2017 Forever Young Faves
Favorite Theater Venue
Shea’s Performing Arts Center
Shea’s consistently presents performances that delight and entertain patrons. The historical theater, built in 1926, is an architectural treasure; the ornate setting makes a night out at the theater even more special. Upcoming shows include Waitress, Something Rotten!, and Phantom of the Opera.
646 Main Street, Buffalo; 847-1410, sheas.org
Favorite Summer Event
Erie County Fair
There is one summertime event that brings people of all ages together for twelve days of fun: the Erie County Fair. Western New York’s first agricultural fair was held in 1820 and has been growing each August since. More than demolition derbies, Ferris wheels, and rock concerts, the fair has a solid traditional core of agricultural education and activities.
5600 McKinley Parkway, Hamburg; ecfair.org
Favorite Winter Event
Ice Skating at Canalside
This historically neglected parcel of industrial land on the waterfront has been innovatively redeveloped and evolved into a destination for every season. Whether you’re on your lunch break, with family, or with friends, you’ll love lacing up to skate on the Canals on Downtown Buffalo’s waterfront. Step into the nicely outfitted warming house for thawing frozen fingers, noses, and toes.
44 Prime Street, Buffalo; 436-7100, canalsidebuffalo.com
Favorite Bingo Hotspot
Seneca Gaming & Entertainment
Seneca Gaming & Entertainment bingo offers the biggest daily payouts in Western New York. There are daily evening games, Night Owl Sessions on Fridays and Saturday, and matinees. The halls feature both smoking and non-smoking bingo and game rooms. See website for locations.
Favorite Casino/Gaming Facility
With a new, beautifully appointed hotel on site, the fun doesn’t have to end. From horseracing to slot machines to live play, Batavia Downs offers guests a thrilling experience—and plenty of bars and restaurants where they can chill out and have a drink or lovely meal when hunger hits or the gaming gets too exciting.
8315 Park Road, Batavia; (585) 343-3750, bataviadownsgaming.com
Favorite Continuing Education Program
Williamsville Central Schools
Throughout the year, the Williamsville Central Schools offer “ed-ventures” in learning through their Community Education program. With more than 15,000 residents participating each year, the program continues to grow and diversify to meet the ever-changing needs and interests of the community. Courses are offered three times a year; fall, winter/spring and summer.
105 Casey Road, East Amherst; 626-8000, williamsvillek12.org/departments/community_education
Favorite Buffalo Building
Buffalo City Hall
This Art Deco masterpiece was completed in 1931. Architect John Wade designed the 375-foot high, twenty-eight-story building, with eight-foot carved frieze created by Albert T. Stewart. Free tours are offered Monday through Saturday at noon. Be sure to see Buffalo from the top of City Hall’s observation deck.
65 Niagara Square, Buffalo; 1-800-283-3256, www.ci.buffalo.ny.us
Favorite Place to Take Out-of-Town Visitors
Whether you visit in the daytime to explore Niagara Falls State park and ride the Maid of the Mist or in the evening to see the cascade illuminated with all the colors of the rainbow and fireworks exploding above, a trip to Niagara Falls is a reminder that one of world’s greatest wonders is right in our back yard.
Niagara Falls; 278-1730, niagarafallsstatepark.com
Favorite Place to Bring Kids
This third-oldest zoo in the country features a variety of exhibits and constant updates that make it an exciting place to spend a day with little ones. A must see: Luna the polar bear swimming in Arctic Edge. In December, kids of all ages can get into the holiday spirit with Santa and the zoo animals. See the website for details.
300 Parkside Avenue Buffalo; 837-3900, buffalozoo.org
Favorite Place to Walk
Whether you prefer a walk through the woods, circling the loop or making a circuit around Hoyt Lake, walking in Delaware Park offers 506 acres of nature in the middle of the city, plus smooth, flat trails and stunning vistas. Late spring through early autumn is a great time to check out the Rose Garden, and the new Terrace Restaurant at Marcy Casino is the perfect place to cool your heels and stop for a snack or drink.
Meadow Drive, Buffalo; 838-1249, bfloparks.org/parks/delaware-park
Favorite Garden Walk
Garden Walk Buffalo
The Queen City is home to America’s largest garden tour. Garden Walk extends from the Frederick Law Olmsted-designed Delaware Park to downtown Buffalo’s Canalside, and from the Niagara River to Buffalo’s Main Street. Most of the participating gardens are private, but an increasing number of community spaces, corporate gardens, and church gardens now take part. Best of all, the tour is free and self-guided. Experience 400-plus creative urban gardens, and some of the friendliest gardeners you’ll ever meet! (Next year’s event is July 28, 10 a.m.–July 29, 4 p.m.)
Favorite Shopping Destination
Niagara Factory Outlet Mall
For a shopping experience that you won’t soon forget, head to this premier outlet shopping destination in Niagara Falls, New York. With more than 200 designer brands, a wide variety of unique retailers, and a superior merchandise selection, you’re sure to find something you love. It’s a gorgeous space, with many cozy seating areas scattered throughout, a food court, and lots of room to walk.
1900 Military Road, Niagara Falls; 297-2022, fashionoutletsniagara.com
Favorite WNY Politician
Brian Higgins is a member of the United States House of Representatives serving New York’s 26th congressional district, which includes portions of Erie and Niagara Counties. He is widely known for initiating and shepherding waterfront development in Buffalo and Western New York. Higgins continues to fight for our regional and national economy, supporting investment in job creation and infrastructure, education, and the environment, in particular the Great Lakes.
