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Rochester, New York

Local Details

Learn more about Rochester, New York using the City Guide below. Plan a trip, find local shopping centers, or just discover what makes Rochester, New York so great!

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City Guide

Rochester is a city in the Finger Lakes region of New York state.


Rochester is known as the "Flour City" and the "Flower City." It began as a small township around a mill. When the Erie Canal was built through Rochester, the city became a major trade center for grain shipped from the Midwest to the East, as well as the supplies that were shipped back to the Midwest. Rochester's strategic location on the Genesee river allowed for the construction of numerous flour mills in the city.

Thanks to the philanthropy of George Eastman, the industrialist who lived in Rochester and founded several world-renowned institutions, Rochester is home to the Eastman Kodak Co., the Eastman School of Music, and the George Eastman House photography museum.

Rochester has a history of progressivism. Large numbers of freed slaves lived in the city and Frederick Douglass's paper, The North Star was printed there. Susan B. Anthony hailed from Rochester and her influence helped lead the University of Rochester to accept women in 1900.

Since World War II, Rochester saw a decline in population but has also seen periods of urban renewal funded by industry, such as Xerox. In the 60's and 70's, the city became known as the leading Jazz town in upstate New York. Today, the city holds its annual International Jazz Festival every June.

Get in

Rochester has a small international airport to which air fares are generally expensive. Some of the best deals can be found with JetBlue when flying from JFK Airport in New York City. There is a Greyhound bus station which is located in the heart of downtown. There is also a train station with four daily trains from New York City. Rochester is also on the route from Chicago and Toronto.

Get around

To see the city, a car is a virtual necessity. This is definitely a drivers' city. Either bring your own car or rent one on the arrival floor of the airport. Outside of downtown, the suburbs are not very walkable with sidewalks and pedestrian crossings placed sporadically. There are bus lines run by the Regional Transit System (RTS), fares are $1.25 for a single ride.



  • Susan B. Anthony House, 17 Madison St., +1 585-235-6124. Winter Hours (Labor Day to Memorial Day) W-Su, 11AM-4PM; Summer Hours (Memorial Day to Labor Day), Tu-Su, 11AM-5PM. Highlights of life of the famous women's rights activist, including influences, the many reforms she worked for (suffrage, abolition, temperance, education, and a purse of her own among them), her friendship with Frederick Douglass, and her trial after voting illegally in 1872. $3-6 admission.

Museums and galleries

  • George Eastman House: International Museum of Photography and Film, 900 East Ave, +1 585-271-3361 (fax: +1 585-271-3970), [2]. Tu-Sa 10AM-5PM. Offers guided tours of the mansion and photographic exhibits. $8 admission.
  • Memorial Art Gallery
  • Rochester Museum and Science Center, Exhibits for children and adults.
  • Strasenburgh Planetarium
  • Mount Hope Cemetery, Mt. Hope Ave. Frederick Douglass, Susan B. Anthony and other historical figures are buried in this beautiful old cemetery. Also a great place for running.
  • Susan B. Anthony House, 17 Madison St.
  • Seneca Park Zoo, 2222 St. Paul St, The entire zoo can easily be enjoyed in an afternoon.
  • Artisan Works, A non-profit organization housed in a huge warehouse, Artisanworks contains a labyrinth of hallways and levels where every square inch is covered with art in all media (but mostly painting and sculpture). Everything is for sale. Provides studio space to dozens of artists, some of whom may be working when you visit, and all of whom are happy to chat about what they're making. Also contains the Triangle Theater, a 30-seat movie theater which features films by student and local filmmakers. $12/adults, $8/students & seniors.
  • Strong Museum of Play, Children's Museum.


