By Michael Powers – Marketing Manager at the Buffalo Zoo

I’m not talking about muffins in this case, gentle reader. This is an ode to our humble city – Buffalo.

The Buffalo area is very unique in that everything is 20 minutes or so away. There are a few exceptions to that, of course. But tell a Los Angeles native how long it takes you to get to work and I guarantee that since you won’t use the word “hours” they will be snow white with envy. I grew up in the Buffalo suburb of Clarence and my folks still reside there. I moved into the city in 1988 and no more than a few months go by ever since that I hear somebody say the phrase “All the way from the City” or some variation on that theme, like you have to stop off in Cheektowaga to load up on provisions to complete your journey.

I want to advocate a little localized wanderlust. C’mon into the big city!

Buffalo offers a great variety of restaurants, events, festivals and natural beauty. Many places around Buffalo have yet to be discovered by many, and are located right in the heart of the city. Below are a few examples of Buffalo’s hidden gems that I have found:

  • Santasiero’s on Niagara Street has a spaghetti parm that is just as good as Chef’s without the hype, the wait or the care that there is something at the Arena that night.
  • LaSalle Park hosted a concert series a bunch of years ago that brought Tito Puente (how cool was that), America, Dixie Chicks, Natalie Cole, and Ramsay Lewis in one summer. How insanely cool is that?
  • Ted’s makes a pretty good burger, but the Sterling Place Tavern fed my soul with theirs a few weeks ago, and they will again.
  • You won’t beat the crowds at Betty’s for Sunday brunch, but you will join the Buffalo insiders that know about this local hotspot tucked away on Virginia Street
  • K. Gallagher’s is a great place to get a drink on Allen Street or even catch a peek at Robby Takac from the Goo-Goo Dolls (Robby has said this is his favorite ‘hidden’ gem).

Discovery is a joyful thing, even on a primal level. There are good things everywhere, sometimes you just have to want to look.

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