The mere memory of a delicious meal amid the ambiance of a particular setting is no longer enough to commemorate an occasion. You need pictures of the event — or it might as well have never happened.
Artistically formulated shots of the food, drinks and backdrop. Filtered snaps of any interesting subjects you need to promote your adventure. The pics head to Instagram, and the posted images tell the story of meals and moments previously relegated to quick recounts or flavors lingering on taste buds.
Photos can (and are) taken of many plates and dining spots, but some Western New York locales make for more stunning sets than others. Whether because of their menu items or magnificent interiors, many new or enduring Buffalo-area spots are ideal for those looking to capture their culinary adventures on camera.
Allen Burger Venture (ABV)
175 Allen St., Buffalo
Why so Instagrammable? Settled in Allentown, artistically decorated with steampunk elegance, and festooned by the shapely bottles and tap handles necessary to make the locale a destination for the most adventurous and discriminating drinkers, ABV provides the ambiance, decoration and drafts applicable for an interesting afternoon, evening — and photo opp.
And the food? The locale’s inventive burgers expertly complement its bourbons and rotating list of craft beers; and its tater tots and truffle fries are sides that demand top billing.
Take a photo of: The bar’s walls of old vinyl sleeves, including titles like U2’s “October” and the iconic red leather pants of Loverboy’s “Get Lucky.”
Then take a bite of: The Colorado Lamb Burger, topped with lemon conserva and feta cheese salad on a brioche roll.
The Colden Mill Restaurant
8348 Boston Colden Rd., Colden
Why so Instagrammable? Set inside an 1800s-era feed mill, the exposed beams, antique-strewn interior and overall rustic embrace of the Colden classic provides a charming backdrop for any photo. And no matter the meal, occasion or season, the multitude of charming settings on the property — whether inside or outside — assure that you’ll have plenty of image options.
And the food? Comfort food options like pot pies and bacon-wrapped meatloaf accommodate the warm setting, but guests in search of more sophisticated culinary fare (see: its delicious rack of lamb) will find plenty of options throughout meal visits and special events.
Take a photo of: The main dining room, which looks like a ski lodge, antiques showroom and saw mill, all in one.
Then take a bite of: Anything off its dessert menu, which includes homemade pies, cakes and ice cream, churned on site.
Elm Street Bakery
72 Elm St., East Aurora
Why so Instagrammable? East Aurora’s agricultural and craftsman image is lovingly reflected across the tables of Elm Street Bakery. Embracing in its wood-hewn architectural warmth and accommodating in its two-floor layout, the community meeting place is a conducive backdrop for gathering in any season. Whether winter or summer, the restaurant’s pristine space is always picturesque.
And the food? From its pastries and on-site roasted coffees to its homemade soups and wood fire-grilled pizzas, the locale delivers for every meal, and in a setting of unrivaled country comfort.
Take a photo of: Its polished bar leading into its open kitchen, crackling pizza oven and rear bakery, all shimmering throughout the year.
Then take a bite of: The ESB breakfast sandwich, made with spiced aioli, arugula, a poached egg, bacon and cheddar cheese. Paired with a dark roast coffee, it’s the perfect way to start a Saturday morning.
Founding Fathers Pub
75 Edward St., Buffalo
Why so Instagrammable? In this presidential-themed bar off downtown’s Delaware Avenue, there’s nary a square foot of the barroom that’s not photo-ready. Framed campaign posters. Copper busts and portraits of John F. Kennedy and Teddy Roosevelt. International flags dangling from the ceiling, and an impressive array of historic memorabilia behind the bar. It’s all for framing inside Buffalo’s famous Founding Fathers.
And the food? Classic barroom fare served from its small front kitchen, guests can feast on burgers and sandwiches off the day’s sandwich board, or simply span pictures of various White House occupants with free popcorn and nachos from self-serve stations.
Take a photo of: Its intricately designed rear stained-glass window, featuring the faces of Thomas Jefferson, Zachary Taylor and others.
Then take a bite of: The fried bologna sandwich, accented with onions and Weber’s mustard, and an appropriate accompaniment for the bar’s celebration of American leadership.
Rowhouse Bakery & Restaurant
483 Delaware Ave., Buffalo
Why so Instagrammable? The modern iteration of Buffalo is both ambitious and reverent to the architectural daring of its historical past, and there’s no new locale that melds this dichotomy better than Rowhouse. Situated amid a section of Delaware Avenue once known as the Midway Plaisance, its breathtaking interiors shift in style and substance from room to room, giving guests a meticulously decorated new scene around every corner.
And the food? With its café and dining room, guests can feast on breakfast sandwiches and croissants, or settle in for
adventurous dinners of striped bass or fire-roasted pork chops.
Take a photo of: Its second-floor seating area, enclosed with tall bookcases, exposed brick and a ceiling painted to replicate the purple hue of a moonlit evening.
Then take a bite of: Its house-made sausage pizza with fresh ricotta and rapini, perfect to enjoy on a weekday lunch visit while huddled cozily in a first-floor booth.