  • Rochester Rhinos Soccer
  • Rochester Redwings Baseball, AAA team of the Minnesota Twins, the Redwings have a beautiful ballpark situated downtown with convenient and cheap ($5) parking. On the 4th of July and certain other summer nights, there are free fireworks shows with admission. Food is a bit better than average -- standard stuff plus local microbrews, Starbucks coffee and crepes are available.
  • Rochester Americans Hockey
  • Rochester Knighthawks Lacrosse
  • Rochester Razorsharks Basketball
  • Rochester Rattlers Lacrosse
  • Rochester Raiders Arena Football


As shocking as this may sound, outside of New York, L.A. and Chicago, Rochester is probably the best city for film buffs. There are a ridiculous number of festivals throughout the year. These include ImageOut (gay and lesbian), Jewish, High Falls (women), and even Polish. The venues range from the internationally-known Eastman House to a lowly (but thrifty) second-run multiplex.

  • Dryden Theatre, 900 East Ave (at the George Eastman House), +1 585-271-3361. The Eastman House, a major not-for-profit film and photographic museum, houses the Dryden Theatre. The Dryden shows a wide variety of Hollywood classics, international and independent films -- literally something different every night of the week. The programming is thoughtful and cutting-edge, with frequent visits by directors and actors. Nearly all films begin at 8PM and are preceded by a brief film talk. Tickets $4-6, except during special events such as visiting filmmakers.

  • The Little Theatre, 240 East Ave, +1 585-232-3906. Run by a not-for-profit corporation, the legendary Little shows a wide variety of foreign, independent and classic films. There is also a cafe (serves a full dinner menu along with wine and beer), sometimes with live music. Tickets cost $7 most nights, except for the weekend matinées where costs drop to $5. Discounts are available for seniors and students.
  • UR Cinema Group. At the University of Rochester, Hoyt Hall, +1 585-275-5911. UoR's own student run movie group. Movies are shown on Fridays and Saturdays, as well as most Thursdays while Fall and Spring semesters are in session. All Thursday movies are free admission; for Fridays and Saturdays, tickets cost $3 for the general public, and $2 for UR students. All movies have multiple showings.
  • Cinema Theatre, 957 S. Clinton Ave, +1 585-271-1785. Rochester's oldest neighborhood movie theater. Always a double feature (both second-run, mix of foreign/indie and standard Hollywood fare), this theater also has a resident cat who sometimes will sit on your lap during the show.
  • Cinemark Movies 10, 2613 West Henrietta Road, +1 585-292-0303. Second-run theater showing mostly mainstream Hollywood films. But prices are low: a high of $2.25 Fri/Sat nights to a low of 50 cents on Mondays.

Theater and live music

  • Geva Theatre, 75 Woodbury Blvd, +1 585-232-1366. A very nice theatre, offering a choice from two different plays at any given time. Discounts are available for students and seniors.
  • Comix Cafe, 3450 Winton Place Plaza, +1 585-424-5233. Billed as the only comedy club in Rochester, the cafe provides both comics in the showroom and booze in the bar up front. Be warned, however, that attending a show requires both a ticket and a minimum amount of food purchased per person (or face a surcharge). While the food is reasonable in taste, the prices are pretty steep and can result in a high hidden cost.
  • Water Street Music Hall, 204 N Water Street, +1 585-546-3887. A wide variety of live music several nights out of the week. There is also a reasonably priced bar inside.
  • Penny Arcade Rock Club, 4785 Lake Avenue, +1 585-621-ROCK. A rock club near Ontario Beach park and former Fast Ferry building. Mostly metal/hard rock bands.
  • BugJar, 219 Monroe Ave, +1 585-454-2966. The walls display various works of art created by local artists, and the stage area/dance floor has an entire roomful of furniture arranged on the ceiling. Drink specials and live entertainment are featured here nightly, presenting popular local and national musical artists.
  • Downstairs Cabaret Theatre, 20 Windsor St, +1 585-325-4370. A tiny theatre with seating just a few feet from the stage. It's best to call before hand to buy tickets and get directions.
  • The Eastman Theatre, East Main Street, see the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, the Rochester Ballet, the Rochester Opera Group, and a slew of other cultural activities in one of the most striking buildings in Rochester.


