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Best new small retail business
(Open in 2015 or later) 


500 Main St., Buffalo; 381-8275 or

Here’s a great reason to take a drive down Main Street, now that you can. This deceptively small shop is filled with unusual wares—so much so that you’ll want to allow plenty of time to explore. Our favorites: the nifty pillows and lamps, the funky bar and coffee goods, and the space given to other  local vendors.


Best new clothing boutique 


3959 Main St., Snyder; 833-7000 or

Spree style editor Erin Habes calls this new shop the “Barneys of Buffalo,” and the word on the street is that this is the place for trendy but classic pieces that you’ll wear forever. 




Best clothing boutique (Established) 

Anna Grace

799 Elmwood Ave., Buffalo; 332-7069 or

This Elmwood Village mainstay carries both independent designers and larger established brands. There are also plenty of goodies to complete your new outfit, including jewelry, scarves, and more.


Best shop for formal wear (Men’s) 

Riverside Men’s Shop

3063 Sheridan Dr., Amherst; 833-8401 or

It may have been in business for ninety-seven years, but RMS doesn’t take anything for granted. All the premier brands are here, along with free tailoring and alteration services. 


Best shop for formal wear (Women’s)


3099 Sheridan Drive, Amherst; 831-0773 or

The goods may be high end, but the atmosphere is friendly and comfortable at this boutique. Danahy’s has been in business for ninety years. It's done it by keeping up with fashions, but never abandoning good old-fashioned great service. Danahy's formal department ranges from comfortable pant-based outfits to the ultimate in full-length glam. 


Best shop for handmade jewelry 

Burchfield Penney Museum Store

1300 Elmwood Ave., Buffalo; 878-6011 or

The store, curated with designs by a wide range of artists from Western New York, is filled with eye, neck, wrist, and ear candy. Many of the styles, as befits the institution’s namesake, feature organic shapes and nature-inspired themes. Both the fashion-forward and the demure will find plenty to love, from dangly drops, delicate necklaces, and sparkly baubles to chunky and industrial-inspired metallic pieces. 


Best shop for traditional jewelry 


798 Elmwood Ave., Buffalo; 217-2270 or

Opened in 1982, Abraham's specializes equally in traditional and contemporary pieces. The shop is also an authorized dealer for upscale watch brands like Bulova and Wittnauer. Repairs of watches and jewelry are done onsite, and you can also sell your jewelry or have an old-fashioned piece reworked here.


Best shop for funky accessories 


1005 Elmwood Ave., Buffalo, 768-0110; 4218 N. Buffalo Rd., Orchard Park, 508-8679 or

Fun can still be fashionable, as you’ll learn when you peruse the wide selection of finishing touches available at this local favorite.


Best shop for unique gifts 

Fern and Arrow

773 Elmwood Ave., Buffalo; 882-5858 or

In a seamless and friendly transition (the new store helped the old store sell off its stock), Positively Main Street closed and Fern + Arrow opened. Just like its predecessor, this a fun and funky place to buy housewares, gifts, and more. The prices are reasonable and the ambiance is bright and airy.


Best shop for men’s gifts 

Black Squirrel

1595 Elmwood Ave., Buffalo; 249-1122 or

While a gift of a bottle or two of maple-distilled spirits from here would be great, it’s also possible to schedule a cocktail party at Black Squirrel—for a very reasonable price. Forget the tie; go for the Mapleshine.


Best shop for women’s gifts 

Renew Bath and Body

927 Elmwood Ave., Buffalo; 881-0177 or

Forgo the chemicals and additives found in drugstore products; for better lotions and a better shopping experience, Renew is the place. There are several all-natural lines you’ll never find anywhere else. The staff is very helpful for gift recommendations.


Best shop for furniture

Ethan Allen

3875 Sheridan Dr., Amherst; 8394484 or

From wall sconces to beddings to a complete living room, Ethan Allen makes perfect possible. The store is laid out in such a way that it’s easy to see how a certain look and flow can be created. There are also touch screens and in-person design services—all part of the service.


