Restaurant Week: The perfect time to try the cuisines of the Queen City

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — It’s time to get those forks and knives ready, as over 70 local restaurants are preparing to serve up delicious deals during “Restaurant Week.”

“It’s definitely a big deal for restaurants kind of coming back after the pandemic, for people to patronize them again,” said Lexi Craine, an owner of Pressure Drop Brewery, one of those restaurants featured this week. “It’s an easy way to see a list, pick one, and go.”

Their pub on Elmwood opened this past March, after having a craft brewery in the Old First Ward for five years. They are excited to use Restaurant Week as a way to gain recognition as they join their new neighborhood.

“It’s a great way to get our name out there, being that we only opened in March, a lot of people haven’t had a chance to step in yet or they’re not familiar with us and what we’re doing in this space,” said Craine.

Restaurants all over Western New York have special menus they are cooking up this week to encourage people to eat local.

“You can go anywhere and go to a chain restaurant, but you have people that are local that’s here, support their business,” said Sunshine Vegan Eats’ owner Nikki Serles.

Serles opened her entirely plant-based restaurant on Jefferson Avenue after being vegan for five years. She wanted to bring a place where people can eat plant-based foods and focus on being healthy to the community. Vegan Eats opened its doors in March 2020, and has felt the impact of the pandemic, but now, Serles sees new faces in her restaurant every day and encourages everyone to try something new.

“People really need the support locally,” said Serles. “With the pandemic, everywhere you go is a ‘help wanted’ sign. I mean, we’re looking for help ourselves, and people are always looking, to try new things.”

Restaurants who have been around for years, like Chez Ami, are using this week as an opportunity to get their name back out there.

“The service industry is one of the largest industries in Buffalo — there’s just so many people employed by there — and there’s so many chefs doing such interesting and creative things,” said Chez Ami food and beverage director Joshua Ast. “It’s just very important to support them and their cause, so being able to get the backing of our community again in that, business is going to be huge to everybody’s livelihoods.”

Each restaurant has their own deals and specials to offer, and you can find the whole list of participating restaurants at this link.

Hope Winter is a reporter and multimedia journalist who has been part of the News 4 team since 2021. See more of her work here.

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