  • High Falls. Featuring a waterfall in the center of downtown, this is a nice area to walk around.
  • Park Ave. There are a lot of great trendy shops in this district, and it's serviced by the RTS service. However, it's definitely not an entire day activity, and things close relatively early.
  • The South Wedge. A triangular neighborhood bordered by the Genesee and I490. The South Wedge is what some may call an "up and coming" neighborhood. Many night life options and a growing number of shops and businesses. Located close to Alexander street as well as the University of Rochester and Mt. Hope Cemetery.
  • Grove Place. Small residential neighborhood in downtown Rochester. Full of beautiful 19th century townhouses. Several good restaurants are in the neighborhood and it is in easy walking distance to Eastman Theater and the Eastman School of Music as well as the Memorial Art Gallery.



  • Rochester International Jazz Festival. The Rochester International Jazz Festival was founded in 2002 and is one of nation’s largest and fastest growing music festivals. Held in 18 venues all within walking distance the Festival offers a mix of free and ticketed events for people of all ages. It attracts fans from the U.S. and around the world who come to hear one of the most multi-dimensional, international and diverse artist lineups presented at a major music festival.
  • Lilac Festival. For ten days every May, Rochester celebrates its community -- and its flowers, in beautiful Highland Park. Renowned park designer Frederick Law Olmstead was responsible for final development of Highland Park. The park's lilac collection was started by horticulturist John Dunbar in 1892 with 20 varieties. Today, over 500 varieties of lilacs cover 22 of Highland Park's 155 acres. The usual summer festival staples, such as kiddie rides and food vendors, but also tons of activities for kids, a parade, a festival-sponsored 5K and a packed schedule of music and entertainment (past acts include Pat McGee Band, Ben Lee and Mike Doughty). Everything is free.
  • Park Avenue Fest
  • Corn Hill Arts Festival


  • Seabreeze, At the junction of Irondequoit Bay and Lake Ontario, Seabreeze combines the features of an old-fashioned amusement park with the technology and thrills of a modern water park. Has an original 1920s carousel with hand-carved horses.

Winter Sports

  • Bristol Mountain, ski in the winter and hike in the summer. Normally the hill opens for skiing shortly after Thanksgiving, it all depends on the snow though. For more information see the official site. From Rochester take Interstate 390 south to exit 10 (Avon). Take SR 5/20 East to SR 64 south. Bristol Mountain will be 10 miles on your right.


  • Cobb's Hill Reservoir Park. If you happen to be in the area, Cobb's Hill provides a great panoramic view of downtown. Located on the corner of Culver and Monroe, it is an easy walk from the cafes on Park Ave. Large duck pond, baseball diamond, tennis courts and a nice (although steep) trail to the top of the hill, where the reservoir is located.
  • Erie Canal Trail, Though the walking paths are open year round, the canal is drained, kept empty, and less scenic between November and May. During the winter time, however, the canal trail is virtually deserted, and provides an excellent place to snowshoe and cross-country ski. There is no admission fee, and free parking is available at Genesee park. The trail and facilities are open from 6AM-9PM daily.
  • Genesee Valley Greenway, Formerly a railroad bed, this mostly gravel trail is perfect for off road cycling/walking/running. It follows along the Genesee river, cutting through the rolling farmland south of Rochester. 50+ miles depending upon how far south they've developed the path.
  • The Hi Tor, A short drive from Rochester in the village of Naples lies this spur off of the Finger Lakes Trail system. The Hi Tor provides heavy duty steep grade hiking/mountain biking. Leads to a beautiful hill top view of Canandaigua Lake.
  • East Ave, One should not miss a drive down historic East Ave, with the mansions of Rochester's past barons still mostly in tact, you can really see a history lesson of the Rochester area. Another great place to see off of East Ave is the Sandringham/Ambassador Drive neighborhood, some of the greatest residential architecture in Rochester can be viewed here.


