Take culinary tour of Rochester, a bustling metropolis, as we present the Best Restaurants that characterize its varied culinary scene. Every place on our handpicked list, from sophisticated fine dining to cozy cafes, offers a distinctive gastronomic experience that captures the diversity of the city. Come explore tucked-away treasures and well-known venues that highlight Rochester’s dedication to outstanding and innovative food. Whether you’re a guest keen to experience the city’s flavors or a local looking for new favorites, this guide promises a symphony of tastes, encapsulating the spirit of upstate New York’s culinary scene. As we explore the neighborhoods and find the best restaurants in Rochester, where each mouthful reveals a passionate tale, get ready to indulge in amazing dining experiences.
Rella strives to provide a diverse yet delightful cuisine with the freshest ingredients in the market. Together with the team, the chef takes time to craft the menu and dishes before plating them for you to enjoy. The menu mainly consists of the freshest seafood and includes shrimp salad, clam chowder, grilled salmon, and saffron risotto. There is also a good selection of wines to wash down the meals.
The Owl House
The Owl House is tucked away in an old house on Monroe Avenue on Marshall St. However, don’t let the aged appearance fool you. The restaurant has been crafting some of the finest sandwiches, soups, desserts, coffee, and craft beers for years. The Owl House is one of the best Rochester restaurants to dine in, thanks to the small plates such as tomato bruschetta, tofu bites, and rosemary French fries. Of course, you can never go wrong with the sirloin or scallops for the main dish before finishing off with a sweet dessert and wine to wash it down.
Tapas 177 Lounge
The Tapas 177 Lounge dates back to 1996 and has since been serving the Rochester community with tasty European dishes, mixed cuisines, and a relaxed Soho ambiance for the drinks. A fried calamari salad, Korean beef bulgogi, Sashimi tuna tartare Napoleon, and PEI mussels are some of the delicacies you can expect at the Tapas 177 lounge. Tapas 177 Lounge is also one of the best restaurants in Rochester because it has vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free dishes.
Voula’s Greek Sweets
Voula’s Greek Sweets is tucked away on Monroe Avenue between Meigs and Averill. In case you’re wondering where to eat in Rochester, try this vegan and vegetarian Greek restaurant. Whether you are grabbing brunch, lunch, or dinner, Voula’s Greek Sweets has what you need. Some of the notable dishes include lemon potatoes, Horiatiki Salad, Greek Salad, and Dolmades. There are also some housemade spreads such as hummus, Melitzanosalata, and Tzatziki served with toasted Lagana flatbread.
Invite some “Good Luck” into your life by visiting one of the best restaurants in Rochester. This restaurant is on Anderson Avenue. You can reserve a table online to enjoy the delicacies in one of Rochester’s finest restaurants. Good Luck specializes in dishes such as blueberry and frisee salad, summer vegetable salad, and bibb lettuce salad. The pizza and sandwiches are fantastic though you could always go for a braised oxtail, seared trout, or the rosemary steak with a favorite drink.
Rochester’s Park Avenue Pub and Restaurant is a hidden gem that features fine wine, pasta, and steak. Start your evening with a mixed green salad, mussels, or chicken-fried oysters. Next, try the lobster and crab risotto, pan-seared Scottish salmon, filet mignon, or tenderloin tip beef stroganoff for the main course. Park Avenue features a vast selection of wines to enjoy with your meals. A few of the wines available for your choosing are sparkling champagne, cabernet sauvignon, merlot, sauvignon blanc, and pinot grigio.
The Cub Room
The Cub Room is one of the best restaurants wedged in the South area of Rochester. The Cubby Board, Fruit Salad, Serrano Jamon Croquettes, and Grilled Octopus are a few tasty appetizers on the menu. For pasta dishes, The Cub Room serves tagliatelle bolognese, spaghetti, scialatielli, and gnudi. The Cub Room boasts of the Cubby burger, king trumpet mushroom, wild sockeye salmon with mixed vegetables, French fries, and grilled asparagus as sides for the entrees. The Cub Room is also a great spot for brunch in Rochester. Check them out on the weekends for amazing breakfast and brunch specials.
Tucked away in Broadway, Rochester is the Tournedos Steakhouse. If you are looking for steak, this is the best steakhouse in Rochester. The Australian Wagyu, dried steaks, and Hawaiian steak are some of the restaurant’s famous delicacies. For starters, try the cognac-infused seafood bisque, half dozen oysters on the half shell, tuna and salmon poke, and Ravioli. The Caesar salad, marinated roasted beets with goat cheese, and marinated seafood with cheese are fantastic for a light dinner. Of course, for the main course, go for the restaurant’s specialty- the steak and seafood. The best hands, marinades, and fires prepare the salmon, lamb chops, crabs, tenderloins, lobster, and ribeye steak.
