East Aurora: Small Town LivingBy Laura Wahler
They say when you live in a small town, you’ll always run into someone you know. Sometimes, that’s even true when you’re just visiting.
Where to Eat
A half-hour away from my home in the Buffalo suburbs, I stepped inside East Aurora’s Swirls Cupcakery . . . and ran right into a friend from work. I introduced her to my family; she recommended her favorite cupcake (“All of them!” she said excitedly), and we went our separate ways.
That’s just life in a small town, I suppose. Four cupcakes later, my family and I went next door to Taste, a coffee shop and bistro that packs a whole lot of cozy into its airy, warehouse space. You’ll know you’re there when you see the steaming cup-and-saucer sculpture above the entrance, now a recognizable East Aurora icon. With its large, overstuffed leather sofa, chalk-drawn menu on the walls, and funky repurposed décor, Taste brings a touch of the city—yes, THAT city—to this tiny Southtowns village.
Hungry for more than Taste’s signature E.T. Mocha? Try a sandwich named after some other East Aurora icons: the Fish For A Price tuna salad (named after Fisher-Price, the toy manufacturer headquartered here); the Millard Fill-Me-More chicken salad (named after President Millard Fillmore, who once lived here); or the Vidler on the Roof roast beef.
Where to Shop
The Vidler on the Roof, of course, is named after Vidler’s 5 & 10, a variety store on Main Street famous for its red-and-white awnings, its nostalgic appeal and those down-home commercials you can’t help but . . . love. Shopping at Vidler’s is an experience in itself, so allow plenty of time to browse aisle after aisle and room after room of seasonal merchandise, unique home goods, toys and crafts. And no visit to Vidler’s is complete without a stop at the candy bar.
Shopping in East Aurora isn’t limited to a five-and-dime. Visit The Dress Shop, also on Main Street—or its next-door neighbor, The Woolly Lamb, a true knitter’s destination. Further west, near the circle, is the West End Gallery on Douglas Lane, with one-of-a-kind gifts, jewelry, decorations and accessories.
Where to Go
Not far away from Main Street (nothing really is in East Aurora), the Roycroft Campus is tucked away on South Grove Street. This National Historic Landmark and birthplace of the American Arts and Crafts Movement is a cultural attraction not to be missed. Neither is the dining across the street at the Roycroft Inn.
With so many options to fill your day, it’s easy to forget that East Aurora is so small. Whatever you fancy on your trip here, this little village is sure to please. But don’t forget to do your hair—you never know when you’ll run into someone you know.