As mentioned above, Rochester is known for and is home to Eastman Kodak Company. A few years ago, after the most recent round of layoffs, though, the largest employer in the city is now the University of Rochester, which includes Strong Memorial Hospital. It is also the home of industrial giants Bausch & Lomb, Inc.and Xerox Corporation. Other major companies in the Rochester metro include Paychex, the High Falls Brewing Co. (formerly known as the Genesee Brewing Co.): brewer of Honey Brown beer; and Bird's Eye: Producer of frozen and packaged foods.


  • Rochester Public Market, 280 North Union St, +1 585-428-6907. Established in 1905, the public market is full of stalls and vendors. Fun to walk around, it is also an excellent place to purchase cheap locally grown produce. Open Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturdays.
  • Thread, 654 South Avenue, +1 585-232-7110. Hip clothing and gift boutique in the South Wedge. Thread carries clothing brands such as Upper Playground, Heavy Rotation, Beautiful/Decay, Paul Frank, Gentle Fawn, Soundgirl, Poketo, American Apparel, Squidfire, Hey Unite, Burn This Forever, Moneyhunt, Uzi, WESC, Public Domain and Scrapbook.
  • Marketplace Mall
  • The Mall At Greece Ridge Center
  • Eastview Mall, The premier mall in the Rochester metro area, this mall contains most of the stores the average American is looking for, as well as a few upscale stores not found in many malls in Upstate New York. As of 2007 some stores of notation are Aldo, Ann Taylor, Apple, Arden B, Arhaus Furniture, Banana Republic, Biaggi's, Bombay, Bonefish Grill, Clarks, Coach, Coldwater Creek, Crabtree and Evelyn, Godiva Chocolate, Janie and Jack, Jessica McClintock, Lindt Chocolate, Lord and Taylor, Macy's, PF Changs, Pottery Barn, Sephora, Sharper Image, Solstice, Swarovski, Walking Company, and White House/Black Market.

While the usual generic liquor stores abound, there are specialty shops that are worth a second look:

  • Beers of the World, 3450 Winton Plaza (same plaza as Comix Cafe), +1 585-427-2852. A huge selection of both macro and micro brews from all over the world and homebrew supplies. Also has a large display filled with good cigars. Word to the wise: the owners are quite stand-offish, especially to first time customers and some of the beers are not that fresh. Watch out for dust!
  • Wine Sense, 749 Park Ave, +1 585-271-0590. Located near numerous other small shops and cafes, this wine dealer has a very friendly staff and carries many quality wines from the Finger Lakes region.

There are several bookstores on Monroe Ave and East Ave which sell new, used, and rare books. Naturally, there are also large chain stores such as Barnes and Noble and Borders in the city.

  • Greenwood Books, 123 East Ave (near the Little Theatre). A nice selection of new and used books, with some older items that one simply can't find in large chain bookstores. Of particular interest is the selection of books covering both historical and modern Rochester.
  • House of Guitars, 645 Titus Ave, +1 585-544-9928, has a huge selection of new and used records, CD's, and cassettes, most of which you won't be able to find anywhere else. The store is also a shrine to music and musicians, with an extensive collection of instruments for sale. Some of the biggest music groups in the world (Metallica, Ozzy, etc) go out of their way to come to this store, because the selection is so big.
  • Craft Company No 6, 785 University Ave, Probably one of the most unique stores you will ever go to. Everything is handmade and for sale. Very artsy and not mass marketed.


Like many other American cities, Rochester is blighted with endless strip malls crawling with large chain restaurants. For more original fare, try the many cafes in the pedestrian-friendly Park Avenue area. There is one item of local cuisine that travelers with a large stomach and no fear of cholesterol should try: the Garbage Plate of Nick Tahou's Hots (or one of the many copycat venues).

A "hot", in local parlance, is a hot dog. Red hots (traditional hot dogs) and white hots are available. "Hot sauce", rather than the expected mouth-scalding pepper blend, is usually a mildly spicy meat sauce to put on hots.