Best shop for vintage furniture 



27 Chandler St., Buffalo; 432-6216 or


3807 Harlem Rd., Cheektowaga; 424-0994 or

Antique-to-modernist pieces fill every square foot of this space, but the finely crafted mid-century furnishings are the main draw. There are also classic tools, toys, church furnishings, and more. This is ground central for fans of modernist design.
Unique in many ways, Adornment refurbishes and refinishes old furniture and cabinets, in addition to other services. It also donates part of its proceeds to nonprofits that help young women.  


Best interior design 

Tres Jolie Maison

414 Virginia St., Buffalo; 249-7330 or

A relative newcomer to Buffalo’s design scene, Tres Jolie made an immediate splash with its renovations to Buffalo’s oldest house, which is its local headquarters, and with its innovative design for the 2014 Junior League Show House. The firm provides both commercial and residential design and also has offices in Naples and Miami.


Best shop for home decor 


732 Elmwood Ave., Buffalo; 240 9387 or

Both new Danish-inspired furniture and home décor as well as objects made out of reclaimed materials are sold at this popular Elmwood shop. Here’s where you’ll find the simple and functional designs beloved to so many local homeowners. 


Best thrift shop 


Multiple locations;

Many local thrift stores provide important support for nonprofits, so we also give nods to Amvets, Salvation Army, and St. Vincent DePaul’s in this category. Savers, however, is interesting, because it helps a variety of charitable organizations and has a philosophy centered in recycling and reuse. Because of those elements of its mission, Savers is one of the very few chains we ever recognize in Best of.


Best sporting/outdoor life store 

Campus Wheelworks

744 Elmwood Ave., Buffalo; 881-3613 or

So much more than a bike shop, this Elmwood Village anchor has worked hard to create a community. It's even got an active cycling collective that dates back to the 1970s. Got a bike you want to tune up? This is your go-to. Thinking of expanding or beginning your foray into cycling, snowshoeing, or cross-country skiing? CW will get you geared up.


PHOTO: jp thimot


Best place for organic food 

Lexington Co-operative market

807 Elmwood Ave., Buffalo; 886-2667 or

Organic food is not relegated to a small section of square footage at Lexington Cooperative Market; it is in large part the raison d’etre for this much-beloved community-owned business. Local produce; organic meat, poultry, and fish; sustainable health and household supplies; popular organic packaged food brands, and a large prepared food section of fresh salads, soups, and entrees dominate the offerings here. 


Best small garden store 

Urban Roots community garden center

428 Rhode Island St., Buffalo; 362-8982 or

This cooperative is one of only two non-big-box, all-garden stores in the city. Staff members are knowledgeable, pottery and tools are of high quality, and there is an excellent selection of native perennials, trees, and shrubs, as well as the usual perennials and annuals. Urban Roots was the first local garden center to offer heirloom tomato seedlings. UR also hosts seasonal gardening workshops and sends regular updates via their enewsletters.


Best big garden store 


Adams Nurseries

5799 Genesee St., Lancaster; 683-4885 or

Menne Nursery

310 Niagara Falls Blvd., Amherst; 693-4444

Lockwood’s Garden Center

4484 Clark St., Hamburg; 649-4684 or

Do Western New Yorkers realize how blessed they are in terms of independent garden centers and nurseries, many of which regularly grow their own plants? We are awarding just three excellent venues this year; if truth were told, we could add at least four more to this list. Visit any one of these three and rest assured that you will find rare varietals, healthy shrubs and trees, high-quality supplies, and expert help.




Best flower shop 


petrichor flora

949-0033 or

Maureen's buffalo wholesale market

441 Ellicott St., Buffalo; 852-4600 or

One of Buffalo’s newest and most innovative businesses, Petrichor combines a specialized flower design service and a seasonal flower cart, called Beau Flors, that can be seen at farmers’ markets and other places where people gather during the warm months. Recently, Petrichor has started offering bouquets at Ashker’s.
For years, Maureen's has been the place to go to find exotic and unusual flowers as well as everyday favorites. Stop in any day and see the staff pulling together specialty orders for events taking place all over the region.




