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Best Buffalo Nightlife

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The best Buffalo bars are easily found: follow the foot traffic to “The Chip.” The top clubs and nightlife destinations are all clustered together around four blocks in the Chippewa District not far from downtown Buffalo. That's not to say there's no fun elsewhere: Allentown and Elmwood Village are also known for some of Buffalo's best bars and live music venues. Jazz lovers and fans of old-school cover bands might favor those two neighborhoods over "The Chip." Those who like to get groovy in big, loud, smoke-filled clubs will find Chippewa to be a Nirvana—Buffalo is a college town, after all, and this is where the city's young come for their weekend fun.

Pure

Neighborhood: Chippewa District

Probably the biggest nightclub in downtown Buffalo, Pure's got, oh, about 10,000 square feet of space for you to play in. It splits its floors into sections. There's the main room (strobe lights, a catwalk around the upper edges, pounding Top 40 music with a dash of electronica thrown in, plus six giant TVs to play music videos), and also the Wet Lounge, where the liquor is top shelf (they say), the mojitos and martinis flow freely (but are most definitely not free) and the music is progressive house. The Dirty Lounge is for those willing to pay for bottle service, who want to sit in a dark, “Twilight”-inspired vampiresque room, complete with dripping candle wax. DJs spin the music in the main room, and Thursday night is college night. In summer there are gauzy outdoor cabanas with tiki torches where you can grab some fresh air.

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Pure  

Social Nightclub

Neighborhood: Chippewa District

Set slightly away from “The Chip Strip,” Social Bar and Nightclub clientele skews a bit older than Pure or Bayou—say mid-20s and up. It's dark and cavernous inside; if it weren't for the blue neon lights, nobody would see the black, marble-topped bar. Social doesn't bother with pushy bottle service, which is a refreshing change from many other clubs. In warmer months, you can also head out to the 2,500-square-foot patio, plunk down on one of the plush seats and relax under the stars—at least until the dancing starts. That usually kicks in well after 11PM, but the DJs continue until at least 4AM.

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Social Nightclub  

Buckin' Buffalo Saloon

Neighborhood: Chippewa District
This place is bucking, all right. It's a little slice of Southern hospitality in upstate New York. Lovers of country music will feel right at home; everyone else will wonder what they're doing here—besides taking a turn on the famous bucking buffalo, of course.  It's cheesy as all get out, but hop on there and have some fun. The Buffalo Saloon is crowded year-round, especially with young college kids looking to swill inexpensive beer by the pitcher.

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Omega Lounge

Neighborhood: Chippewa District

Thursday is Ladies Night, and that's undoubtedly the most popular day of the week at this slightly wannabe club. You're supposed to “dress to impress” the bouncers here, but come before 11PM and you won't have any problem getting in (or pay a cover charge, either). Drinks are $2 Thursday for women (sorry guys) and the music is ‘90s classics, hip hop and lots of Lady Gaga. It's definitely a 25-plus crowd, but everybody gets on the floor to cut loose regardless of age.

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Omega Lounge  

Bayou

Neighborhood: Chippewa District

The self-proclaimed “#1 party bar” in Buffalo, Bayou lets the ladies in free (guys, you have to pay a cover charge). Inside the two-story party house you'll find the usual VIP rooms set aside for those willing to pay for bottle service, but otherwise the Bayou is wide-open space and you're free to roam the illuminated catwalk, the huge dance floor on the first floor, or its two outdoor patios that look down on “The Strip.” Bayou's two resident DJs—Lil Joe and Dstar—play Top 40 with plenty of remixes thrown in, plus house and electronica to keep the energy from flagging.

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Bayou  
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