Coffee in Buffalo

John Hudson's picture

TypeCon is a little more than a week away, and I realise that I still don't know where the best espresso is to be had in Buffalo. I mean seriously good, 25-second shots of chocolatey, crema-rich darkness, not Starbuck's burnt black p*ss. Anyone know?

While we're on the topic of Buffalo, what restaurants are recommended?

I've found a traditional Roman rite Mass for Sunday morning, so church is taken care of.

Si_Daniels's picture

Restaurant guide...

Cheers, Si

blank's picture

On a related note: the Hyatt is next door to a real gym!
For guests interested in a more complete workout, we offer complimentary admission to the Olympia Health Club.

Si_Daniels's picture

Staying healthy and TypeCon are not really concepts that fit together well. TypeCon, followed by detox/rehab might work. But anything that doesn't cut into hot-tub time, ( is probably all good.

ebensorkin's picture

That sounds mighty good James!

I have some hard core coffee contacts though, so I will send out a feeler. If I get something worth talking about I will post it.

At dinner time I may follow Ale. He has been doing his research.

Rob O. Font's picture

Talk of coffee in Buffalo has me pining for ligatures right here.


carima's picture


Although not a coffee drinker (sorry) Spot on Delaware & Chippawa would be the best bet for non-chain coffee (closest to the hotel)... another sure bet would be Blue Mountain Coffee on Elmwood Avenue at Utica (they roast their own) and a little North on Elmwood is Dolci (elmwood and Breckenridge).

Good hunting!

Ale Paul's picture

Eben, my food research is stopped. I m now limited to the Richard list. No sushi in Buffalo...

paul d hunt's picture

sushi's on the list, Ale. it's jut not sit-down sushi. i've heard it's actually very good sushi too, you just have to take it with you.

i've compiled my own list to supplement the official food guide.

as for coffee, i think a lot of the locals enjoy Tim Horton's, but i've not tried it. it may be more american (Canadian) than you like...

jupiterboy's picture

No sushi bar in Buffalo?

OIC Kuni’s

carima's picture

Lots of sushi in Buffalo... Wegmans (local mega grocery) on Amherst street even has a sushi chef on staff...

Locations ranked in proximity to the hotel. 3 are within 4 blocks of each other in the elmwood village.

Kunis - 226 Lexington Ave. Buffalo
Wasabi's - Elmwood Avenue (same block as Dolci) - 752 Elmwood avenue, Buffalo
Lexington Co-op - elmwood avenue, one block north from Dolci
Pangaea Sushi & Sake Restaurant - 1260 Hertel Ave, Buffalo
Sushi Nagasaki - 2305 Elmwood Ave, Kenmore

Ale Paul's picture

hahaha, sorry, I said "no sushi in Buffalo", I should say "the research on the webwas not so good when I was looking for a really good sushi place to die eating there" lol

Carima, I promise to try them!

Anyway, seems like greek food is excelent there. Thats enough to be happy.

ebensorkin's picture

Thanks Carima!

jupiterboy's picture

I was looking for a really good sushi place to die eating there

No Fugu Surprise from the street vendors Ale.

Zara Evens's picture

Tim Hortons? Isn't that like going to Dunkin Donuts?

Chiba Chiba's picture

What about local breweries?

John Hudson's picture

Paul: as for coffee, i think a lot of the locals enjoy Tim Horton’s, but i’ve not tried it. it may be more american (Canadian) than you like...

Generally speaking, I don't drink drip or percolator coffee. Brew methods that kill most of the flavours in coffee just seem wrong to me. Coffee is like wine: the beans possess an extraordinary range and complexity of flavours. Good roasting and extraction will bring out the flavours, but most of the world's coffee is effectively destroyed by the people who make it. Imagine if 95% of the world's grape harvest were lumped together in large batches to produce largely indistinguishable cheap table wines.

People often assume, since I'm always keen to locate the best cafe in any destination, that I must drink a lot of coffee. I don't. Typically, I have one small espresso in the morning and another in the afternoon. I'm not downing gallons of the stuff to stay awake or excite my neurons. I want a fantastic taste experience, and I want to know where the beans have come from, who roasted them, and I want the drink made by someone who understands and cares about quality.

Chiba Chiba's picture

If you want to try brasilian coffee, I can easily bring you some.

Grant Hutchinson's picture

“Tim Hortons? Isn’t that like going to Dunkin Donuts?”

If Dunkin Donuts dispenses a bitter, overheated, industrially caffeinated liquid and markets it as coffee … then you’re bang on. My theory is that Tim Horton’s customers insist on ordering a double-double (double cream, double sugar) in order to consume a beverage that’s just marginally palatable.

paul d hunt's picture

My theory is that Tim Horton’s customers insist on ordering a double-double (double cream, double sugar) in order to consume a beverage that’s just marginally palatable.

hehe. shows how much i know about coffee!

