2018 Forever Young Faves
The results of Forever Young Faves survey are in! We updated the categories this year to reflect what really matters to our readers. We’re so grateful for your input! Through an online survey, mailed-in entries, and surveys completed at the Forever Young Expo, we tallied the votes and composed this list of winners. We hope you’ll use this list as a guide to get the most out of what our community has to offer. Congratulations to the winners and thanks for all you do to contribute to Western New York.
Favorite Theater: Shea’s Performing Arts Center
646 Main Street, Buffalo; 847-1410 or sheas.org
A perennial favorite fave, 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. Blockbuster shows this year included The Lion King, Fiddler on the Roof, and Hamilton.
Favorite Museum or Gallery: Albright-Knox Art Gallery
1285 Elmwood Ave., Buffalo; 882.8700 or albrightknox.org
Since its founding as the Buffalo Fine Arts Academy in December of 1862, the Albright-Knox Art Gallery has always been a proponent of juxtaposing the old with the new. It’s apparent before you even step foot inside. A sculpture of about 60 tangled, aluminum canoes––among other modern pieces––is delightfully overwhelming in front of the building’s classical columns. And then, once inside, you’ll pass seamlessly from masterpieces to contemporary works.
Favorite Place to Take Kids: Buffalo Zoo
300 Parkside Avenue Buffalo; 837-3900 or buffalozoo.org
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 kids of all ages. A must see: Luna the polar bear swimming in Arctic Edge. In December, little ones can get into the holiday spirit with Santa and the zoo animals. See the website for details.
Favorite Fitness Facility: YMCA Buffalo Niagara
Multiple locations; 565-6000 or ymcabuffaloniagara.org
This charitable, community-based organization is committed to providing programs designed to build a healthy spirit, mind, and body for all. Founded in 1852, YMCA Buffalo Niagara is the second oldest YMCA in the United States The Y provides a wide variety of programs and services, along with well-trained and supportive staff to help you start and stay on your journey to a healthier you. Fitness programs include Fitness in the Park, personal fitness and training, group exercise classes, active older adult fitness, and nutritional consultations.
Favorite Outdoor Music Venue: Artpark
450 South 4th Street, Lewiston; 754-4375 or artpark.net
Artpark & Company produces and presents excellence in the performing and visual arts, including musical concerts and theater productions, and creates unique cultural experiences in a casual, natural setting overlooking the Niagara River Gorge. A magnificent celebration of the arts happens every summer. Artpark offers a full spectrum of engaging entertainment; from productions of Broadway musicals, Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra performances and concerts in the Mainstage Theater; the Outdoor Amphitheater is home to award winning concert series featuring popular rock and pop performers.
Favorite Senior Center: Cheektowaga Senior Services
3349 Broadway, Cheektowaga, 686-3930 or tocny.org/Departments/SeniorServices
A full schedule of recreational activities has been provided at the Senior Center since its construction in 1982. This schedule is printed monthly and more than 45,000 seniors registered last year for fitness and dance classes, parties, volunteer opportunities, health and wellness seminars, games, crafts, and more. It also offers a full program of outreach services, including assistance in filing for Medicare and Medicaid, food stamps, heat assistance, income tax preparation, housing, nursing home placement, aid in setting up home maker services, visiting nurses and other health related services, and referral to the proper agency when needed.
Favorite Volunteer Opportunity: Meals on Wheels for WNY
MOWWNY’s mission focuses on the most basic and critical of home needs. Staff and volunteers are committed to enriching lives and promoting independent healthy living by offering nutritious food and a friendly visit. Its vision is to ensure that every member of the community receives a meal that meets their nutritional needs. As important, volunteers visit with homebound seniors and disabled individuals each day and serve as a critical link between clients and their families, loved ones and neighbors. This safety check provides peace of mind to clients and caregivers alike as well as a sense of caring and companionship that volunteers bring to clients’ lives—and vice versa.
Favorite Park: Delaware Park
Meadow Drive, Buffalo; 838-1249, bfloparks.org/parks/delaware-park
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 Terrace Restaurant at Marcy Casino is the perfect place to cool your heels and stop for a snack or drink.
Favorite Car Show: Buffalo Auto Show
153 Franklin Street; buffaloautoshow.com
At the 2019 show February 7–10 at Buffalo Niagara Convention Center, you can expect to see the latest and greatest new SUVs, hybrids, minivans, high performance and economical cars and trucks on the road today, plus a variety of family friendly and fun events, appearances, and attractions. The Charity Preview Gala is Wednesday, February 6, at the Convention Center, where guests will join industry leaders and local dignitaries and celebrities and features a sneak peek at the 2019 Buffalo Auto Show while enjoying wine tastings, gourmet food stations, libations, entertainment, and more.
Favorite Veterans Program: AMVETS
Multiple locations; amvets.org
AMVETS is the most inclusive Congressionally-chartered veterans service organization open to representing the interests of 20 million veterans and their families. Veterans have been serving veterans since 1944. With more than 250,000 members nationwide, AMVETS exists to enhance the quality of life for all veterans, their families, and survivors. AMVETS has made a long-term economic impact by providing assistance, jobs, and services to veterans and their communities for more than seventy years.