Restaurants of note include:


  • 2 Vine, 24 Winthrop Street. French and Italian food in a casual yet elegant bistro-type setting. Delicious vegetarian dishes, as well as a wide selection of fish, veal, etc. Moderately priced and near The Little Theatre.


  • Aja Noodle Co., 2602 Elmwood Ave, +1 585-244-1052. Serves lunch and dinner. Though located away from other travel attractions, the noodles are some of the best in Rochester. $7-$12 ($5 for all noodle bowls with a college ID).
  • King and I, 1455 E Henrietta Rd, +1 585-427-8090. Located in Henrietta, a sprawling suburb that features mostly grimly terrible chain restaurants, this fantastic Thai spot features reasonable prices, lightning quick service (seriously, it's like they know what you're going to order before you get there) and food that always tastes uncannily fresh and yummy. The ambiance is not great, with a huge cavernous dining room and terrible, terrible art on the walls, but the food is consistently good and you can always get takeout. Make sure to try the Thai iced tea. No need to bother with reservations. Open for lunch and dinner.
  • Shiki, 1054 Clinton Ave S, +1 585-271-2090. Looks like nothing from the outside, an easily miss-able hole-in-the-wall place on South Clinton. But inside the tiny space is a little haven, authentically Japanese, with rice-paper screens and the most perfectly prepared sushi in Rochester. The only staff are the friendly Japanese owners who will offer lots of guidance if you ask.
  • Seoul Garden, 2805 W Henrietta Rd, +1 585-424-2220. Features extensive Korean menu -- Korean BBQ, scallion pancakes, spicy stews, etc. All meals come with lots of tasty extras, like fermented black beans and kimchee.


  • Abyssinia, 80 University Avenue, +1 585-262-3910. Tu-Su 12PM-9:30PM. The premier Ethiopian restaurant in Rochester and in the Grove Place district of town, Abyssinia has been open since 2000 and shows no signs of slowing down. Go for the combos, which are served injera (Ethiopian bread) or the clay pots of lamb or beef. (University of Rochester students get a 15% discount)
  • Dashen, 503 South Avenue, +1 585-232-2690. The other Ethiopian restaurant in Rochester, Dashen is located in the South Wedge. Most say it isn't as good as Abyssinia, but it is pretty cheap with hearty proportions. Every Saturday there is a DJ spinning African dance music. 11:30AM-10:30PM daily


  • The Little Bakery, 89 Charlotte Street, +1 585-232-4884 (fax: +1 585-232-8101). Located right behind the Little Theater and 2Vine, this fantastic bakery makes delicious breads and pastries. Check out their great to-go box lunches, all of which include a huge cookie. Lots of inventive and tasty choices for vegetarians.
  • Malek's, 1795 Monroe Ave., +1 585-461-1720. M-Th 6AM-6PM, Fri & Sun, 6AM-3PM. Located in the Twelve Corners area of Brighton, this Jewish (and Kosher) bakery makes European-style breads and pastries. They always have great challah, rye, pumpernickel, white and sour dough, and then each day of the week turn out specialty breads, like the not-to-be-missed chocolate babka (Thurs, Fri & Sun) and poppyseed danish (Thurs, Fri & Sun).
  • Philip's European, 26 Corporate Woods, +1 585-272-9910. The food is only ok, heavy, traditional French-- good for a business lunch or unadventurous out of town guests -- but the desserts are spectacular, with emphasis on pies, tortes, tarts, cakes and specialty cheesecakes. Examples include their Chocolate Tiramisu Torte and White Chocolate Carrot Cake. A full dessert menu is available in the restaurant, but the cakes can also be ordered whole and picked up. Lunch entrees $8-13, Dinner entrees $12-30. Desserts $6 or $55 for whole cakes.


