frog pond rochester banana caramel pancakes

249 Highly Recommended Restaurants, Diners, Cafes, Pubs, Bakeries, and Bars Around Rochester

This list represents 40+ years of experience dining in the Rochester area, as well as highly recommended restaurants from friends and colleagues.

I had planned to stop at 52 (a new place to try every weekend) but the passionate recommendations kept coming in!

Rochestarians frequent these establishments because the food and atmosphere is consistently amazing. These are places the locals go several times a year, if not more, and recommend them to friends and visitors.

Some of these food destinations are well-established, loved by generations, while others are quickly becoming favorites as Rochester’s culinary scene explodes.

And some have been featured on the Food Network or Travel Channel.

Hettie's Delites Cafe
Hettie’s Delites Cafe

Highly recommended restaurants in the City of Rochester

  1. Abyssinia Ethiopian Restaurant
  2. Aladdin’s Natural Eatery
  3. Arnett Café
  4. Bitter Honey
  5. Black Button Distilling
  6. Boulder Cafe & Lounge 
  7. Boxcar Donuts & Fried Chicken
  8. Brooklyn Ramen
  9. Brown Hound Bistro
  10. Cafe Sasso

49 New York State Parks Within a 2-hour Drive of Rochester

Venture into one of these New York State Parks within a 2-hour drive of Rochester and discover what makes them each unique!

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Brown Hound Restaurant – Stuffed French Toast
  1. Captain Jim’s
  2. Cedar Mediterranean Restaurant
  3. Cheesy Eddie’s
  4. Country Sweet
  5. Dinosaur Bar-B-Que
  6. Dogtown
  7. Donuts Delight
  8. Edibles Restaurant & Bar
  9. El Latino
  10. Flavors of Asia
  11. Fiorella

77 Hiking Trails Around Rochester

Here are a few less populated, rustic, or unusual trails around Rochester that will inspire you to take a hike. A diverse collection of rail-trails, waterside trails, and inland trails.

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Frog Pond
Frog Pond
  1. Flight West Wine & Whiskey Bar
  2. Frog Pond
  3. Genesee Brew House
  4. Golden Fox
  5. Golden Port
  6. Good Luck
  7. Harry G’s NY Deli & Cafe 
  8. Hettie’s Delites Cafe
  9. Highland Park Diner
  10. Hose 22 Firehouse Grill
  11. James Brown’s Place

41 Quirky Roadside Attractions

Spend a day checking out these unique and unusual roadside attractions, like shoe trees, a skeleton army, and a metal dragon, within 2 hours of Rochester.

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Highly recommended restaurants: Hose 22
  1. Java’s Cafe
  2. Jay’s Diner
  3. Jeremiah’s Tavern
  4. Jim’s on Main
  5. Jines Restaurant
  6. Joe Bean Roasters
  7. John’s Tex Mex
  8. La Casa
  9. Magnolias Deli & Cafe
  10. Mamasan’s

Top 38 Ice Cream Shops Around Rochester

Ice cream, gelato, Italian ice, frozen yogurt, and custard—we love these shops for their outstanding atmosphere, taste, variety, and innovation.

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Highly recommended restaurants Nosh
  1. Mark’s Texas Hots
  2. Max’s Chop House
  3. Mr. Theo’s Restaurant & Lounge
  4. Mt Hope Family Diner 
  5. Mullers Cider House
  6. Nosh
  7. Owl House
  8. Park Ave Pub
  9. Pizza Stop
  10. Pomodoro Grill & Wine Bar
  11. Railway Station Diner

23 Craft Breweries in Monroe County

It can be overwhelming to consider all of the craft beverage artisans that call Western NY home. So, let’s focus on the ones we have in our backyard.

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Red Fern
Red Fern
  1. Red Fern
  2. Roam Cafe
  3. Rocco
  4. Rocky’s
  5. Roncone’s Italian Restaurant
  6. Rooney’s
  7. Rubino’s
  8. Salena’s Mexican Restaurant
  9. SEA Restaurant
  10. Sinbad’s Mediterranean Cuisine
  11. Zoc’s Gourmet Burgers and Shakes

8 Rochester-Area Restaurants Featured on the Food Network and Travel Channel

Tonight, you can dine at restaurants that Zimmern, Bourdain, Fieri and other Food Network and Travel Channel hosts have enjoyed. Bon Appétit!

