I jokingly refer to myself as a recovering picky eater, but it’s the most accurate label for myself. I love trying new foods, primarily because I spent so much of my life not even thinking that chicken was an acceptable food to eat. The Rochester food community has a lot to offer, and while my favorite dish is probably the kale stew that my friend Yvonne makes, there are places to eat in Rochester that I will miss dearly when I don’t live here anymore. To anyone who lives in the area, these may not be the most hidden finds. But really, these are some of the places in Rochester that have the happiest memories for me, on top of having some very delicious food.
Dogtown- The dish that Rochester calls it’s own is a charming number called the Garbage Plate. A Garbage plate is a plate loaded with burgers or hot dogs, mac salad, beans, fries, chili, mustard, and onions. It’s horrible for you, and if I’m being totally honest, garbage plates are not my favorite food on the planet. Which is why when I do feel like embracing my inner-Western New Yorker, I go to Dogtown. Dogtown has gourmet hot dogs and easy, delicious vegetarian substitutions for every item on their menu, including the garbage plate. Their coleslaw is also the bomb.
Furoshiki- My favorite type of food, by far, is Japanese. In fact, Ramen is probably my favorite single dish. And the first place I ever had ramen noodles was at Furoshiki. I now find Furoshiki ramen broth a bit too salty, but the shop has a lot going for it. First, it’s in a great location– it’s within blocks of the Memorial Art Gallery and the George Eastman House, two of Rochester’s best museums. Park Ave. also has lots of other great places to eat– including Sinbad’s Mediterranean Cuisine, home of very awesome baklava. Furoshiki also has a fantastic appetizer, and
The Owl House- So there I was, with my first hangover. As the day went on I was increasingly unable to open my eyes, move, or think. But the day started with a long scheduled brunch date with my dear, new friend Melissa. We had a fantastic time (at least I did- I hope that Melissa had a good time with my surrealist interpretation of small talk), and we ate fantastic vegetarian brunch. I had a tempeh-bacon-tofu-scramble breakfast sandwich (that I mostly ate later that evening when I was finally able to eat again), and Melissa had one of the most gorgeous things I’ve ever seen, a waffle with tofu and strawberry compote. The Owl House rocks. The food is spectacular. You simply must go there, and please try to go in better shape than I was in when I went there.
Na’an-Tastic– This is definitely the most gimmicky place on the list, but I wouldn’t include it if the food wasn’t spectacular, and the business locally owned. Na’an-Tastic is fast-casual Indian Food, prepared chipotle style. This is the takeout that I go to for my darkest nights, most joyful celebrations, and emptiest refrigerators. They also have the Indian Food version of the Garbage Plate (order the College Bowl).
Jay’s Diner- Jay’s is the home away from home of any RIT student. For me, it has been the restaurant where you take visiting family when you’re looking for somewhere a little relaxed. It’s where friends go at the end of a long night, or before you go to the movies. My favorite meal at Jay’s was an end-of-semester breakfast before winter break 2017. Me and three of my best friends talked for hours about Cat Person. I remember every beat of that weekend perfectly clearly, and this breakfast, casual as it was, was the highlight. Jay’s is the perfect diner. I will die on this hill.