Chiba Chiba's picture

Thank you very much Richard! :)

Si_Daniels's picture

>What about local breweries?

Make mine a Venti!

kegler's picture

2 best bets for Coffee barista style near the hotel:

Spot Coffee on Delaware is good

a block plus up Main st from the conference hotel is Chow Chocolat which does a great latte

emenninga's picture

I'm with you John -- we used to have a coffee roaster in Seattle called Torrefazione that had a few storefronts. It was very good, but bought out by Charbucks and later shut down (rumor was they wanted Torrefazione's access to grocery store shelves).
One of their stores was a half block from our Fremont offices and the after-lunch shot of espresso was very good & is now very missed. Even in Seattle -- supposedly a US coffee haven -- the Peet's and Charbucks don't know how to pour a shot of espresso. They'll have only paper cups or full size mugs. Not a good solution. With the best espresso shots you get interesting floral notes similar to good quality dark chocolate.

Zara Evens's picture

John - The next time you are in San Francisco, you must try Blue Bottle (they use the Japanese siphon method).

blank's picture

Those of us who can barely think straight before noon will still be able to just chug whatever the hotel serves up at the breakfast bar, right?

ebensorkin's picture

I am in John's camp as well. I called around and the standard that John is hoping for probably doesn't exist in Buffalo. Which is no shame on Buffalo because it's rare as heck! Depending on my caffeine need I may just go with tea or like James down the drip & think of TypeCon.

Zara, have you tried the siphon brew?

Fredrico, I don't know if we can get it brewed but we could try.

Iced Coffee made in the way the NYT talked about it a while ago might be the very best thing of all.

I am going to be so hot!!! It's below 60 here and I am roasting!

jupiterboy's picture

You can always bring your own rig and make it in your room. I don't drink coffee anymore, but I love my Assam tea and would rather not have to rely on being able to pay someone to make a decent cup.

blank's picture

I am going to be so hot!!! It’s below 60 here and I am roasting!

I hope those temperatures hold out: I fly to Vancouver for a Canada/Alaska cruise right after I get back from Typecon.

Si_Daniels's picture

>You can always bring your own rig and make it in your room.

Do I smell a TypeCon battle brewing?

cslem1's picture

Just wanted to say for the record that I'm jealous of all of your going to Typecon...I just got back from 6 months I'm am beyond poor, hopefully next year. I'll have to make sure to take notes on coffee places though =)

kentlew's picture

Hey, Mark -- I usually just get by with whatever teabags are around during conferences and just chalk it up to travel. But this year, I'm driving to TypeCon, so now you've got me seriously thinking about bringing my teapot and one of my favorite Assams or Ceylons.

-- K.

William Berkson's picture

Hey Kent, for those of us who can't get there this year, will there be any recording of presentations?

Coffee is for addicts. Now green tea, that is the nectar of the gods...

dr_wisz's picture

Coffee in Buffalo?

Betty's on Virginal Street( serves a great Cuban-style coffee. Although I am not coffee-expert I do like in black and strong!

Most local folks can get by with the Spot coffee within walking from the Hotel-- it is better than Starbucks (which is across the street).

kentlew's picture

Bill --

I'm bummed that you (and Chris and Thomas) won't be joining us this year. Won't be the same without you.

I don't believe that there will be any official, concerted effort at recording sessions. Unfortunately, we just don't have the volunteer resources. More critically, there is no structure or capability yet to manage and publish any recordings.

There may be some individual initiatives to record certain sessions, coordinated through the sound booth. That's been done before. Tamye or Stephen might have a better idea. I think Eben might have volunteered to do something, but I don't know if anything came of it. Eben?

I do know that there will be an official, concerted effort at blogging this year, through the new and improved TypeCon site. I believe that Si is going to be spearheading that and is recruiting a team of bloggers.

-- K.

William Berkson's picture

Well, my suggestion in the past has been to record the sound. Then could the slides be put with sound? I don't know how complicated that is, but people already have slides, and anything with a mike shouldn't be hard to record. It's probably way more trouble than I think, but maybe not.

If the speaker would say 'change slide' or 'slide 2' and such, then posting the audio file and slides, the viewer could coordinate it him or herself, with no additional labor needed beyond the posting the audio file and slides.

will powers's picture

Coffee, heck!!

What about good local beer in Buffalo? I'm looking, as John Hudson is in coffee, for that "fantastic taste experience." Not to get zonked.

& while we are at it, does Buffalo have any kind of free jazz scene? Or any other good jazz scene?

see you all soon.


John Hudson's picture

Now green tea, that is the nectar of the gods...

