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Al Fresco Buffalo

Black Rock Kitchen & Bar (photo by Sarah Barry)

Summer’s here and the time is right for dining outdoors

Allentown Café 59

62 Allen St. 883-1880,

Café 59 has reinvented itself once again. The lunch and dinner spot known for its great soups and salads recently moved directly across the street to their new location at 62 Allen Street.,which features a sidewalk patio.

Cantina Loco

191 Allen St. 551-0160,

Have you ever found yourself with a sudden craving for Cantina Loco’s mountainous pork-smothered nachos and a cold, salt-rimmed margarita, but no dinner reservation? The idea of waiting an hour and a half for table service was hard to stomach, but you probably did it anyway. Fortunately, Cantina’s recently expanded patio now includes walk-in-only dinner seating, which will hopefully help alleviate the agonizing wait for a table that plagues taco enthusiasts with poor planning skills. If there is still a wait, the patio’s new full-service bar will provide ample distraction, so don’t be deterred.

Cathode Ray

26 Allen St. 884-3615

One of the most popular gay bars in Buffalo, Cathode Ray is known for their large patio and even larger drinks.

Crust Pizza Bar

242 Allen St. 551-0781,

The employees at Crust can whip up the quickest, and one of the tastiest pizzas in town. Enjoy it on their patio right in the heart of Allentown.

Duke’s Bohemian Grove Bar

253 Allen St. 240-9359,

Duke’s has it all. It’s a bar, live music venue, a club, and a restaurant. It has a small front patio, but the back patio with an outdoor bar is where it’s at.

Fat Bob's Smokehouse
Fat Bob’s Smokehouse

41 Virginia Pl. 887-2971,

With a large, mostly covered patio, Fat Bob’s Smokehouse is your go-to spot for barbecue in Buffalo. From St. Louis pork ribs to brisket and BBQ smoked chicken, their meats are barbecued in a smoker over a low heat for a long time, living up to their motto “low and slow.”


245 Allen St. 882-8843,

Hardware’s small front patio is a nice place to have a smoke on a Friday or Saturday night, but the bar and restaurant brings out a few tables for dinner hours too.


33 Virginia Pl. 882-2989

The intimate, hidden away patio at Mother’s in Allentown only adds to this little bistro’s cool-factor and makes it a great spot for date night.

Mulligan’s Brick Bar

229 Allen St. 881-0545

Though small and simple, Mulligan’s patio is a great people-watching spot in Allentown on a Friday or Saturday night.

Rue Franklin
Rue Franklin

341 Franklin St. 852-4416,

Diners in search of an intimate outdoor experience would be remiss not to consider the garden seating at quintessential French restaurant, Rue Franklin. The garden’s lush flora, trickling fountain, and white-linened tables perfectly complement the elegance of the restaurant’s three-course prix fixe and four-course tasting menus, which serve as the chef’s platform for showcasing short-lived seasonal ingredients like ramps, fiddleheads, shad roe, and local heirloom tomatoes as well as the creativity and skill set of the talented kitchen. Combined, the food and setting are nothing short of transportive, offering patrons a small slice of Provence in the heart of Buffalo.

Black Rock Black Rock Kitchen & Bar

491 Amherst St. 551-0261,

For many people in Buffalo, Black Rock Kitchen & Bar has become a go-to restaurant. Many have enjoyed the casual atmosphere and upscale food, yet, unless you were lucky enough to catch a sunny evening in Buffalo, you may have overlooked the beautiful backyard patio. It’s hard to tell what you’re about to experience when you walk down the narrow alleyway entrance to the restaurant’s garden patio. The separate alleyway entrance opens up into a beautiful rustic garden with a Tuscan-inspired design. The patio spills into the restaurant under a wood and glass awning that covers a family style table and several two and four tops. A fountain in the corner adds to the spacious patio’s chill, inviting atmosphere and helps drown out any extra street noise. The menu at BRK&B changes seasonally and there are always enticing daily specials, so if you’ve been there for dinner at the bar, you’ll have a whole new experience to look forward to if you decide to partake in dinner on the patio. Brunch has also been so popular at Black Rock that last year they extended it an extra day to include Saturday mornings as well as Sundays.

Elmwood Village Acropolis

708 Elmwood Ave. 886-2977,

Acropolis is a great spot in Buffalo for authentic Greek food. Go for brunch or dinner and have a seat at their patio in the heart of the Elmwood Village.

Ashker's Juice Bar
Caffe Aroma
Ashker’s Juice Bar

1002 Elmwood Ave. 886-2233,

If you’re not in the habit of having a delicious and nutritious juice on the patio of Ashker’s right near Bidwell Park then you’re doing it wrong. Don’t forget to try their new cold-pressed juices.

Blue Monk

727 Elmwood Ave. 882-6665,

The front patio at Elmwood Village’s Blue Monk may be prime people-watching real estate, but the best seat to be had is in the craft beer emporium’s backyard garden, where patrons can now order from a limited, libation-friendly finger food-style menu (the full menu is still available up front). Recent specials included steamed clams seasoned in a Spanish tradition and raw oyster shooters with a hop vodka, tomato, and cilantro mixture. And lest you think Blue Monk is strictly for beer lovers, spirit connoisseurs should note with cheer that the restaurant is in the process of expanding its whiskey offerings.