  • Beale Street Cafe, 689 South Avenue, +1 585-271-4650. Beale Street Cafe, while not Dino, is still a good place to grab a bite in the South Wedge if you are hungering for some BBQ. They serve New Orleans style food and is quite good. There is also usually a blues band playing on the weekend. In addition there is a good selection of beers at the front bar to go with the food.
  • Dinosaur BarBQue, 99 Court Street, +1 585-325-7090. Amazing Ribs, Chicken, and Black Beans and Rice among many other things. Expect to wait though! Average wait for a table is easily an hour, they don't take reservations, and unless your whole group is there you can't get on the list. They're a tad vigilant about it, but the place pushes so much business through they can afford to do so. The Dino is a must when in Rochester, if only for some of the sauce.

Diners, Burgers & Hots

  • Jay's Diner, 2612 W. Henrietta Road (across the street from the Movies 10 budget cinema), +1 585-424-3710. Open 24 hours, 7 days a week. A popular hangout with local college students, there's cheap food and it's always open. $5-$10 (10% discount with student ID).
  • Highland Park Diner, 960 South Clinton Avenue, +1 585-461-5040. Rochester's last classic diner. A 1948 Orleans diner restored in 1986 to an art deco style. Their motto is "real food, served real well at real prices". A neighborhood joint with very good food. Friendly, personal service (the owner himself often takes orders) and fantastic Sunday breakfast/brunch menu: berries & peaches stuffed French toast, tasty savory omelette's and a glorious eggs Benedict. Be sure to ask for "sweet cheese" on your waffles, pancakes & French toast.
  • Nick Tahou Hots, 2260 Lyell Ave, +1 585-429-6388. The original location on west main street is in a bad part of the city, but the Lyell Ave address of #2 is in a better area. Tahou's is the origin of Rochester's authentic cuisine, the garbage plate. For a few dollars, the plates come with your choice of meat, macaroni salad, home fries, onions and special sauce. The most common plate can be ordered by as quickly as possible saying "Cheeseburger plate, mac salad, home fries, everything!". For an authentic "Nick's" experience, visit the original at 320 W. Main St.
  • Mark's Texas Hots, 487 Monroe Avenue, +1 585-473-1563 This is where drunk college kids stumble off of Monroe Ave. to eat a garbage plate. The garbage plates from establishments that reside inside the city limits of Rochester have a decidedly more flavorful character than those in the suburbs. Mark's is the only diner I have ever been to with a bouncer. Go if only for the spectacle.

Greek/Middle Eastern

  • Mykonos Cafe, 3423 Winton Place, +1 585-475-0040 (fax: +1 585-475-1487)
  • Mykonos Express, Mt. Hope Avenue south of Elmwood Ave.
  • Olive's Greek Taverna, Schoen Place, Pittsford, +1 585-381-3990. Mon-Sat 11AM-8PM. Located in Rochester's snootiest suburb, you wouldn't expect the best deal in Rochester, but this charming restaurant will give you the most bang for your buck. Authentic and carefully prepared, don't miss the huge mezede village platter (an appetizer that can be easily shared by two or more), gyros and well-spiced kebabs. Lots for vegetarians, and unbelievable sweet potato fries. Appetizers $5-10, sandwiches and entrees, $5-15. CASH ONLY Reservations only taken for 3 or more. On the weekends they're basically required, or you'll wait hours for a table.


Bars & clubs

There are several districts to party in around Rochester. They include the St. Paul Quarter, the East End (Area around Alexander St. and East Ave.), High Falls Entertainment district, and Monroe Ave. Even during the cold winter evenings, people can be seen on the street, hopping from one bar to the next.

Each district has an array of diverse bars, from trendy, to sports bars, to dive bars you can find a bar you will like in each area. Rochester is known for it wide selection of martinis and micro-brewed beers. Visit any mid-range to upscale bar/restaurant and they will probably have a great selection. Ask for their martini menu!

