Author: Dave C.
I’m a Buffalo/Amherst native who moved away in the late 80s but still have family in Amherst and visit twice a year.
Having grown up in the burbs I never really went into the city much growing up other than a Sabres game (drive there, drive home on thruway). Every time I visit it’s all in the suburbs.
Not this time!
Before I took this trip with my family, I Google-mapped the entire city for a few hours and basically “drove” around Buffalo via my laptop to get to know the streets and get my bearings.
Even though so much has changed, there are still some ‘not so great’ areas I wanted to avoid, so our driving experience could showcase the best streets and routes possible.
[So] here’s what I mapped out and drove, and I have to say it offered a great scenic tour of all that’s been happening:
We stayed in Kenmore. Drove up to Delaware, made a left into Kenmore Village – went into a couple great diners, and Spot Coffee. Continued down Delaware, making a left on Hertel. Great shops, another Spot Coffee. Took a right on Parkside, past The Zoo. Then a left on Jewett Parkway, to gawk at Darwin Martin House (lead image – just from the outside). Explored other great houses around there, then back up Jewett, into Delaware Park. Made a right on Meadow – small road meanders through park, green, trees, joggers, then swung right and quick left onto Nottingham.
On Nottingham we dipped in and out of smaller streets to see the AMAZING houses, but got back onto Nottingham and took it all the way to Elmwood. Went left onto Elmwood, over highway bridge (unfortunately) then quick left onto Iroquois Drive, which goes behind Albright Knox. Right onto Lincoln Parkway, up to Soldiers Circle, veered right onto Bidwell, passed by Elmwood Avenue, up to Colonial Circle, then veered left up Richmond.
Took a right onto Rhode Island, and to Left bank (ate dinner there). From there, up to W Utica, turned left, ate at Five Points Bakery, continue up W. Utica, right on Richmond, then right on Connecticut. Drove to Black Sheep (ate there), onto BreadHive (ate there), and up to Connecticut Street Armory – amazing looking building.
Took left onto Niagara Street, left again onto Porter, and carried on to Kleinhans. Took a right onto Pennsylvania, a left onto Fargo, a left onto Hudson, and a right onto Cottage Street, and then a quick left onto Days Park – amazing little pocket park neighborhood – I want to live there!
Headed back out, to make a right onto Hudson, a right onto Wadsworth, which winds around to become Allen Street/Allentown. Took Allen up to Main – impressive UB medical school looms, take right onto Main Street, quick right onto Virginia, left onto Delaware, impressive new builds… left onto Chippewa, right onto Main Street (even though you are allowed to drive on this stretch of Main, it still feels very foreboding, dangerous and very UN-street-like and un-drivable. The ONLY reason I made the turn was because I had read all about it. It feels like your not supposed to drive there at all. No curb – very confusing.
Regardless, drove up Main past 500 Block, nice restaurants there now, then you have to take a left on Mohawk, quick right onto Washington – all the way down Washington past baseball stadium, into Canalside. We lopped through Canalside (very quiet on a Monday afternoon), back up Washington, right on Swan, right onto Oak, a very quick left onto Seneca (right before you’re otherwise forced onto the thruway).
Took Seneca all the way up to Larkinville (very quiet too; but raining). Took Swan out of Larkinville, and went right onto Ellicott (at stadium). Ellicott has nice little pocket areas, and Big Ditch Brewery. Went all the way up through Medical Campus, under new skybridges, buildings (nice), and left onto North Street, past Anchor bar, then right onto Delaware, up to Gates Circle. We veered left onto Chapin Parkway, left onto Bird, right onto Elmwood, into Elmwood Village. We then took Elmwood all the way back up to Forest, to Richardson-Olmsted Campus, then back onto Elmwood up to Hertel, right onto Hertel, left on Colvin and then back into Kenmore. Phew!
It’s a really nice route, which I’d recommend to all visitors!