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Here’s a quick round up of Rochester’s best of the best food & drink in 2018 according to locals.  Some surprises and some long standing hot spots reclaimed their crowns this year.  Take a peak!

Best Bakeries in Rochester

best food and drink in rochester

Daube’s Bakery

No surprise here that Daube’s Bakery came out on top in 2018.  From pastries, to wedding cakes, to gourmet hot breakfast… this needs to be on your radar whether you’re a local, you’re visiting Rochester, or moving to Rochester.

Gingerbread House Bakery

I have a beef with the Gingerbread House Bakery and you can read more about that here.  But it’s not what you think!  This place is serving up some seriously delicious sweets.

Head over and grab a beautifully baked-with-love-zero-calorie donut or any one of their many freshly baked breads.

Otto’s Bakery & Coffee Shop

Rochester’s best (I might be biased) bedroom community of Byron is home to this gem of a bakery.

Otto’s has been around so long, has changed almost zero, and for good reason.  You know what they say about not fixing what’s not broken.

Cupcakes, cookies, donuts, breads, the best 50 cent cup of coffee in the world, and the warmest people to enjoy it with is what you’ll find in this sleepy town’s beloved Bakery.

Run, don’t walk to Otto’s and tag us in your photos so we can live through you!

Best BBQ in Rochester

rochester's best food & drink

This was a tight race and if you’re looking for Rochester’s best BBQ you honestly cannot go wrong with any of these options.

John Hardy’s BBQ

With a north and south location, both staying busy all day long it’s no surprise to see John Hardy’s on the top of the list.  If you’re hoping to eat more than what’s considered socially acceptable this is your spot my friend.  They also cater!

Famous Dave’s Bar-B-Que

Dine-in, Carryout, and Catering options are available at Famous Dave’s Bar-B-Que in Rochester.  It’s a local favorite so give it a try if your visiting Rochester.

Roscoe’s Root Beer & Ribs

Sadly, this beloved spot has recently closed but local’s showed their love for the long standing family run business in this year’s Rochester’s Best of the Best Food & Drink.

Not much else to say here, if you missed out on this BBQ joint, make it up to them by trying out another local family run grub spot.

Best Beer Selection in Rochester

rochester's best beer

I know a few coffee snobs, and some wine snobs too; but if you consider yourself a beer snob this list is for you.  Locals voted and Rochester Restaurants with the best beer selection are as follows, in a very particular order.

Whistle Binkies on the Lake

Binkies shares the top spot with Forager Brewing Company.  Both deserving of the win.  Whistle Binkies on the Lake has an abundance of delicious grub to accompany that yummy glass of fancy peach infused beer you just bought.

Forager Brewing Company

Popular hangout for beer, coffee, and donuts, Forager Brewing Company has to be on your hit list.

Try the Zelkowitza flatbread pizza while you’re there sampling any one of their brewed-in-house fruited sours or hoppy creations.

The Tap House

Coming in at a close second, these guys have a wide variety of imports that will not disappoint; even if you’re not a ‘beer person’.

The Tap House offers trivia nights, arguably the best staff any bar has ever had, like ever.  And let’s not forget about the cheese curds and mini donuts while you’re there!

Best Breakfast in Rochester

rochesters best breakfast

I can personally vouch for all three of these breakfast hot spots but I’ve just got to insert an honorable mention here.

Five West Kitchen + Bar

Sister restaurant to The Loop, (another local fav) Five West Kitchen + Bar offers up one helluva’ menu and a seriously beautifully designed restaurant.

Head over there for the pork belly omelette, or just live through me and reread this post dedicated to it.  Yes, an entire blog post about an omelet; it’s just that good… and I’m a fat kid so yeah.

When it comes to lunch or dinner, the braised pork shanks or salmon with brussel sprouts are my go-to’s!

Brother’s Bar & Grill

A quick breakfast with co-workers on a weekday morning at Brother’s Bar & Grill?  There are fewer pleasures greater on this earth.

This is a no frills typa spot and you can rest assured you’ll get good service, a great bloody mary, and one plate of breakfast you shouldn’t humanly be able to finish but you’ll try cuz it’s just that good.

Canadian Honker Restaurant

A favorite spot for people visiting Rochester for business or medical reasons, the Canadian Honker Restaurant is a hole in one in terms of breakfast.

Look no further for the best breakfast skillets, burritos, and omelets.  They even have an espresso bar.

Best Ethnic Restaurants in Rochester

rochester best ethnic food


With two locations in Rochester, Nupa has remained the top spot for Ethnic food in Rochester.

Hunan Garden

There’s no shortage of options when it comes to Chinese food in Rochester but Hunan Garden was a runner up for Rochester’s best ethnic food.  I can’t vouch for this (my pick is New China) but who wants to argue with a majority vote of Rochester locals?

Pho Chau

Local favorite for beautifully crafted Vietnamese food is none other than Pho Chau.  The enormous bowls of Pho are so delish and according to their regulars, the Pad Thai is amazing.

Best Food Trucks in Rochester

rochesters best food trucks

Lucy’s Taco’s

I can’t stress enough how much you need everything on Lucy’s menu in your belly asap.  Taco’s made from scratch, with love, and the freshest ingredients along with the most authentic and delicious sides.

If you skip the side of chips and made-to-order guac you’re a sillly, silly human.

TRR Insider Tip: Bring cash and watch her Facebook page for when they’re open.   It’s a family business and hours are spotty but it’s worth the research, I promise!

Old Abe Coffee Shop

Downtown coffee cart/heaven sent piece of paradise for anyone living or working in Downtown Rochester, Old Abe Coffee Shop is rightfully at the top of the food truck list.

The bulletproof coffee cannot be beat.  Find his cart at local farmer’s markets and downtown Rochester in the warmer months.

Grab some ridiculously tasty, nutritious, and truly unique grub at his new brick and mortar shop.

Twisted Barrel Pizza

Piping hot, made-to-order, cheesy pizza.  I mean, is there anything better in life?  You’ll question everything after trying Twisted Barrel Pizza.

Their pizza has that authentic, wood fire vibe goin on and Rochester locals are feelin it.

Best Pizza in Rochester

rochesters best pizza

Speaking of pizza… residents have voted and Rochester’s best pizza is a toss up.

Pasquale’s Neighborhood Pizzeria

Pizza, salads, and calzones are what bring the crowds to Pasquale’s Neighborhood Pizzeria.   Grab a slice or a whole pie (if you’re smart) while you’re in downtown Rochester.

Unlike most pizza joints, they’ve got a gluten-free New York Style pie for those following a the GF diet.

Mr. Pizza

Taking the second and third place spots, both Mr. Pizza locations in Rochester got some love from resident voters.  Mr. Pizza has been a local favorite for generations.

My 50 year old aunt who’s lived in Florida for over 30 years still has them SHIP pizza’s to her home in Florida for special occasions.

The fact that they do that is amazing, and that should tell you why you need to make your next pizza stop, Mr. Pizza.

Have a tip on a new restaurant opening or event you’d like us to know about?  Send your TIP to jenna@therochesterreport.com