Local Food to Eat in Niagara Falls and Buffalo

chicken wings local food in western new york

How to Eat Like a Local When Visiting Niagara Falls, Buffalo and Western New York

Every area has foods that are distinctly local. You know what we mean – the items you grew up with and may have taken for granted, but can’t seem to find anywhere else. Part of the fun of travel can be experiencing native foods when you explore new areas. If you’re visiting Niagara Falls, NY and want to try something truly Western New York, choose these favorites.  You can look for these local foods in Niagara Falls Area Restaurants.

Sponge Candy

If you love chocolate, try sponge candy. The inside of this chocolate-coated treat is a caramel-like sugar whipped to an airy, yet brittle, crunchy consistency. The sugary patterns filled with light air pockets give the candy it’s spongy name. But the texture is crisp and light and practically melts in your mouth as you bite into it. The chocolate-covered confection is seasonal. It can only be made when the humidity is just right


Keeping with a sweet tooth, this local food or berry is most commonly served as a beverage. The  drink is hard to describe if you haven’t tasted it. The closest we can describe it to would be ordering some sort of mixed-berry flavor. But there’s no mixture, just one tasty, tiny fruit here providing all the flavor. You’ll find this non-alcoholic drink served alongside popular beverages like Coke and Pepsi. But it’s not carbonated.

Beef on Weck

Dip thinly-sliced beef in hot au jus gravy, then pile it in deep layers on a fresh roll. Not just any bun will do. Freshly baked rolls topped with caraway seed  and salt, known as “weck” rolls are the appropriate complement. If you like a bit of zing and want to clear your sinuses, act like a true local and spread horseradish inside the bun. Just don’t’ spread too much unless you’re sure you can handle it.

The Most Famous Local Food Here is Wings

Chicken Wings are probably the local food most synonymous with Western New York. They were invented just 20 minutes away from Niagara Falls at the Anchor Bar in Buffalo. Most of the country calls them Buffalo Wings, but locals will only call them Wings, or Chicken Wings.

You can visit the Anchor Bar’s location right in Niagara Falls, or ask for a single or double order of wings at most local pubs and pizza restaurants.

Fish Fry

Much of the country thinks of Friday Fish Fry as a Lenten or spring happening. But Western New York restaurants serve up haddock diners every Friday of the year. Beer-battered is the standard, but you can often choose healthier options like cajun, broiled or Italian baked. Reservations are helpful 52 weeks of the year on Friday nights at popular fish fry locations. You can also check local event listings, because community halls and organizations from fire departments to churches will host an occasional Friday Fish night.

Food Brands Locals Ask For

Ask anyone who’s moved out of the area, there are certain brands they ask to have shipped for a taste of home. Weber’s Mustard, DiCamillo’s Baked Goods, Sahlen’s Hot Dogs, and Chiavetta’s Chicken are just a few.  If you call Niagara, Erie or adjacent counties home and have your own area picks, send us your thoughts in the comment area below.