Caffe Aroma

957 Elmwood Ave. 884-4522,

Caffe Aroma is the centerpiece of Bidwell Park in the Elmwood Village. You can always expect to see lots of friendly characters hanging out, reading, and drinking coffee on this busy corner patio.


716 Elmwood Ave. 883-8066,

Happy hour is even happier when you’re sitting outside in the sun. Grab one of Cecelia’s half priced martinis between 4pm and 6pm every Tuesday through Friday and enjoy it on their large patio facing Elmwood Avenue.


1104 Elmwood Ave. 886-1449,

Coles’ patio is part indoor and part outdoor so there is a table for any taste. Try one of their famous burgers and wash it down with a beer from their extensive selection.

Globe Market

762 Elmwood Ave. 886-5242,

My mouth waters just thinking about all of the tasty gourmet foods inside that glass case at the Globe Market on Elmwood Avenue. Pick up a delicious prepared dish or order a sandwich or salad from the Café and enjoy it on the market’s covered patio.

Joe’s Deli

534 Elmwood. 875-5637,

Elmwood Avenue’s newest deli also has lots of outdoor seating. The sidewalk-level tables at Joe’s Deli are nice, but you can still enjoy the outdoors from inside through their massive garage-door style windows, which usually stay open during the summer.

Lexington Co-op

807 Elmwood Ave. 886-2667,

Located in one of the busiest areas in the Elmwood Village, the Lexington Co-op not only serves up locally grown ingredients and delicious prepared meals, but also a nice outdoor patio on which to enjoy those fresh, organic foods.

Macky’s Essex Street Pub

530 Rhode Island St. 883-2150,

Macky’s Essex Street Pub is the quintessential neighborhood bar. Grab a beer, enjoy some live music, and take a seat outside of this building, built in 1883.

Mr. Goodbar

1110 Elmwood Ave. 882-4000,

When you’re not enjoying a FIFA World Cup game on one of their many televisions, take a step outside and finish that beer on Mr. Goodbar’s patio at the foot of the Elmwood strip.

Providence Social
Osteria 166
Templeton Landing
Providence Social

490 Rhode Island St. 464-3786,

Though you might feel like you’re stepping back in time when you take look at Providence Social’s list of post-prohibition era cocktails, their patio is refreshingly modern. With a variety of seating possibilities and plenty of greenery, it’s a relaxing spot to indulge in one of their specialty drinks; like the Grant (whiskey, Fernet Branca, house-made sour, and mint).

Trattoria Aroma

307 Bryant St. 881-7592,

With an extensive wine list, Trattoria Aroma located in the Bryant Park area is great for a leisurely dinner alfresco.


715 Elmwood Ave. 783-8003,

Nothing is better than enjoying a Mango Tango frozen yogurt covered in fruity pebbles on a summer night. Yotality on Elmwood not only has Mango Tango flavored frozen yogurt, and just about a million different topping choices, but a great patio to enjoy your frozen treat on too.

Downtown Osteria 166

166 Franklin St. 858-3118,

Making up in urban ambiance and convivial atmosphere what it lacks in scenic views, the patio at Osteria 166 is a godsend for the downtown after-work and pre-event crowds. Summer imbibers can be spotted at the umbrella-sheltered tables enjoying a bottle from the restaurant’s refreshingly affordable wine list or sipping Osteria’s most popular cocktail, the Contessa—an easy drinking blend of muddled berries, St. Germain, pinot grigio, and club soda. And while hearty red sauce-based dishes are always available, lighter fare like farro salad, grilled octopus, and daily seafood specials (recently, scallops semi-crudo and mako shark in roasted garlic broth with garlic scapes) keep summer diners happily satiated. Still need an excuse to check it out? Osteria hosts alfresco live music every Thursday after the Canalside concert.


338 Ellicott St. 259-8130,

If the idea of eating outside at boring old ground level seems played out, consider a trip to the rooftop patio at downtown’s popular Italian eatery, Tappo. In addition to table service, Tappo’s rooftop features a full-service bar for those who want to enjoy a few expertly crafted cocktails or $15 bottles of wine under the sun (or stars), but don’t necessarily want to commit to a full meal. Luckily, the surprisingly affordable menu and generous portions of classic antipasti, including cured meats, cheeses, olives, and crostini, is perfectly suited for noshing and sharing between friends.

Templeton Landing

2 Templeton Terrace. 852-2260,

One of the only patios on this list accessible by boat, Templeton Landing is a great place to have an event or simply a drink. Start with something from their raw bar and enjoy a view of Buffalo’s waterfront.

Hertel Avenue Bob & John’s/Wellington Pub

1541 Hertel Ave. 833-9899,

If you’re just looking for a place to relax, grab a slice and have a beer, the Bob & John’s/Wellington Pub patio on Hertel is your best bet.

