Our Recommendations

Rochester, NY


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Rochester, NY. It’s a city with a sometimes proud, sometimes troubled history. First settled in 1789 around the High Falls area, Rochester was initially a mill town. It would later become a pre-Civil War Underground Railroad hub. It is home to heroes like Susan B. Anthony, Frederick Douglas, and Jim ‘The Hammer’ Shapiro. Someone kept setting old lady Roc on fire in the early 1900s, but still, she persisted.

The city had many brilliant ideas, like building an airship in 1903, a subway system in the 1930s and 40s, and a fast ferry to get to Toronto in the early 2000s. All of these enterprises are now defunct. Rochester is a city of big, poorly laid plans.

Rochester is home to the greatest grocery chain the world has ever known (it’s Wegmans guys), the Garbage Plate (you will get to enjoy one whether you like it or not on Sunday), Kodak, and Festival Guy. We have good bagels, Jamaican Me Crazy coffee, and summer festivals galore. Parking is rarely difficult, there is rarely traffic, and the schools don’t close on account of snow (although they do occasionally close on account of cold).

Most importantly, Rochester is where Jake & Liz met. Which trumps any history of Susie or Freddie or the Bausch & Lomb Berlin Wall debacle.

We love Rochester. We hope you can find something within ‘our’ city that strikes your fancy too!

Food & Drink


Donuts Delite

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1700 Culver Rd

Breakfast
Everyday 6am – 9pm

Cannoli Donuts. You have to ask – they keep them in a fridge. DD also serves a full diner breakfast. And their breakfast pizza is… greasy.

$3 – $10


Balsam Bagels

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288 Winton Rd. N

Breakfast
Everyday 7am – 3pm

Best bagels ever. Liz likes an Everything Bagel with Chocolate Chip Cream Cheese. Jake likes that Liz enjoys bagels. And also Bagel-dogs.

$5


Boxcar (BXCR)

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127 Railroad St

Drinks, Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Tues – Sun 8am – 7pm/12pm

BXCR specializes in donuts & fried chicken. They even combine the two. They have a full bar – coffee and alcohol. We often go here when everywhere has a weekend brunch wait.

$3 – $12


The Frog Pond

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652 Park Ave

Breakfast, Lunch
Everyday 7/8am – 2/3pm

If you’re looking for a full breakfast or a sugar coma, Frog Pond has you covered. All of their food is good, but their ‘Famous FP Sautéed Banana Pancakes’ are amazing – and will require a post meal nap. They also serve mimosas.

$6 – $12


Hart’s

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10 Winthrop St

Breakfast, Coffee, Groceries
Everyday 7am – 9pm

Hart’s is a family grocery store with an awesome grill. Liz gets the ‘Hart’s Breakfast Sandwich’ and Jake gets Corned Beef & Hash. Hart’s carries a bunch of locally produced items, has a good beer selection, and almost always has Jillian Pies in stock.

$1 – $10


Mega Wegs

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3195 Monroe Ave

Everything
Everyday 24/7

This is it! It’s the Wegmans Flagship Store – unarguably the best grocery store in the US. Overpriced, delicious pay-by-weight food bar. Sub shop (chicken finger subs!) Coffee shop (nitro cold brew!) Full bakery (cannoli dip!) The best.

$1 – $20


Dogtown

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691 Monroe Ave

Lunch, Dinner
Mon – Sat 11am – 11pm

Small, ‘gourmet’ hotdog shop. Liz likes a white hot Caribbean Wild Dog. Jake likes a red hot Split Plate. Best plates in Rochester. Decent Vegetarian options too!

$4 – $10


Steadfast

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200 East Ave

Brunch, Lunch, Dinner, Drinks
Everyday 10am – 12am

Good booze, beers, food, and atmosphere. Owner is always around and very friendly. Only problem: it’s a Bills bar.

$5 – $20


Magnolia’s

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366 Park Ave

Brunch, Lunch, Dinner
Everyday 10am – 9pm

Tomato & Artichoke soup is delicious. Soups, salads, sandwiches and pizzas. President Obama ate here once. His order was lame. Beer. Wine. Mimosas.

$10 – $15


Aladdin’s

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646 Monroe Ave, Rochester
8 Schoen Pl, Pittsford

Lunch, Dinner
Everyday 11am/12pm – 9pm/10pm

Healthy, Mediterranean style food. Vegetarian, GF & Nut-free friendly. Two locations – one downtown and one in Pittsford (typically busier) canalside in Schoen Place (very pretty).

$6 – $10


Rohrbach’s Beer Hall

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97 Railroad St

Beer, Brunch, Dinner
Wed – Sat 10am/2pm/4pm – 10pm

Rohrbach’s downtown satellite brewpub, offering a large tap list of Rohrbach’s brews, pizza, salad and other grubby fair. Brunch on Saturdays (10am).

