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10 Must-Try Restaurants In Rochester NY | Best Rochester Restaurants

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Rochester, New York, is the city where east and west go together and is home to a diverse and vibrant community. No different than any other metropolitan area, you will find everything from trendy hotspot bars to fancy five-star eateries making up the restaurants in Rochester NY.

But, even though the city was once known as “the flyover place between Buffalo and Syracuse,” it has become a popular tourist destination in North America. 

Rochester is home to dozens of restaurants and bars you shouldn’t miss, as well as plenty of things you’ll enjoy eating if you just want to take in the tastes of the city. In addition, Rochester and the surrounding areas are full of activities if you live outside of it or live in the area. 

Best Restaurants In Rochester NY: Rochester

If you’re looking for a fun weekend getaway or even just a relaxing dinner, there are plenty of restaurants with excellent options for any meal of the day and every mood. Rochester offers an eclectic cuisine scene that is sure to satisfy any foodie. Each year, the Rochester International Wine Competition and the Taste of Rochester highlight the culinary talents in the area.

It will be a crime if you leave the city without trying at least some of the ten best restaurants in Rochester NY, each unique and each a story of its own.

Visiting other destinations in New York? Check out our other delicious guides:

The 10 Best Restaurants In Rochester NY

Edibles Restaurant and Bar

704 University Ave, Rochester // +15852714910

Once you step into Rochester’s Edibles Restaurant, you’ll notice its unique atmosphere. The restaurant takes place inside a renovated home that dates back to the mid-1850s. This pre-Civil War structure was preserved to showcase its charm and character. The result? It is an elegantly designed restaurant that evokes a sense of nostalgia.

You can expect to experience an eclectic mix of tastes at Edibles Restaurant in Rochester. The ingredients are fresh, and the portions are generous, which can’t be said for many other restaurants in the area. 

Best Restaurants In Rochester NY: Mushroom Risotto

Choose from selections like Ossobucco, mushroom risotto, tomato pan gravy, braised pork shank, Chicken de Medici, lemon parsley, aged Parmesan, tomatoes, and breaded chicken cutlet.

It doesn’t matter if you are looking for breakfast, lunch, or dinner; you will find just what you are craving at this newly renovated restaurant.

La Luna Restaurant

60 Browns Race, Rochester // +15852325862

La Luna Restaurant & Wine Bar is ideal for holding upscale social events, business meetings, and private parties. La Luna is one of the most convenient, centrally located places for business and pleasure. This restaurant offers delicious Italian cuisine, a great selection of wines to suit your taste, and a friendly environment where you can enjoy your meal.

The appetizers are probably the highlight of everything La Luna has to offer. I recommend the deep-fried mozzarella with tomato sauce, or for something lighter, the baked eggplant drizzled with olive oil and toasted sesame seeds. These two items are light but flavorful, which is exactly how an Italian appetizer should taste.

Best Restaurants In Rochester NY: Baked Eggplant

What sets La Luna apart is its ability to accommodate large parties, ideal for business lunches or dinners, wedding receptions and showers, and other significant events.

AVVINO

2541 Monroe Ave, Rochester // +15852705229

On the farthest edge of a body of water surrounded by Rochester skyscrapers, you’ll find another upscale Italian restaurant focused on fresh ingredients. The bustling city tries to drown out the sounds of clinking wine glasses and happy diners at Avvino.

Since opening, Avvino has established a reputation for providing some of the best Italian food in Rochester. The menu includes many traditional entrees that are sure to satisfy any appetite. 

The menu at Avvino is full of hearty Italian entrees, appetizers, salads, sides, and homemade desserts. They serve meatballs or cheese puffs as the first course of your dinner. Next, a tomato sauce is served over the penne pasta with pork meatballs and veal meatballs. 

Best Restaurants In Rochester NY: Meatballs

Chef Dave’s cheese puffs are handmade, featuring two kinds of cheese, Parmigiano-Reggiano and Asiago, baked into a flaky puff pastry.

