New York's second-largest city has sprung back to life, with retro-cool restaurants and watering holes downtown that recall its industrial glory days.

buffalo map notebook
Credit: Jetish Patel

Thinking about a trip to Buffalo? Here are the places you can't miss. (Numbers correspond to positions on the map above.)

1. The opulent, 1890s-era Market Arcade, with its Corinthian columns and terracotta embellishments, has finally become a full-fledged shopping and dining destination. It now has a food court, Expo, with restaurants like Mercato, a casual Italian spot that’s great for lunch, and Gypsy Bohemian Grove Bar, where many of the 24 beers on tap are brewed locally. There are also plenty of new boutiques, including Rust Belt Love, a design studio that makes its own stationery, and Buffalo Adore, which sells a variety of cheeky Buffalo-themed gifts and home goods. 617 Main St.

2. Near the market, Marble & Rye, as its name suggests, highlights whiskey and choice cuts of beef. It’s the first brick-andmortar location from the beloved Black Market Food Truck, and locals have gone wild for its house-ground burger and 24-ounce T-bone. 112 Genesee St.; entrées $20–$45.

3. Buffalo is taking advantage of its vast waterfront with Canalside, a multifaceted hangout that has activities yearround. There are skate and bike rentals, carriage rides, and food stands. After dark, an 80-foothigh light exhibition is projected onto a former grain elevator—a nod to the city’s past as the world’s largest grain hub. 44 Prime St.

4. Toutant brings the bayou to the Great Lakes with a menu of rib-stickers like shrimp and grits and Gulf oyster stew. Named after the owner’s grandfather’s fishing camp, the charming restaurant has exposed-brick walls and reclaimed-wood tables. 437 Ellicott St.; entrées $11–$34.

5. The city is undergoing a craft-spirit renaissance, spurred in part by a recent law promoting small-batch liquor from New York State–grown grain. At Buffalo Distilling Co.'s new tasting room, the standouts are the oak-barrel-aged apple brandy and the bourbon, which is the first to be distilled in western New York and packs a serious punch. 860 Seneca St.

Coming Soon

The 68-room Curtiss Hotel opens in June in a 1913 building. Noteworthy features include an all-weather hot spring and a rotating bar modeled after the Chez Ami supper club—an institution in the 1930s. 210 Franklin St.; doubles from $189.