A roundup of some of my favorite and most frequented places and businesses in Buffalo, NY! All the places you should know for your wellness, fitness, food, and coffee needs.
I love my city.
I love to…
And really appreciate everything Buffalo has to offer. (I even have a series call Explore Your Own Backyard on THIS BLOG!!)
Buffalo didn’t always have the eyes on it that it does now, but in recent years we’ve had an influx of people moving here (especially young adults!) because of the affordability (of housing and cost of living) and the overall vibe.
We’re a sports city. We’re a foodie city. We’re a winter city. We’re a summer city. We’re a caring city.
I’ve been wanting to do a roundup of some of my favorite Buffalo businesses, restaurants, coffee shops, and activities for quite sometime now, and I was FINALLY able to finish my list! It took awhile because I really had to narrow it down. This list is by no means exhaustive and there is a lot of other places I love and frequent. But I wanted to share some potentially lesser known gems.
So whether you’ve lived here your whole life or are planning a trip to check out the best kept secret in NY State…this list will bring you to some of the best places around!
If you’re looking for a quick, but INTENSE and a EFFICIENT workout….F45 BlackRock is the spot to go! It’s the first F45 in the WNY area and prides itself on offering functional workouts (cardio & resistance training) for people of all ages, all fitness levels, and all walks of life. It’s a great community and the staff is awesome as well!
DripHouse is the first personal sweat lodge in the Buffalo area. When you book a drip session you are given your own private room, are able to pick a Netflix show to watch, and are zipped into a heated, cocoon-esque bed to SWEAT IT OUT for an hour. The staff checks on you twice during your drip and there also is a call button if you have any issues.
Some people go for weight loss, to speed metabolism, or detox…but I like dripping for pure relaxation. It forces me to take an hour out of my day to do nothing but lay…I actually usually fall asleep! Ha! And the intense sweating you experience feels very cleansing as well. A great way to start the week after a weekend of going out and indulgence. It makes you feel refreshed and revived. And after each drip, you’re invited into a cooling room with cold drinks and eucalyptus towels.
So relaxing and soothing!
Located in the heart of the Elmwood Village, O’Neil Chiropractic is my TOP choice for chiropractic adjustments and other specialties in Buffalo. My family and I have collectively been going there for 20+ years and I’ve never had a better experience with a wellness practitioner. Not only is Dr. Patrick extremely knowledgeable and skilled in his field, but he’s also just an amazing individual who really gets to know and cares deeply about his patients.
If you don’t like the big chain gym feel, JCC Buffalo is for you. It’s a smaller gym (but still has good equipment) with a great community feel. It was also recently FULLY remodeled and has great amenities. In addition to regular gym equipment, they also offer group fitness classes, personal training classes, and other activities for members. And it’s open to everyone regardless of religious affiliation. I’ve been going there since I was 14 and it’s MUCH more affordable than most other gyms monthly payments for what you get.
Personal Care & Pampering
For ANY and ALL waxing needs…men and women! Shianne is a badass business owner and all around cool person who’s always down to tell you a fun story during your session. Good conversation definitely makes it all more bearable if you know what I mean!
My favorite place to get a massage in the city! They are located in an old victorian mansion on North Street and have dozens of masseuses on staff which means it’s super easy to get an appointment last minute. They have a ton of different massage offerings plus other spa treatments. MTA even accepts some forms of insurance, but if they don’t take your insurance, their prices are VERY affordable.
If you’re a woman, you know that haircuts can get pretty pricey, even a trim! But Fuse offers reasonably priced salon services right in the Elmwood village. Everyone on the staff is great and I LOVE that you can book appointments online. Plus they feature new local art on their walls every month!
The quintessential classy, cool coffee shop located in the Lafayette Hotel in downtown Buffalo. I love their coffee and espresso (both roasted in house) but their food menu is also awesome. It uses all local ingredients and is relatively healthy too. Plus they are known for all their homemade baked goods and DONUTS. Bonus? They have an unspoken rule that dogs are allowed inside if they are friendly and well behaved. SCORE.