When it’s time to catch a drink with friends, no place provides the right ambiance and menu like the Cure. Located in the Rochester Public Market, the Cure serves classic salads, bites, and steak before you dive into the cocktails. So whether you like your drink still, carbonated, or shaken, this spot has you covered. However, this doesn’t mean you can’t hop in for some breakfast in the morning. Cure Bar has the Monday morning coffee and croissant hot and flavorful- just the way you like it.
Right down on Henrietta Street is a unique dining spot in Rochester called Rooney’s. It’s a picturesque urban restaurant tucked away on a residential street and headed by Chef Richard O’Hearn. Once inside, the cozy ambiance and duck terrine or spicy calamari as appetizers will greet you. We recommend trying the house specialties for dinner and take away a salad. The slow-roasted salmon, wood-fired swordfish, and caramelized scallops are a must-try for seafood lovers. Alternatively, peak off your evening with the marinated steak, beef tenderloin, veal, and lamb shanks.
If the name doesn’t grab your attention, let the dishes at this restaurant tucked away in the Village Gate Square speak for themselves. The restaurant boasts of using locally butchered, smoked, and cured meat, house-pickled vegetables, and house-baked bread and pastries. The pan-seared Bedford monkfish and grilled butcher steak are fantastic for a warm night in Rochester. Don’t forget to try the potato gnocchi and let the goat cheese melt in your mouth. Be sure to complete your evening with the plum torte.
You haven’t been to Rochester until you’ve been to Tony D’s. This is one of the best restaurants in Rochester that boasts traditional Italian cuisine. Go down to Exchange Boulevard for the best meatballs and sausages in town. Kick it off with oven-roasted chicken wings, back ribs, or the classic stuffed clams for the appetizers. Of course, the menu would be incomplete without Margherita or Bianca pizza and spaghetti and meatballs. If you can’t stay, try the roast beef, the capo, or the herb-roasted turkey sandwich.
No one does Italian like the Pano Vino on the River. This is one of the best Italian restaurants in Rochester, perfect for dinner dates, family evenings, graduation ceremonies, and rehearsals. The restaurant offers unrivaled Italian dishes starting with some classic antipasto, including spicy calamari, lamb lollipops, and coconut shrimp. For the Insalata, Pano Vino offers ceaser,beet, and mesclun salad. The secondi array is mouthwatering and features Guiseppe, scampi, clams in sauce, ribeye, fillet, pork chops, and shrimp, and more. We recommend enjoying your protein with some ricotta mashed potatoes and sautéed spinach.
For over forty years and through three generations, Jines has consistently served Rochester residents tasty food and excellent service. The grilled cheese, chicken fillet, and house-brewed beer are a must-try. As one of the best restaurants in Rochester, Jines is the perfect spot on Park avenue to drop in for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Fresh toast with cinnamon and freshly squeezed orange juice are a great way to start any morning in Rochester. We recommend taking away a tuna or turkey sandwich for lunch or stopping by for a homemade soup and burgers for brunch. However, if you’d like to avoid the hotdogs and sandwiches, go for the grilled tuna steak, jumbo pasta, shrimp, or lasagna.
Opened just in 2016, the Nosh has quickly gained fame in Rochester as an excellent bar and restaurant for romantic evenings, business meetings, and chats with friends. Located in Russell Street, this restaurant greets you with a friendly, warm environment and endless cocktails. Before ordering your favorite drink, check out the menu for a hot dish of steak and noodles or a grilled tomahawk. We also recommend the cola burger and the shimi fried chicken. As for the drinks, try the signature cocktails, especially the Forager if you love Sangria. Fortunately, there are also non-alcoholic root beers and grape soda if you want to keep it light for the night.
For a contemporary and urban artistic ambiance, The Revelry should be your first choice in Rochester as you enjoy your dinner. The restaurant embraces authentic American cuisine with beer, wine, and spirits to refresh your body. The Revelry is admittedly modern and offers an expansive menu with small, large, and side offers. The cashew-crusted salmon, shrimp and grits, and habanero grass ribeye are a few of the outstanding large meals you can enjoy in The Revelry.
