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LIVING HERETake a Bite Out of Rochester Let a student foodie be your guide to eating well—but on the cheap—in Rochester. By Rebecca Block ’18
rochestereatsORDER UP: (Clockwise from top) Among Block’s picks are a turkey panini from Muller’s Cider House; a flight from Muller’s; a make-your-own burger from Bar 145; and a grain bowl from Core Life Eatery. (Photo: Rebecca Block ’18)

Whether you’re an incoming freshman, a current student who hasn’t explored much of Rochester lately, or a graduate coming back for a visit, here are 10 places that should be on your dining to-do list:

1. Bar 145 in College Town

71 Celebration Drive Rochester, NY 14642

(585) 360-2468

Bar145rochester.com

Go on Wednesdays for their $6 burgers and martini specials. You can create your own burger or order from their array of signature burgers, such as the balsamic bleu on a pretzel roll, or the Monte Cristo burger with ham, brie, fruit preserve, and red pepper garlic spread. Enjoy it with a refreshing “flirtini,” made with Smirnoff vodka, triple sec, pineapple juice, and sparkling wine.

2. Swiftwater Brewing Co.

378 Mt. Hope Avenue Rochester, NY 14620

(585) 530-3471

Swiftwaterbrewing.com

Located just off campus, near the Ford Street Bridge, Swiftwater is a perfect short walk away on a nice fall day. Not only for beer lovers, the place also caters to those who enjoy cider, wine, and good food. The menu features their popular cheese board, stromboli, creamy brie and cheddar grilled cheese, and strawberry, blueberry, and rhubarb crumble with vanilla ice cream.

3. Jim’s on Main

785 E. Main Street Rochester, NY 14605

(585) 442-4271

Jimsonmain.com

We all love a good brunch. Jim’s offers a satisfying one that won’t do a number on your suffering college-student bank account. Known for their 2-2-2: two eggs any style, two pancakes or French toast, and bacon, sausage, or ham for only $5.25. (Might as well buy another one for later!) They are also open for lunch, with options such as club, deli, and hot sandwiches, wraps, melts, super salads, charbroiled delights, and homemade specialties, all below $9.

4. Crepe N’Go

651 Monroe Avenue Rochester, NY 14607

(585) 417-5543

Yelp.com/biz/crepe-ngo-rochester

The Oldies Are Still Goodies

If you’re feeling nostalgic for the oldies but goodies, don’t worry—you can still get them. Whether you’re a graduate or a student looking to experience the foodie scene that alumni had back in the day, here are some dishes you won’t want to miss:

A. Garbage plates from Nick Tahou’s

320 West Main Street Rochester, NY 14608

(585) 436-0184

Garbageplate.com

B. Genesee cream ale from Genesee Brew House

25 Cataract Street Rochester, NY 14605

(585) 263-9200

Geneseebeer.com

C. Ribs, wings, or a chicken and biscuit dinner at Country Sweet

1691 Mt. Hope Avenue Rochester, NY

(585) 244-3200

Countrysweet.com

D. All-day breakfast (especially after midnight) at Jay’s Diner

2612 West Henrietta Road Rochester, NY 14623

(585) 424-3710

Jaysdiner.com

Looking for some more good grub that won’t hurt your wallet? Try out this new northern Chinese street-style creperie, serving crepes with your choice of savory fillings, including fried tofu, spicy chicken, bulgogi beef, cumin lamb, coconut shrimp, pork belly, and more. Crepes range from $4 to $9.

5. Brown Hound Downtown

500 University Avenue Rochester, NY 14607

(585) 506-9725

Brownhoundbistro.com

Serving lunch and dinner during the week at the Memorial Art Gallery, Brown Hound is known for a weekend brunch that includes ricotta pancakes, a country bistro eggs Benedict, strawberry cheesecake French toast, New Orleans–inspired Cajun shrimp, and a croque-madame.

6. California Rollin’ II

695 Park Avenue Rochester, NY 14607

(585) 355-4066

Californiarollin.com

Get the freshest, most delicious sushi to go. You can customize a traditional sushi roll, or spice things up with a bowl or even a burrito. Yes—a sushi burrito. Go for lunch before 3 p.m. and get the special deal of three rolls for $15.

7. Pizzeria Favo

3400 Monroe Avenue Rochester, NY 14618

(585) 310-7383

Pizzeriafavo.com

Customize your pizza, starting with the choice of traditional, ancient grain, or gluten-free crust, and unlimited fresh toppings. Don’t stop there—get some gelato to finish off the meal. Go for Monday Pazzia (Madness), for specials such as $4 beer and wine, and BYO wine with no corkage fee.

8. Muller’s Cider House

1344 University Avenue #180 Rochester, NY 14607

(585) 287-5875

Mullersciderhouse.com

With more than 100 different types of ciders from Scotland, Spain, Germany, Canada, England, France, Ireland, and the United States, you’ll find a cider that speaks to your taste buds. Enjoy your cider with a side of homemade sweet and salty kettle corn, or if you’re more hungry, choose from an array of soups, salads, small plates, and sandwiches. Try the Elvis: creamy peanut butter, fresh sliced banana, crispy bacon, and a touch of honey between sourdough bread, and served with a lemon and dill cucumber salad or a side of—there it is again—kettle corn.

9. I-Square Market

400 Bakers Park Irondequoit, NY, 14617

(585) 266-1001

https://i-square.us/

The new “food hall” includes the Market Grill, Pasta Cucina, Stir Coffee, the Reserve Wine Bar, I-Scream Ice Cream, and Hong Kong One Chinese. This is a place that will literally please anyone.

10. Core Life Eatery

2373 W. Ridge Road Rochester, NY 14626

(585) 484-8558

Eatatcore.com

Stop at Core Life to get a nutritious meal without skimping on taste. Their menu offers green bowls, grain bowls, and bone broth bowls, all customizable. Try the Thai chicken and rice noodle bowl with Napa cabbage, almonds, broccoli, cucumbers, cilantro, and Thai cashew dressing. Or, if you’re a Caesar salad fan, get their kale Caesar chicken salad for a healthy comfort-food alternative.


A Rochester native, Rebecca Block ’18, is pursuing a degree in public health with concentrations in studio art and environmental science. She is a writer for the University of Rochester section of Spoon University, UR.spoonuniversity.com/chapter/ur/, where her posts can be found at UR.spoonuniversity.com/author/rblock/.