Best Art and Crafts Supply Store
Hyatt’s all things creative
photo by stephen gabris
Hyatt’s full name–Hyatt’s All Things Creative–says it all. For six decades, family-owned Hyatt’s has been a bastion of the Buffalo creative scene, and its thriving online sales division has spread this great inventory all over the world. Now headquartered in new, 40,000 square foot digs (store plus warehouse) on Elmwood Avenue, just north of Hertel, Hyatt’s is still perfect for personal and school project supplies, DIY crafts, and fun gifts for adults and kids. Additionally, art framing, kids’ weeklong summer arts camps, and other creative workshops are all available.
1941 Elmwood Avenue; 884-8900, hyatts.com
Best Athletic Wear
Fleet Feet sports
Runners know they can come here to get the best shoe for their gait, pronation, and experience level. But Fleet Feet offers much more than running shoes. Racks of tanks, sports bras, shorts, tights, jackets, hoodies, insoles, socks, and anything else runners and athletes need to move comfortably and fast can be found here.
2290 Delaware Avenue; 332-3501, fleetfeetbuffalo.com
Best Boutique Wine/Liquor Store
Paula Paradise fans rejoiced when the former chef and longtime Premier Liquor wine expert finally opened her shop. Along with business partner and bestie Lauren Kostek (well-known West Side realtor), she’s created a community and a reputation for being approachable, while growing her base to encompass chefs, restaurateurs, wine reps, and makers from far and wide. With her investigative approach to sourcing sustainably made wines by talented winemakers at a great value (most are under $20), she’s part of the reason Buffalo’s become more visible on the national food and beverage stage.
435 Rhode Island Street; 322-5396, paradisewinebuffalo.com
Best Clothing Boutique
Half & Half
Mère et fille Jennifer and Kilby Bronstein have stocked this multilevel store with seasonal items and accessories, shoes and home goods. There’s an emphasis on customer service, with staff always ready to help you accessorize with a necklace or a scarf. Don’t be surprised if you go in looking for one thing and come out with a smartly curated outfit or two.
1088 Elmwood Avenue; 881-4147, halfandhalfboutique.com
Mabel Danahy Inc.
One the most beloved boutiques in the area has a well-deserved reputation for both its inventory of wearable designer clothing and its excellent service. Danahy’s was founded in 1925 and has thrived over the decades. You’ll be treated well, whether you’re a first timer or a third-generation shopper. Find clothes for all ages, with some surprisingly edgy pieces among the cruise-, casual- and formal wear that’s featured in a nice range of sizes. Jewelry is similarly chic, and the shop carries some fun lines of bags and accessories.
3206 Sheridan Drive, Amherst; 831-0773, mabeldanahy.com
Best Custom Framer
Meibohm Fine Arts
You would expect a business that has been framing artworks for more than 100 years to have it figured out; Meibohm’s fulfills this expectation, and then some, adding expertise in conservation and a thriving gallery to the mix.
478 Main Street, East Aurora; 652-0940, meibohmfinearts.com
Best Customer Service
Tony Walker & Co
Tony Walker’s recent expansion has resulted in a premier fashion activity center offering a shopping experience like no other in Western New York. When you enter Tony Walker, you are greeted and treated to a glass of champagne or flavored water, after which sales consultants can guide you through the series of departments. With everything from beauty products to footwear, Tony Walker can outfit and accessorize you from head to toe. Individualized consultations are available as well.
5110 Main Street, Williamsville; 626-3280, tonywalker.com
Best Cycle Shop
This all-purpose, full-service bicycle and outdoor shop offers bike sales, rentals, repairs, classes, riding groups, and anything a casual or avid cyclist desires to be happy on two wheels.
744 Elmwood Avenue; 881-3613, campuswheelworks.com
Best Formal Wear
The Jacqueline Shoppe
This venerable shop has been around for over forty-five years. When the second Jackie (Blemel) to own it announced that she’d be closing the store in the spring of 2018, the generations who have depended on the Williamsville staple for mother of the bride, prom, and other special-occasion dresses must have collectively gone into shock. Happily, she was able to reopen and is still going strong. Carrying brands like Jovani, Sherri Hill, and Faviana, the shop offers a range of styles from traditional to modern.
5522 Main Street, Williamsville; 631-2722, jacquelineshoppe.biz
Best Funky Accessories
Cats Like Us
This little shop and website features new, retro, and vintage clothing in styles described as reminiscent of rockabilly, classic pinup, or vintage-inspired Hollywood. Accessories include fun ties (fifties-style skinny, anyone?), a huge selection of novelty socks and stockings, vintage and new jewelry to suit many styles, clutch and tote bags like the popular kitty/pom pom bag, and decorative headbands and hair designs, plus hats, inexpensive sunglasses, and plenty of tiki- and Grease-themed items.