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Strong Museum of Play Bill Grays Skyliner Diner exterior
Bill Gray’s Skyliner Diner in the Strong National Museum of Play

Highly recommended restaurants with multiple locations

  1. Abbott’s Frozen Custard
  2. Benucci’s
  3. Bill Gray’s 
  4. Core Life Eatery
  5. DiBella’s
  6. Itacate 
  7. Mr Dominic’s
  8. Schaller’s Drive-In
  9. Six-50 
  10. Tai Chi Bubble Tea
  11. Texas de Brazil
  12. The Distillery
  13. Tom Wahl’s
  14. Village Bakery

6 Authentic Dining-Car Diners

Diners were modular–manufactured in one place and moved by rail to the final location. They were designed to look like a train’s fine dining car.

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Small Family Restaurants around Rochester, NY: Whiskey River Pub and Grill
Whiskey River Pub and Grill in Charlotte

Highly recommended restaurants in Monroe County


  1. Amaya Indian Cuisine
  2. Basha Mediterranean Eatery
  3. Cerame’s Italian Villa
  4. Char Broil
  5. Chen Garden
  6. Delmonico’s
  7. Grinnell’s Restaurant
  8. Phillips European
  9. Plum Garden
  10. Ristorante Lucano
  11. Sodam Korean Restaurant
  12. Thali of India
  13. The Beer Market
  14. The King and I


  1. Brockport Diner
  2. Jimmy Z’s Plates & Shakes


  1. Acropolis Family Restaurant
  2. Leaf & Bean Coffee Co

East Rochester

  1. Guacamole Authentic Mexican Taqueria
  2. Landmark Family Restaurant
  3. Lemoncello Italian Restaurant & Bar
  4. Leo’s Bakery & Deli
  5. New Yorker’s Pancake & Grill


  1. Donnelly’s Public House
  2. Durf’s Family Restaurant
  3. McArdle’s Restaurant
  4. Mulconry’s Irish Pub and Restaurant
  5. Riki’s Family Restaurant

21 Historic Inns & Hotels Around Rochester

These historic inns around Rochester offer unique dining experiences. Unlike bed & breakfasts, their dining rooms are open to the public.

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585 Rockin Burger Bar
585 Rockin Burger Bar Thanksgiving Balls


  1. 585 Rockin’ Burger Bar
  2. Agatina’s
  3. Edoya
  4. Fatso’s Bar & Grille
  5. Mesquite Grill
  6. Mr Beenz Diner 
  7. Shmeg’s Restaurant


  1. Bernard’s Grove
  2. Orien’s Café
  3. Patti’s Pantry


  1. Bob’s Diner
  2. Lovin’ Cup
  3. Mamma G’s
  4. Naan-tastic
  5. Pi Craft
  6. Tandoor of India


  1. Jo’s Diner


  1. Atlas Eats
  2. Don’s Original
  3. Eastridge Family Restaurant
  4. Pasta VillaRidge Donut Cafe
  5. Savoia Pastry Shoppe
  6. Shamrock Jack’s Irish Pub
  7. Thai Mii Up

North Chili

  1. North Chili Family Restaurant


  1. Five Mile Café
  2. George’s Family Restaurant
  3. The Original Steve’s Diner
Village Coal Tower
Village Coal Tower


  1. Back Nine Grill
  2. Burger Bar by Wegmans
  3. JoJo’s Bistro & Wine Bar
  4. Label 7 Napa Eatery & Bar
  5. Next Door by Wegmans
  6. Pittsford Farms Dairy & Bakery
  7. Simply Crepes
  8. Village Coal Tower Restaurant

38 Culinary Trails and Self-Guided Tours

From beer, wine and cheese culinary trails to barn quilt, cobblestone and history tours, these itineraries help you plan your ultimate day trip!

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Small Family Restaurants Scottsville Diner
Scottsville Diner


  1. Artisan Coffeehouse
  2. Salvatore’s Saloon 
  3. Scottsville Diner


  1. Sullivan’s Charbroil
  2. Union Street Eatery

7 Wineries with Scenic Keuka Lake Views

For your Finger Lakes wine tour, our priority is simply to show you which wineries have the most spectacular scenic Keuka Lake views!