Best iced coffee and flavored coffees in my opinion! SUPER unique lattes and other hot/cold drinks as well. They also offer a great selection of plant-based milks and vegan food options. Their avocado toasts actually inspired THIS post of mine. 🙂 I also love ALL the sustainability and eco-friendly efforts they make in both of their stores.
My personal coffeeshop staple and where I work most days of the week. All the Spot Coffee locations are great and very unique but Elmwood is my favorite. I love how big it is, the different seating offerings (I like the big windows up front for people watching and the outdoor patio on good weather days), and the awesome menu. I usually go for an Americano or iced coffee, but they have something for everyone including their own take on frozen frappe style drinks called Spotsicles. The staff is awesome as well…super friendly and accommodating to ‘regulars’ and everyone else of course too! I feel like I should pay rent for how much time I spend there.
THE spot for cocktails or coffee. Located in the up and coming Five Points neighborhood, Remedy House is small and quaint, but welcoming and comfortable, plus you’ll NEVER find a cooler shaped coffeeshop. I appreciate that they are open late for those of us that work in the evenings and the big open windows in the summer essentially make the whole cafe an outdoor workspace. In addition to coffee and some lite bites, they also serve very cool cocktails and other alcoholic offerings.
My favorite coffee shop on Hertel and the first place I ever had a sparkling Americano (an iced Americano with sparkling water instead of flat….so refreshing!). Super quaint, vegan and gluten-free baked good and snack options, and right across the street from the Hertel Lexington Co-op. What’s not to love?!
Voted the #1 tour to take in Buffalo, Buffalo Bike Tours is a GREAT way to see the city while also getting in some exercise. I recently did their Haunted Buffalo Tour, a halloween themed history tour visiting some of the “haunted” and historic places all over the city. The tour guides are funny, knowledgeable and make the whole experience a great time. They have regular tours that are offered daily, but definitely check out their website for regular updates on themed rides. They are closing down for winter, but be sure to check back in the spring for updated tours.
Having lived in Buffalo my whole life, I still LOVE exploring my city in different ways and learning new tidbits of information/history I never knew before.
An urban ziplining course in between the grain mills down at Riverworks on the Buffalo Waterfront!! So fun and definitely worth trying if you like a thrill but may not be ready for something like skydiving or bungee jumping. The Riverworks staff is super professional and the whole set up is VERY safe. Much more legit than the first time I went ziplining in Mexico and had to use a carved wooden hook to stop myself at the end. HA!! My stick broke of course. 😉
They also have rock climbing (weather permitting) and a ropes course!
I have seen some of my ALL TIME favorite comedians here. And even when I’ve gone to see someone I am less familiar with I have laughed until my face hurt. Helium always gets super high quality, hilarious stand-ups and local performers. Great for a date night or a night out with friends! One of my top picks for nighttime entertainment.
Definitely a seasonal activity…but I LOVE SUPing (standing up paddleboarding) down at the Buffalo Waterfront! I much prefer it to kayaking and it’s a GREAT workout. But don’t stop going to the waterfront just because the weather gets cold, there’s still a lot to do down there YEAR ROUND. Winter activities include: ice skating, ice biking, festivals, winter markets, the new Explore and More Children’s Museum, and more.
Read (and WATCH!) my experience here! The ultimate way to see Niagara Falls and feed the adrenaline junkie in you all at once.
Buying season tickets to Shea’s is one of the best things I spent money on this year. Yes, they are a little pricey, but there are different levels depending on your budget and there really is NO BAD SEAT in the house. If you’re a broadway lover like me, season tickets to Shea’s are really a must! This year alone we got two national tours starting here in Buffalo. And buying season tickets is MUCH cheaper than buying tickets to individual shows.