Favorite Garden Shop: Northridge Nursery & Garden Center
237 Lein Road, West Seneca; 677-5614 or northridgenursery.com
Since 1993, Northridge has helped educate, inform, and inspire its customers. Whatever your landscape needs—be they annual flowers, mulch, vegetable starters, trees and shrubs, or fertilizers, Northridge provides top quality, trusted brand names like Weber, Scotts, Bonide, and Monrovia. Northridge’s team is dedicated and experienced, whether you need help with DIY projects or full-service landscaping. The store closes in December after Christmas tree season and reopens every year in the middle of March, with the grand opening the first weekend in May.
Favorite Liquor Store: Premier Wine & Spirits
Multiple locations; premierwines.com
Premier Liquor consists of three independently owned and operated wine stores in Amherst (3900 Maple Road), Williamsville (7980 Transit Road), and Orchard Park (3410 Amelia Drive). With the largest selection of premium wines and premier spirits, each Premier wine store boasts something for everyone—usually at a great deal. The stores have loyalty programs and free tasting classes, too. If you’re looking for something to nosh on with your wine or cocktails, there’s Premier Gourmet, a unique gourmet food and specialty store.
Favorite Pet Store: PetSmart
Multiple locations; 1-888-839-9638 or petsmart.com
From food, toys, and treat for every pet imaginable, to adoption, grooming, training, and vaccinations, PetSmart is a one-stop shop for all things pets. Their online store and mobile apps are easy to use and useful. They even offer Santa Photo shoots for your pets! With stores all over, there’s sure to be one nearby.
Favorite Local Brewery: Flying Bison Brewing Company
840 Seneca Street; 873-1557 or flyingbisonbrewing.com
Flying Bison Brewing Company opened nearly twenty years ago on the front edge of Buffalo’s resurgence in brewing. It’s a packaging brewery located in the city of Buffalo, and the first standalone brewery to operate in the city proper since Iroquois Brewing closed its doors in 1972. Rusty Chain, Flying Bison’s best-selling local craft beer, is a medium bodied Vienna-style amber beer with soft, nutty malt flavors and just enough German hops for balance. Stop by for a tasting or a pint.
Favorite Eyewear Store: LensCrafters
Multiple locations in WNY; lenscrafters.com
LensCrafters offers the most advanced and precise eye exam possible—from the breakthrough Clarifye digital eye exam, which gathers five times more information about your vision and eye health, to the best-in-class Accufit system, which measures your eyes five times more precisely than traditional methods for a perfect, customized fit. Dedicated optometrists and associates pride themselves on unparalleled customer service. Eye exams are easy to schedule, and customers can find frames that flatter.
Favorite Gift Shop: Hallmark
Multiple locations; hallmark.com
There are several Hallmark locations throughout WNY, from Lockport to Akron to West Seneca. With a rich history of artistry and a passion for helping individuals form meaningful connections, Hallmark sells greeting cards, gifts, gift wrap, and much more for any occasion to show your loved ones how much you care in times of joy and sadness, and wrapping papers, gift bags, boxes, ribbons and bows for the perfect finishing touch. No matter who you’re shopping for or why, Hallmark has something to show the way you feel. Product selection and availability varies throughout the year.
Favorite Estate Sale Company: Sandra D. Ziemer, Inc.
61 Bradfield Drive, East Amherst; 741-2120, 352-0065 or sandraziemer.com
Whether you are moving, downsizing, or have experienced the loss of a loved one, leaving the arduous task of liquidating those possessions to an expert team helps relieve some of the pressures of what can be an overwhelming situation. Sandra D. Ziemer, Inc. can provide expert and efficient service that will help you attain the best value with the least inconvenience through sales or auctions. A properly prepared appraisal by an accredited appraiser can clarify questions of property value in any circumstance. Appraisals can be as important as a will and is a way to accurately value and describe the property.
Favorite Local Winery: Ten Thousand Vines
8 South Buffalo Street, Hamburg; 646-9979 or tenthousandvines.com
Located in the heart of Hamburg’s historic village, Ten Thousand Vines is a unique commercial winery crafting international wines that reflect the passion and commitment of the winery staff and the different wine regions of the world. The winery, housed in a repurposed firehouse and jail, offers wines for retail purchase as well as supplies for the home winemaker. The popular tasting bar is a wonderful place to learn and experience the wines first hand and to spend some leisurely time with friends and family.
Favorite Clothing Shop: Kohl’s
Multiple locations; kohls.com
This nationwide chain offers clothing and footwear for men, women, and kids at a good price. Designers include Jennifer Lopez, Apt. 9, Sonoma, Gloria Vanderbilt, Croft & Barrow, Levi’s, and Nike. Buy online or in-store. Loyalty members get “Kohl’s Cash,” good discounts, and sneak peeks at upcoming sales.
