WNY native returns to Buffalo, opens Mexican restaurant

Hombre y Lobo is now open in downtown Buffalo, serving urban-style tacos and cocktails.

BUFFALO, NY – Western New York’s “taco trail” is expanding with the addition of the new Hombre y Lobo in downtown Buffalo.

“Hombre y Lobo” means “man and wolf” in Spanish. It’s a colorful restaurant on Swan Street where the old Black Button Distilling used to be, serving street tacos and cocktails inspired by owner Ryan DiFranco’s travels to Mexico.

“We wanted to stay true to authentic Mexican food as much as possible with the addition of some really cool Buffalo items,” he said.

DiFranco is originally from Niagara Falls. He left with his family in 1997 and opened a successful Italian restaurant called DiFranco’s in Denver, Colorado. This year, he returned to the region, taking his fiancé Isaac Domingue with him. The two are committed to being part of the Buffalo rebirth.

“Before we moved, we visited frequently and one of the most important things I noticed was the friendliness of the overall culture,” said Domingue. “I’m always up for the adventure. We’ve had some great opportunities here in a growing city and we wanted to be a part of that growth.”

“It’s been quite a trip,” DiFranco said of the decision to move to Buffalo. “It’s been such a breath of fresh air and we really really love being here.”

L’Hombre y Lobo is just one block from Sahlen Field and a 10-minute walk from the Keybank Center.

“I love word of mouth, serve really good food and create a really cool atmosphere with good customer service so I think people are going to pour in,” said DiFranco.

The menu features dishes from several local farmers and a few nods to our region, including a Buffalo Chicken Taco and a Chiavetta Chicken Taco. There are also homemade salsas, guacamole and queso on the menu. Adventurous eaters can try their “Chapulines,” which are chili-salt fried grasshoppers fresh from Mexico. There is also a wide selection of cocktails made with mezcal and tequila.

But don’t plan to visit on a Sunday. DiFranco and Domingue will be busy cheering on the Buffalo Bills.

“We’re going all the way baby,” DiFranco said. “The team is so much fun to watch. It seems like a great group from top to bottom, the whole organization. I mean, we’ve been waiting so long.”


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