Canalside gets all the attention these days, but there’s a lot going on in other parts of downtown Buffalo, too.
Sure the grand department stores of Christmases past are gone, but lots of awesome new retail spots have popped up on Main Street. Here are some favorites.
Furnishings, 500 Main St. One of the city’s most stylish gift stores. The store is owned by Joseph Incao, a former executive at Italian design house Prada.
You’ll find men’s and women’s accessories (scarves, bags, cuff links), gift items and home decor in a wide range of prices. There’s a red ceramic dog dish for $10, a buffalo-shaped pillow for $36 or a sheepskin shearling bean bag chair for $1,200.
City Wine Merchant, 715 Main St. A hand-picked selection of wines and champagnes, including a “top values” rack with bottles from $9.99. It also provides client services such as cellar consultation, appraisals, gift services, event planning and private storage.
Scentcerely Yours, 610 Main St. suite 102. Handmade, small-batch, all natural soy candles in more than 40 scents such scents as Sweet Leather, Countryside Fire and Candy Cane Express. Each jar candle comes decorated with a charm bracelet that can be worn later. There’s also a melt bar, where you can mix and match your own melts. Prices range from 50 cents for a mystery melt to $18.99 for a 27-ounce jar candle.
PHOTO GALLERY: Photos of downtown shopping district
Inside the Market Arcade, 617 Main St. Buffalo Adore, sells Buffalo-themed gifts, apparel and art. J. Christian Fashion, sells women’s fashion, jewelry and handbags. Rust Belt Love, has individual digital ($4) and letterpress ($5) greeting cards or boxes ($20).
Sasmita Batik Indonesia sells imported batik clothing and funky accessories like straw purses, wooden earrings and necklaces made from recycled materials like buffalo bones, cow horns and orange peels. Sai One has women’s clothing, accessories and sunglasses. Queen City Gallery sells Buffalo-themed artwork and photos by local artists.
MMW Style Studio, 403 Main St. High-fashion women’s clothing and accessories. Get a cool silver body chain for $18 or a hot cocktail dress for $119.
Yar Mo’s Muse, 700 Main St. Hand-picked vintage and modern trendy clothing and accessories. You can find a $40 mink pillbox hat or fill a bag of clothing for $20. All accessories, including cuff links and handbags, are buy one, get one free through Christmas. Enter through the barber shop and head upstairs.
M. Steffan’s and Sons, 761 Main St. Drop off your good leather shoes to have them shined for your office holiday party or have the salt cleaned off your Uggs. It’s been in the family for seven generations.
Tent City, 674 Main St. Men’s (and some women’s) clothing, boots and outerwear at very low prices from brands such as Carhartt, Schott, Rothco, Levi’s, Timberland and Columbia.
Queen City Pop-Up Shop, 50 Fountain Plaza, suite 115. Four micro-retailers will have their shops open through Christmas Eve. There’s Talisman Jewelry by Mila, which sells handmade copper jewelry starting at $10; Buffalo Barkery which sells Buffalo-themed dog treats and accessories, and Rare Rustic Crafts, which sells all-natural, handmade bath and body products. Rudeboyz Artworks sells affordably priced, handmade and original clothing, accessories, artwork and dolls. You can have any picture you want put on a T-shirt or hobo bag, have portrait hand-painted on a jacket, or take a selfie with their giant Rick James painting.
Inside the Main Place Mall. City Fashion sells men’s clothing and accessories at very low prices. You can find a cufflink, tie square and watch gift set for $21. Steppin sells women’s and kids’ clothing.
New Generation Jewelers, 403 Main St. and Midway Jewelers, 659 Main St. both sell fine jewelry.
The Shops at HarborCenter, 75 Main St. Clayton’s Toys, sells specialty children’s toys. Modern Nostalgia sells stylish, well made men’s and women’s clothing and accessories. Red Siren has upscale women’s clothing, accessories and gifts. There’s also a Fowler’s Chocolates shop.
Western New York Book Arts Center, 468 Washington St. Its boutique sells delicate treasures handmade by local letterpress artists. There are cards, posters, prints,artwork, small press books and craft supplies.
Woyshners Flower Market, 391 Washington St. at the Lafayette. A full-service florist.
The Lavendar Hinge Showroom, 520 Main St. Artwork for sale by Lisa Z. Morgan and Eric Magnuson.
Althea’s Second Time Around, 661 Main St. A hip consignment boutique.
New Era Cap Co. 160 Delaware Ave. The global headgear company’s flagship store.
Don’t miss. Ice skating at Fountain Plaza’s Rotary Rink. Ice time is free and open to the public, weather permitting, through March. Ice skate rental is $2 for kids, $3 for adults. Call 856-3150.
Check out the original, 1940s AM&A’s holiday window displays at the Hyatt, 2 Fountain Plaza. There’s also a real, 24-foot gingerbread house.
Niagara Distilling Co., 459 Ellicott St., makes fine craft spirits from scratch.
A note about hours: As with any small business district, you may want to time your visit to take place Tuesday through Saturday. That will assure most shops will be open.
Where to park. There is timed parking on Main Street that turns over often. But take the Metro Rail instead, it’s free above ground – and more fun.
Where to Eat. Get a look inside the Buffalo News building at Roux, on the 5th floor of 1 News Plaza. Kaydara Noodle Bar, 777 Main St., has great pho.
Have wine and small plates at Just Vino, 846 Main St. Merge, 439 Delaware Ave., is one of my favorites. The Lodge, 79 W. Chippewa St., .
Rue Franklin, 341 Franklin St., has great French cuisine priced right. Fera’s Lunch Hour, 93 Pearl St., is beloved by downtown workers. Coco, 888 Main St., has a $25 prix fixe menu on Wednesdays. Everyone raves about Toutant, 437 Ellicott St. The Irish Times, 38 Swan St., is a classic tavern. Pearl Street Grill & Brewery, 76 Pearl St., is the old standby.
Get your caffeine fix at Buffalo Coffee Roastery, 350 Main St.; eCafe Delicatessen, 487 Main St. or Perk’s, 523 Main St. D’Avolio Kitchen, 535 Main St. has nice sandwiches. Dragon Express Chinese, 525 Main St. has combo meals for $7.25. Breakfast starts at 7 a.m. at Vasili’s, 302 Main St. Gino’s & Joe’s has great pizza inside the Main Place Mall. Bijou Grille, 643 Main St., is a favorite among Shea’s theatergoers.