Ristorante Lombardo’s

1198 Hertel Ave. 873-4291,

Between the secluding shrubbery and distractingly delicious antipasti, pastas, pizzas, and entrees, you’ll never notice the din of the traffic from Ristorante Lombardo’s Hertel Avenue-facing raised patio. That the restaurant has been serving some of the best food in Buffalo for decades is hardly a secret, but its sophisticated wine program deserves equal recognition. Oenophiles on a budget would be wise to drop in on a Friday or Saturday night after 9 p.m. to take advantage of the restaurant’s half-price wines by the bottle promotion. Be sure to try the private-label, single-vineyard dry Riesling bottled exclusively for Ristorante Lombardo by Leonard Oakes Estate in Medina. It’s light with savory minerality, crisp acidity, and intense aromatics—perfect for patio drinking on a warm summer night.

More Local Summer Patios

Liberty Hound - 1 Naval Park Cove, 845-9173

Root Five - 4914 Lake Shore Road, 627-5511

Dug’s Dive - 1111 Fuhrmann Blvd, 821-9600

Templeton Landing - 2 Templeton Terrace, 852-2260

The Hatch - 329 Erie St, 851-6501


31 Club - 31 Johnson Park, 332-3131

Betty’s - 370 Virginia St, 362-0633

Café 59 - 62 Allen St, 883-1880

Cantina Loco - 191 Allen St, 551-0160

Chris’s Deli - 395 Delaware Ave, 854-6642

Duke’s Bohemian Grove Bar - 253 Allen St, 240-9359

Fat Bob’s Smokehouse - 41 Virginia Pl, 887-2971

Gabriel’s Gate - 145 Allen St, 886-0602

Howling Rooster - 299 Kenmore Ave, 838-4440

La Tee Da - 206 Allen St, 881-4500

Rue Franklin - 341 Franklin St, 852-4416

Black Rock

Black Rock Kitchen - 491 Amherst St, 551-0261

Phoenix - 269 Amherst St, 447-1100

Sportsmen’s Tavern - 326 Amherst St, 874-7734

Elmwood Village/West Side

Hutch’s - 375 Delaware Ave, 885-0074

Tempo - 581 Delaware Ave, 885-1594

Ashker’s - 1002 Elmwood Ave, 886-2233

Blue Monk - 727 Elmwood Ave, 882-6665

Cecelia’s - 716 Elmwood Ave, 883-8066

Joe’s Deli - 534 Elmwood Ave, 875-5637

Kuni’s - 226 Lexington Ave, 881-3800

Trattoria Aroma - 307 Bryant St, 881-7592

Caffe Aroma - 957 Elmwood Ave, 884-4522

Coles - 1104 Elmwood Ave, 886-1449

Panos - 1081 Elmwood Ave, 886-9081

Sato - 739 Elmwood Ave, 931-9146

Wasabi - 752 Elmwood Ave 887-8388

Essex Street Pub - 530 Rhode Island St, 883-2150

Left Bank - 511 Rhode Island St, 882-3509

Sweetness 7 Café - 220 Grant St, Buffalo, Ny 14213 – 883-1738

Providence Social - 490 Rhode Island St, 464-3786

Downtown Buffalo

Bambino Kitchen & Bar - 297 Franklin St, 240-9851

Buffalo Chophouse - 282 Franklin Street, 842-6900

Chocolate Bar - 114 W Chippewa St, 332-0484

Encore - 492 Pearl St, 931-5001

Tappo - 338 Ellicott St, 259-8130

Pan American Grill - 391 Washington St, 856-0062

Pearl Street Brewery - 76 Pearl St, 856-2337

Hertel Avenue

Bob & John’s La Hacienda - 1545 Hertel Ave, 836-5411

Wellington Pub - 1541 Hertel Ave, 833-9899

Lombardo’s - 1198 Hertel Ave, 873-4291

Romeo & Juliet’s Bakery - 1292 Hertel Ave, 873-5730

Orchard Park

Buffalo’s Best Grill - 3700 Southwestern Blvd, 202-1270

East Aurora

Arriba Tortilla - 591 Main St, 687-1115

Elm Street Bakery - 72 Elm St, 652-4720

Rick’s On Main - 687 Main St, 652-1253

The Blue Lantern - 6120 Seneca Street, 652-2583


Balloons - 20 Monroe St, 699-4162

Ellicottville Brewing - 28-30 Monroe St, 699-2537

John Havard’s Brew House - Tamarack Club, 6447 Holiday Valley Rd, 699-5350


Brickyard Pub & Bbq - 432 Center St, 791-7924

Carmello’s Restaurant - 425 Center St, 754-2311

Wilson Boat House - 57 Harbor St, 751-6060


Brioso - 5195 Main St, 828-8300

Giancarlo - 5110 Main St, 650-5566

Irishman - 5601 Main St, 626-2670

The Eagle House - 5578 Main St, 632-7669

Siena - 4516 Main Street, 839-3108

Tabree - 4610 Main St, 844-8477

Yolo - 5841 Transit Rd, 688-4479

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