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What: Food made with fresh, regionally sourced ingredients from Western New York: meats, produce, dairy. Shown above: hormone-free eggs (from Clarence, NY), house-made turkey sausage (from Holland, NY), pancakes with maple butter (not shown: local maple syrup).
Where: The Lake Effect Diner (3165 Main St., map) looks like a regular diner (albeit in a kitschy-cute restored dining car), but it takes care to source lots of its food from area farms, resulting in fresh, delicious food that’s a step above your usual diner fare.
When: Sun-Thurs, 7am-10pm; Fri-Sat, 7am-midnight
Order: We loved the pancakes “from scratch” with maple butter, whipped cream, and powdered sugar ($5 with regular syrup, extra $1.75 for local maple syrup), and the eggs with home fries, toast, and house-made sausage ($8; pork or turkey sausage is available); the turkey sausage patties are moist and sweet, made with sage. The coffee is good, too—a custom roast and blend from Buffalo-based McCullagh Coffee. It’s not just breakfast, either: There’s also house-smoked bacon and turkey breast, burgers from local grass-fed cows, local hormone-free fried chicken and chicken soup, and excellent milkshakes.
Alternatively: All around Buffalo, lots of farmland means lots of produce when in season. If you’re here during the summer, you can seek out farmers markets for fresh fruit, or, if you’re visiting the wineries near Niagara Falls in Ontario, keep an eye out for the many you-pick berry farms and markets, like Walker’s Country Market (15796 Niagara Parkway, Niagara-on-the-Lake, map), where seasonal cherries and strawberries join other local products like maple walnut ice cream, peanut brittle, and garlic dips.
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