Spotlight: Lower West Side
The neighborhood of the month for February is the Lower West Side! Buffalo neighborhoods can be a little tough to pinpoint, but think of the LWS as the area west of Allentown and just north of Downtown Buffalo. It's as far west as you can go before you hit the Niagara River and Canada. There are so many reasons to love this little corner of Buffalo - its rich history and culture (it has a history of being a stronghold for a variety of immigrant groups over the past century - it is also home to the old Fargo Mansion), its gorgeous array of houses in all shapes and sizes (seriously, you can find little cottages sitting right next to stately brick mansions), and its walkability to the Best of Buffalo (downtown, the waterfront, and Allentown are all steps away). If you know the Lower West Side as a place to drive through on your way to the Peace Bridge, I strongly recommend taking a Saturday afternoon to wander around.
Some Lower West Side Must-Do's:
Tipico Coffee: I used to live upstairs from this cafe and let me tell you something, I ate a LOT of toast with ricotta and jam and drank a LOT of crimson iced teas during that special time of my life. Although this coffee shop is only a couple years old, it has definitely become a mainstay of the Lower West Side and is worth a visit if you like coffee even a little (or if you just like pretty tile and exposed brick).
Ru's Pierogi: This is a fun and modern pierogi restaurant; isn't that just SO Buffalo? Seriously, Ru's is a great place to grab a drink - and I'm a big fan of the goat cheese pierogi.
Barrel + Brine: The idea of an artisan pickle shop seems a bit twee but I've got bread & butter pickles in my fridge right now and they are delish! Plus it's an excuse to go ogle some of the adorable homes on Carolina St.
Niagara Cafe: Many people swear by Niagara Cafe as the best Puerto Rican food in Buffalo. Try a pastelillo!
LaSalle Park: It's a park on the waterfront! It's got a cool skate park! And a fenced in area called the "Bark Yard" that my dog highly recommends to your dog.
Housing on the Lower West Side
Singles. Doubles. Fixer Uppers for $70k. Mansions for $350k. There is such a wide array of housing here in nearly every size and architectural style. Not every house is a first-time home buyer's ideal, but it is worth keeping an eye out for the right place.