Favorite Local News Personality
News 4’s Walker is an award-winning anchor and reporter who has faithfully brought Western New Yorkers the news for over thirty years. She is an inductee of the Buffalo Broadcasters’ Hall of Fame and is the longest-tenured female anchor in Buffalo broadcast history. Walker is also very active in charity work.
Favorite or Current or Former Buffalo Sabre: TIE
The No. 2 pick in the 2015 NHL Draft, Eichel entered the League having experienced plenty of success at a young age. Jumping into the NHL with the Sabres for 2015-16, Eichel was an instant success. He scored his first NHL goal in his first game, Oct. 8, 2015, against the Ottawa Senators. At 18 years and 345 days, he became the youngest Sabres player to score a goal. Eichel finished his rookie season with a Sabres-high 24 goals and 56 points (second on Buffalo) in 81 games and was second among NHL rookies in each category.
What made Perreault, who scored 512 goals and 1,326 points in 1,191 NHL games, a star? It started with his great skating legs and an inexhaustible array of moves, NBC Sports analyst Pierre McGuire said on the TV series Greatest Hockey Legends. “He had that bowlegged stride [and] the way he accelerated when he had the puck on his stick,” McGuire said. “Most guys slow down, he sped up.” Perreault set rookie records on the Sabres team with 38 goals and 72 points in 78 games and also won the Calder Trophy.
Favorite or Current Buffalo Bill
Bills fans started rooting for Kelly during his days as quarterback and have continued to do so as he has overcome his battle with cancer. Kelly is known for his charitable contributions, launching the Hunter’s Hope Foundation in 1997, and, later the Hunter James Kelly Research Institute at the University of Buffalo’s School of Medicine.
Favorite Place to Meet Friends for Coffee
Timmy Ho-hos, as it’s affectionately called, can be relied on to always have a location nearby and a generous senior discount. Just two of the reasons Tim Hortons was selected as the top spot for grabbing a cup of joe with friends.
Locations throughout WNY, timhortons.com
Local Favorite Place to Meet Friends for Coffee
With coffee shops spread across the city on Elmwood, Hertel, and Colvin Boulevard, and several more throughout New York State, a Spot coffee is never far away. Enjoy excellent coffee drinks and fresh-made meals and snacks all day.
Favorite Local Bar
The spot that put chicken wings on the map is also a favorite local watering hole. It’s easy to get to, friendly, and has its own parking lot. And don’t forget those world-famous wings!
1047 Main Street (see website for more locations), Buffalo; 883-1134, anchorbar.com
Favorite Fish Fry
Our readers rave about McPartlan’s fish fry—fresh, crispy, and well seasoned. This homey old-school restaurant and bar offers Irish dishes, Buffalo specialties, and the aforementioned killer Friday-night fish fry.
669 Wehrle Drive, Buffalo; 632-9896, mcpartlanscorner.com
Favorite Hamburger Place
Grover’s, formerly Grover Cleveland’s hunting lodge, is famous for its tasty, behemoth burgers. Especially hungry guests can order the “Bruiser”—an oversized certified Angus ground beef patty with Cajun spice, sautéed onions, and crumbled blue cheese on a buttered roll.
9160 Transit Road, East Amherst; 636-1803
Favorite Pizza Place
Two Franco’s pizza shops in Buffalo and three in the Tonawandas means you probably have quick access to one of their tasty pies. Franco's strives to offer great value and a large and unique selection of Buffalo’s favorites beyond its famous square pizza and traditional Buffalo wings. Franco’s has been a Buffalo staple for more 35 years, and continues to offer some of the best pizza in the area. And that’s saying something! Check the website for the nearest location.
Favorite Wings: TIE
Recently celebrating five years in business, Lenox Grill may be best known for its amazingly large and diverse beer selection and great burgers. But our readers also noticed that one of Buffalo’s favorite foods is also done well here. Check out the gourmet wings the next time you go—apple bourbon is one recent tasty preparation—and wash them down with one of the unique beers on the menu. (Traditional wings are also served, from mild to suicidal.)
140 North Street; 884-1700, lenoxgrill.com
You can’t get more traditional than Duff’s Famous Wings. When a wing menu starts with a heat warning, you know you’re in for some spicy deliciousness. All the Duff’s restaurants use the same traditional preparation that was used when Louise Duffney introduced the wings in 1969. When you’ve got a good thing going, why change it? See website for locations.
Favorite Breakfast Spot
Maybe Denny’s is a perennial breakfast favorite because it serves that meal twenty-four hours a day. Or maybe it’s the comprehensive 55+ menu. Whatever the reason, this casual diner chain dishes up classic American comfort fare that our readers love.
Many locations; dennys.com
Local Favorite Breakfast Spot
This Blackrock staple puts a Greek/Mediterranean twist on homemade meals, breakfast, lunch, and dinner, so don’t limit yourself to early morning fare. People rave about the fresh, scratch made food, fluffy pancakes, good prices, and friendly owners.
183 Hertel Avenue; 871-5991
Favorite Ice Cream Shop
Many WNYers have fond memories of enjoying an ice cream cone at Anderson’s. The first local Anderson’s was opened in Kenmore in 1947, and there are now six locations throughout the region plus a food truck, so you’ll never be too far from a great frozen custard, milkshake, or hot roast beef on 'weck sandwich.
Throughout WNY; andersonscustard.com
Favorite Steak House
Russell’s Steaks, Chops & More
Forever Young readers selected Russell’s as the best steakhouse in Buffalo. With their emphasis on quality, Russell’s continues to win over the taste buds of all who dine there. Try a perfectly prepared NY strip steak paired with wine from Russell’s extensive collection of wine by the glass or bottle. Dining here is a truly special experience, perfect for your first date or fiftieth anniversary.
6675 Transit Road, Buffalo, 636-4900, salvatoresgrand.com