Twenty miles outside of Buffalo, New York, is the loveliest town that's managed to strike a beautiful balance between honoring the Americana of yesteryear and modernity. East Aurora is one of our must-visit cities when we are in the Buffalo area and there are plenty of things to do and see there.
It is a small yet mighty town that will easily capture your heart in just a couple of hours.
It's perfect for a weekend getaway or a few nights stay during the week. Here's where to eat, play and stay in this charming town.
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Where to Eat (and Drink) in East Aurora, New York, near Buffalo
The abundance of incredible food is impressive for a town that's geographically less than three square miles. I love Taste for its location on Main Street and cozy atmosphere. The food and coffee are great too!
Try the Bandito Burrito and drip coffee or a Sunrise Benedict with a cappuccino to start your day. If you're a late riser, they're also open for lunch.
No trip to the Buffalo area is complete without Buffalo Wings or Beef on Weck. Luckily, they have one of the famous restaurants in the region for both, called Bar Bill.
What is Beef on Weck, you ask? A delicious roast beef sandwich served on a Kimmelweck roll. (The roll is pretty much a soft kaiser roll with rye seeds on top.) The sandwich is served with horseradish on the side. We recommend spreading some on your sandwich for the full local experience.
Rick's On Main has a feature that sets them apart from many restaurants there: a beautiful porch with outdoor seating. It's a summer favorite, though it's fun to see their menu change throughout the seasons.
Their interior is just as welcoming as their front porch, and feels like you're entering someone's home, as the outside indicates. They're open for lunch and dinner and have a beautiful upscale bar inside if you fancy a cocktail before dinner or after dessert!
We always enjoy the flavorful and well-balanced food at Elm Street Bakery (and I'm a tough critic!). Consider it an all-encompassing bakery serving fresh bread and pastries, scrumptious pizzas and farm-fresh salads.
Their carefully selected craft beer menu called to us. I love that they care about sustainability and their love for cuisine can be tasted with the freshness of each bite we took.
I devour their Caesar salad every time and it pairs well with a Margherita pizza. They serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily with a seasonally changing menu. Be sure to check online for up-to-date hours of operation.
If you're just looking for a casual beer in a place with great ambiance, check out 42 North Brewing Company. We loved grabbing one of the board games they had there to play as we drank our beers.
Where to Play in East Aurora
There is so much to do here! A few of our favorite things to do include:
Vidler's 5 & 10
This five-and-dime has a little something for everyone. Whether you want a gnome statue for your garden, classic candies from the 19th century, or cozy gloves, they have what you need.
You can't miss this store on Main Street — a giant statue of a man is waving from his seat atop the store! It's red and white striped facade is equally eye-catching.
Be Inspired at Muse Jar
any creative person will enjoy a walk around this art supply shop. One side of their store, at 17 Elm Street right off of Main Street, usually has a colorful mural paint on the side of it.
Check their workshop schedule in case anything interests you during your visit.
Catch a Movie at Aurora Theatre
This “vintage movie theater with modern amenities” is the perfect relaxing activity when you need a rest from a fun-filled visit. This theatre has been around for decades! I love the photos of East Aurora that include its marquee.
Listen to live music at the Craftsman Lounge at the Roycroft Inn
I love listening to live music. One of the most appealing things about The Roycroft Inn for me (besides its Arts and Crafts design) is they have live music on Friday nights. (And most Thursday nights too!) Check their website for their current calendar.
Take a Walk in East Aurora
Walk around town. It's truly beautiful. You can even embark on a self-guided photo tour because you'll surely want photos of East Aurora. There are so many beautiful things to capture, from great architecture to fun stores to a perspective shot down Main Street.
Explore Knox Farm State Park
This beautiful park has the most picturesque red barns. It's a popular spot for locals to run around with their pets because they have a great dog park there.
Things to do Near East Aurora
If you want to venture out a bit, we highly recommend touring the Darwin Martin House in Buffalo, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. It's amazing.
And if it's cold, we have warm winter activities suggestions in Buffalo for you, too.
Where to Stay in East Aurora, New York
The best place to stay is surely The Roycroft Inn. This historic hotel was a feast for my photographer soul and a must for capturing photos of East Aurora. So much of the city's growth was centered around a man named Elbert Hubbard, leader of the American Arts and Crafts movement in the late 19th century.
As lovers of art and architecture, we thoroughly enjoyed our stay here. Every room is in that movement's style, including their hand-crafted stained glass windows and glass light fixtures.
Please note: we thank Visit Buffalo Niagara for generously hosting us.
Visiting the Buffalo area? Also check out:
- 9 Affordable Warm Activities to do during Winter in Buffalo
- 5-Star Luxury Accommodations in Buffalo New York
- Why a Trip to Buffalo Had Me in Disbelief