Buffalo, New York – April 26, 2014

Last weekend, my brother and I executed our mini trip to Buffalo, NY. We’ve planned it awhile ago, incorporate more sight seeing than shopping (cannot do without shopping though!). We set off to cross the border early as the one of our major highway was partially closed for maintenance, potentially making the drive longer. Not only that, but the weather was chilly and raining.

ImageWhen we reached the Rainbow Bridge, it took us 10 minutes to cross from Canada to the US. It was my first time crossing the border by car, so I didn’t know how long it would be, perhaps the earlier you are, the quicker the process, provided that it is not a holiday weekend.

ImageImageOur first stop was Erie Basin Marina, but it was freezing to stay long. We also stopped by the Buffalo and Erie County Naval & Military Park, and drove around downtown Buffalo.

ImageImageImageWe then went to Allentown, a small and quaint neighbourhood in Buffalo, with 19th Century homes, artsy and antique shops. I still felt it was a little bit on the sketchy side because there was not many people around.

ImageNeeding a pick me up, we found Cafe Taza, a very tiny cafe with a laid-back hipster vibe. It was the livest place we stumbled upon in the neighbourhood, with 3 or 4 seats occupied and people (in addition to one dog) standing, all engaged in one giant conversation. I had the Heidi Special, which is hot chocolate with the barista’s choice of flavoured syrup (she gave me cinnamon).

ImageFor lunch, we ate at Sophia’s Restaurant, a house converted to a diner located in an industrial area, but despite its location, there was a 20 minute wait likely due to the restaurant being featured in Guy Fieri’s Diners, Drive-ins and Dives.

ImageNonetheless, with a hankering for greasy breakfast of eggs, homefries and sausage, especially when you can smell it outside the parking lot, it was exactly what I ordered. The homefries were delicious – not mushy, and not overly seasoned.

ImageMy brother had the “Buffalo” burger, a 1/3lb  sirloin burger with fried egg, blue cheese, tomato, lettuce, mayo and hot sauce. A really messy burger to which he said it didn’t have much taste of blue cheese.

ImageWe then visited Flying Bison Brewing Company, which is nearby Sophia’s as my brother wanted to grab a six-pack of craft beer. We didn’t do a tour but  I had a sampling of their light brew and off we went to Walden Galleria. Seeing a bunch of Ontario license plates in the parking lot of Walden was a very welcoming sight. Actually, every time I spotted an Ontario license plate was a relief, especially when it felt like we were the only Canadians around downtown Buffalo (we probably were) and happen upon some really rude drivers.

ImageTired and exhausted, we drove to Amherst, NY to check into our hotel. We chose to stay at Amherst because of Trader Joe’s, and our hotel was a five minutes drive from it. Our hotel room has a small full kitchen but because we were staying for one night, there was no point in cooking. We picked up some frozen dinner, strawberry mochi and fresh raspberry for dinner– not the best dinner but it suffice.


Cafe Taza
100 Elmwood Ave.
Buffalo, NY 14201
United States

Sophia’s Restaurant
749 Military Rd
Buffalo, NY 14216
United States

Flying Bison Brewing
491 Ontario St
Buffalo, NY 14207
United States

Trader Joe’s Amherst
1565 Niagara Falls Blvd
Buffalo, NY 14228
United States

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