Located on the eastern border of Genesee County, there is a picturesque community in Western New York called LeRoy. First settled in 1797, this village is nestled along the beautiful Oatka Creek. Situated about halfway between Buffalo and Rochester, stately Victorian homes line the streets in a quiet setting. LeRoy is conveniently located at the intersection of Routes 5 and 19, only three miles from Exit 47 of the NYS Thruway and the 490 Expressway into Rochester. This quaint, convenient location is also home to some great places to eat in LeRoy.
LeRoy is known as the birthplace of Jell-O. Visitors from around the globe visit the Jell-O museum and LeRoy House museum. The museum staff often make restaurant recommendations to their visitors. Here are some favorite, must-try restaurants in LeRoy.
5 Must-Try Restaurants in LeRoy, New York
63 Lake St. // 585-768-6270
Just over the railroad tracks is D & R Depot. There is no “wrong side of the tracks” at this LeRoy restaurant.
All aboard to the D&R Depot. This former train station was transformed into a restaurant that serves up a tasty portion of hospitality and a variety of quality food. You’ll be greeted like family by owner Nancy Nickerson and her partner Sean Valdez.
People from all around come for the house specialty – homemade pot pies.
The Conductor’s Special French onion soup is quite popular. It’s served with mini scissors for cutting the stringy, melty cheese. A basket of rolls and muffins made from scratch will melt in your mouth.
Nancy and Sean, who oversee all kitchen and catering operations, keep up on dietary needs such as gluten-free and sugar-free options, but there are still lots of old-time favorites.
They have a unique feature — While you are eating, if a train goes by, you get a wooden token that you can use the next time for a free dessert. The flaky cream puff with rich vanilla custard drizzled with hot fudge is my favorite.
How about an Elk burger? It’s red meat that tastes like beef, but is low in fat and cholesterol, and served with fresh fruit.
If you are not from the area, try a Western New York specialty – beef on weck. It’s tender, sliced beef piled high on a salted weck (or kimmelweck) roll, rarely seen outside the confines of WNY.
Every year there is a counting contest at holiday time—snowflakes, reindeer, nutcrackers, or angels strategically placed around the dining area. Whoever comes closest to the total number wins a prize, which is often cash.
The restaurant’s elaborate train-themed décor changes with every season, with the centerpiece display being an upside-down diorama suspended from the ceiling.
At Christmas, there’s a fully decorated tree with packages and stuffed animals surrounding it and the whole scene encircled by a model train.
For one of the best places to eat in LeRoy, blow the whistle and make a stop at D&R Depot where every customer truly matters. You’ll feel the love from the warm smiles and the warm food. Your heart will be full and your stomach too.
One Main Street // 585-768-6007
Looking for fancy dining in a casual, friendly atmosphere? Make reservations at the Farmer’s Creekside Tavern & Inn, a must-try restaurant in LeRoy, NY.
Farmer’s Creekside Tavern & Inn was built in 1820. In 2004 a catastrophic fire consumed the building. Bill Farmer had it rebuilt and brought it back to life.
In the kitchen, you will find Lucy. Lucy is the name of a French-top stove they purchased from a French restaurant in Philadelphia. She needed some love as in the “I Love Lucy” show.
Farmer’s Creekside Tavern & Inn has another French-top stove called Ricky and a small electric one downstairs called little Ricky in their bakery. Luscious loaves of bread are baked on-site that you can purchase with your dinner.
Food and Beverage Director, Drew Tschappat, is a Level II Certified Sommelier. Most people choose a dish and then wine to go with it.
Drew has a curated conversation with the guests to find a wine they like first and then pairs a perfect dish with that wine. Drew has great connections and obtains wines that you won’t find in most American restaurants.
His focus is on natural wines, or minimal interference wines, meaning they take the grapes and let them turn into wine. Quality is paramount.
Wine may come from the Mount Etna region of Sicily, because of all the volcanic soil there, the conditions make the wine unlike others in the world, with examples including such as Nerello Mascalese and Susucaru Rosso. They are the only ones in this region who have access to those specialty wines.
This historic restaurant offers unique dishes not found at other restaurants in LeRoy, giving people a reason to come out.
Under a thirty-mile drive from Rochester, their menu distinguishes itself from all the restaurant choices there. They endeavor to get people out of their comfort zone and experience new dishes like Poutine, inspired by the Canadian dish, which includes sweet potato fries, duck confit, cheese curds, and duck demi.
Enjoy their year-round, warmed outdoor patio with a firepit and full-service bar.
Sunday brunch is a great time to sit outside and have a Mimosa. Wait until you taste the apple jack-scented cinnamon French toast, local New York State syrup, and candied pecans with raspberry Chantilly.
Little goes to waste because of the sustainability program in their kitchen. They recycle the leftover bread, run it through a grinder, and sift it to create their Recycled Chocolate Cake with chocolate ganache. A happy ending indeed.
For a unique dining experience, try this restaurant for a great place to eat in LeRoy, NY.
39 Main Street // 585-768-6707
This hometown favorite still serves Dolly’s famous spaghetti sauce and meatballs, as well as newly added chef items.
One dish called Arancini is fried risotto stuffed with mozzarella and peas on a bed of Dolly’s famous sauce.
Or, start with a local specialty, chicken wings, made with garlic-parm, BBQ, or Buffalo style sauces. Maybe you prefer the soup of the day, made fresh that morning.
Choose from seafood, pasta, or steak paired with a field greens salad served with Dolly’s Italian dressing or the Cranberry Nut Salad. Then again, you can’t “beet” the Beet Salad.
Maybe a cutlet is your thing. One great choice is the Pizziola smothered in mushrooms, onions, artichokes, and marinara, then topped with mozzarella cheese.
