We did it! We made it through one of the worst winters ever to hit Buffalo. With the spring and summer months ahead of us, it’s time we start thinking about where we’ll be wanting to spend our warm summer days eating, drinking, shopping and having a good time. While many Buffalonians believe the Elmwood Village is the place to navigate for local eating and shopping, whereas Allentown or Chippewa is the place to go for live music and nightlife – another rapidly expanding neighborhood offers a variety of food and entertainment. Hertel Avenue is a North Buffalo melting pot for food, shopping, entertainment, and more. Once known as Buffalo’s “Little Italy,” Hertel has grown to into a multi-cultural neighborhood offering a diverse and trendy selection of restaurants, bars, and shops. Here are 10 of the must-visit places you need to check out on Hertel this summer.
The North Park Theatre has been a Hertel staple and one of Buffalo’s most recognizable landmarks since 1920. Much to the dismay of native residents, this single-screen cinema almost went defunct in 2013, but was saved thanks to key investors and local businesses. After an incredible restoration, the theatre reopened in 2014 and has been operating successfully ever since. The theatre is known for its screenings of art house films, limited release movies, and special engagements. On Saturdays, the North Park offers family matinees, often featuring animated movies and classic films. This theatre definitely has something for everyone, to see the latest featured attraction, click here!
The Public House
For fans of modern pub-style atmosphere, food, and beer, The Public House makes the perfect addition to Hertel Avenue. Although they’ve only been open for over a year, The Public House has quickly become the destination for lovers of craft beer and rustic ambiance. With a selection of 60 bottled beers and 20 brews on tap, there isn’t another location on Hertel that quite compares in variety. Their menu is just as unique, offering both a selection of fun finger food and hearty sandwiches. Of course with beautiful weather in Buffalo finally here, you will definitely want to take advantage of The Public House’s relaxing patio while enjoying everything this great spot has to offer.
When you’re a self-proclaimed fashionista on a shoe-string budget, stumbling in a store that proclaims no item is priced over $50 is pretty much like winning the lottery. P.S. Accessories, located in the 1400 block of Hertel Avenue, carries a variety of trendy clothes, handbags and jewelry to make you look like a million bucks – even though you didn’t spend nearly that much. Owned by a mother-daughter duo, the boutique has been in business since 2007 and is constantly evolving with new items based on the latest styles. Their Facebook page is updated daily with their latest arrivals, and the owner’s take special care to get to know their customer’s and their sense of style on a personal level. This is a must-stop on Hertel for every fashion lover – and is especially helpful if you are expanding your spring and summer wardrobe!
Peek-A-Boo Baby Boutique
When finishing shopping for yourself or your favorite lady at P.S. Accessories, walk to the shop next door to find something for the special youngster in your life. Peek-A-Boo Baby Boutique is Hertel’s only consignment shop that specializes in clothing and accessories for kids, ages infant to toddler. This is the perfect option for parents who would like to make some money off of items their child has outgrown, as well as those looking to get high quality baby brand name items for a smaller price. The boutique also supplies items such as strollers, bassinets, high chairs, toys and more.
If you are looking for a fancy dining experience on Hertel during the spring and summer months, this is the place you do not want to pass up. Celebrating 40 years in business, Ristorante Lombardo is often thought of one of Buffalo’s best and most authentic Italian restaurants. Known for their variety of original dishes featuring fresh pasta, seafood, meat, vegetables and more, each of Ristorante Lombardo’s menu items and daily specials are prepared to perfection and with the season in mind. The classy ambience is perfect if you are looking for a dining experience that is fancy without being too uptight, and the attentive service is beyond impressive. Be sure to stick around after dinner to try a piece of their delicious tiramisu or a scoop of tasty gelato. Visit their website for a complete list of menu items.
When you ask somebody to name a bar on Hertel Avenue, in all likelihood Gabel’s will be one of the first places they mention. As a self-proclaimed “party bar,” Gabel’s offers patron’s a variety of beer and drink specials, pool tables, dart boards, a juke box, and comfortable couches to make you feel at home. During the summer, the patio is often overflowing with people enjoying the warm weather and each other’s company.
Opening on June 5th 2015, the North Buffalo Farmers Market is starting their second year of bringing local farms and fresh food vendors to Hertel Avenue. Located in the parking lot of Holy Spirit Church near Delaware Avenue, the market prides itself on offering local patrons a chance to try and buy organic locally grown produce, pastas, baked goods, coffee and much more. Unlike the typical Saturday morning market, the North Buffalo Farmers Market operates on Thursday evenings from 3pm to 7pm and creates a weekly social event for the neighborhood to enjoy. Anyone looking for fresh or homemade local foods should definitely stop by the North Buffalo Farmers Market this summer!
Anyone who has a dog (or a few!) can tell you that the one thing the Hertel neighborhood has been lacking for a long time is a pet supply store. Luckily for us as well as our furry friends, Daisy’s Doghouse has come to the rescue. This pet supply boutique is one of Hertel Avenue’s newest arrivals and opened in the prominent Norwalk Ave corner spot formally held by Floral Expectations. Daisy’s Doghouse will be a unique place for visitors and their pets to purchase locally made treats, high quality food, and handcrafted toys created right here in Buffalo. This is one spot you and your K9 BFF will not want to miss when out taking a stroll on Hertel this summer!
Many people would describe this unassuming spot on Hertel near Parker Ave as either “divey” or “a little hole in the wall.” In fact, if you aren’t a neighborhood local or someone who craves inexpensive tex-mex you may not even be aware of its existence. However, don’t let Lone Star’s small stature and quant ambience fool you, their food packs the ultimate punch. The Lone Star offers patrons large portions of delicious food including their signature fajitas, hearty ensaladas, flour tortilla tacos, and much more. Expect to be able to get any of their items made to order, whether you’re a fan of beef, chicken, steak, or vegetables, beans, and guacamole. Be sure to be able to bring along some cash though, the Lone Star keeps it old school and doesn’t take credit cards for payment. Check out their website for their full menu!
Galbani Cheese Italian Heritage and Food Festival of Buffalo
No list of places to go and things to see in the summer on Hertel would be complete without a mention of the Italian Festival. After 154 years, the annual family-friendly festival is something nearly every Buffalonian already knows about and has been to at least once in their lifetime. It’s not only a huge push for local food, music, and vendors, but it’s a chance for people to experience all the newest and best things Hertel has to offer. Kicking off July 16th, this year’s festival will run for four days and stretches from Delaware Avenue all the way to Colvin. We can’t wait to see you there!
It’s safe to say there’s no limit of places to visit on Hertel Avenue, and no matter what you’re interests there is definitely something for everyone. This year will continue to be promising and expansive for this neighborhood, with plans to open even more businesses including The Lexington Co-Operative Market, Lloyd’s Taco Factory, as well as the expansion of housing units as offered by multiple development groups. Now, we have to ask, what are some of your favorite places to visit on Hertel Avenue?