BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Over the next three Mondays, the International Institute of Buffalo is giving WNYers the chance to sample the different cultures and cuisines of the Queen City with the “to-go” version of their annual “Buffalo Without Borders” fundraiser.
Buffalo Without Borders To-Go is happening Oct. 18, Oct. 25, and Nov. 1. Purchasing one ticket will get you two pick-up dinners each night from three local, immigrant-owned restaurants.
This special version of the event will also include a playlist of music from the chefs’ home countries, spices from that cuisine and an informational packet.
The restaurants participating in the event are Lime House, 424 Evans St, Buffalo, (Burmese), Khoshmazeh Afghan Cuisine (Afghan), and Garden of Eden (South Sudanese), both located in the Broadway Market.
“What’s super cool is that, especially for the Afghan and South Sudanese nights, these are foods folks might not be so familiar with, and these are restaurants and chefs who are kind of getting on their feet,” said Lauren Maguire, director of development and communications for the International Institute of Buffalo. “It’s a great way to try new foods, experience cuisine and culture that might be new to you, and to support these businesses that have struggled so much during the pandemic.”
In pre-COVID times, Buffalo Without Borders was held at the Statler Hotel downtown with around 25 food vendors from Buffalo’s refugee and immigrant communities, as well as a marketplace for shopping.
“When COVID-19 happened, we had to pivot,” Macguire said. “I’m so proud of the creativity of our team to figure out a way to maintain the spirit of “Buffalo Without Borders” while keeping people safe and socially distanced.”
Macguire says the International Institute of Buffalo was founded over 100 years ago to help foreign-born women who had married American servicemembers and moved to the U.S.
“It was aimed at helping immigrant women with how to live in the U.S. – English skills, American culture and homemaking, but also giving them opportunities to preserve and maintain their countries and cultures of origin.”
Macguire said that focus on cultural preservation carries through to this day.
“We’re giving folks a chance to experience the real diversity of Buffalo and celebrate these cultures that make it such a wonderful place to live,” she added. “Right now, as we’re preparing to welcome an influx of Afghan refugees, this really is a tremendous time to get to know Afghan businesses and folks who are here already, and be better educated and prepared to meet our new neighbors.”
Tickets for Buffalo Without Borders To Go are $250. All meals are gluten-free and vegan options are available. Pick-up starts at 5 p.m. each day at the International Institute of Buffalo, 864 Delaware Ave., Buffalo.
Click here to purchase tickets or get more information.
Kaley Lynch is a digital reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2016. See more of her work here.