If you’re still “fishing” for a dish, the Broiled Cod is a flaky white fish broiled Italian style. Or, there is always grilled salmon or linguine and clams.
You don’t have to walk the Las Vegas strip to find a hearty strip steak right here in the heart of LeRoy at L.B. Grand.
L.B. Grand is continuously growing and changing and now has a kid’s menu. You may also get in on the fun when they have Team Trivia.
Having great food in LeRoy, NY is not a trivial pursuit at this fine dining restaurant.
49 Main Street // (585) 768-1000.
Jim and Kristie Frascati are the owners of Capish! Brick Oven Pizza-Ristorante, established in 2017. C
apish! is one of the newest restaurant additions to the town of LeRoy, New York, located in the renovated building that was built as the Bank of Leroy in 1889.
After a couple of lives with other restaurants, the building went into disuse before its renovation turned it into a must-try restaurant in LeRoy.
Frascati says, “As I kid, growing up in Altavilla Milicia, a small town about 40 km. east of Palermo, Sicily, the word “CAPISH!” was quite common to me when my mom would constantly discipline me for misbehaving. It means basically, do you understand? I learned LeRoy and the surrounding area has a large Italian population and has historical significance.”
Following several months of renovation, Capish! Pizza-Ristorante was born. The wall had to come down to get the oven in, but now it is rebuilt, and transformed into their vision of a touch of Italy in LeRoy.
Head Chef Gondola is Frascati’s nephew. Born in the States, his parents moved to Italy when he was 3 years old; he grew up in Sicily and went to culinary school. After graduation, his uncle invited him back to the States to cook at his restaurant.
What Gondola likes about LeRoy is the small-town feel; everybody knows one another.
When you step over the threshold of Capish! you enter the atmosphere of Italy. The shelves hold artifacts and handmade treasures of Sicily. The pictures draw you into each scene like a virtual tour; different parts of Italy have different specialties. In the southern part, it’s more seafood, other regions feature grilled polenta, meat, and fresh pasta.
His uncle provides actual tours to Italy if you want to travel beyond the restaurant.
Gondola says people who go on the tours come back to Capish! and say how his dishes taste just like the ones they ate in Sicily.
The Italian-style kitchen at Capish! serves authentic Italian food including fresh pasta, soups, and pizzas.
One specialty pizza is named after the chef – The Gondola with tomato sauce topped with fresh mozzarella, prosciutto, and arugula, finished with shaved parmesan cheese and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.
Gondola plans to create a pistachio cream pizza with shrimp and cherry tomatoes.
This is the only restaurant in the area to truly serve authentic, creative Italian dishes. Natural, fresh flavors using fresh seafood, vegetables, fresh (not dry) herbs, and seasonings are the order of the day.
The menu expands with dishes of beef, chicken, veal, seafood, and fish. The Friday fish fry, a Western New York tradition, is a favorite.
You will see and taste the difference. When you get your food, the taste of Italy is on your plate. No matter the dish, the presentation of your meal will look and tastes great, and be appealing to both the eye and palate.
The Frascati family wants people from all over to come, eat, and experience the warm atmosphere. Taste a new world created from an old world; a place that is welcoming, always changing and evolving, creating their own style.
You need to get to this great restaurant in LeRoy. Capish?
6492 Main Street // +1 585-343-6972
Venture out of the village and follow Route 5 to the Red Osier Landmark Restaurant located at 6492 East Main Street. While the address may technically put Red Osier in Stafford, it is considered part of LeRoy.
Any time of year is delightful here, but especially during the Wonderland of Lights in December. In 2019, 2.5 million lights decorated the property inside and out.
Every year there is a theme. For 2019, the theme is a tribute to the Buffalo Bills, the local football team. Tim Adams and Steve Foster, co-owners, said this theme caught the attention of the Buffalo Bills and Good Morning America on Twitter and social media.
Why all the fanfare? This restaurant is legendary for its prime rib, cut to your preference tableside. It is a premier experience. The meat is beautifully aged and marbled, and the quality and craft are second to none.
With a variety of cuts ranging from the Petite at ten ounces to the Call at five pounds (!), you won’t walk away hungry at this LeRoy restaurant.
Popular signature dinners are any combination of tender prime rib, filet mignon, or lobster tail. The entrée starts and ends with much more. Sweet breads and rolls are served along with a soup or salad. I recommend the spinach salad with warm bacon dressing.
As you enjoy the atmosphere and excellent service, end your experience in style. Cakes or pies for dessert can be nice, but why not have something incredible? The Incredible Dessert is created with French vanilla ice cream on a brownie, topped with hot fudge and homemade whipped cream.
If you want a dessert with “flare”, get the Bananas Foster Flambé for Two — a New Orleans dessert since 1952. It will flash before your eyes as it is prepared tableside with flambéed bananas over French vanilla ice cream, covered with caramel cognac sauce and whipped cream.
Whatever you decide to eat, make sure you bring your appetite to one of these restaurants in LeRoy!
Which one of these restaurants in LeRoy, NY do you most want to try? Let me know in the comments section below!
Travel writer and owner of the blog. My work has been featured on Fodors, Eater.com, International Living, and Great Escape Publishing, among many others. My story? Nearly six years ago, I left my job at an Oklahoma City law firm and embarked on a journey around the world. At the time, I thought I would only be gone for 6 months, but the more I traveled, the longer my bucket list became. Flashpacker describes how I travel. Rather than traveling as the normal world wise backpacker and staying in hostel dorms, I prefer a more comfortable experience, and typically stay in private rooms, take Ubers instead of taxis, and now use a suitcase instead of a backpack. Foodie, on the other hand, describes one of the key reasons why I travel. I love to pick a central “base camp” and then explore the surrounding area, really immersing myself in the culture and interacting with the people, and enjoying and exploring the food of an area is an essential part of this experience.