The Best of Rochester Restaurants


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Rochester, NY is a thriving city, full of nightlife, culture, great food, and so much more. Recently, City Newspaper tallied up the votes from thousands of readers to determine the best Rochester restaurants. Listing the best places in Rochester for a variety of different types of cuisine, the newspaper highlighted a number of the top Rochester restaurants for visitors and residents alike. I can vouch for a number of them, but can’t give a fair opinion on the ones I haven’t visited yet. Here’s my impression of the winners I’ve personally taste-tested.

Best Pizza: Mark’s Pizzeria won this category, and I can attest to the accuracy of this selection. The perfectly browned crust and perfect topping ratios keep me coming back for more, not to mention the easy online ordering system.

Best Gourmet Burger: The Gate House, located in the Village Gate, was chosen by general consensus, and again, I can’t argue. The first time I went, I ordered The Gramm, with avocado, bacon, red onion, American cheese, and ranch dressing along with garlic rosemary french fries and I couldn’t stop until I finished eating. I was so full, but it was that good. I actually ended up getting sick that night because I’d crammed my little body full of too much delicious food.

Best Barbecue: Do you really have to ask? Of course Dinosaur won, and it absolutely deserved to. This place is a legend, and it’s not going anywhere soon.

Best “Plate”: Let’s be honest, it would be a crime to choose anyone but the originator. Nick Tahou’s scooped up the win.

Best Breakfast: Jines on Park Ave. was the proud winner, and I’m behind that decision wholeheartedly. The staff are incredible, the pancakes are mouthwatering, and the coffee is bottomless. What’s not to love?

Best Bagel: Balsam Bagels was the winner, and I’m almost hesitant to tell you about it because I want it to stay our little secret. We just bought a house near Balsam, and I’ve gotten one of their amazing breakfast sandwiches there every time we’ve had to drive out there. They make the bagels on site, and they’re flavorful, perfectly chewy, and generally incredible.

Best Ice Cream/Frozen Custard/Frozen Yogurt: Abbott’s scooped up the win (See what I did there?), and that seems accurate to this fanatic. Hubs and I walk down to the Park Ave location every week in the summer for sundaes, and we’re never disappointed. Plus, the walk from our apartment almost burns the calories. Almost. A little.

Best Mexican Restaurant: The Village Gate’s Salena’s picked up this win, and I’m not surprised. Their sangria is an experience, and I’ve never had any food there I didn’t absolutely love. Plus, the guacamole is stellar.

Best Mediterranean Restaurant: I think Aladdin’s was the first of all the Rochester restaurants I visited when I moved here, and it was a great beginning. Everything is organic, everything is delicious, and there’s always leftovers.

Best Sushi: This one holds a special place in my heart. California Rollin’ is where my now-husband took me on our first date. If you’re looking for fully authentic sushi, it isn’t your best bet, but the food is delicious and there is plenty of variety. The new location in the Village Gate is a major upgrade, so if you haven’t been in a while, it’s worth a trip.

Best Coffee Shop: Java’s Cafe is another frequent date-night venture for us, since the coffee is delicious and my husband craves capri cookies like a second-trimester pregnant woman. Wonderful atmosphere, tasty drinks, and a great spot for people-watching.

There were plenty of other great Rochester restaurants on the list, and I promise I’ll have something to say about all of them soon. Do you think they got the list right?


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