Starting Point: Black Rock

A storied neighborhood named after the large outcropping of black limestone along the Niagara River, Buffalo’s Black Rock neighborhood is home to some of the Queen City ‘s best kept secrets. From taverns and distilleries, to parks and a thriving Polish community, Black Rock has something for everyone. START at the Sportsmen ‘s Tavern on Amherst Street, where you ‘ll enter into a building that ‘s more than a century old under a sign that says it ‘s the "honkiest, tonkiest beer bar in town." Here, guests have the opportunity to catch live shows put on by some of the greatest music artists from across the country. Sportsmen ‘s puts on over 40 shows a month and isn’t slowing down any time soon. But, be sure to check out the acts in advance – tickets go fast.

After all the carousing and live music, you’ve probably worked up an appetite and hopefully, you aren ‘t a vegetarian. Because you ‘ll want to get a taste of the world at Spar’s European Sausage shop. Owners Eric and Stephanie take pride in making meat that Eric learned how to craft as an apprentice in Augsburg, Germany. While the sausage is the main focal point, Spar’s has a vast selection of cold cuts, bacon, smoked meats, cheeses and other old-world groceries., 00000148-60b6-dba9-a57b-73b793140001, Wash the saltiness from the hearty food of Spar’s away with some local distilled vodka at Lockhouse Distillery. Found directly on Great Arrow Ave., Lockhouse was the first distillery to open in Buffalo after the end of prohibition in November 2013. The simple spirits produced at this local gem can be found at various bars and restaurants in the Buffalo area so make sure you ask around for it. , 00000148-60b6-d638-a5ef-ffff00990002, Need to stretch your legs or get some fresh air? Move on down to 464 Gallery and check out what Buffalo’s emerging artists have created. Unlike some other galleries in the area that only showcase art, 464 allows patrons to buy pieces directly from the artist to help support their craft. You may even love the location enough to host your next event there – indoors or outside in their garden.
, 00000148-60b5-d638-a5ef-ffff0a3c0001, Leave your utensils at the door, and you might want to wash your hands, because our final stop is at Lucy ‘s Ethiopian Cuisine where you ‘ll see everyone eating without a spoon, fork or knife. Founded by Abba and Naima, Lucy’s was the first official Ethiopian restaurant to open up shop in Western New York. For those who have never tried Ethiopian cuisine before, try the sampler, which offers a few different classic dishes. Oh and make sure you ask how they named the restaurant!

As always, this is only a snapshot of all the venues, bars, restaurants and spots to visit in Black Rock. See what you can uncover!