Broadway theatre and fine dining may not be the first words that come to mind when you think of Buffalo, New York. I myself have been surprised by Buffalo’s resurgence many times, however this post isn’t about Buffalo’s new rising developments, this post I fear is like I’m giving away a big secret that Buffalo has been keeping from everyone for a long time.
Buffalo New York Theatre Getaway
Buffalo I’m learning is a sophisticated place, filled with amazing dining experiences that I’ve only scratched the surface of discovering and some pretty amazing entertainment options for movie lovers and theatre goers. Here are some of my experiences with Buffalo’s entertainment and dining scene, which I hope is just the beginning of an amazing discovery.
An Affordable Broadway Theatre Getaway in Buffalo New York
Ok theatre fans I’m looking at the ticketmaster site now and on a weekend showing, ticket prices for the current show Kinky Boots at Shea’s Performing Arts Center is between $45 and $92. Uuuum how much are seats in Toronto theatres? I recall paying a lot more for the cheap seats in the upper balconies for some of the shows I’ve been to.
I was fortunate enough to see Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella during my visit to the Shea’s Performing Arts Center and I’m happy to report it was breathtaking. The show was good too, but the Theatre OMG! Just kidding the show was incredible! I still don’t understand how Cinderella’s dress appeared like magic before my eyes. It was a fun and surprising spin on a classic tale and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Shea’s Performing Arts Theatre – Restoration not Renovation
The Shea’s Theatre is a pretty important part of Buffalo’s history. Now a National Historic Site, it originally opened it’s doors in 1926 and thankfully is committed to preserving and restoring the original design which includes hand painting these magnificent ceilings. Even if you don’t go to see a show be sure to take one of their tours and admire this impressive historical preservation.
Make it a Movie Night – or a Matinee
North Park Theatre – One of America’s Last Movie Houses
Some of you will remember the times before the digital era, where we listened to music on tape walkmans, when we had no cellphones or computers and when movie theatres were as grand and beautiful as stage theatre houses.
That’s the scene at the restored North Park Theatre. While they have introduced the digital equipment needed for today’s movies, you can marvel at the hand painted ceilings (also done by the same restorers who worked on the Shea’s Performing Arts Centre) and old theatre style seats.
The theatre is also known for bringing back some of the older movie classics during special runs which will really take you back to the good-ole-days!
A Taste of Buffalo’s Fine Dining Scene
Of course if your going to enjoy a show you probably want to go somewhere to eat right? Well I have two suggestions for you to start!
From the outside Hutch’s Restaurant seemed like a popular city hang out. The covered patio was packed even on a weekday evening. Inside the mood changed immediately and we were seated at elegant tables in a darkened restaurant lit up by table candles.
This small restaurant has a big menu that will entice just about any food lover. Here are some of our meal highlights:
Osteria 166 calls itself a casual Italian pub but really it is a casual fine dining experience. The restaurant’s owners built this restaurant as a place where you can feel comfortable, enjoy some great food at a reasonable price. In my opinion – this is a huge success. A perfect location in downtown Buffalo for grabbing dinner before a show at Shea’s, a sports event at First Niagara Centre or a relaxing night in Buffalo. Not only will this Italian family feed you with amazing food, they will probably stop by your table and say hi!
Osteria 166 | 166 Franklin St. | 716-858-3118
Make it a weekend getaway – Where to stay!
I have written a few reviews for Buffalo hotels and will continue to add to the list on my future stays. If you are planning a weekend escape in downtown Buffalo than I recommend these hotels.
Suite hotels are becoming quite popular these days. The Embassy Suites (by Hilton Hotels) is a great location in Buffalo’s business district and a great option for any type of stay. The rooms include a living area, bedroom and small kitchen and the hotel has some great extra’s like a happy hour cocktail reception and complimentary breakfast.
For a more in-depth look at the Embassy Suites Buffalo see our review here.
Canalside, Courtyard by Marriott Hotel
The Courtyard by Marriott is one of Buffalo’s newest hotels, located in Buffalo’s redeveloped waterfront area – Canalside. This hotel is right off the highway, 5 minutes from the Peace Bridge, with access to Buffalo’s metro system (which is free above ground to Fountain Avenue, right next to Shea’s Theatre) making it a great location for any Buffalo stay.
For a more in-depth look at the Canalside Courtyard by Marriott hotel, see our review here.
Lofts on Pearl
If you are seeking a loft style hotel suite for your stay in Buffalo, then you might fall in love with Lofts on Pearl like I did. This hotel is conveniently located in downtown Buffalo, steps from Canalside and the theatre. The rooms are industrial loft style suites complete with a full kitchen and living room spaces.
For a more in-depth look at the Lofts on Pearl hotel see our review here.
Travel assistance provided by Visit Buffalo Niagara, however the opinions expressed in this post are my own.