Swan Street Diner

Diner | Donuts
legendary
Worth driving from anywhere!
Michael Stern | July 15, 2018
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If you eat Swan Street Diner food with your eyes closed, you might think you are in the dining room of a fine hotel. Food quality and culinary finesse are beyond reproach. If you open your eyes and look around, you could easily imagine that you’ve been in a time machine, transported to 1937, when this exquisite Sterling Dining Car (# 397) was brand new. In fact, you are in the heart of some admirable urban renewal — Buffalo’s revitalizing warehouse district known as Larkinville. This restaurant is preserving the best of the past while waving the flag of modern dining values.

Local, for instance — a word that every restaurant now wants to use to describe its provender — here means that pancakes are served with maple syrup from western New York; French toast is thick slices of cake-like Placek bread from nearby Mazurek’s Bakery (reflecting the city’s Polish heritage); jam is from local berries.

Fresh is another descriptor menu-writers bandy about with impunity. At the Swan Street Diner, it means that the mini-donuts you order will still be too hot to hold, virtually melting in your mouth; corned beef for great, chunky hash is made on premises; yes, those are garden-fresh herbs in your omelet; and that milk shake tastes especially good because its chocolate syrup isn’t from a can. It’s concocted in the kitchen right here.

All this superb food is served in the museum-like perfection of a 1937 diner restored to its newly-minted glory in every detail: booths built to exactly match Sterling Diner specs; fabulous double-decker glass counter refurbished to the way it was; original enamel paneling, bar stools, and wood trim all polished like new.

I’m skeptical about diners that boast of being modern. All too often, they go trendy and pretentious, eclipsing honest diner-food values with chef’s whimsy and trend-of-the-moment cooking. Not here. The Swan Street Diner is all about celebrating the best of the past using the best of modern culinary values.

What to Eat
Swan Street Diner, Mini Donuts
Mini Donuts
Must-Try
Mini donuts. freshly made, almost too hot to handle
Swan Street Diner, Corned Beef Hash
Corned Beef Hash
Must-Try
Chunky corned beef tastes more complex than it looks.
Swan Street Diner, Triple Berry Jam
Triple Berry Jam
Must-Try
Triple berry jam adorns rugged toast.
Swan Street Diner, Placek French Toast
Placek French Toast
Must-Try
Placek bread for French toast is from Buffalo's Mazurek's Bakery.
Directions and Hours
closed now
Sunday7am - 3pm
Monday7am - 3pm
Tuesday7am - 3pm
Wednesday7am - 3pm
Thursday7am - 3pm
Friday7am - 3pm
Saturday7am - 3pm
Information
Price
$$
Seasons
Open Year Round
Meals Served
Breakfast, Lunch
Credit Cards Accepted
Yes
Alcohol Served
Yes
Outdoor Seating
Yes
Website

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