Lilas Hampton Inn Rochester Downtown fireplace

Kindling Community: A Guide to Finding Rochester’s Cozy Fireplaces

When winter arrives in Rochester, it covers everything in a monotonous white blanket and sends forth a whipping wind that seems to whisper, “Stay inside.” But there’s a secret to enjoying these snowy days without having to hide away at home. I’ve curated a list of spots around the city perfect for quiet reading or community engagement next to a comforting fireplace.

From libraries, cafes, and bars to restaurants and hotels, these locales offer an invitation to curl up with a cozy mystery, engage in deep conversations, or enjoy quiet contemplation while gazing into the fireplace’s warm glow. Nourish your interests while you relax with a beverage beside a crackling fire.

Before resigning to the solitude of home during the colder months, let me guide you to Rochester’s warmest spots.

What is Hygge?

Hygge (pronounced hoo-ga) is a Danish concept that describes a feeling of comfort, contentment, and well-being. It can also refer to a certain aesthetic of neutral tones, serene spaces, and anything associated with the word cozy. Hygge can include: 

  • Feelings of security, appreciation, and togetherness with others
  • Enjoying the simple things
  • Surrounding yourself with things that make life good, like friendship, laughter, and security
  • More concrete things like warmth, light, seasonal food, and drink

Meik Wiking, the author of The Little Book of Hygge, created the Hygge Manifesto, which quantifies hygge into ten ideals: Atmosphere, Presence, Pleasure, Equality, Gratitude, Comfort, Togetherness, Harmony, Truce, Shelter.

The Little Book of Hygge: A Cozy Hygge Gift (The Happiness Institute Series)

Please contact me if you are aware of other spaces I should consider adding to this list. While I have been to some of these spaces, many have been recommended by Day Trips Around Rochester community members on Facebook.

Best of Rochester - Day Trips Around Rochester book

Day Trips Around Rochester, New York

Libraries with Fireplaces

Our local libraries aren’t just buildings full of books; they’re like communal living rooms where the glow of the fire welcomes everyone. With comfy seats and the quiet buzz of friends and neighbors sharing stories, these spaces offer a warm escape from the winter’s frosty grip. Some libraries may also have coffee, tea, and other beverages and snacks available for patrons.

Pittsford Library Fireplace Seating
Pittsford
Chili Public Library
Chili Library
Mendon Public Library fireplace
Mendon
Fairport Public Library fireplace
Fairport

Monroe County Libraries

Chili Public Library

Fairport Public Library

Irondequoit Public Library

Mendon Public Library

Penfield Public Library

Pittsford Community Library

Rush Public Library

Avon Free Library fireplace
Avon Free Library Facebook photo

Greater Rochester Libraries

Avon Free Library Avon

Caledonia Library Caledonia
Note that upon completion of renovations in the summer of 2024, the library will feature a lounge area equipped with a fireplace and beverage options like coffee and tea.

Lancaster Public Library Lancaster

Livonia Public Library Livonia

Richmond Memorial Library Batavia

Seymour Library Auburn

Skaneateles Library Skaneateles

Wood Library Canandaigua

Woodward Memorial Library Leroy

Other Spaces with Fireplaces

Salenas Mexican Restaurant fireplace
Salena’s
Bill Grays Port of Rochester
Bill Gray’s

Bars & Restaurants

From rustic taverns to upscale dining establishments, Rochester’s bars and restaurants embrace the allure of fireplaces to create inviting spaces for social gatherings or intimate dinners. They offer a warm and inviting atmosphere that encourages patrons to linger, fostering a sense of community while relishing the pleasures of good food and conversation.

City of Rochester

Bill Gray’s Port of Rochester

Dragonfly Tavern

Elmwood Inn

Heroes Brewing Company

The Inn on Broadway

Rooney’s

Salena’s

The Sheffield

Wegmans, East Ave

Mulconrys Irish Pub in Fairport fireplace
Mulconry’s
Next Door fireplace
Next Door

Monroe County

Aurora Brewing Company Bushnell’s Basin

Bar-Bill East Penfield

Fireside Grill & Sports Bar Henrietta

Hedges Webster (closed in winter)