67 Main Street, Tonawanda; 694-6600, catslikeus.com
photo by kc kratt
Sure, the selection is great, the pieces are high quality, and the groupings are inspirational, but what we really love are the free design services. Ethan Allen has what it takes to make a room sing.
3875 Sheridan Drive; 839-4484, ethanallen.com
Best Garden Store
Lockwood’s Garden Center
Just when we thought Lockwood’s had everything, it adds a new department or makes another one even bigger. This is the place to get all the crazy new petunias or the most improved hydrangea cultivars. It’s also the place to find a friendly, knowledgeable staff.
4484 Clark Street, Hamburg; 649-4684, weknowplants.com
Best Garden Store
Urban Roots Cooperative Garden market
It opened as a way for underserved city dwellers to get gardening supplies, but now Urban Roots is a destination for any Western New York gardener. Its selection of garden décor, interesting native plants, organic supplies, garden-related gifts, and pots surpasses many of the larger garden centers.
428 Rhode Island Street; 362-8982, urbanroots.org
Best Handmade Jewelry
An artisan collective anchored by jewelry makers Stephanie Robb and Karol Kirberger, the store also features jewelry by several other artists. (Robb also owns Turnstyle Boutique four doors up the road.) If you drop in to shop, you’ll find something to love among the variety of necklaces and earrings in semiprecious stones, metals, and other materials. One of the store’s specialties is working with brides and bridal parties to customize jewelry for that special day. The gallery also features artists’ works in a variety of other media, including ceramics, textiles, prints, and photography.
224 Lexington Avenue; 882-3324, wildthingsartisans.com
Best Home Decor
Hertel Home Consignment
Owner Michael Chamberlain’s strong design background is obvious at his high-end furniture and accent gallery at Hertel Home Consignment. Chamberlain personally chooses each item—in styles ranging from mid-century modern to classic traditional—all carefully and thoughtfully displayed in the 6,000-square-foot showroom. Everything from lighting to furniture can be found at affordable prices, making elegant home decor accessible to everyone. These unique home furnishings also make great gifts.
1390 Hertel Avenue; 248-2588, hertelhomeconsignment.com
Best Liquor/Wine Store
Premier Wine and Spirits
It’s unquestionably the biggest, with the largest square footage of wine and spirits in the US. Check out the reserve room and the gigantic selection of artisanal spirits. Tastings are always fun here.
3900 Maple Road, Amherst; 873-6688, premierwines.com
Best Men’s Formal Wear
Tom Barnett New York
photo by luke copping
Tom Barnett has stores in Beverly Hills, Manhattan, and Washington, DC. The Buffalo Bungalow, which opened this year in Snyder, is its newest location. Specializing in one-of-a-kind hand-tailored bespoke suits for men, this is the go-to shop to outfit a wedding party or to suit up for a special occasion, particularly if you want a look that will make an impression. Tom Barnett prides itself on the experience of having a suit custom-made as much as the end result. Barnett’s slogan is, “I have it made,” and you’ll agree when wearing a Tom Barnett suit at your next formal event.
3997 Main Street, Snyder; 839-0424, tombarnettcustom.com
Best Men’s Gifts
Riverside Men’s Shop
From a Buffalo bow tie to a Ralph Lauren blazer, this trusted haberdashery has been providing quality men’s goods for more than 100 years.
6470 Transit Road, Depew; 833-8401, riversidemens.com
Best New Small Retail Business
Nigh Road Farmhouse
Located in an old and rehabbed nineteenth-century house on Main Street, the new and vintage home décor and gift shop also features a collection of baby and nursery items and objets d’art perfect for rustic or modern homes. Additionally, owner Vanessa Fermani hosts occasional workshops on topics like how to paint furniture..
319 Main Street, East Aurora, 655-6444, nighroad.com
Best Place for Organic Food
Lexington Cooperative Market
photo by stephen gabris
It has more competition these days, but we still prefer our homegrown market—now with two locations—for organic, often-local produce and meats, great prepared items, bulk items, quality baked goods, and much more. No need to be a member, despite the name, to shop at these two pleasant and accommodating stores.
