With July 4th right around the corner and having just visited a town that bleeds red white and blue, I figured this was the perfect time to post about a place that I absolutely love. Every summer since third grade I have stayed with my grandparents Buffalo, NY to spend time with family. Catching toads, counting fire flies, eating ice cream and picking blueberries seemed to make up the most of my childhood summers and I am forever grateful. (Side note- be sure to check out my post with an amazing blueberry pie recipe– and more Buffalo talk!) It was the perfect way to grow up, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I have always been drawn to Buffalo, and more specifically- the All-American town of East Aurora, a beautiful place that I feel compelled to share with you all. EA is a village packed with history and American small town charm: it’s the hometown of President Millard Fillmore and Fisher Price (“Toy Town USA”). Its charming Main Street is endearing in every way, and below are some of my favorite places to hit when I’m in town! Located fifty minutes from Niagara Falls, (and 30 minutes from the Buffalo airport), if you are in the area please be sure to stop by – you will be happy you did.
Look for the red and white striped awnings and you will know you have reached the 85 year old family-owned staple of Main Street East Aurora. It’s a labyrinth of rooms filled with trinkets – from toys and bakeware to old fashioned candy and crafts. Anything you could possibly want can be found there. As you walk around the store the wooden floorboards might creak a little, but that only adds to the character of the Five and Dime. It’s the perfect place to buy gifts for family and friends! Take a look at the pictures to get a feel for this amazing place! (Note – stay turned for a more in-depth post about Vidler’s, because it holds a special place in my heart!)
In the mood for a cone or a sundae? Walk over to the Red Caboose, a train car-turned-ice cream stand. Surrounded by benches and swings, its the perfect spot for you to enjoy Perry’s ice cream on a hot summer day in Small Town America.
Across the street from the Red Caboose you will find the very popular Elm Street Bakery, a place where locals flock for their freshly roasted coffees, wood-fired pizzas and deliciously fresh baked pastries. Their charming wood exterior and interior decor will leave you feeling right at home. Recognized by Thrillist as one of the 10 best pizza places outside of NYC, this place is a must, even just for a pastry pop-in.
Rick’s on Main is the perfect restaurant to celebrate a special occasion. Located on Main Street across from Vidlers 5&10, you can choose to sit on their welcoming porch during the summer months, or sit inside their cozy restaurant for some down right amazing food. Open for lunch and dinner, some popular items include the Boston Bibb Salad, Lobster Pasta and Filet Mignon.
Step into Fowler’s to be swept away by the scent of chocolate and waffle cones. Treat yourself to an ice cream cone or some beautifully hand-crafted chocolate. If you ask any Buffalo native for suggestions on what to bring home to friends, they would point you toward “Sponge Candy,” a Buffalonian tradition. Fowler’s is one of the perfect places to purchase this native treat!
One look at the facade of this theatre will transport you to a time when life was much simpler. The Aurora Theatre opened in 1925, and has been going strong ever since! With reasonable ticket prices, step back in time and catch a flick here after dining at Rick’s on Main!
You would be a fool not to try the wings in the city of the birthplace of the Buffalo wing. BarBill is a local favorite known for their world famous wings (with 12 sauces), so be sure you get at least one order for the table! Another specialty of theirs is the Beef on Weck: a slow roasted and carved roast beef sandwich on a “Kimmelweck” roll topped with salt. Horseradish is a must! Note- BarBill doesn’t accept cards, so be sure to have cash on hand at this Western New York classic.
If you are looking for a trip that is filled with character and the American spirit, I would highly recommend visiting Buffalo and East Aurora. Eat some amazing food, see the beautiful Niagara Falls and cruise down Main Street in East Aurora for a perfectly American experience!