If you’re feeling a bit under caffeinated while in The Queen City, never fear. With a bounty of new coffee shops opening all around town you will never be far from a nice warming caffeine boost, whether you like it rich and black with a side of avocado toast, or full of caramel flavored steamed milk with a big piece of cake.
Public Espresso at the Lafayette Hotel at 391 Washington Street has moved from their small setup in the hotel lobby into a large freestanding cafe accessible from both hotel and street. The spacious new digs allows them to serve their locally famous pour-over coffee (Alton Brown’s favorite) and coffee drinks alongside an expanding food menu. We enjoyed remarkably delicious ricotta and avocado toasts, but there is an array of other breakfast options, and lunch will be coming soon as well. Afterwards, take a few minutes to check out the Lafayette, a recently restored architectural gem designed in 1902 by one of America’s first woman architects, Louise Bethune.
University Heights is a neighborhood with an ever expanding food and drink scene. Now it has its own little coffee shop called Grateful Grind at 3225 Main Street. Funky and low key, the cafe offers the usual coffee drinks and cookies alongside a nice lunch menu of sandwiches and salads. A cozy spot to stop and relax.
New in the West Side’s “Five Points” neighborhood is Remedy House, at 429 Rhode Island Street. The first thing you will notice about it is that..it’s triangular! Triangular buildings are sufficiently unusual that I had never actually been in a triangular room before, but big bright windows and a greenery wall give this quirky space a lot of light and charm. The coffee is delicious and the baked goods are made in house. My companion ordered banana bread and her response to the first bite was “Oh! I didn’t know this would be soooo good!!!” Lots of other pastry choices as well, and talk of a lunch menu to come. Then in the evening they switch from coffee shop to neighborhood bar. The tile floor is very cool too!
In Allentown, Grindhaus Cafe at 169 Allen Street is a hipster spot for pour-over coffees and cold brews which are crafted with care and genuinely excellent. There is also a large tea menu, and a delicious array of toast combinations (I had cinnamon raisin toast with cinnamon sugar which was pretty much my go to breakfast at the age of seven. Still the perfect combo!) Their lunch menu of sandwiches and salads include vegan and vegetarian options as well.
Perhaps a theme is emerging of new cafes in interesting buildings, because Rowhouse Cafe and Bakery at 483 Delaware Avenue. takes coffee and architecture to new heights, and I don’t only mean the soaring ceilings! This beautiful new coffeehouse/bakery/pizzeria/restaurant/bar takes up three stories of one of Buffalo’s rare brownstone townhouses on Delaware Avenue. The cafe on the first floor carries a wide array of baked goods alongside the usual coffee and espresso drinks. There is also a limited lunch menu (for the full menu you can be served in the upstairs restaurant). Well worth the visit if you are looking for a setting as beautiful as your croissant.