There are plenty of options for mid-priced, family-style dinners here. The ambiance is far better than most other Italian restaurants in Rochester, and regardless of the occasion, you can enjoy yourself here.

Cure

50 Rochester Public Market, Rochester // +15855637941

Nestled in the Public Market beside other nearby restaurants and cafes, Cure takes you on a gourmet adventure. Nourishment for the body and soul is what you will get at this trendy French restaurant. Walking through the doors, scents of spices and fresh herbs greet the guests as a welcome. The restaurant’s creative menu entices diners to choose appetizers, salad, main entrees, and cheese plates.

You’ll find almost any type of cuisine represented here. For example, you can get shrimp or chicken tacos with avocado and cilantro alongside the Brisket Tacos, if you prefer an appetizer. As for the entrees, enjoy dishes like the Bone-In Dry Aged Sirloin Steak, cooked medium-rare and served with a creamy porcini butter sauce. 

Best Restaurants In Rochester NY: Bone-In Dry Aged Sirloin Steak
Dry Aged Barbecue Tomahawk Steak with polenta

Of course, since Cure sources its ingredients locally, you can also enjoy staples like pizza and pasta during your visit.

With a charming ambiance, anyone would love to visit Cure for a dinner date. The cozy environment and delicious menu at this restaurant will make you want to return at least once more.

Char Steak & Lounge

550 East Ave, Rochester // +15852417100

One of the newest restaurants in the city is Char Steak & Lounge, a more contemporary restaurant in Rochester’s Neighborhood of the Arts. It has an upscale and elegant ambiance, typical of steakhouse chains. However, it also has some features that make it stand out from other steakhouses in the area.

Char Steak & Lounge’s menu features an array of items, including fresh salads, charbroiled chicken breast, tender Atlantic salmon, and many other succulent cuts of steak. Their award-winning wine list has over 160 different selections to choose from. In addition, the food menu features a variety of appetizers and fish dishes.

No matter what you’re craving, Char Steak & Lounge is sure to satisfy your appetite. The restaurant serves specialty sandwiches, handcrafted burgers, and their famous Minnesota walleye fish fry with fresh coleslaw and homemade bread.

Best Restaurants In Rochester NY: Burger

Char Steak & Lounge is a great place to have a bite to eat while taking in the arts or enjoying some live music. Char Steak & Lounge is two restaurants in one. 

The establishment’s varied menu of entrees that combine savory flavors with an emphasis on local produce, meats, and cheeses has given this restaurant its many awards.

Tournedos Steakhouse

26 Broadway, Rochester // +15852693888

Located inside Rochester’s only luxury boutique hotel, The Inn on Broadway, Tournedos Steakhouse serves local and international cuisine. As well as suspended lights, hardwood floors, and comfortable leather booths, this restaurant features pendant lighting. 

There are fine chandeliers, an arched entryway, and a temperature-controlled wine cellar displaying its regal elegance.

A romantic dinner at Tournedos Steakhouse in Rochester is the perfect way to celebrate your special occasion. There are many options for entrees here since it’s a steakhouse. 

A few of my top picks here are prime rib, filet mignon, chicken Marsala, and swordfish. There are also many seafood dishes available and sides like potato croquettes and sauteed spinach.

Best Restaurants In Rochester NY: Filet Mignon

The restaurant’s executive chef, Stephen Reiziger, prides himself on the unique seasonal menu that offers the finest steaks in Rochester, fresh seafood, and exceptional side dishes. 

As a result, Tournedos’ prices are very affordable considering the quality of food served and the romantic atmosphere. 

Lento

274 N Goodman St, Rochester // +15852713470

Lento sits at the Neighborhood of the Arts entrance, a community where art galleries and creative non-profits have made their home. A restaurant is born to serve this community, with patrons often walking among glass and ceramic sculptures. Lento has an artistic and cutting edge feel, but one that’s inviting to everyone.

To get to Lento, you have to make your way along the walkway that leads from Genesee Street and follow the green awning. A pair of heavy wooden doors greet you on the left, just as you reach the corner of Main Street and Exchange. 

