999 Broadway, between Gibson and Lombard Streets
Contributed by Project for Public Spaces
Market hall with family-owned and -operated businesses - butchers, bakeries, poultry and fruit/vegetable stands, delis, restaurants, and candy shops - spread over 90,000 square feet.
The market was originally started by Eastern European immigrants looking to continue their traditions and customs, this 111-year-old market was a place for both business and for socializing. Today, it endures as a place to find exotic delicacies from around the globe, and as a gathering place where people talk, share memories, exchange ideas and trade recipes.
The best time to visit this place, one of the largest markets in terms of sheer size in the USA, is two or three weeks before Easter. During these weeks, some half a million visitors descend to fill their Easter baskets with chrusciki pastries, horseradish, bread, sausage, and butter lambs (butter molded in the shape of lambs to place at the center of the holiday table). This tradition originated in Eastern Europe and was brought to Buffalo by thousands of immigrants at the turn of the 20th century. Generations of grandparents, uncles, and cousins and other family members still make the pilgrimage to Broadway Market together, cramming the aisles to watch perogis being shaped and boiled, horseradish ground, and to taste the fresh strawberries dripped in chocolate. Craft vendors highlight intricately decorated Eastern European eggs.
While less busy at other times of the year, the market is always worth a trip for traditional ethnic foods, its famous "beef on weck" sandwiches, and international crafts. It also has a large discount grocery store and a section of used appliances at bargain prices.
History & Background
Though the market remains on its original site, the structure has undergone several transformations. The first burned down at the turn of the 20th century and was replaced with a high-ceilinged building twice as large. The third and current building was completed in 1956, and renovated in 1986 through a multi-million dollar program funded by the city. Renovations since then include improvements to the infrastructure and public areas such as restrooms and parking facilities, and restoring the facade to its original design.
Broadway Market office: 716-893-0705