Water Valley Inn Still Serving Up the Classics

J.M. Lesinski


One of Hamburg’s most iconic restaurants, The Water Valley Inn, is still alive and well despite the current COVID pandemic. Situated on the corner of Eighteen Mile Creek and the border of Eden, The Water Valley Inn is known for a cozy, warm ambience, accompanied by some of the best comfort, seafood, and Americana food dishes in the Western New York area.

The décor at The Water Valley Inn has not changed much over the years, maintaining a rustic and inviting feel to the loyal and fluxing guests alike. Upon entering the foyer, the warmth of the massive bar and seemingly endless variety of alcohol upon the wooden bar will warm one’s heart faster than the liquor one may choose to imbibe.

Wooden floors and walls are always a warm, inviting environment, and one will see not shortage of this at The Water Valley Inn. Witty wordplay is always welcome, and signs of intrigue and topical discussion can be found throughout the walls and corridors if one looks hard enough.

Always one for warmth and comradery, the wooden backdrop amid the traditional mid-century restaurant experience has always led me to enjoy taking one’s time and thoroughly deciding what to get from and expansive and experienced menu such as The Water Valley Inn’s.

The menu at The Water Valley Inn has been updated recently to accommodate more take out friendly orders in accordance with currently in place Hamburg COVID regulations. All the classic favorites are there, available in both the take out and eat in options for the time being. The holiday and custom drinks available at The Water Valley Inn bar also always make one inclined to stop in to the location itself versus getting take out to truly get a taste of the iconic Western New York restaurant.

The soups at The Water Valley Inn are all delectable, but the must-try bowl for any first time patron is the Baked French Onion au Gratin. The salty punch and savory cheese combination of the French Onion is sure to satisfy. The Water Valley Lobster Bisque and New England Clam Chowder (in season only) are also splendid options for a cup or bowl.

Salad options at The Water Valley Inn are straight forward, with a cottage cheese, fruit, and salad platter also available for the same price as a large regular salad. Diners can choose from the standard tossed garden salad, Julianne, Water Valley Caesar, or the delicious Souvlaki Salad.

Appetizers at The Water Valley Inn vary between seafood and fried goodies for the most part, with the Basket from the Garden healthy option including choice of mushrooms, zucchini, broccoli, cauliflower, or onion rings served with carrots, celery, and ranch. Other appetizers include sea scallops in bacon, jumbo shrimp cocktail, mozzarella sticks, onion rings, and French fries.

Burgers at Water Valley are one third pounders, served on a toasted Kaiser roll with tomato, lettuce, and mayo for the standard toppings and fries on the side. There is the classic hamburger, cheeseburger, bleu cheeseburger, mushroom and provolone burger, three cheese and onion burger, and the Water Valley Inn Bacon Burger.

Sandwich options at The Water Valley Inn are plentiful as well. There are the classics: slow roasted sliced roast beef, the Reuben, Rachel, Kinkaid, BBQ chicken club, char grilled chicken, BLT, cold deli, tuna and egg salads, three cheese grilled cheese, and the Water Valley Fish Sandwich. The Classic Club comes with turkey, ham, or roast beef on choice of roll. All sandwiches come with choice of side between fries, coleslaw, potato salad, mac salad, cottage cheese, or fruit.

Seafood at The Water Valley Inn is a must, with one of the crispiest fish fries available, and shrimp plates that are exquisitely plump and juicy. Seafood specialties include the fish fry in half or whole options, breaded butterfly shrimp, or a combination platter as well. All seafood specialties include coleslaw, macaroni salad, choice of potato, and rye bread.

Broiled Seafood options include the haddock, jumbo shrimp, or a combination platter, and include soup or salad, coleslaw, warm rolls and butter, and choice of potato side. Seafood Favorites come with the same sides and include baked haddock with casino crumb topping, seafood Newburg casserole, and the fresh catch of the day.

The hearty dinner plates at The Water Valley Inn are sure to satisfy any hunger. Choices include the char grilled New York strip steak, BBQ St. Louis ribs, boneless pork chops, Virginia ham steak, angus chopped sirloin, liver and onions, and Water Valley Marinated Chicken Breast. Dinner entrees comes with soup or salad, coleslaw, warm rolls and butter, and choice of potato side.

Dinner baskets offer a more affordable fare, feature exclusively fried eats, and come standard with fries, coleslaw, warm rolls and butter. Diners can choose from fish and chips, honey dipped fried chicken, breaded shrimp, and chicken fingers with choice of sauce.

The Water Valley Inn also does a delicious Chef’s Stir Fry menu. All plates come with seasonal vegetables carefully stir fried with The Water Valley Inn’s special sauce over rice pilaf. Stir Fry options include the vegetarian, chicken, pork, shrimp, sea scallops, or a personalized combination. All stir fry plates include a soup or salad, as well as warm rolls and butter.

Parents will definitely approve of The Water Valley Inn children’s menu. All children’s plates come with French fries, applesauce, and a small beverage of choice. Children’s options include chicken fingers, hamburger, cheeseburger, hot dog, grilled cheese, of fish nuggets.

The Water Valley Inn is known for their homemade pies for dessert. The pie selection at The Water Valley Inn changes on a daily basis, but options of note one should try include the key lime, chocolate peanut butter, or strawberry rhubarb. Pies come a la mode for fifty cents more, and ice cream sundaes are also available daily. Satisfying one’s sweet tooth at the end of a meal as warm and hearty as one at The Water Valley Inn’s is the best way to cap off any night.

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Professional journalist for over five years, covering topics all up and down both coasts of the United States, including arts, music, food, politics, and culture. I have a B.A. in English from SUNY Fredonia with minors in Psychology and Creative Writing, as well as an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from California State University, Fresno.

Buffalo, NY

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