807 Elmwood Avenue and 1678 Hertel Avenue; lexington.coop
Best Place for Wine Tasting
Winkler & Samuels
Located in the trendy 500 Seneca Building, Winkler & Samuels sells interesting and delicious biodynamic wines from around the world. Its wine cellar and tasting room is the perfect setting to sample unique wines or to take part in monthly wine education classes. Classes are taught by owner and sommelier Melissa Winkler and feature six tastings of wine from a particular region, along with cheese and appetizer pairings. Cellar memberships are available with lots of perks, including wine lockers with perfect storage conditions, invitations to wine tastings, discounts on education classes, and more.
500 Seneca Street; 235-8121, winklerandsamuels.com
Best Vintage Furniture
John Marfoglia/Queen City Antiques
Known as a “dealer’s dealer” (it’s a compliment—it means that his prices are fair and you can even get a bargain once in a while), Marfoglia is a true generalist. His keen eye for everything from couches and lamps to fine art and antiques makes every trip to his large Hertel Avenue store a potential-filled adventure. As with most vintage and antique shops, you are advised to strike while the iron is hot. If you head home to “think about it,” it’s likely that someone else will have snapped it up in the meanwhile.
1484 Hertel Avenue; 913-8549, @queencityantiques
Best Sporting/Outdoor Life Store
Gear for Adventure
Owning your own paddling equipment frees you to explore local waterways on your own terms. Camping equipment opens up another world of adventure. Or how about a disc golf course in the back yard? This place has it all and more.
305 Buffalo Street, Hamburg or 3906 Maple Road, Amherst; 646-4327, gearforadventure.com
Best Thrift Shop
It’s one of the most organized thrift stores in the area. Savers always seems to yield something great for seekers of clothing, housewares, or maybe a surprising haul of bagged and themed goodies and trinkets. Buffalo is fortunate to have two Savers locations, in Hamburg and Tonawanda. Savers is a national business, with 300 stores hither and yon. Other fine features include friendly staff and that a portion of all purchases benefit a local non-profit.
3701 McKinley Parkway, Hamburg and 2309 Eggert Road, Tonawanda, savers.com
Best Traditional Gifts
Mother and son team of Connie and Ted Constantine are the masterminds behind this crystal glass giftware shop. Formerly located in Williamsville, the duo moved their business to Delaware Avenue near Chippewa Street across from The Westin Buffalo for more visibility. The elegant showroom, welcoming by day, glimmers at night with spotlights on the large inventory of customizable, monogram-ready stemware, vases, decanters, and more.
255 Delaware Avenue, 844-8299, abinomills.co
Best Traditional Jewelry Store
Whether shopping for a yellow diamond solitaire, a traditional string of pearls, or a semiprecious stone brooch, this unobtrusive jewelry store should be on your list. Since 1935, the store, run by the Grelick family along with an expert team of gemologists and benchmen, has long been a purveyor of engagement and wedding rings and statement jewelry. Bomi offers bedazzling showcases of treasures, many featured on their website and in its printed and online catalogues.
4574 Main Street, Amherst; 839-4300, bomijewelers.com
Best Unique Gifts
photo by kc kratt
If supporting local artisans and finding fun, unique gifts are what you’re after, walk in the door of this charming Elmwood Village shop. You’ll find home goods, books, artworks, pottery, cards, and all manner of baubles and trinkets, most made locally. The popular retailer sells wares from more than 190 WNY artists.
719 Elmwood Avenue; 881-4321, thiniceonline.com
Best Women’s Gifts
Lace & Day
photo by stephen gabris
Much more than an underwear shop, Lace & Day provides caring, personalized service with a beautiful, perfectly fitting garment at the end of it. There are also quick and easy gift selections on the first floor.
445 Franklin Street; 884-1580, laceandday.com
Best Women’s Shoe Store
Sue Marfino opened ShoeFly in 2002, offering shoes that were not available anywhere else in Western New York. She continues that business model, stocking sought-after name brands like Fly London, Seychelles, Irregular Choice, Seavees, and Blundstone. Prices range from as low as $20 (for a cute pair of sandals) up to $350 for brands like AS98. Along with great shoes, Marfino carries eclectic jewelry, purses, and hats.
801 Elmwood Avenue; 886-3595
Most Environmentally Conscious Retail Business
This is the go-to for reclaimed materials (check out the barnwood), architectural elements, insulation, even entire deconstructed buildings, if you can imagine such a thing. There is no excuse not to reuse!
980 Northampton Street; 894-3366, reuseaction.com
Most Fun Place to Shop
We’re always dumbfounded by the bizarre items we find here, no matter how many times we’ve been. But that’s what makes it fun. Try downstairs in the cooking section for supplies that you’ll actually use—at great prices, too.
676-694 E. Main Street, East Aurora; 652-0481, vidlers5and10.com
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