Edibles Restaurant and Bar
If you need lunch, brunch, or dinner and happen to be on University Avenue, swing into Edibles Bar and Restaurant. Here, you’ll enjoy your dinner surrounded by the artistic neighborhood in Rochester. The restaurant is also in a landmark building with distinct architectural features and wooden flooring. For lunch, Edibles Bar and Restaurant offer crispy duck legs, shrimp, classic burger, and chicken Ceaser among other dishes. The dinner menu is also broad and features dishes such as steak, salmon, pork shanks, Ukrainian Borscht, and roasted potatoes as sides.
Ristorante Lucano is one of the best restaurants in Rochester when you are in the mood for Italian cuisine and a home-like dining experience. In Lucano, the patrons make sure that you feel at home. The extensive menu features delicious Antipasti such as Rotolata di Salsiccetta Alla Brace, grilled sausage, and roasted peppers. Or perhaps you can try the Insalata Lucana and Insalata Rosso di Sera if you’re looking for a vegetarian dish. Be sure to try one of the main meals, such as the Gnocchi al Sugo di Agnello and Orecchiette Lucane, and let them melt your taste buds.
The Gate House
The Gate House is one of the best restaurants in Rochester for one reason- the commitment to using the freshest ingredients while maintaining simplicity. All the ingredients come from farms with the best practices. From organic dairy to cage-free eggs, you have a chance here to support sustainable agriculture. We recommend trying any of the famous burgers, including the American cheeseburger or the Wambach. Alternatively, you can go for the Margherita, Kodak, or South wedge pizzas. The buffalo wing chicken tenders are to die for and are a favorite appetizer as you wait for your meal at the Gate House.
If you want well-lit urban booths with a contemporary flair and bar, REDD is the place to enjoy a light dinner with friends or entertain a business partner. Get lost in the chatter as you chew away on your meal and wash it down with a sip of your favorite wine in one of the finest restaurants in Rochester. For starters, REDD offers beet salad, wings, pork belly, clams, tuna tartare, and Maine lobster risotto are a few of the available selections. The mains are equally impressive with an outstanding balance of meat and vegetables.
In the heart of Rochester’s art district, inside the Village Gate, stands Polizzi’s. The restaurant provides the perfect dining experience and some of the finest Italian, Greek, French, and Spanish Cuisine. Whether you want to dine in or order take-out, you’ll be spoilt for choice. There are appetizers, salads, entrees, sides, desserts, cocktails, and wine. The shrimp ajillo is a mouthwatering way to trigger your appetite, followed up with the creamy mushroom and herb risotto or the grilled veal tenderloin marsala.
Fiorella is located in the Rochester Public Market and is famous for its farm-to-table Italian cuisine. The artisanal pizza, salads, homemade pastries, fresh pasta, and vegan options are a few of the reasons people flock to Fiorella. The market menu is a great place to start and sample the salads, sandwiches, and housemade pasta. You can also grab some wood-fired pizza and restaurant specials for take-out. The dinner menu is nothing short of impressive, with fresh appetizers and salads, chicken cutlets, meatballs, and Sicilian sausage. We recommend trying the beer and wine to wash down the protein at the end of your dinner.
The Red Fern
Located on the corner of Oxford Street and Park Avenue, The Red Fern stands out as a vegan restaurant, adhering to the highest standards of food ethics. This is the prime location for restaurant enthusiasts seeking gluten-free and allergen-free food options. The Red Fern boasts of having fresh food prepared from locally sourced ingredients. They even bake the pastries fresh inside the restaurant. Once here, you’ll have various choices between sandwiches, salads, smoothies, fresh juices, and an array of entrees. Fortunately, there are also vegan substitutes on the menu if you want to skip the vegan diet.
Why Trust Us?
When it comes to local restaurant recommendations, we pride ourselves on being a reliable and trustworthy resource. Our suggestions are not just based on our personal experiences, ensuring a more authentic and well-rounded perspective, but also on extensive online research. We diligently searched the internet and reviewed 6 credible sites and blogs, including Timeout and SanJose.com.
We compiled all the findings in one location and sorted them by the frequency of mentions to ensure you receive top-notch recommendations. We strive to present you with a curated list of establishments that truly stand out, allowing you to enjoy the best dining experiences possible.
Interested in the sources we consulted? Check out the list of all 5 sites we referenced below this paragraph, offering transparency and an opportunity for our readers to explore further. Our commitment is to deliver trustworthy and unparalleled recommendations, helping you make informed decisions on your culinary journeys.