Putting the dinner in dinner and a show

by Colleen Colkitt

6 oz sirloin steak at Soho Buffalo

photo Brian Cleary 

With so many unique and established local restaurants downtown, why not turn the concert or play you’re going to into dinner and a show?

From Shea’s Performing Arts Center and The Tralf Music Hall to Town Ballroom and Babeville, there are plenty of ways to catch a performance before the weather turns warm again. Park on the street or find a lot and walk to these nearby restaurants and bars with your significant other or friends! These places are sure to get your night started off right.


Innovative sushi & seafood restaurant
475 Ellicott St., Buffalo, New York 14203

Photo: Seabar Sushi Sampler

photo courtesy Seabar

Just a few minutes walk from Shea’s and Town Ballroom, Seabar is a great place to grab a quick bite to eat before your show. Choose from seafood dishes such as fresh oysters, sushi rolls and tempura. Or opt for pork or steak entrees and pair with wine, whiskey, draft beer or artisan sake! The menu is diverse and offers something even for those who aren’t seafood fans.

What you need to know:

  •       People rave about their beef on weck sushi roll
  •       Their “Seabar Sundae” is served over a macaroon, so don’t skip dessert!


Fine dining with a casual atmosphere & classic cocktail bar

33 Virginia Place, Buffalo, NY 14202

This is definitely not your mother’s dinner menu, but you’ll still feel right at home. There’s interesting choices like Dijon Peppercorn Tournadoes (beef tenderloin), grilled swordfish and smoked rainbow trout available. Treat yourself to a handcrafted martini or ask for a wine recommendation from your server.

What you need to know:

  •       Their late-night bar menu is clutch for cravings after your event
  •       Check out their Wine Steals for featured wines that are easy on your wallet


    Southern-style cooking with cocktails that will knock your socks off
    437 Ellicott St., Buffalo, NY 14203

    Toutant is a great place to grab drinks before seeing a performance in the theatre district. Their craft cocktails, like the New Orleans Sazerac and Invisible Ink (with beet and spiced maple), will start your evening on a high note. Their menu makes it hard to choose just one entrée, but the Southern fried chicken is a must try.

    What you need to know:

    •       Try them for brunch, too!
    •       Tables fill up, so get there early to make sure you’re on time for your show

    Soho Buffalo

      Elevated menu with burgers and upscale options available
      4 W Chippewa St, Buffalo, NY 14202

      Dinner at Soho Buffalo

      photo Amy Brooks

      With a recently refreshed menu, Soho is no longer just your late-night weekend destination. Come in for brunch, lunch or dinner, and and check out their dinner menu to find your next upscale favorite like beer short rib with roasted baby reds, wild mushroom salad and horseradish cream or grilled Ahi tuna with sesame scallion relish and wasabi aioli 26.

      What you need to know:

      •       Try their burgers – you won’t regret it
      •       One of the few bars offering bottle service
      •       Soho Buffalo is a BDC Participating Restaurant which means that VIP members get 15% off their food every time they visit!

      Lucky Day Whiskey Bar

        Whiskey bar & quality old-world menu
        320 Pearl St., Buffalo, NY 14202

        Where can you find an unbeatable atmosphere with live music, old-world whiskeys and classic cocktails? If the Lucky Day’s extensive drink menu doesn’t entice you to stop in, then maybe their hand pies will. These 9” pastries filled with a variety of savory ingredients will warm you up and fill you up in the best possible way.

        What you need to know:

        •       Hand pies come with house chips, pickles and beer cheese (priced at just $12)
        •       The bar is always bringing in talented musicians for live performances

        Chocolate Bar

          Unique martini bar with a solid menu with something to please everyone
          114 W Chippewa St,Buffalo, NY 1420

          Martinis at The Chocolate Bar

          photo from Facebook, The Chocolate Bar 

          Make it a girl’s night out and stop in for mind blowing chocolate martinis and desserts! They have plenty of entrées and appetizers, but the drink menu is what really propels you through their door. Try the Espresso or Salted Chocolate Martini to start your evening with a hint of sweetness.

          What you need to know:

          •       Prime location with plenty of surrounding parking
          •       Stop in early to get a table
          •       Chocolate Bar is a BDC Participating Restaurant which means that VIP members get 15% off their food every time they visit!

          Buffalo Proper

            Handcrafted cocktails and farm-to-table American cuisine
            333 Franklin St, Buffalo, NY 14202

            You could say that Buffalo Proper’s attention to detail carries from their thoughtful cocktails to their crowd-pleasing menu. Centrally located in the downtown area, they’re an ideal spot for drinks and dinner. Choose small plates to share or get something serious to start your night, like the Roasted Organic Chicken or the Braised Beef.    

            What you need to know:

            •       Perfect for after-show drinks
            •       Under 6 minute walk to Shea’s, The Tralf and Town Ballroom

            Fat Bob’s

            Buffalo’s barbecue restaurant
            41 Virginia Pl, Buffalo, NY 14202

            One of everyone’s favorite downtown BBQ restaurants, Fat Bob’s is the best place to go when you’re feeling hangry and want consistently great food to fill you up before you catch your show or concert. Get St. Louis Pork Ribs, brisket, blacked shrimp and others.

            What you need to know:

            •       Combo Platter comes with 2 meats and 2 sides – $18.99
            •       Good beer selection with a variety of beers on tap

            Hearth + Press

            Stone hearth pizza & café with a cool vibe
            665 Main St., Buffalo, NY 14202

            Hearth + Press

            photo courtesy Hearth + Press

            With an atmosphere that is a mix between trendy and casual, you could easily spend hours enjoying small plates and craft cocktails with your friends. The white (no sauce) and red pizzas are by far the best bang for your buck, especially if your friends are into sharing. Plus, they have interesting options like the Roasted Vegetarian Pizza, featuring eggplant, mushrooms, red peppers, tomatoes, goat cheese and parmagiano.

            What you need to know:

            •       There’s parking out front (along the tram way)
            •       The pizza dough is a family recipe passed down through generations
            •       Hearth + Press is a BDC Participating Restaurant which means that VIP members get 15% off their food every time they visit!


              French bistro with a classy, artsy atmosphere
              888 Main St., Buffalo, NY 14202

              The ambiance in this bistro-style restaurant is second to none. Think cozy, romantic and chic. The unique artwork and purple accent pieces complement the big farm tables and hardwood. There’s something for everyone on this solid menu, like the Coco Cassoulet, French Onion Burger, Steak Frites or Caprese Pizza.

              What you need to know:

              •       Request a table on the garden patio in the spring and summer!
              •       Spending the night in the city? They do brunch, too!

              Eddie Brady’s Tavern

              High-quality pub food and hearty portions that will hit the spot
              97 Genesee St., Buffalo, NY 14202

              Stroll in, grab a drink at the bar, and order your favorite comfort food. They have all the classics like wings, beef on weck and fried bologna, but they also have deliciously unconventional dishes like Guinness Battered Portobello Fries and Sweet Potato Waffle Fries served with maple butter sauce. This is not your average pub food!

              What you need to know:

              •       Call to make reservations for large groups
              •       Check out their daily specials


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