Sushi lovers…this is a must! Sun is known for its black rice sushi and other black rice dishes, but don’t sleep on the other menu offerings! They have a mixture of Thai, Burmese, and Asian Fusion dishes that are incredible. Only place I’ve EVER been to in Buffalo that has Kabocha squash on their menu. And you KNOW I am kabocha obsessed.
Buffalo’s first Poke bar and they JUST opened a second location downtown in the 500 Pearl Building! Fresh, delicious seafood and make your own Poke bowls GALORE. If you know me, you know I am a seafood lover through and through. So a whole restaurant dedicated to seafood…is my DREAM.
Originally from East Aurora, the Kornerstone Cafe team opened up a second location in Larkinville and it is one of my favorite places for a healthy bite. Breakfast, lunch, or just for a fresh pressed juice, Kornerstone is awesome. Plus, it gives me a great excuse to visit Larkinville, which I definitely don’t get to enough. Favorites include: the Peacock Bowl, Raw Oatmeal Bowl, and the Vegan Lettuce Wrap.
Since Merge closed (my fave vegan/plant-based restaurant in the city) I’ve been looking for a new spot for vegan eats, and Root & Bloom is IT. I love that they have a lot of plant-based versions of classic dishes and comfort foods, but also some unique, creative offerings. Favorites include: The Full Bloom breakfast and the Bodhi plate, which is new on their Fall menu!
The sushi staple in the Elmwood Village and delicious. They have all the traditional offerings as well as some fun twists on rolls and sashimi. They also have cooked food for those of you that aren’t raw fish fans….all amazing though and very affordable. Great for a quick bite when an intense sushi craving strikes…or does that only happen to me? 😉
A little pricey…but AMAZING if you’re looking for a fancier more upscale dining experience in downtown Buffalo. Located in the Westin Buffalo, Patina has a small but varied menu with lots of fresh, healthy options. For lunch or dinner, you’ll find vegetarian, seafood, and meat options that use local ingredients. It was also voted Buffalo’s Best Downtown Restaurant!
My favorite place for a healthy breakfast or snack by the waterfront! During the summer, I walk down here almost every weekend to grab a pitaya or acai bowl. They also have a ton of delicious smoothies, toasts, bowls, and salads.
Maybe I am a bit biased because I worked at Ashker’s for a year, but it’s a delicious, local cafe for fresh pressed juices AND food. Their menu is ever changing based on seasonality and local availability and I’ve literally never had something from their menu (drink OR food) that I haven’t loved. They have two locations: Black Rock and Elmwood…plus a mini outpost in Delaware Park which is perfect for a little pick me up in the summer if you’re walking or running. Also, the owners, Angelo and Sarah, are just good people. Get to know them if you ever have the chance!! I actually miss seeing them regularly when I was working there.
This is my go-to place for dinner or drinks before a movie at the AMC Market Arcade downtown. It’s basically a hipster cafeteria with offerings from a bunch of different local restaurants and new concept from local restaurateurs. The restaurants are always rotating in and out….so there’s always a ton of variety and great options no matter what you’re in the mood for!
Best, most authentic Mexican food and tacos in the city. Very simple and basic but SO flavorful and fresh. They’re also super cheap and there’s a topping bar with everything you could ever want to put on a taco…fresh cilantro, sliced radishes, chopped tomatoes, 4 different kinds of salsa, sliced onions, lime wedges, and MORE.
If you’re from Buffalo or have been here, tell me some of your favorite things to do/see/eat/drink in the comments!
Definitely check out my Explore Your Own Backyard series to learn more about things to do in Buffalo and WNY as a whole!Stay connected:Subscribe to Healthy HelperInstagram: HealthyHelperFacebook: Healthy HelperTwitter: @Healthy_HelperPinterest: Healthy_HelperTikTok: KailaProulxBloglovin’: Healthy HelperBuy my BUDGET TRAVEL EBook!Shop with me on Amazon. Favorite products, fun finds, and more!