There are a lot of places to eat in WNY (duh, that’s what this blog is dedicated to, I know) and sometimes deciding where to head for a meal is overwhelming. Where to Eat This Weekend is a weekly feature that I (Alli) have been thinking about for a while. I’m incredibly indecisive and while having 100′s of detailed reviews of restaurants to pick from is wonderful, sometimes having someone narrow down your choices makes your life a bit easier. A new Where to Eat This Weekend will be posted every Friday with the sole purpose of helping you decide where to eat and hopefully introduce you to a few new places that are worth checking out. The posts will have a new ‘theme’ each week. I will pick a town (i.e. East Aurora, Orchard Park), cuisine (Thai, Mexican) or street (Hertel, Kenmore Ave) and give you a list of all of the *notable places to eat/drink within that theme along with links to websites and our reviews as well as a few quick descriptions (price, type of food, etc).
*I won’t be listing all of the restaurants within a particular theme, just the ones I recommend. Sorry in advance if I leave something out that you think should be there.
Last week, for the first post, I decided to start with my favorite town in WNY, East Aurora. You can check out that post here. This week I decided to focus on an international cuisine, Vietnamese. Rewind 5 years and the only “Asian” cuisine I ever ate was sweet and sour chicken from the corner China Max. Thankfully, I am now much more versatile in my dining options and Vietnamese food (especially Pho) has become one of my favorite things. Buffalo actually has a pretty decent selection of restaurants that offer Vietnamese specialties so you don’t have to travel very far to enjoy them. Many of you reading this might already be big fans of Vietnamese food, so maybe I can introduce you to a place you’ve never been. And for those who have never had it before and are nervous to try something new….I was you, don’t be scared, because it’s some of the most delicious food you will eat, I promise.
So..what should you eat this weekend? Vietnamese
Many of the restaurants below don’t serve exclusively Vietnamese. Many also serve Thai, Burmese, Japanese, etc.
First things, first, our post about 99 Fast Food is fairly old and they no longer serve Banh Mi. But that’s completely OK because what you want to go there for is the Pho and #36 (BBQ with a fried egg), pictured up top. If you’ve never had Pho, I suggest you make it your next meal. It essentially is an amazing broth with rice noodles and meat (beef is the most common). Add a little sriracha and bean sprouts and you’re in for a filling and delicious meal. It’s especially awesome on a cool fall day. 99 Fast Food isn’t in the best area (Bailey Ave. near UB South) but the food is outstanding. It is one of my top restaurants in Buffalo and it is my #1 recommended place for Vietnamese.
Another one of my favorite places. If you live/work in the Northtowns, this should be a regular stop for you. With a menu similar to 99 Fast Food, their Pho is also fantastic. It is a no frills location hidden in the back of a plaza off Niagara Falls Blvd. It’s cheap and delicious, simple as that.
I’ll be honest, I haven’t been back to Red Pepper in a couple years but I am very aware it is a favorite spot for many. There are also standard Chinese options on the menu for those who don’t want to venture out of their comfort zone.
Niagara Seafood is a Vietnamese restaurant/seafood market located on Niagara St. in the West Side. The inside has been remodeled and you can order great food while also shopping for vegetables, meat and seafood. They also are one of the few places in the city that offers Banh Mi (pictured below).
Yes, our post is three years old, but Saigon Bangkok holds a special place in my heart because it was the first time Donnie and I tried Pho. It’s a bit more expensive than the places listed above, but the restaurant is very nice inside and it’s a great place for a date. There are two locations, one on Transit and another on Niagara Falls Blvd.
Our post for Saigon Cafe is also quite old and they have updated their menu quite a lot since our first visit. The location is great, right on Elmwood (near Coles, Panos) and, like Saigon Bangkok (the two used to be afficilated but no longer are), its more expensive than 99 Fast Food or Pho Saigon but offers a nicer dining experience. They have a large amount of Thai on their menu along with Vietnamese dishes like Hot & Sour Soup and Vermicelli (Buns).