family, East Aurora may be just right for you. This town has a reputation for being one of the safest places to live in WNY, and was named one of the best towns to raise a family in the state.
East Aurora’s rich history has shaped its present-day character. Walking down Main Street takes you back to a simpler time. You’ll see a variety of specialty shops, restaurants, churches, and carefully preserved homes all within walking distance.
- Vidler’s 5 & 10: Step back in time for this shopping trip. A first-time venture at Vidler’s is surely an all-day event. As the largest variety store in the world, it’s no wonder you can shop ‘til you drop.
- Millard Fillmore House: The 13th U.S. president began his law and political career here in East Aurora. Many years ago, Millard Fillmore built a house and today it stands as a national historic landmark.
- Roycroft Campus: Explore the best preserved and most complete complex buildings remaining from the arts and crafts movement in the late 19th century.
5. North Park
— Dave Thompson (@DaveinWNY) October 7, 2017
Perfect for: young professionals, couples, families
Hertel Avenue is the heart and soul of North Buffalo and it’s on the up-and-up. New restaurants and shops are opening, and more people are discovering the joy that is the North Park. As one of Buffalo’s most diverse business districts, there’s a little something for everyone to love about this neighborhood.
If you are a foodie, you’ll definitely want to put this on your radar. Walking from bar to bar and restaurant to restaurant is almost too easy when you live here. As for families, this neighborhood is centrally located near major school districts, so it’s ideal for the kiddos too.
Dash’s Market is set to open soon, and when this project is complete there will be another great reason to make this neighborhood your home.
- North Park Theatre: This movie theatre is a 1920s classic, old-fashioned marquee and all. Inside, you’ll discover a gorgeous mural on the ceiling. A date night here will surely transport you back in time.
- Lloyd Taco Factory: Outside of Buffalo, the lime green sign doesn’t mean much. But here Lloyd is a legend. Lloyd earned its claim to fame as the city’s first food truck. On Hertel, there’s an entire taco factory, complete with a full bar. This is both dangerous and wonderful at the same time.