Spotlight: North Buffalo
The neighborhood of the month for March is North Buffalo! I really don't have to tell any first-time buyers twice about the charm of North Buff - based on my (informal) observations, this is easily the most popular area in Western New York at the moment. Competition is fierce for homes close to Hertel Ave, and with good reason - the commercial strip has exploded with activity, from restaurants and nightlife to grocery stores, yoga studios, and retail shopping. Homes in the area tend to be cute, relatively affordable (as compared to areas around other major strips like Elmwood or Allen) and well-maintained. It really is a dream neighborhood - I am lucky enough to have grown up here and to have moved back as an adult.
There is no way to capture 100% of the awesomeness of North Buffalo in a single blog post, but I've compiled a few Hertel Ave highlights.
Some North Buffalo Must-Do's:
Shoshone Park & Rails to Trails: Shoshone is a cute but small park that often gets overlooked in favor of nearby Delaware Park. But the addition of the Rails to Trails bike trail means that Shoshone can be a perfect starting off point for an all day adventure.
Daily Planet Coffee Co.: Daily Planet is one of the coolest neighborhood coffee shops in the city. Frequent live music, waffle sandwich specials and an array of cozy board games and books make this the perfect place to hang out on the weekend.
Lake Effect Ice Cream: AKA the reason I gained five pounds last summer.
Lexington Co-Op: An incredible recent addition to the neighborhood. Combined with the forthcoming remodeled Dash's Market, you won't ever have to leave the neighborhood for groceries again.
Kostas Family Restaurant: This is a mainstay of the neighborhood that has been around for nearly forty years and will likely remain for another forty. Having grown up around the corner (back in the days when Buffalo didn't have a billion restaurants), I can safely estimate that I have eaten here about 1500 times. And I will continue to eat their grilled stuffed pita sandwich until the day I die.
CraVing: This is a totally underrated, totally excellent farm-to-table brunch and dinner spot.
Room Buffalo: A nearly unbearably cute furniture shop. The perfect place to go to gaze longingly at things you can't afford.
The North Park Theater: The existence of a beautiful, lovingly restored, art deco, independent movie theater in the middle of the block might be the thing that makes Hertel surpass Elmwood Ave.
Sidebar : There are many excellent dive bars on Hertel (see also: Del's) but Sidebar is my favorite because it has a shuffleboard table and an inexplicable giant leather couch.
Mes Que: Mes Que is truly just a gem of an establishment. For the craft cocktails, cute bartenders named Zack and delicious food alone, it's a winner- but add the excitement of game day for any major soccer event and you've got something truly special.
House of Hummus: Home of Western New York's fluffliest falafel. 'Nuff said.
North Buffalo (14216) Housing:
Lovely singles and doubles are abundant in North Buffalo, but be forewarned - the competition is steep these days. Prices for single family homes clustered around Hertel tend to be in the mid 100 to mid 200 range - but as multiple offers come in, many homes are selling well over asking price. Be ready to compete if you are looking in this neighborhood - consider heading just a little further North (past Taunton) or taking on a fixer-upper in order to find something affordable.