$7 – $15


Good Luck

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50 Anderson Ave

Drinks, Dinner
Wed – Sat 4:30pm – 2am

If you like hip, dimly lit spaces with neat architecture and killer cocktails, Good Luck has that. You’ll likely need to call for a reservation to sit down for dinner, so we typically get their early and sit at the bar (you can also order food at the bar). This is Jake’s favorite place. The Good Luck Burger is typically awesome (although can be hit-or-miss).

$10 – $40


Bill Gray’s

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18 Locations

Fast Food
Everyday 10:30am – 9pm

Very good fast food style burgers. Decent garbage plates. Locations surround the city. There is a BG’s at the Museum of Play, but it has limited hours.

$3 – $10


Genesee Brew House

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25 Cataract Street

Beer, Lunch, Dinner
Everyday 11am – 9pm/10pm

If it is nice out, order a beer &/or food at the bar & tell them you’re taking it to the roof. You can sample beer flights in the tasting room downstairs for $2.

$5 – $15


Daily Refresher

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293 Alexander St

Drinks
Tues – Sat 4pm – 2am

Antique-parlor vibe cocktail bar with 200+ whiskeys and spirits. Fun, knowledgable bar tenders, most have mustaches . There is a food truck out back with good french fries.

$8 – $15


Nox

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302 N. Goodman Street

Drinks, Dinner
Everyday 4pm – 12am

A cozy, literary themed cocktail bar in Village Gate – hey, that’s where our ceremony is! Most of the drinks and edibles selections have a nerdy connotation. The name ‘Nox’ is based on a Harry Potter spell.

$8 – $15


Starry Nites

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696 University Ave

Coffee
Everyday 8am/9am – 10pm/12am

Chill coffee shop in a flat iron style building. Baked goods and light foods available. Indoor and outdoor seating. Typically offering some GF options. If they have Jamaican Me Crazy coffee brewed, it’s the best coffee.

$2 – $8


Java’s

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16 Gibbs St

Coffee
Everyday 6:30am – 12am/1am

Coffee shop next Eastman School of Music. Baristas can be standoffish (hit-or-miss), but it is a good spot for people watching – a real mish-mash of people. Also, the Capri Cookies are Liz’s favorite.

$3 – $6


Glen Edith

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44 Elton St
23 Somerton St

Coffee, Beer, Wine
Everyday 8am – 5pm

Really good espresso / pour over coffee /Nitro cold brew. Two locations – both in neat, walkable areas of the city (NOTA and Park Ave)

$2 – $6


SPoT

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200 East Ave

Coffee, Dessert, Light Foods
Everyday 7am – 11pm/12am

Coffee shop in an old Chevrolet sales building. Part of a local chain of coffee shops. Ok desserts, coffee and light foods. The atmosphere is cool though.

$2 – $10


Cheesy Eddie’s

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602 South Ave

Treats
Mon – Sat 8/9am – 4/6pm

Cheesecake, carrot cake, and cookies. I have never eaten anything from Cheesy Eddie’s that wasn’t amazing. Both Liz & Jake are bonkers for their ‘Jillian Delights’.

$2 – $20


loading map – please wait…

Donuts Delite: 43.177133, -77.557602
Balsam Bagels: 43.150931, -77.551983
Boxcar (BXCR): 43.163548, -77.587508
The Frog Pond: 43.148405, -77.578189
Hart’s: 43.156689, -77.597646
Mega Wegs: 43.106322, -77.541943
Dogtown: 43.143861, -77.589710
Owl House: 43.150169, -77.601002
Magnolia’s: 43.149903, -77.585878
Aladdin’s: 43.092906, -77.513983
Rohrbach’s Beer Hall: 43.163307, -77.586956
Good Luck: 43.157947, -77.584628
Bill Gray’s: 43.196422, -77.594328
Genesee Brew House: 43.163566, -77.614944
Daily Refresher: 43.154087, -77.595212
Nox: 43.158927, -77.584067
Starry Nites: 43.155803, -77.584052
Java’s: 43.157300, -77.601547
Glen Edith: 43.155484, -77.579477
SPoT: 43.156255, -77.598773
Cheesy Eddie’s: 43.143858, -77.604537

Things To Do


Museum of Play

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1 Manhattan Square

Everyday 10am/12pm – 5/8pm

The Strong houses the world’s largest collection of historical materials related to play – and is an awesome place to play in general. Huge video game exhibit. Butterfly garden. Fun for adults and kids.