Known for its locally revered cocktails, Lento is a fun and low-key place to enjoy delicious food. However, if you would rather have something on the lighter side, the buddha bowl is perfect. 

Best Restaurants In Rochester NY: Buddha Bowl

All juices and sauces are house-made with brown rice, edamame, tomatoes, bok choy, avocado, and carrots topped with shrimp and a spicy gingery sauce. 

Sometimes it’s just easier not to get up from your booth or table. In that case, try one of Lento’s salads or the buddha wontons as a starter with Lento’s aromatic jalapeno sauce.

Pane Vino On The River

175 N Water St, Rochester // +15852326090

Pane Vino has earned several awards for its menu and service, from Best Italian Restaurant to the Democrat and Chronicle’s Best Romantic Restaurant. In addition, this restaurant’s outdoor patio features specially designed heaters that provide warmth even when it gets cold outside.

Pane Vino offers a three-course set menu, with a choice of three or four items per course and an optional wine pairing. This option is an ideal chance for guests to try the best options from the menu.

One appetizer I recall is the oil-cured olives served with roasted almonds and cherry peppers. Unique and unusual yet insanely delicious.

Pane Vino’s menu offers a large selection of classic Italian dishes and daily specials that feature local and seasonal ingredients and fish. The wine list includes both whites and reds, as well as eleven signature cocktails. 

Best Restaurants In Rochester NY: Pasta

Pane Vino also includes a private dining room ideal for special occasions like birthdays, anniversaries, or even just for getting together with family.

Ristorante Lucano

1815 East Ave, Rochester // +15852443460

Family-owned and operated, Ristorante Lucano in downtown Rochester offers excellent Italian cuisine in a charming atmosphere. This restaurant’s interior design features Old World murals, tile flooring, textured walls, framed pictures of ancient Rome, and ornate ceiling tiles. 

Sconce lighting, candlelit tables, and crisp white linen tablecloths add a touch of romance, perfect for a special dinner.

Luciano’s menu offers a variety of options for every taste and budget. In addition, Ristorante Lucano has a great wine menu featuring red and white wines such as Lucano’s Chianti if you feel like complimenting your meal with a glass of excellent wine. 

This restaurant also has a fresh seafood menu with entrées like the seafood franchise and the grilled salmon with brown butter sauce. Do not forget to end the perfect Italian experience with a classic Tiramisu.

Best Restaurants In Rochester NY: Grilled Salmon

The Revelry

1290 University Ave, Rochester // +15853406454

Large paned windows give this neighborhood-themed restaurant in the Arts District a distinct look. Its rustic-chic style features exposed ceilings, stone walls, chandeliers, and a romantic fireplace – an ideal setting to enjoy a romantic date night. 

The menu includes seafood dishes such as poached halibut, baked stuffed clams, grilled swordfish, and meatloaf with mashed potatoes and veal osso buco.

However, even if you do not eat seafood or meat, you can still enjoy this restaurant with options such as spicy smoked tofu salad with arugula and tomatillo relish.

{image} The Revelry {image}

Best Restaurants In Rochester NY: Tofu Salad

Though a bit on the pricey side, The Revelry is worth visiting for the following reasons: It is home to Rochester’s only Southern tasting menu. The bar is made from recycled materials. 

They use local products and fresh ingredients whenever possible and offer an array of desserts, such as South Carolina pecan pie served with bourbon whipped cream.

Wrapping Up The 10 Best Restaurants In Rochester NY

Rochester, New York, is fast becoming one of upstate New York’s newest culinary hotspots. The burgeoning cultural food scene in Rochester also offers a barbecue and Caribbean food, which have become staples alongside farm-to-table dining and upscale American fare.

There’s nothing better (besides the smell of freshly baked cookies) than a great dining experience. Whether your tastes are eclectic or formal, gourmet or straightforward, there is something on this list that will delight and satisfy you. Virginia Woolf was right when she said, “One cannot think well, love well, sleep well if one has not dined well,” and one will surely dine well in Rochester and probably consider coming back.

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