  • The Distillery, 1142 Mount Hope Avenue, +1 585-271-4105. Open M-Su. A rather generic sports bar and grill, this establishment is mostly notable for its specials. Before 10PM, there is a different draft beer on sale every day of the week. After 10PM, the beer sale ends, but all appetizers are half off. Naturally, the best time to arrive is 9:45PM. $3 draft/bottle beers, $6 well drinks.
  • The Old Toad, 277 Alexander St (next to several other bars), +1 585-232-2626 ( Open M-F 11:30AM-2AM, Sa 12PM-2AM, Su 5PM-2AM. Great English beer, poor English Food, friendly English staff. A unique atmosphere with reasonable prices, the Toad is an excellent place to get sloshed. $4 draft/bottle beers, $6 well drinks.
  • Lola, 630 Monroe Ave, Lola Bistro & Bar is a popular destination for happy hour and the pre-bar rush. Lola offers a full bar, a food-friendly wine selection, and an eclectic selection of appetizers, entrées, salads, soups, and sandwiches.
  • Tapas 177, 177 St Paul St. Where the martinis are as big as the day is long.... so kick off your heels, and loosen your tie.
  • Table 7, 187 St Paul St, True lounge atmosphere with various music nightly.
  • Mex, 295 Alexander St, A Mexican restaurant and bar, known for its frozen drinks and Cinco de Mayo parties.
  • Venu, 151 St Paul St. Jazz lounge with an urban flair.
  • Pearl, Upper East End, East Ave. A retro contemporary lounge with nightly house music DJ's spinning.
  • High Fidelity, 170 East Avenue. Live music acts.
  • Lux, 666 South Avenue, +1 585-232-9030. Lux is something of an alternative bar in Rochester and trades on being in the South Wedge to add cred to the atmosphere. Lots of tattoos and piercings and a good PBR special. The back yard is great. They have hammocks in the summer time and a huge wood burning stove for the winter. This place is something you would expect to find in Brooklyn not Rochester.
  • Monty's Corner, 360 East Ave, Rochester's "soccer friendly" sports bar. Large selection of single malt scotches and port wine, beer with an emphasis on Belgian drafts.
  • The Chocolate Bar/The Ale House, 355/359 East Ave, Two bars by the same owner with two different feels to them. One serves chocolate fondue, the other 12 beers on tap. College type bar for the 18-25 year old, usually always busy.
  • Soho/Daisy Dukes/Coyote Joes/Bayou Billys/Woodys/Cosmo Lounge/Apub live/Vinyl, Upper East End, East Ave. 8 bars, all repetitive. College type bars with hints from the mid-west. All owned by the same owner. You will find the average fraternity guys, girls hoeing it up here. If you are aged 18-25 you will probably enjoy these bars, any older and you should probably avoid them.
  • Tilt Nightclub and Ultra Lounge, 444 Central Avenue. This place is the closest Rochester has to a NYC style club. Posh and dramatic the club spins dance/house music on one side with chill/down tempo beats on the other. The club is gay friendly, with Friday night being straight night.
  • Two89, 289 Alexander St, Located between the Old Toad & the former A-Street Pub. Stop by and check out the extensive martini and cocktail list - you're sure to find something you'll enjoy. Mixed crowd.
  • Rohrbach Brewing Company, 3859 Buffalo Road, +1 585-594-9800. Although Rohrbach's is a bit out of the way their beer is worth the trip. Certainly the highlight is the Scotch Ale and if you don't want to travel all the way to the actual brewpub any number of establishments in the city will have it on tap including Frontier field. However, if there do try as many of the beers as possible as it is some of the best craft-brewing in upstate NY. You can get a sampler of 3 oz. glasses before you decide. The food is also quite good and leans toward German fair such as sauerbraten and bratwurst.

