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A Buffalo-centric Gift Guide for Men

Silk pocket squares from Buffalo's own Bureau


So you want to give your workaholic brother something other than a button-down shirt for the holidays, or help your boyfriend bolster his at-home bar. You want to buy something unique, thoughtful, and creative, you say? Something local? I’ve heard people lament there are not enough options for men in this city, but this just isn’t the case any longer. I guarantee you can stay local and give inspired gifts that will make both you and any of the men in your life smile.


I am a big fan of giving a set of items that all make sense together: a new Chemex, Public coffee beans, filters, and a set of coffee mugs. Or vintage glassware, a bottle of booze, and a fun flavor of bitters. Unless you know it’s a hobby they enjoy and have the time to invest in, making as little work as possible for them to get started should be your goal.


Men's messenger bags, briefcases, and backpacks from Blue Collar


For the man who is always at the office, give him a gift to make his workspace more functional, like an iPhone or iPad holder by Wrafterbuilt. Instead of another button-down cotton shirt, pick out a patterned, silk pocket square at Bureau or a tweed, herringbone chapeau at O’Connell’s Clothing on Main Street. You can go a step further with a Hirschel backpack or messenger bag, a leather carrier by WILL Leather Goods, or an as-close-to-leather vegan leather bag by Matt & Nat. Blue Collar on Hertel has a great selection of all of these bags.


Lighting from Emerson James Inc.


For the reclaimed/handmade/vintage lover, the options in Buffalo are endless. Check out Ro on Elmwood for unique home décor for your friend who just bought a new house. There you will also find pieces by Emerson James Inc., a brand new company designing one-of-a-kind lighting pieces for homes and elsewhere. You can also see their work up close and personal over the bar at Buffalo Proper. Or, find a vintage punch bowl complete with a set of glasses at Queen City Shaken & Stirred. Grab a cocktail recipe book while you’re there—my favorite is the PDT Cocktail Book—and pair it with a bottle of Lockhouse Distillery’s vodka (or the gin I hear they are releasing sometime soon), and voila: everyone is happy and you have a drink in hand, which we all know is necessary at most holiday family functions.


It may be tricky to buy a gift for the phonophile in your life, since they’re most likely a music snob with an already-sizeable collection of original-release vinyl, but it’s the thought that counts! Visit Spiral Scratch on Bryant Street and pick out a few LPs, old or new, that you know he doesn’t have. Add a framed album cover by his favorite artist, buy a few slip mats, and you have a present you really put some thought and effort into.


In my opinion, the best gift to give is an experience. Buy concert tickets to a show at Town Ballroom, or if you can afford to splurge, book a night or two in the Finger Lakes or Ellicotville’s Holiday Valley.


Great gift items for your special man friend, picky older brother, or your boozehound bestie, are all available now, and you no longer have to travel far to find them.



Jessica Railey is a frequent contributor to Buffalo Spree and BuffaloSpree.com.

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