The 2021 Holiday Shopping Guide is a unique blend of independently owned and operated businesses in a variety of industries, such as retail, food, dining, arts, non-profit, and more, all designed to encourage WNY residents to #shoplocal. Sponsored by Visit Buffalo Niagara and Erie County, the 2021 guide will explore all the unique shopping districts that Erie County has to offer. To view this year’s full holiday shopping guide, click here!
Once the heart of Buffalo’s Polish population, the crossroads of Broadway and Fillmore Avenue – while still bearing more than a few traces of Polski traditions – is now a diverse neighborhood of African-American, Vietnamese and Bangladeshi residents. This heterogeneous mix is reflected inside the confines of the Broadway Market where pierogi is served alongside soul food as well as on the street where the Tu Hieu Buddhist Cultural Center has joined the company of Corpus Christi and St. Stanislaus Catholic churches. Standing tall above the entire neighborhood is the Central Terminal, a massive Art Deco building that served as Buffalo’s train station until 1979. Today, a non-profit restoration corporation is charged with bringing new life to this historic symbol of Buffalo’s past.
The Fillmore District – centered around Fillmore Avenue between Best Street and Delavan Avenue — is another hub of activity on the city’s East Side. Long anchored by Martin Luther King, Jr. Park and its colossal wading pool/skating rink and the Buffalo History Museum, the neighborhood is being reinvigorated by new developments like the Northland Workforce Training Center and attractions such as the Albright-Knox Northland, a satellite space of the museum’s Elmwood campus, and the installation of massive murals like Shantell Martin’s, “Dance Everyday,” at 537 East Delavan Avenue.
Since 1888 the Broadway Market has been a dynamic cultural force in our community. Ripe with a rich cultural heritage, visiting the Broadway Market is its own experience that ensures families will have a wonderful Christmas, as they celebrate many time-honored traditions. For 130 years immigrant vendors shared their unique brand of cultural pride with handmade crafts and culinary delights that often led to new traditions being established in modern day homes.
You would be hard pressed to find a Buffalonian who hasn’t already been enchanted by the sights and smells that permeate the Broadway Market — a beloved staple of our city for over 130 years since its opening in 1888. A few of the vendors have been open for nearly 40 years, and form an integral part of the bustling and diverse atmosphere.
Whether you’re looking for some basic ingredients or, if you’re like me, some traditional holiday staples like pierogi, kielbasa and horseradish, the Broadway Market should definitely be a stop for whatever you need to complete your holiday dinner table.
Founded by Dan Shanahan and Melissa Meola, Torn Space Theater aims to create original, aesthetically innovative performances, and to introduce internationally-renowned, contemporary performance to Western New York and the Buffalo-Niagara Region. Located just down the street from the Central Terminal, this tremendous cultural asset is now considered a “campus setting,” featuring:
- A newly restored building at 608 Fillmore Avenue
- A state of the art indoor performance space
- A walkable campus, with reclaimed green space for outdoor site-based performance, public art and community engagement
- Light Station* design and production studio adjacent to the theater at 612 Fillmore Avenue
Torn Space, along with the Adam Mickiewicz Library and Dramatic Circle look forward to providing a space where the community can engage with thought provoking performance, lectures and literature while enjoying the authentic Polonia tavern. Their website offers a variety of gifts with their logo that are the perfect gift for any arts lover! We highly recommend checking them out!
Opened in 1929 to serve more than 200 trains and 10,000 passengers daily, the iconic Buffalo Central Terminal operated for 50 years, until the Art Deco masterpiece officially closed as a train station in 1979. In 1997, the 18-acre Buffalo Central Terminal site was acquired by the non-profit Central Terminal Restoration Corporation (CTRC). Efforts are ongoing to refurbish and repurpose the property on Buffalo’s East Side as a thriving hub of community events and activity. To help fund restoration, the CTRC currently hosts 30+ public events a year in this beloved building.
This Art Deco masterpiece was built to handle over 200 trains and 10,000 passengers daily, as well as 1,500 New York Central employees. It included shops, a restaurant, soda fountain, parking garage and all other services required for daily passenger operations. Although the Central Terminal had the misfortune to open mere months before the onset of the Great Depression, the building was extremely busy during its first two decades of operation, with no period busier than during World War II. Following the War, passenger rail travel fell precipitously as automobiles and air travel began to dominate. In 1955, the New York Central Railroad put the Buffalo Central Terminal on the market, though there was little demand to purchase such a large building. With the decline of passenger rail service, the New York Central mothballed much of the sprawling Buffalo Central Terminal and created a small station within a station to service the remaining passengers.
In addition to opening for events and tours throughout the year, their website has an amazing selection of posters, tshirts, sweatshirts and more that make the perfect gift for the history buff in your life! Sales benefit the Buffalo Central Terminal Restoration Corporation.
