Welcome to Buffalo, Taylor Swift. Here are a few tips for a world-renowned visitor from some locals


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When celebrities find themselves in Western New York, you never know where they might turn up.

During the filming of “Planes, Trains and Automobiles” in 1987, actor John Candy popped in to a pizzeria in Batavia.

Comedian Jim Gaffigan made a point to visit Niagara Falls when he was here in 2016 and shared photos on Twitter of his family on the Maid of the Mist.

And before the Rolling Stones performed here in 2015, Mick Jagger and Charlie Watts had a look around the Darwin Martin House.

None of which assures you’re going to bump into music megastar Taylor Swift this weekend in line at Ted’s on Sheridan Drive or on the slopes at Holiday Valley.

But we wanted her to be ready.

In case you don’t know, Swift and Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce are dating, and Swift has followed the football superstar all around the country, making pop-up appearances in luxury suites at Green Bay’s Lambeau Field, Kansas City’s Arrowhead Stadium and Foxborough’s Gillette Stadium.

If she is adding Highmark Stadium to her itinerary for Sunday’s playoff game between the Bills and the Chiefs, it’s a closely guarded secret.

But just in case, Buffalo News reporters came up with some suggestions for her to not just endure Western New York in the middle of January, but to enjoy it – with as many of her song titles as we could think of mixed in.

Shake it off, sip it up​

Deuxmoi, the celebrity gossip site on Instagram, makes frequent note that cosmopolitans are Swift’s libation of choice. Stop by Lombardo’s or the Little Club on Hertel Avenue in North Buffalo, which serves primo “Sex and the City”-inspired cocktails.

Best wings? If you want to feel even closer to Josh Allen, go to Bar Bill in East Aurora to have his favorite – Cajun honey butter BBQ – and you might just run into actress Hailee Steinfeld, who shops at the boutique store Leveled Up Buffalo for Bills gear, and who was in your 2014 video for “Bad Blood.” (You might run into her if you’re at Highmark Stadium this weekend, too.)

– Charlie Specht

No teardrops on a guitar​

I don’t know you, Taylor, but there are two things I can bet are true: You like a nice acoustic guitar and you can afford the finer things in life.

On both counts, you would love a visit to the Fretted Buffalo, 466 Amherst St. The upscale instrument dealership carries custom, world-class acoustic guitars from all the finest names, including Avalon and McIlroy from Ireland and Furch from the Czech Republic.

Remember, if you spend too much money there and are looking for someone to blame: I’m the problem, it’s me.
– Samantha Christmann

Stay out of trouble​

Buffalo has its charming areas, but also its areas that we know are “Trouble.” If you plan to hit the bricks, avoid the 33 or the 190 at rush hour, and stay off Chippewa Street after a Bills win – unless you plan to pose for lots of selfies with the Swifties of Bills Mafia.

The signs around town for landmarks and suburbs are veritable tongue-twisters. Don’t try to pronounce “Scajaquada,” “Cheektowaga,” “Tonawanda” or ”Lackawanna.” “East Aurora,” “Sweet Home,” “Clarence” and “Orchard Park” are much more manageable.

Whatever you do, if you grab the ranch dressing, reserve it for french fries and salads. Keep it off the chicken wings.

– Rachel Lenzi

Hey, Taylor, we’re excited to hear your Love Story, but it’s proving to be a Cruel Winter here, so we want you to be prepared. As Buffalonians, we just Shake it Off. And You Belong with Us this weekend. So when you come, bring your own shovel and be prepared to dig out your own seat at Highmark. Maybe bring that platinum credit card, too – to scrape off the ice and create your Blank Space. Otherwise – and I know this is Delicate – but Don’t Blame Me if you feel Cold as You.

Be sure to wake up with some Tim Hortons coffee. Or maybe make a Paula’s Donuts run. Later in the day, for a little beef on weck, don’t forget to check out Charlie the Butcher. And when you’re ready for wings, be sure to down them with some Labatt Blue.

– Jonathan D. Epstein

Seeing red (and blue) in Orchard Park​

Who better than this 5-month-old Buffalo resident and major Swiftie to recommend what you should do here? Make sure you have time to get a photo with Shark Girl at Canalside, because she’d love to pose with you.

At the game Sunday, if you walk into a sea of red and blue, sporting a new, customized Travis Kelce red-and-yellow jacket, be prepared for some good old Bills Mafia traditions. If you see folks jump through fiery tables as a live audience croons the familiar “Hey-ey-ey-ey!” try not to flinch.

– Debadrita Sur

Local heroes and antiheroes​

If you want to “Shake it Off,” head to Mister Sizzles for some of the best milkshakes in town.

We’re in National Blood Donor Month, Taylor. If you don’t have “Bad Blood,” head to any of the ConnectLife locations in the area to make a donation.
Thin-sliced roast beef can always tell kimmelweck rolls that “You Belong With Me.” Stop by Schwabl’s in West Seneca for a great beef on weck, our signature sandwich. Even Travis Kelce’s mom is sure to like it. Just don’t forget the horseradish.

Taylor, you’ve got history – all the exes you sing about in your music. We’ve got history, too. Stop by the Buffalo History Museum to learn about heroes, antiheroes and other figures from the past.

– Stephen T. Watson

Becoming a history lover​

Buffalo is a historic, old city. Like amazing-architecture-cool-mansions old. Like Erie Canal warehouses and grain elevators old.

While we would love for you to hang in Buffalo, we assume you’re probably going to jet, so before you go, fill in some “Blank Space” and have your driver making a few loops of Niagara Square in downtown Buffalo. Check out the sleeping marble lions at the 1907 McKinley Monument and of course, our famous City Hall, the 32-story art deco building constructed in the 1930s.

Before you head back to the airport, drive through the iron gates of Forest Lawn, one of the most magnificent final resting places anywhere, and maybe swing by the Richardson Complex, which reminds me of the Arkham Asylum, but maybe that’s just me.
And Canalside is awesome, even in winter.
– Sandra Tan

Eat your feelings​

Taylor, if you’re skipping the tailgating and looking for a restaurant before the game, you’re only going to find a few options around Highmark Stadium – but they’re good. On one end of Abbott Road, you can stop by Prohibition 2020 and cross the street over to O’Neill’s Stadium Inn, which by week is a sports bar, and on game days transforms into a nightclub-in-daylight.

Or head down Abbott Road, check out the stadium under construction (Someday you’ll be playing there, right? RIGHT?) and go to Big Tree Inn and Danny’s South.

I’d give you specific food recommendations, but let’s keep it simple: Order a drink, and any menu item that has the words “Buffalo” and “chicken.” You’ll be set – and full. Or if you’re not hungry and doing dry January, there’s a Tim Hortons coffee shop around the corner. I hear you like Starbucks, and we have that too, but for now grab a Tims. It’s kind of our thing.