Knucklehead Brewery Webster

Mayers Lake Ontario Winery & Cidery Hilton

McColley’s Spencerport

Mendon 64 Mendon

Monroe’s Pittsford

Mulconry’s Irish Pub Fairport

Next Door by Wegmans Pittsford

Olives Pittsford

Panera Bread Multiple Locations

Preservation Beer Company Fairport

Richardson’s Canal House Bushnell’s Basin

Simply Crepes Canandaigua, Pittsford, and Webster/Penfield

TP’s Irish Restaurant Penfield

Union Tavern Sea Breeze

Wood Kettle Brewing Hilton

Caledonia Village Inn
Caledonia Village Inn

Greater Rochester

Caledonia Village Inn

The Distillery Restaurant Victor

Ember Woodfired Grill Livonia

Flaherty’s Three Flags Inn Multiple Locations

Nolan’s on Canandaigua Lake Canandaigua

Okay Beer Co. at West Main Lanes Honeoye Falls

Warfield’s Restaurant, Lounge & Bakery Clifton Springs

pure imagination cafe
Pure Imagination Cafe

Cafes

Enjoy a latte and pastry by the fireplace while reading or playing board games with friends.

Pure Imagination Cafe Gates

Tim Horton's Iceplex fireplace
Tim Horton’s Iceplex

Ice Skating Rinks

There’s no need to freeze while watching a hockey game! Stay warm by the fire while cheering the action across multiple rinks.

Tim Horton’s Iceplex MCC, Henrietta

Lila's in the Lobby of the Hampton Inn & Suites by Hilton Rochester Downtown
Lila’s – Hampton Inn

Hotels & Spas

Seeking a luxurious escape from the cold? Rochester’s hotels and spas provide a haven of comfort and relaxation, often adorned with welcoming fireplaces. Places like The Strathallan Hotel or the Woodcliff Hotel & Spa pamper guests with lavish amenities and create an ambiance that encourages unwinding and connecting with others in a serene and cozy setting.

City of Rochester

Char Steak & Lounge | The Strathallan Rochester Hotel & Spa – a DoubleTree by Hilton

Lila’s | Hampton Inn & Suites by Hilton Rochester Downtown

Monroe County

DoubleTree by Hilton Henrietta

Residence Inn by Marriott Rochester West/Greece

Rochester Airport Marriott Greece

Woodcliff Hotel & Spa Perinton

Greater Rochester

Inns of Aurora

Sherwood Inn Skaneateles

Ski resorts like Bristol Mountain, Hunt Hollow, Holiday Valley, and Greek Peak have fireplaces available in their common areas.

University of Rochester Welles-Brown Room Ruch Rhees
University of Rochester website photo

Universities

Universities in Rochester embrace the cozy charm of fireplaces within their campuses, offering students and visitors tranquil spaces to study, collaborate, or unwind. Their libraries and student centers provide warm nooks where academic pursuits merge seamlessly with the comfort of crackling fires, fostering an atmosphere of both productivity and relaxation.

In Rush Rhees at the University of Rochester, find the cozy, quiet Welles-Brown Room on the left before you enter the main hall. Enjoy comfortable seating and beautiful paintings around a warm fireplace.

Nazareth University has the Garth Fagan Fireplace Lounge outside The Woods Cafe (there may be two fireplaces in this space) and a fireplace in the O’Connor Complex.

Roberts Wesleyan University offers two fireplaces in the B. Thomas Golisano Library.

Kellys Farm Market fireplace
Kellys Farm Market
Dog Eared Book Palmyra fireplace
Dog Eared Book

More Spaces

Beyond the traditional, Rochester boasts numerous other spaces that feature fireplaces, such as a community center, hospital, mall, and seasonal farm market.

The Center at Greece Town Hall (membership fee)

The Dog Eared Book Palmyra

Eastview Mall, a four-sided fireplace near Von Maur

Kelly’s Farm Market, during the apple-picking season in September and October

Monroe Community Hospital

I’d love to add to these lists and welcome your suggestions in the comments section below.

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Lila's fireplace Hampton Inn
Featured Photo: Lila’s

Where are your favorite libraries and other spaces with fireplaces?

Please support your local libraries through volunteering, teaching, donations, or simply by frequenting them and using their services.

Your insights and experiences are valuable. Please share them in the comments.

Debi Bower, Day Trips Around Rochester NY

Debi Bower is the founder and creative director of daytrippingroc.com and author of the award-winning book Day Trips Around Rochester, New York.

People often ask me if I get free access to places while exploring. The answer is no unless I’m invited to previews or granted behind-the-scenes access as part of my media role. Generally, I don’t mention my project, Day Trips Around Rochester, NY, because I want the same experience you would have. I create and share content simply because it brings me joy. I would appreciate your support—a cup of coffee or two to help fuel future field trips—if you have found valuable information here that has helped you explore the Rochester area.

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