Coffeeshops & cafes

  • Starbucks, 680 Monroe Ave, 1930 Monroe Ave, 1380 Mount Hope Ave. Yes, we have a lot of them too. But some of you need their coffee, so this is where they are.
  • Spot Coffee, 200 East Ave (next to the Little Theatre). A trendy, popular hangout, people come here to relax and socialize while enjoying a cup or two of the brown brew. It's quite acceptable to spend hours here while only buying a single small cup of coffee; students do it all the time. The drinks cost about $2-$3, while light meals are available for around $5. Local art of various sorts is often marked for sale on the walls.
  • Java's Cafe, 16 Gibbs St (just down the street from Spot). Another downtown coffee shop, more popular with the art house crowd. Java's prices and products are similar to Spot. They also sell a variety of large homemade cookies in a variety of styles for about a dollar. At lunch time, an adjacent cafe-style restaurant serves for soup and sandwiches. Local art adorns the walls and local bands of questionable quality occasionally perform.
  • Boulder Coffee Company, 100 Alexander St. (intersection of Alexander and Clinton), +1 585-454-7140. An independently owned coffee shop with regular live music. Their webpage lists upcoming acts. Drinks and snacks are typical coffee shop prices. Free WiFi on the premises.
  • Starry Nites Cafe, 696 University Ave, +1 585-271-2630. A funky space named after Van Gogh's famous painting, located on University one block north of East, where all the museums are. Along with the required drinks, they make their own soup, salads and sandwiches. Free WiFi.


Places of worship

If you're looking for a lively Protestant church in the heart of downtown, Bethel Community Fellowship on 321 East Avenue and Broad Street seats a good number. New Song Church, which meets in an auditorium at Monroe Community College because it lacks a building of its own, offers a very modern and youth-oriented service. Both of these churches are popular with college students.

A bit down the street from Bethel, you'll find a more traditional service at Asbury First United Methodist Church (1050 East Ave.), recognized for wonderful formal music.

Speaking of music, Pearce Memorial Church features many musicians from the Roberts Wesleyan College community. Take 490 way out west to the North Chili exit, and follow the signs right for Roberts Wesleyan.

Tucked almost in the heart of downtown, Lutheran Church of the Incarnate Word is a cozy place 597 East Avenue. Walk across the street afterward for lunch at the Spot.

Over a dozen synagogues are available within a few miles of downtown, and they're worth passing just for the architecture. If your hotel is in Henrietta, check out Temple Beth Am on 3249 E. Henrietta Rd.

Rochester has at least two Messianic Congregations: Petah Tikvah on Doncaster and Shema Yisrael. If you follow 590 North up to the Webster exit, turn right at the first street. Shema Yisrael is on 1326 North Winton, with a quaint store selling Judaica and related books.

A few miles west of downtown, visible from 490, is an exhuberant Spanish congregation: Iglesia La Luz Del Mundo, 200 Child Street.

A popular Catholic Church, St. Pius X, is located on 3000 Chili Avenue, which is the western continuation of Main street (take the expressway to avoid lights; it's between the airport exit and Chili Center).

Get out

A nice day trip, Niagara Falls is an hour and a half by car to the west. There are also several nearby parks; Letchworth being popular and only an hour drive away. Near Letchworth is Hemlock Lake, which is considerably quieter and less known. The lake has the added bonus of being free of admission and parking fees. Stony Brook Park is about an hour and a half south of the city.

Starting just south of the city are the various towns along the Finger Lakes, such as beautiful Canandaigua.

For onward travel, New York City and the scenic Adirondack mountains are both a six hour car trip to the east. Toronto, Canada is also close by and can be reached by a three hour drive.

Travelling to or from Rochester, New York?

Find flight to or from Rochester, New York with an Online Travel Agency. Get lodging information or make reservations with a Local Online Hotel. Plan ahead and reserve a car with a Local Car Rental Agency.

Are you relocating to Rochester, New York?

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Goods & Services in Rochester, New York.

Find out the little necessities in life like, Grocery Stores, Department Stores, Gas Stations, Dry Cleaners, Nail Salons, Fast Food, Auto Repair, Plumbers, Shopping Centers and Post Offices.