Best tailor 


830 Elmwood Ave., Buffalo; 259-8141 or

Custommade suits used to be one-percenter affairs, involving flights to London or New York and many thousands of dollars. Increasingly, however, average Buffalonians are finding their way to Bureau for above-average suiting. Everything here is designed from the ground up.


Best baby gifts


5520 Main St., Williamsville; 632-2246 or

The baby boutique here offers exquisite, adorable choices for ages from preemie to twenty-four months. Pumpkins has long been a go-to in an area where there are few independent retail choices.  




Most environmentally conscious retail business 

Buffalo ReUse

296 East Ferry St., Buffalo; 578-3782 or

Before spending a fortune at Restoration Hardware, check Buffalo ReUse. The aisles and shelves here are filled with authentic vintage cabinets, mantels, door knobs, doors, hinges, fixtures, and much more. Outside, there is stone and brick and other supplies that are perfect for patios and other home enhancement projects. Buffalo ReUse keeps Buffalo’s historic built environment from winding up in a landfill.


Best customer service  


Delta Sonic

Multiple locations;

Kittinger Furniture Company

4675 Transit Rd., Williamsville; 876-1000 or

Car upkeep is nobody’s favorite thing, but Delta Sonic makes it easy. The technicians here cheerfully pull off inspection, car washing, detailing, and other services quickly and efficiently. It doesn’t hurt that there is a nice clean waiting room with snacks and reading material nearby.
Kittinger has kept its presidential clients happy for over forty years; chances are, your experience with Kittinger will also be satisfying. The experts at Kittinger can guide your selection from their large inventory, work with you on a custom piece, or help design a difficult space in your home.


Best place for wine tasting 

City Wine Merchant

715 Main St., Buffalo; 931-9114 or

There are different tiers of tastings at City Wine. The entry level happens on Thursday afternoons, but there are also special tasting that focus on Italy, Burgundy, and other major wine-producing regions. At these specialized tastings, expect to try the latest releases from such producers as Tenuta San Guido (Sassicaia) and Burgundy’s Faiveley, among many others.


Best big liquor/wine store (City)

Gates Circle wine and liquor

1430 Delaware Ave., Buffalo; 884-1346 or

This is not a huge venue, but it’s big enough to include everything you’re likely looking for, and the service is friendly and immediate. Gates has long been a favorite of the Elmwood Village and Delaware district communities; the prices are reasonable and the selection is excellent.


Best big liquor/wine store (Suburbs)

Global group

Consisting of McKinley Wine & Spirits, Global Wine & Spirits, and Colonial Wine & Spirits, this collection of megastores offers what every booze shopper needs: selection and value.


Best boutique wine/liquor store 

Paradise Wines

435 Rhode Island St., Buffalo; 322-5396 or

The best thing about this this charming little booze boutique? It’s not just wine. Paradise also stocks a small but absolutely top-notch selection of spirits, some produced locally. There are weekly tastings, a great newsletter, and a wine club. You’ll want to join it.


Most fun place to shop


676–694 Main Street, East Aurora; 652-0481 or

An East Aurora mainstay since the 1930s, legend has it that old man Vidler first opened up his store because people needed a closer place to get thread than the distant city of Buffalo (sixteen miles away). Now, with a touted 75,000 items in stock, including candy, home décor, cards, candles, craft supplies and “year-round Christmas,” the biggest problem may be narrowing down your selections.


Best pet-related business 


Elmwood Pet Supplies

706 Elmwood Ave., Buffalo; 883-1377 or

Park 'n' Bark

866-4425 or

A local favorite for over sixty years, this friendly storefront offers friendly advice and an excellent selection of pet supplies, food, and other products. For a hint of the personality here, check out this statement from their website: Our best selling foods are in the same price category as foods like Beneful (a food with which we are not impressed) and are free of by-products, corn, wheat and dyes. We try hard to have what the pet needs—or just wants.
Park ’n' Bark's mobile service makes much of the stress out of pet grooming. Make an appointment and it comes to you, so that pets are not waiting in cages or traveling. It’s a cute and convenient concept. 


