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The Western New York cities of Buffalo, Niagara Falls and their suburbs offer many places to shop, according to Peter Burakowski, communications manager for Visit Buffalo Niagara.

Aerial view of Buffalo NY
Aerial view of Buffalo NY
Credit: Visit Buffalo Niagara & Angel Art Ltd.

Walden Galleria is close to airport hotels and Buffalo Niagara International Airport. (Driving time is only 10 minutes.) The shopping mall has many chain restaurants and high-end chain stores.

For boutique shopping in Buffalo NY, Burakowski suggests Elmwood Village. "It's in a neighborhood filled with independently owned shops and cafés," he says.

"The Hertel Avenue District (Buffalo's Little Italy neighborhood) and Allentown have lots of antique shops." These shopping districts are only about a 20-minute drive from the Buffalo airport.

Niagara Falls Fashion Outlets

Fashion Outlets of Niagara Falls has more than 150 designer brand stores and a multi-lingual staff that can translate 180 different languages. Driving directions from Buffalo to Fashion Outlets: Take Exit 22 on I-190 and drive south on Route 62, then turn left at the first stoplight.

Besides shopping packages and discounted prices, the Fashion Outlets center has green savings cards, which give shoppers more than $800 in savings at selected stores. You can download discount offers from the Fashion Outlets of Niagara website.

Window shopping on Elmwood Ave.
Window shopping on Elmwood Ave.
Credit: Visit Buffalo Niagara & KC Kratt

Duty Free Americas

Other Buffalo area shopping malls include Boulevard Mall (address: 730 Alberta Drive, Amherst NY) and Eastern Hills Mall (address: 4545 Transit Road, Williamsville NY).

Duty Free Americas also has stores in Buffalo (address: 1 Peace Bridge Plaza) and Niagara Falls, NY (address: Rainbow Bridge Plaza).

Made in America store

Made in America is the only store in the USA that exclusively sells 100% American-made merchandise, including the packaging. Its 3,700 products include clothing, sporting goods, food, drinks, home decor, camping items, gifts, toys and games.

Made in America Store (address: 900 Maple Street) is located in Elma, NY, a 10-minute drive south of Buffalo. Driving directions: Follow I-90 to the 400 South, exit at Maple St., turn right and drive 0.25 miles.

Grocery stores

If you're looking for places to buy food in Buffalo, the butlers at The Mansion on Delaware suggest Wegmans stores (which also sell drugstore items). Guercio & Sons is great for fresh fruit and vegetables.

Cheese-lovers will like Nickel City Cheese & Mercantile (address: 423 Elmwood Ave.), which also has a menu of cheese-based dishes. Walgreens and Rite Aid are popular pharmacies in Buffalo.

Shopping in East Aurora

Peter Burakowski also recommends the boutiques and shops in East Aurora and Roycroft Campus, located a 20-minute drive south of Downtown Buffalo and the Peace Bridge.

Shopping in Elmwood Village
Shopping in Elmwood Village
Credit: Visit Buffalo Niagara & KC Kratt

Vidler's 5 & 10 (address: 676-694 Main St.) is an old-fashioned five and dime store. Red-and-white striped awnings line the fronts of the four connected buildings, which date back to the 1870s.

Don Vidler, the third-generation manager of the store, advises shoppers to allow 1.5 to two hours for exploring the nooks and crannies of the two-level store.

Besides penny candies, Vidler's sells nostalgic merchandise, such as wooden yo-yos, tops, kazoos and marbles. You can also buy kitchen gadgets, ranging from strawberry hullers to toaster tongs.

Shoppers will also find a garden shop, candles, fabric (sold by the yard), hardware, office supplies, clothing, jewelry, retro gifts and souvenirs in Vidler's five and dime store. A huge free parking lot behind the store, public restrooms, an elevator for accessible shopping and 10-cent bags of popcorn entice more shoppers.

Taxes/ Duty Free Allowances

What is the NY state tax? For shopping it is 8.75%.

The Visit Buffalo Niagara website and Official Visitors Guide list Niagara Falls and Buffalo area factory outlets, shopping malls, boutique shops, farmers' markets, antique stores, flea markets and retail stores. Addresses, phone numbers and websites are listed for each place to shop.

For Canadian shoppers planning a Buffalo shopping trip, the website includes driving directions and Canada Customs information on how much you can bring back across the Canada/US border duty-free, based on the number of days in New York State.


Buffalo shopping: www.visitbuffaloniagara.com

More things to see & do in New York:

Empire State Building - New York City

Finger Lakes New York State Vacation

Corning Museum of Glass Features Glass Art, Glassmaking and Antique Glassware

Thousand Islands Vacation