The pulse of any city is in its unique neighborhoods, and Buffalo (and its surrounding suburbs) are no exception! Elmwood Village is the heart of the City of Buffalo, and is a think tank for artists, young professionals, and families that like to eat, drink, and be merry together. EV is full of bars and restaurants like Forty Thieves (pictured at right), and most of the restaurants have patios where you can enjoy a drink and people watch simultaneously. There are numerous local shops like Everything Elmwood and Thin Ice (full of gifts and jewelry for anyone in your life), a local pet shop (where they usually have a cat or two in the window up for adoption!), and fancy restaurants peppered in throughout.
When I first attended college at age 18 in Buffalo, I was immediately drawn to Elmwood Village and the city itself. Even though I was at the dorms at UB North Campus in Amherst, I spent weekends strolling around Elmwood Avenue with friends or family that were visiting. One of the most alluring parts of the Elmwood Village area is that it is so walkable. Near the intersection of Elmwood Avenue And Bidwell, there is green space which is perfect for a summer picnic or just lounging under tree for some shade on a hot summer day, while reading a good book. Speaking of good books, Elmwood and Bidwell have a bookstore called Talking Leaves in the same building as Aroma Cafe, so if you're craving coffee and want to support local businesses instead of getting Starbucks, you're in luck. A few blocks down on Elmwood and Cleveland, is Spot Coffee, which is basically where I spend my Saturday mornings or late weeknight evenings when I need to catch up on schoolwork or want to meet a friend that lives closeby.
Spot Coffee has indoor and outdoor space, and there is a massive mural encompassing the back wall. There's even local artists that sell their work right on site! Theres always something new hanging on the walls that is for purchase. Spot Coffee also have locations in Kenmore, North Buffalo, Williamsville, and downtown---and they all serve delicious homemade soups, sandwiches, woodfire pizzas, and breakfasts. If you only make one stop in the Elmwood Village area, my vote for you would be Spot Coffee, hands down.
Elmwood Village is full of artists, and the murals alone are worth a trip there. The city of Buffalo is full of interesting neighborhoods, and if you spend any length of time in Buffalo, I would recommend spending a chunk of time in EV. The shopping is good and the food is even better. Spend long enough in town, and I am sure you'll strike up a conversation with a local there. It is the City of Good Neighbors, after all.