Favorite Farmers Market: East Aurora Farmers Market
123 Grey Street, East Aurora, 348-2232 or on Facebook @EAFarmersMarket
With so many great options, this was a tough category. The East Aurora Farmers Market is a reader favorite both for its plentiful offerings and its location in the charming village near cafes, restaurants, and boutiques. Shoppers can pick up their favorite homegrown offerings, from fruits and vegetables to honey, eggs, and other treats, and make a day of it in East Aurora. The open air market features vendors selling produce and home grown or home made products. Open every Wednesday and Saturday 7 a.m.–1 p.m. starting in May.
Favorite Fish Fry: McPartlan’s Corner
669 Wehrle Drive, Buffalo; 632-9896, mcpartlanscorner.com
Not just for Lent anymore, Friday fish fries are a Western New York mainstay all year long. 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. (Weichec’s Lounge at 1748 Clinton Street in Buffalo, 823-2828, came in a close second.)
Favorite Pizza: Bocce Club Pizza
4174 North Bailey Avenue, Amherst, 833-1344; 1614 Hopkins Road, East Amherst, 689-2345; bocceclubpizza.com
Western New Yorkers can get into passionate debates about which local pizza is best. Luckily, we have general consensus on Bocce Club Pizza, which has been a Buffalo staple since 1946. The sweet sauce and always-generous layer of gooey mozzarella cheese are among the reasons cited why Bocce is best.
Favorite Wings: Anchor Bar
1047 Main Street (see website for more locations), Buffalo; 883-1134, anchorbar.com
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!
Favorite Beef on ‘Weck: Tie
Multiple locations; 633-2302 or andersonscustard.com
Anderson’s slow roasted, all natural roast beef is hormone and steroid-free for improved nutrition, slow roasted fresh every day, and served medium rare on a traditional kummelweck roll for the perfect beef on ‘weck sandwich.
Charlie the Butcher
Multiple locations; 633-8330 or charliethebutcher.com
Travelers stop by the Charlie the Butcher near the airport on their way in or out of Buffalo specifically for the renowned beef on ‘weck. And who can blame them? A taste of home on the way in or out of town is a solid move we fully support. But with a handful of other CtBs sprinkled across the region, it seems this is the go-to not just for those who know they will miss (or are missing) Buffalo, but also for those of us who know just how good we’ve got it.
Favorite Breakfast: Denny’s
Multiple locations; dennys.com
Maybe Denny’s is longtime 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, and senior discounts make it easy on your wallet, too.
Favorite Local Breakfast Spot: The Poked Yolk
3100 Transit Rd., West Seneca; thepokedyolk.com or 656-955
Here you’ve got everything you want in a breakfast place at very reasonable prices. Poked Yolk serves breakfast favorites like eggs, omelets, pancakes, and waffles, as well as lunch items like panini, salads, and wraps. Almost everything is made from scratch. The fun and creative daily specials, plus a special menu of seasonal items, put this diner over the top. The cinnamon roll pancakes—sweet cream pancakes drizzled with rich cinnamon and cream cheese glaze—are especially drool inducing.
Favorite Local Mexican Place: Coyote Café
36 Main St., Hamburg; 649-1837 or thecoyotecafe.com
If you’re looking for south of the border eats that are a bit more authentic than what you’ll find at Taco Bell or Chipotle, try this Hamburg hacienda. The Coyote Café is well known for making almost everything in-house from fresh, locally sourced ingredients, including all of its sauces, salsas, meats, and even chili powder. You’ll find a full list of Mexican entrees including tacos, burritos, enchiladas, fajitas, and the Buffalo-Mexico crossover favorite, machaka, a burrito with shredded beef and horseradish cream sauce.
Favorite Donuts: Paula’s Donuts
Multiple locations; paulasdonuts.com
Now with three locations, Paula’s Donuts boasts a menu of over fifty different doughnuts and much more—it’s a sweet tooth’s paradise! Pastry hearts, turnovers, bear claws, bagels, muffins, fritters, carrot cake, and an assortment of danish are also part of Paula’s arsenal. Additionally, there are brownie and cookie platters and the famous “Texas Donut.” Everything is freshly-made throughout the day; you might have to wait a couple minutes for your favorite, but the fresh treat will be worth it.
Favorite Italian Place: Chef’s
291 Seneca St., 716-856-9187, ilovechefs.com.
The iconic eatery is known for plentiful-yet-inexpensive portions, attentive service, and a large dining area where patrons can linger unrushed over a plate of spaghetti parm. Chef’s has been one of Buffalo’s favorite neighborhood Italian restaurants since 1923, and now it’s bringing its fare all around town with a new food truck.
Favorite Ice Cream Shop: Anderson’s
Multiple locations throughout WNY; andersonscustard.com
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.
Favorite Coffee Place: Tim Hortons
Locations throughout WNY, timhortons.com
With a location always nearby and a generous senior discount, Tim Horton’s was selected as the top spot for grabbing a cup of joe with friends.