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Castaways on the Lake
Castaways on the Lake


  1. BC’s Chicken Coop
  2. Castaways on the Lake
  3. Charlie’s Restaurant
  4. Empire Pizza
  5. Garlic Pit
  6. Jade Palace
  7. Maa’s Diner
  8. Mama Lor’s Café
  9. Mario’s Homemade Pasta Kitchen
  10. Monte Alban Mexican Restaurant
  11. Nucci’s Italian Steak and Seafood
  12. Nutcracker Family Restaurant
  13. Proietti’s Italian Restaurant
  14. T’s Family Restaurant
  15. The Waffle Factory
Cartwrights Maple Tree Inn
Cartwright’s Maple Tree Inn

Outside Monroe County


  1. Black Eyed Susan Acoustic Café
  2. Cartwright’s Maple Tree Inn 
Hunter Dinerant
Hunter’s Dinerant in Auburn


  1. Hunter’s Dinerant
  2. Peppermints


  1. B’Ville Diner
  2. Canal Walk Café


  1. Chat-A-Whyle Restaurant 


  1. Ace’s Country Cupboard
Diner-car diners Swan Street Diner interior
Swan Street Diner


  1. Amy’s Place
  2. Bertha’s Diner
  3. Daisies Café
  4. Kenmore Village Restaurant
  5. Lake Effect Diner
  6. Swan Street Diner


  1. Cozy Kitchen
  2. Reminisce Soda Fountain


  1. Macri’s Deli & Café


  1. Emilys Family Diner


  1. Donna’s Restaurant


  1. Moonwinks

Darien Center

  1. Johnny Bear’s Restaurant


  1. Super Freeze Drive In
Riley Street Station

East Aurora

  1. Riley Street Station


  1. El Jimador
  2. Park Place Restaurant


  1. Euro Café Real Food & Deli


  1. Water Street Café


  1. Sam’s Diner


  1. Mill Creek Café


  1. The Texas Café


  1. Lincoln Street Diner
  2. Moosewood


  1. Johnny’s Lunch


  1. 3 Legged Pig BBQ
  2. Lakeville Family Restaurant
Farmers Creekside Tavern and Inn
Farmer’s Creekside Tavern and Inn


  1. D & R Depot Restaurant
  2. Farmer’s Creekside Tavern & Inn

Rochester Railfans: Trains, Depots, Rail-Trails, Models, & Clubs

Rochester railfans are incredibly lucky that passionate preservationists before us saw the value in retaining structures we can still appreciate today.

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Lewiston Silo
The Silo


  1. The Silo


  1. Lima Diner


  1. Heid’s of Liverpool
Highly recommended restaurants - Ember Woodfire
Ember Wood Fire Grill


  1. Ember Wood Fire Grill


  1. Lock 34 Bar & Grill
  2. Sunny’s Family Restaurant
  3. Tom’s Diner
Highly recommended restaurants - Caboose Lyons NY
The Caboose in Lyons NY


  1. The Caboose


  1. Log Cabin Family Restaurant


  1. Country Club Family Restaurant

Montour Falls

  1. Classic Chef’s
Small Family Restaurants Roots Cafe Naples
Roots Cafe in Naples


  1. Bob & Ruth’s Vineyard Restaurant
  2. Roots Café


  1. Bee Tee’s Drive-In


  1. Beef’n’Barrel
  2. Chuck Wagon


  1. Heintzelman’s BBQ Pit


  1. Dahls Diner
  2. Rudy’s Lakeside Drive-In
  3. The Coffee Connection
  4. Mom and Pop’s Soda Shop

Painted Post

  1. Jelly Beans Restaurant


  1. Chill & Grill
  2. Yellow Mills Diner
Highly recommended restaurants - Penn Yan Diner
Penn Yan Diner

Penn Yan

  1. Andy’s BBQ Shack
  2. Penn Yan Diner
  3. Skyline Trading Post


  1. Country Kitchen & Pizzeria


  1. Sprague’s Maple Farms


  1. Tina’s Place
Highly recommended restaurants - Skaneateles Lake Doug's Fish Fry
Doug’s Fish Fry


  1. Doug’s Fish Fry


  1. El Rincon
  2. Hots Point

Sylvan Beach

  1. Canal View Café


  1. Mother’s Cupboard
  2. Stella’s Diner
  3. The Gem Diner


  1. The Dockside Bar & Grill


  1. Chit Chat Café


  1. Silverlake Family Restaurant
Highly recommended restaurants - Connies Diner
Connie’s Diner in Waterloo


  1. Abigail’s Restaurant
  2. Connie’s Diner
  3. Mac’s Drive-in
  4. Star Diner
World's Smallest Diner

Watkins Glen

  1. World’s Smallest Diner


  1. DB’s Drive In


  1. Texas Hot


  1. Orbakers Drive In
  2. Original Candy Kitchen


  1. Youngstown Village Diner

Where are your favorite restaurants around the Rochester area?

Share your thoughts with us in the comments. Your insight and experience is invaluable!


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