Like the city that surrounds it, the food and drink scene in Rochester, NY is in the midst of a major upswing. Rochester is the gateway to the Finger Lakes region – considered by some to be the most important food and drink region in North America.
Those who are involved in the local food scene will all agree that “Rochester is on the precipice of something big.” There is a dedicated community of dining, drink, and hospitality professionals who are working hard to make Rochester the next great food and drink city in America.
Known as “The Young Lion of the West” and America’s first boomtown, Rochester drew settlers from around the world, and with that, they brought their family recipes with them. More than 200 years later, the region is a smorgasbord of traditional and contemporary cuisines and diverse ethnic flavors that create a culinary experience for those dining in Rochester.
Specialties listed below are casual options but a vast array of culinary experiences await that rival that of some of the best cities in the U.S. Check out the Rochester Foodie Bucket List.
Points of Interest
Take a trip over to "Hotdog Row!" Dating back to the 1940s is a unique culture of 'hots and ground rounds along the lake,' with roadside food stands dotting the shore of Lake Ontario. Don't miss local delicacy, the "white hot," a unique blend of pork, veal, and spices, only found in Rochester. And if you want an extra burst of flavor, ask for Rochester Hot Sauce, made from a base of finely ground beef.
Serving up delicious frozen custard since 1902, Abbott's is a real treat! Whether ordered in a dish or a cone, you won't be disappointed with this creamy, frozen, treat. Chocolate Almond is a local favorite and other flavors rotate on a daily basis ensuring you're always getting the freshest offerings.
Known as Rochester's signature dish, this mash-up traditionally includes a base of macaroni salad and baked beans, topped with either two cheeseburgers or hot dogs, mustard, onions, ketchup, and Rochester-style meat "hot sauce," and served with a side of Italian bread. It is somewhat of a local legend, and other variations include swapping out the base for french fries or home fries, and choosing chicken fingers, Italian sausage, or even grilled cheese as your protein.