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Heading to Northern Cali? This list details the best in dining, nightlife, and entertainment

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Sleeping couch to couch in the City of Brotherly Love
Buffalo is back, baby. Nicknamed the "Queen City," it has become well-known for its music scene, creating the likes of Snapcase, The Juliet Dagger, Rhyson Hall as well as The Goo Goo Dolls and Ani DiFranco, both of whom launched independent record labels in their home city. Now, that unconventional spirit extends into the food and club scenes as well.

Where to Eat:

The Falafel Bar
1009 Elmwood Ave.
Buffalo, NY
(716) 884-0444
Buffalo boasts some great ethnic eats that require a little exploring off the well-beaten path. Falafel Bar serves great Mediterranean fare such as hummus, souvlaki, gyros and of course falafel. Try either their Lebaneh Wrap or the Three Sister Wrap with hummus, gyro, and fried eggplant with tomato and tahini.

Amy's Place
3234 Main St.
Buffalo, NY
(716) 832-6666
Nestled in a small storefront right across from the University at Buffalo's south campus, Amy's Place proves itself as a popular spot for college students to chow down for cheap. The hip hangout displays a menu as eclectic as the walls which are covered with pictures drawn on paper and napkins. Breakfast draws the largest crowd, especially before 9 a.m., when a $1.99 gets you a complete breakfast. A full stomach and wallet? Now there's a happy student.

3651 Sheridan Dr.
Amherst, NY
(716) 834-6234
While Buffalo's The Anchor Bar invented Buffalo wings, Duff's supplies bigger, meatier wings with more hot sauce variations than any other place in the city. Just be sure to read the sign on the way before ordering. "Medium is Hot. Medium Hot is Very Hot. Hot is Very Very Hot!" If you're feeling extra brave, they also come in suicidal.

Where to Drink:

The Chocolate Bar
114 Chippewa St.
Buffalo, NY
(716) 332-0484
With different martinis like raspberry truffle, Swedish Fish and chocolate banana crème pie, The Chocolate Bar provides the city's sexy sweet tooth fix. The bathrooms also have the movie Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory playing non-stop—reason enough to check the place out.

Club Diablo
517 Washington St.
Buffalo, NY
(716) 842-0666
Don't let this place intimidate you. Club Diablo has the best bartenders in Buffalo—Jenn Parker just won the city's best female bartender—and the fiery elixirs they shake up will boost even the best Saturday night. Take a sip of their signature El Diable cocktail. It's a lethal combination of amaretto, sloe gin, triple sec, raspberry schnapps, orange vodka and Bacardi 151.

Spot Coffee
227 Delaware Ave.
(716) 332-2299
765 Elmwood Ave.
Buffalo, NY
(716) 332-4564
OK. So Spot is not a bar, but coffee is still a drink so it counts. Spot coffee, the city's answer to the anti-Starbucks, offers a variety of caffeinated concoctions as well as fresh baked sweets and grilled Paninis. All their beans are roasted at their head quarters, which is right next door to their Delaware location. Which is only slightly closer than where the Starbucks down the street roast their beans—in Seattle.

Where to Go:

Thursday in the Square
Lafayette Square,
Buffalo, NY
Free concerts are always a good thing. Every Thursday, Lafayette Square in downtown Buffalo comes to life as thousands gather in the city to see the likes of Blues Traveler, Bedouin Soundclash, and Dropkick Murphys. This August, Zappa Plays Zappa, Mike Gordon, Saliva and Candlebox will be taking the stage.

248 Allen St.
Buffalo, NY
(716) 886-8539
With live music playing every night, this hole-in-the-wall joint has become legendary in the independent music scene. Bands like Lazlo Hollyfield, Soundgarden, Phish and Buffalo's own Ani DiFranco have also launched their careers here.

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