$10 – $20


George Eastman House

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900 East Ave

Tues – Sun 10am – 5pm

The world’s oldest museum dedicated to photography on the estate of Kodak founder George Eastman. Really neat place with rotating and permanent exhibits. Parts of the mansion and gardens have been refurbished. Tours are available.

$5 – $15


WALL\THERAPY

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Various Locations

Everyday, 24/7

WALL\THERAPY is community project using public murals as a means to transform the urban landscape. Checking out murals (mapped here: www.wall-therapy.com) is a neat way to explore the city by foot, bike, or car. Rochester has a bike rental system if it’s a nice day!

FREE


High Falls

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Brown’s Race

Everyday 24/7

High Falls is a sweet district in the city featuring a natural waterfall and a bridge spanning the river. It is accessible from either Brown’s Race or The Genesee Brew House – we typically prefer the Brew House for beer related reasons.

FREE


Park Ave

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Park Ave

Everyday 24/7

The ‘hip’ street in Rochester, Park Ave is very walkable and lined with coffee shops, restaurants, bakeries, and tschotschkie shops. Stever’s Candy Shop is also on Park Ave. Win. It’s a nice stroll on a Fall day.

FREE


The MAG

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500 University Ave

Weds – Sun 11 – 5

Rochester’s Memorial Art Gallery is cool if you’re artsy fartsy. Usually have neat exhibits inside. We like the outside area the best – and that area is free. It is also a good starting point to explore NOTA (Neighborhood of the Arts) and grab coffee at Starry Nights or a drink at Edibles.

FREE – $15


Radio Social

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20 Carlson Rd

Everyday 12/3pm – 10pm/12am

A full bar paired with bowling, ping pong, lawn games, and lounge areas in a revitalized warehouse. Adult playtime!

$5- $20


Erie Canal

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Everyday, 24/7

The Erie Canal runs through Rochester, and continues to operate a lock system. Some of the best places to walk along the canal are at Schoen Place in Pittsford (no lock, but Lock 32 Brewery is there!), Genesee Valley Park (no lock, but several neat bridges), Lock 33 Park (working lock!) or in Fairport (sweet lift bridge that crosses canal at an angle). The Erie Canal trail is Liz’s favorite place to run in Rochester – it goes almost forever.

FREE


Mount Hope Cemetery

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1133 Mt Hope Ave

Everyday 7am – 7pm

Yes, it’s a cemetery – but the old part is really beautiful – especially in the Fall. Both Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglas are buried here. Women line up at Susie’s gravesite to pay homage after voting each year. Jake & Liz have been known to grab hot drinks and stroll around the cemetery for an hour.

FREE


Gro-Moore Farms

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2811 E Henrietta Rd

Everyday 8am – 7pm

If you’re looking to get in the Fall / Halloween spirit, Gro Moore farms offers a pumpkin patch, younger kids Fall themed activities, farm animals to look at and pet, and Fall treats like cider and donuts.

FREE – $


Artisan Works

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565 Blossom Rd

Fri, Sat, Sun 11am/12pm – 5/6pm

If you want to be inside, and you like to look at weird collections of mostly old stuff, Artisan Works is your place.

$8 – $12


House of Guitars

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645 Titus Ave

Everyday 10am/12pm – 5/9pm

It’s advertised as the largest guitar store in the world (questionable), and it has some neat history. The  store kinda looks like a rummage sale. If you are into music or guitars it’s worth checking out.

FREE – $


loading map – please wait…

Museum of Play: 43.153025, -77.600871
George Eastman House: 43.152852, -77.580017
WALL/THERAPY: 43.156578, -77.608846
High Falls: 43.163566, -77.614944
Park Ave: 43.146057, -77.583434
The MAG: 43.157301, -77.589577
Radio Social: 43.150417, -77.561061
Erie Canal: 43.091159, -77.512234
Mount Hope Cemetery: 43.128653, -77.620677
Gro-Moore Farms: 43.064928, -77.609110
Artisan Works: 43.148972, -77.556581
House of Guitars: 43.210461, -77.599293

Getting Around

Rochester’s public transit system leaves much to be desired. 

We have an airport (ROC). It’s small. You can rent a car or grab an Uber or Lyft from the airport. 

Rochester also has Uber and Lyft around the city. 

There is a bus system (RTS) with routes throughout the city, but the routes aren’t focused in the most desirable areas of the city, and the schedule is weak-sauce. There is no bus to/from the airport.

If you’re interested in fitness, Rochester offers a bike-share system called Pace. The cost is $1/30 minutes, and it is pay-as-you-go. You will need to download the Pace app (each person needs their own app) and pay with a credit card, PayPal, or Apple Pay through the app. You can also find bike locations via the app.

Most of the city is very walkable and bikeable.