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Wings, Garbage Plates and other culinary icons highlighted in 'Upstate Eats' tourism campaign

Visit Buffalo Niagara

A new tourism campaign is being launched that celebrates many of the culinary classics of Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse and Binghamton, and encourages travelers to visit some of the famed destinations serving them.

It’s known as the Upstate Eats Trail, and highlights numerous famous locations and menu items.


The project was about a year in the making. Tourism bureaus in Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse and Binghamton will work together to market and promote it to the traveling public and national food and travel media outlets. They took note of the increase in vacation travel by car during the COVID pandemic and are targeting that public.

“There is a real new excitement around rediscovering attraction within one's own community. That's what our data tells us and going to closer destinations that can be reached by car,” said Ross Levi, vice president and executive director of tourism for I Love New York. “It looks like the great American road trip is back. And thankfully it goes directly through New York State.”

The Buffalo stops include Ted’s Hot Dogs, Bocce Club Pizza, Anchor Bar, Schwabl’s and Parkside Candy. The Garbage Plate, made famous by Nick Tahou's, represents one of Rochester's offerings. Salt potatoes are represented in Syracuse, while chicken spiedies are included in Binghamton's list.

But there's more to the tourism campaign than the food. Edward Healy, vice president of marketing for Visit Buffalo Niagara, explained that the writer they hired to conduct the information gathering for the project came back with more than just local delicacies.

“He went out looking for those really interesting stories, not just food stories, but American Heritage stories, Americana stories, stories that we felt would capture the romance of the open road in our part of New York State,” he said. “And I think what he came back with, maybe even surprised all of us who make a living telling this type of story, because he really dug deeper than that we really had before.”



Michael Mroziak is an experienced, award-winning reporter whose career includes work in broadcast and print media. When he joined the WBFO news staff in April 2015, it was a return to both the radio station and to Horizons Plaza.
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