I wish I liked tea more. I have friends who are serious tea drinkers, and I'm impressed when they guide me through the taste development of some complex and carefully brewed tea. But I find even the best teas I have tried have a thin quality that I really don't care for much. While it is fascinating how the taste will develop over quarter of an hour, so that each cup is quite different, I don't actually like the taste. My favourite methods of making coffee are the ones that significantly thicken the density of the liquid, which may be another indication of why I'm not a tea drinker: tea is too much like flavoured water.

kegler's picture

What about good local beer in Buffalo?
see earlier post in this thread

Or any other good jazz scene?
Depends on when.
Not sure how current the website is, but this place is legendary
or if you want to skip out of TypeCon on Sunday (not suggesting that)
or for Django style gypsy jazz a free show before Pecha Kucha on Tuesday

gerry_leonidas's picture

OK, Buffalites (?), a question: can we make it to Elmwood Village / Bidwell Park for Babik and then to Hallwalls Cinema easily? If it can be done, I'm up for sharing cabs etc. (I found on G maps Hallwalls, but the first location escaped me)

jupiterboy's picture

Hi there,

My name is Pam and I am Mark's sig oth. I hope you don't mind -- I saw the thread topic and grabbed the laptop because I wanted to jump in and recommend Caffe Aroma at 957 Elmwood. It's a small non-chain coffee joint with an independent bookstore next door called Talking Leaves. When I interviewed for my new job at the Albright-Knox I was taken there for breakfast. I noted that several members of the museum staff were stopping in on their way to work. The ambiance was great and I made a note to visit again when I could grab a cup of tea and browse the bookstore.

I look forward to meeting all of you next week!


kegler's picture

Yes Gerry, it is a 10 minute drive. As a Buffalonian, I live near Bidwell Parkway (right near FL Wright Heath House on FLW map ) Cafe Aroma looks out onto where the concerts are at Bidwell Pkwy.

I may be going to the RIT tour but should be back in time. You can catch a ride with me.

gerry_leonidas's picture

Of course -- I got confused. Clearly Buffalite is what Buffalonians are made out of.

Next week sounds better by the hour. Thanks!

blank's picture

It just occurred to me that I didn’t check on the parking situation at the hotel: do we need to reserve a space in the garage ahead of time?

tamye's picture

James, there should be no issue getting a space, and the ramp is right across the street from the hotel.

Pull up right in front of the Hyatt, go inside, check in and tell them you want the parking ramp in/out deal (unless you want to park it the whole time and not use it at all). It's $14 a day for in-and-out privileges, and the hotel will give you the passes and charge it directly to your room bill. Once you get your pass, leave your bags with the bellman while you zoom across the street and park.

There are also outdoor lots close to the hotel for those who just want to park for the day or a few hours.

ebensorkin's picture

Pam, looking forward to meeting you too!

Bill, as far as I know there is no concerted effort at recording. It would be easy to do on some level and yet hard to do really well. I will not have time to look into it but dedicated 1GB+ drive and a laptop might be enough ( depending on compression ) to make it happen. A set and forget kind of model... The other side though is you would have to get speakers to say Okay to it and make clear how the recording would be used etc. Bill, my suggestion is if you want it to happen be the person that does it. The recording I have of the Typecrit from last year was made by a participant and then offered afterwards. I do feel lucky to have it though! Anybody with a laptop, sound recording software ( wiretap on the mac might be a good choice) and the ability to burn off archives each night could make this happen.

I like both the green tea (and venerate it) AND the coffee. And the beer. And the Sushi. And the Melons... A (no longer) secret hope of mine is that I may get to taste a real cantaloupe melon when I am at Reading on while traveling. What we call cantaloupe in the USA is not the same thing at all. I especially would like a Charentais!

William Berkson's picture

I like coffee too--just tweaking the addicts :) I am mainly a tea drinker, though.

>Bill, my suggestion is if you want it to happen be the person that does it.

As I mentioned above, I won't be able to make it to TypeCon this year. Maybe next year...

will powers's picture

Thanks, Rich. I overlooked that bit about the brews amidst all the chat about the Evil Bean. I'll check out the brews, one at breakfast, one later on.

& thanks for the jazz notes, too. I'm sorry to miss both the gypsy jazz and the Pecha Kucha. & I'll miss the Sunday show, too, for I must leave Saturday evening. It is SO beautiful here in Minnesota this time of year that I have to have at least one weekend day in the garden and the lake. I'm sure a Buffalonian can understand that.


dezcom's picture

"I’m bummed that you (and Chris and Thomas) won’t be joining us this year. "

Not half as bummed as I am about it, Kent!


crossgrove's picture

Can I get some Buffalite souvenirs for the kids?

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