Best fitness classes 

Revolution Indoor Cycling

1716 Main St., Buffalo; 4685 Transit Rd., Williamsville; 908-0622 or

Fitness newbies and longtime fanatics alike love the energetic spin/TRX workouts at Revolution. The new Main Street facility (relocated from Delaware) is particularly attractive, with large windows and an industrial feel. The instructors are dedicated, and their clients are gently but firmly encouraged to push their workouts to the next level.


Best dance classes 

Baila Salsa Dance Company

Pucho Olivencia Center, 261 Swan St., Buffalo; or 807-7363 

With regular Sunday lessons at their headquarters and frequent salsa nights at locations all over WNY, including Falafel Bar, Gypsy Parlor, and Larkin Square, Baila makes it easy to get your salsa on. Co-founders and award-winners Calvin Rice and Fanny Olaya have been dancing together for almost ten years.


Best yoga 

East Meets West Yoga

1738 Elmwood Ave., Buffalo; 162 Mill St., Willimasville (at Village Glen);

The vinyasa, hatha, yin, and other classes offered here get rave reviews from their students. Now settled into their beautiful new facilty on Elmwood, EMW maintains their longheld reputation for excellence.


Best pilates 

Pilates Loft

1738 Elmwood Ave., Buffalo; 166 Allen St., Buffalo; 886-8200 or

Mat, tower, suspension, and reformer classes are included in this extensive pilates program; private and semiprivate classes are also available. Founder Beth Elkins has been teaching pilates since 2001; she is always welcoming and helpful.


Best new workout spot 

Outdoor yoga at wilkeson pointe

Last summer, we heard about a great series of peaceful yoga workouts surrounded by the beauty of  the Outer Harbor's newest park. The slow vinyasa workouts were accompanied by live cello music by Kathleen Ashwill and led by Monica Zucco and Julie Leatherbarrow.


Best At A Glance


Best new small retail business (Open in 2015 or later) Furnishings

Best new clothing boutique Annarlette

Best clothing boutique (Established) Anna Grace

Best shop for formal wear (Men’s) Riverside Men’s Shop

Best shop for formal wear (Women’s) Danahy’s

Best shop for handmade jewelry Burchfield Penney Museum Store

Best shop for traditional jewelry Abraham's

Best shop for funky accessories Blush

Best shop for unique gifts Fern and Arrow

Best shop for men’s gifts Black Squirrel

Best shop for women’s gifts Renew Bath and Body

Best shop for furniture Ethan Allen

Best shop for vintage furniture (TIE) CooCooU27 coocoou27.comAdornment

Best interior design Tres Jolie Maison

Best shop for home decor Ro

Best thrift shop Savers

Best sporting/outdoor life store Campus Wheelworks

Best place for organic food Lexington Co-operative market

Best small garden store Urban Roots community garden center

Best big garden store (TIE) Adams Nurseries adamsnurseries.comMenne Nursery, Lockwood’s Garden Center

Best flower shop (TIE) Maureen's buffalo wholesale market maureensbuffalowholesale.competrichor flora

Best tailor Bureau

Best baby gifts Pumpkins

Most environmentally conscious retail business Buffalo ReUse

Best customer service  (TIE) Delta Sonic deltasoniccarwash.comKittinger Furniture Company

Best place for wine tasting City Wine Merchant

Best big liquor/wine store (City)Gates Circle wine and liquor

Best big liquor/wine store (Suburbs) Global group

Best boutique wine/liquor store Paradise Wines

Most fun place to shop Vidler's

Best pet-related business (TIE) Elmwood Pet Supplies elmwoodpet.comPark 'n' Bark

Best fitness classes Revolution Indoor Cycling

Best dance classes Baila Salsa Dance Company

Best yoga East Meets West Yoga

Best pilates Pilates Loft

Best new workout spot Outdoor yoga at wilkeson pointe


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