While the Albright-Knox Art Gallery’s Elmwood Campus undergoes its first major expansion in nearly 60 years, the Gallery has opened a temporary home on Buffalo’s East Side. The Albright-Knox Northland is located in a former industrial space at 612 Northland Avenue with soaring ceilings, lots of natural light and the kind of wide open floor plan that contemporary artists and sculptors will love filling with all sorts of big arty fun.
The AK Northland allows the Albright-Knox to remain active in the community while it undergoes a two-year expansion on Elmwood Avenue; it also allows the gallery to make new connections in the community, reach new audiences and exhibit the work of artists who may not have found a place among its collection of 20th century masterworks on the Elmwood Campus.
If you have an art lover in your life, a membership to Albright Knox Northland is the perfect gift. Not only does it give you access to both the regular and special exhibits, but it also grants you exclusive access to their online lecture series, discounts at select shops in the Elmwood Village and free admission to a number of museums across New York State.
The Buffalo Museum of Science always has the most captivating exhibits that are geared towards educating all ages in fun and unique ways. Past exhibits have included Medieval to Metal: The Art and Evolution of the Guitar, Golden Mummies of Egypt, and, this is probably dating myself, but I even remember when they had an exhibit about the Science of Star Trek in the 90s. Every new exhibit is immersive, educational, and fascinating for all ages and that remains true with their current exhibit SensERIE.
Plunge into the depths of Lake Erie in a 16-foot research submarine. Let your imagination build onto Buffalo’s iconic skyline. Immerse yourself in the calm and quiet found among the trees of Tifft Nature Preserve. In SensERIE, children and their families are invited to explore basic STEM concepts their own way. The newly renovated permanent exhibit gallery on the Museum’s first floor offers three distinct Erie County-based environments – forest, city and an underwater scene – that encourage young explorers to learn and understand the world around them by using their senses of touch, sight, and sound.
In addition to this, running with a limited engagement now through December 31 is Lost Beauty II: The Art of Museum Stories. You will experience the museum’s collection through the eyes of an artist. The Buffalo Museum of Science and renowned artist Alberto Rey invite you to examine a special selection of fifteen items from our vast collection and, through his paintings, look beyond the scale, label, or fragment, to appreciate the lost beauty within. Why are these items in the collection, and what can they tell us? Why should they matter? How does safeguarding these particular items further our understanding of the world around us?
In addition to these, the museum offers a cornucopia of exhibits that are sure to cater to all the different interests you and your family have. From their biodiversity exhibits, to the their Buffalo in Space, Bug Works, and Explore you, the Buffalo Museum of Science offers you the opportunity to Find Why. In addition to these the museum has a variety of lectures and science activities geared towards kids and fostering their interest in STEM programs. Visit their gift shop to pick up some books or educational gifts, or purchase a membership to the museum.
It’s no secret that I love food and I love trying different cuisines. My travels have led me to some interesting places where I’ve tried things that you can’t get anywhere else, some favorites include paella and a hot pot that I had in Meishan, China. We are lucky in Buffalo because thanks in part to our large immigrant community, we can sample flavors from places that we might not otherwise have the opportunity to visit. Alibaba Kebob is one such place.
Alibaba Kebob offers a delicious menu featuring authentic and delectable Indian and Mediterranean food. Their selection of “Over the Rice Boxes” will take your taste buds on a journey through Mediterranean and South Asian cuisine that will keep you coming back for more! Selections like Chicken Shawarma, Tandoori Fish, beef or lamb gyros and falafel are not only filling but delicious and reasonably priced. With a dozen different kabobs, curries and more you’ll want to keep coming back to try everything. If you are looking for a place to grab a bite to eat after shopping in the area or visiting one of the museums, Alibaba Kebab is sure to satisfy. They also offer gift cards, which are a great stocking stuffer. While you are there, be sure to stop at the corner of Fillmore and Memorial Drive to see the mural by Jeremy Miklas featuring Martin Luther King Jr, Gandhi and Mother Theresa, which was commissioned by Alibaba Kebob’s owner Anand Kattu. Kattu commissioned the mural as a way to not only beautify the neighborhood, but also as an expression of peace.
Have you picked up your Shop 716 eGift Card yet? For a limited time, when you buy one for $25 or more, you get an Erie County sponsored bonus $25 eGift Card. Support local and get rewarded for it – buy yours today and view the full list of participating businesses here: https://amherst.org/shop716/
Support your local restaurants, retailers and attractions. Keep your hard earned money, right here where you live. By doing so, you keep your friends and family employed and create more local jobs. Shopping local conserves energy and resources and is better for the environment!
WNY is our home & we can show the #Buffalove we have by shopping and supporting our local businesses. The Shop 716 initiative is to be a champion of all business, supporting the shop/support local themes; to develop business unity and camaraderie to uplift our entire region.