The outer northeast suburbs of Getzville and East Amherst share Buffalo
history and amenities, but much of the development in these hamlets occurred in the second half of the 20th century when transportation infrastructure expanded into the area to accommodate the University
of Buffalo's campus community. As a result, the area has a sheen of newness that doesn't characterize most of post-industrial Buffalo.
One of the most affluent parts of western New York, the East Amherst community features a high quality of life, with excellent schools, attractive homes,
pretty green spaces and quick access to the rich panoply of cultural amenities often found in a community with a world-class university.
Schools in East Amherst/Williamsville
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Restaurants & Nightlife
Both Williamsville and East Amherst offer a nice array of independent restaurants, ranging from burger joints to sushi bars. Milos Restaurant in Williamsville offers Greek classics like Biftecki, Spanokopita, and Souvlaki, and also features a special events banquet hall capable of accommodating up to 300 guests. Just next door, Parings Wine Bar strikes the perfect tone for a special evening out on the town. Its extensive and well-reviewed repertoire of wines can be ordered both by the glass and the bottle, while those craving a martini can check out the mixed drink menu. Specials vary by the day, but the standard menu includes a variety of unique choices, like horseradish beef tenderloin, along with ever-popular classics such as the lobster mac-n-cheese. Down the road, The Irishman Pub & Eatery has the ambience of a classic Irish pub and frequently features live musical performers. A great place to meet up for a casual dinner or a relaxed Sunday brunch, the pub also has great drink specials on Sundays and Tuesdays.
In East Amherst, the chefs at the well-regarded Samurai Buffalo create sushi masterpieces. Available a la carte or in combination plates, the reasonably priced menu items of sushi, sashimi and maki rolls invite diners to try something new or indulge in old favorites. Samurai's bento boxes make a great lunch alternative. Things can get a bit rowdy at Grover's Bar and Grill, but that's the way regulars like it at this boisterous night spot. Even before Guy Fieri featured it on the Food Network, Grover's packed in the crowds hungry for the huge burgers, cheap beer and great people-watching. Take note: This establishment accepts cash only. Pautler's Drive-In hasn't changed much since it opened in 1958, and that's a very good thing. Burgers, hot dogs and milkshakes make this an ideal family dinner destination. Car buffs come in for the Tuesday night cruise, and this sweet pink diner looks just right surrounding by vintage cruisers and convertibles.
The hamlet of Getzville also boasts its fair share of dining venues. Located in a restored turn-of-the-century home, Byblos Restaurant & Bar serves traditional Lebanese recipes. Shawarma, falafel, stuffed grape leaves, kabobs, and hoummos with pita bring in devoted regulars from around the Buffalo region. Once you've been to Nina's Custard, soft-serve ice cream won't cut it anymore. The long lines in the summer indicate just how patient people can be when a really special treat awaits them. A casual burger and fried treats menu makes a meal of it, but dessert rules here. Amherst Pizza and Alehouse in Getzville pours local craft beers like the Flying Bison and Ellicottville ales. Hockey fans know it as the best place in town to watch the game. When the Buffalo Sabers play, the bar features pizza and beer specials and flashes red lights to celebrate every goal.
History & Culture
In the 1800s, the East Amherst and Getzville area was known as Transit Station after the New York Central Railroad put the region on the map as a local outpost station. Small industries, including a barrel stave company, a copper company and a mill, thrived in these early years of settlement. Getzville takes its name from the area's first postmaster, Joseph Getz. East Amherst borders Buffalo's largest suburb, Amherst, and as the area shares a number of amenities, it's sometimes considered an extension of its neighbor, although it is a separate hamlet.
The Buffalo Niagara Heritage Village, just north of the two hamlets, shows visitors what life looked like in the days of the Niagara frontier in a living-history museum setting that includes relocated historic buildings. Each August, the museum hosts the Scottish Festival, Highland Games and Gathering of the Clans.
Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority runs bus lines through Getzville and East Amherst, primarily connecting the hamlets to the University, the airport or downtown. To get around town or out of town, residents rely on cars since this somewhat spread-out area marks the end of the line for public transportation in the outer northeast Buffalo suburbs. Taxis, car shares and Uber provide occasional car transport. Bikes are a good bet, especially for employees and students of the university; Getzville is a 10-minute ride to campus and East Amherst a pleasant half-hour trip on bicycle-friendly roads and designated bike trails. Many of the neighborhoods are walkable, although sidewalks become less common further out from campus and Buffalo.
Housing costs in this area rank among the highest in the Buffalo area. Rents for a one-bedroom
apartment start around $900 a month. Gas runs high here too, at about 25 percent above the national average, and transit fares cost $2 a ride or $75 for a monthly pass. Thank goodness for drink specials. A beer in one of the area's popular nightspots runs about $2 to $4 a pint.
Most of the area's shopping clusters along Transit Road in East Amherst and Main Street in Williamsville, where you'll find a nice mix of national chains and local storefronts.
Purse Sona in East Amherst sells designer handbags and accessories and hosts special event parties in the store. New York International Style, set in a converted pink house, specializes in bridal fashions but also sells jewelry and accessories. Men dress well here too, thanks to Napoli's Men's Store, which stocks high-quality tailored men's clothing and contemporary suits, fitted carefully with old-world service. Dave and Adam's helps Buffalo sports fans cheer in style. A huge selection of jerseys, team merchandise and collectibles celebrates New York teams.
George and Company has been amusing people for more than 100 years. This venerable games, costumes and magic shop sells puzzles, chess sets, Buffalo souvenirs, costumes and gag gifts. Main Street in Williamsville also harbors a nice variety of both national and local retailers. Barbara Oliver & Co. offers exquisite custom jewelry designs-in addition to jewelry repairs and appraisals-and receives particularly high marks in the engagement ring department. Half a mile away, Village Artisans boasts a unique selection of creations by local artisans that range from jewelry to home decor.
Excuria Salon and Spa is an excellent place to visit for everything from a basic haircut to microdermabrasion treatment. Capello Salon and Day Spa also receives excellent reviews for its customer service quality.
For locals looking to grab lunch, options range from chains like Panera and Starbucks to the Creekview, a family-owned and -operated restaurant lodged in a house whose various historical incarnations range from a butcher shop to the headquarters of General Winfield Scott.
The largest grocery store in the area, TOPS Friendly Market in East Amherst, gets stiff competition from some excellent smaller shops. The small local chain Dash's Market in Getzville sells prepared deli foods, fresh-cut meats and produce in a store that prides itself on service. Feel-Rite Fresh Markets, another small local chain, focuses on natural foods and regional, organic produce. Spoth's Farm Market brings in produce and seasonal decor from farms in western New York.
Several relatively undeveloped parks in the area preserve the northern woods and waters that sustained the native Iroquois tribes. Walton Woods Park, a small forest
just south of Getzville, has a few miles of hiking trails through rocky terrain.
Sports fields and a famous sledding hill at Margaret Louise Park make this small park in the neighborhoods between Getzville and East Amherst very popular with area children, and quiet walking trails provide year-round exercise
The 270-acre Great Baehre Conservation Park between the two towns preserves a natural silver maple and ash forest and marsh swamp. Hiking and biking trails, including boardwalks through the wet areas, give park users full access.
The Paw Park Dog Park in Amherst, just south of the Getzville-East Amherst region, provides two free fenced off-leash play areas for big and small dogs.