Family owned and operated since 1929, this landmark Clifford Avenue bakery is the place to go when visions of biscotti, cannoli, pastries, and spumoni dance in your head. Its Easter bread is a hot item.
Flour City Break Company | Get Caked! | Leo’s Bakery and Deli | Scratch Bakeshop
You don’t need directions to get to this joint. Just follow your nose.
Bubby’s | Good Smoke | Sticky Lips
ORIGINAL STEVE’S DINER
Now with three locations around the Rochester area, Original Steve’s is fast becoming THE place for breakfast and lunch, enticing diners with 36 varieties of giant pancakes and 18 styles of eggs Benedict.
Highland Park Diner | Jines | Mad Hatter
Good Luck’s namesake burger — a pound of house-ground, grass-fed local beef topped with Cuba cheddar on a brioche bun — is worth every penny of its $28 price tag. Go on an empty stomach.
Gate House | Playhouse/Swillburger | Charlie Riedel’s Restaurant
A favorite lunch spot that’s been serving your choice of pepperoni, sausage, meatballs, steak, or ham stuffed into a 12- or 16-inch pocket dripping with ricotta and mozzarella cheese in Rochester’s East End for 26 years.
Mark’s Pizzeria | New Ethic Pizzeria Café | Salvatores
Best Candy Shop
Going to Stever’s has been a happy family tradition since Douglas and Hilda Stever opened their first shop at the corner of Benton and South Goodman streets in 1946. For the last 51 years, the operation has been on Park Avenue, where the next generation of Stevers, Kevin and Leslie, make fresh confections every day.
Andy’s | Hedonist Artisan Chocolates | Laughing Gull Chocolates
Best Chinese Restaurant
HAN NOODLE BAR
Han’s touts a tagline of “No Fusion, No Gimmicks,” and it delivers. The best part? The noodles. The noodles. The noodles.
Chen Garden | Flavors of Asia | Hung Wah | Szechuan Opera
Best Deli Sandwich
This hometown hero of heroes now operates more than 40 locations in five states, but Rochester has a soft spot for its soft sub buns. The Dagwood — turkey, ham, and corned beef — is a local favorite.
Calabrasella’s | Rubino’s | Wegmans
RIDGE DONUT CAFE
With prime placement on Portland Avenue and a purple donut mascot that somehow works, Ridge Donut Café is a must-stop for locals and tourists alike for a consistent selection of 33 varieties of super-soft doughnuts.
Boxcar | Donuts Delite | Misfit Treats & Eats
Best Farmer’s Market
ROCHESTER PUBLIC MARKET
Serving the greater Rochester community since 1905 from its digs on North Union Street, the Rochester Public Market with its 300 vendors is a runaway favorite in this category.
Brighton Farmer’s Market | Fairport Farmer’s Market | West Side Farmer’s Market
Best Fish Fry
CAPTAIN JIM’S FISH MARKET
You don’t have to wait until Friday for your fish fry and slaw at Captain Jim’s, a barebones and predominantly takeout spot in North Winton Village that keeps the fryer going all week long.
Charlie Riedel’s Restaurant | The Old Toad | Tap & Mallet
Best Food Truck
LE PETIT POUTINE
Le Petit Poutine has been churning out varieties of the Canadian cuisine of fries and cheese curds since 2011 and has plans to open a shop on Elton Street this year.
Marty’s Meats | Neno’s Gourmet Mexican Street Food | Stingray Sushifusion
Best Global Foods Market
RUBINO’S ITALIAN FOODS
Rubino’s on Ridge Road in Irondequoit is known around Rochester as one of the best places to buy authentic Italian ingredients and prepared foods. Its deli counter is loaded and its cheese collection is stacked.
Asia Food Market | Asia Market Groceries | International Food Market & Café
Best Ice Cream
PITTSFORD FARMS DAIRY
On North Main Street off the Erie Canal in Pittsford, this historic dairy makes its classic flavors and quirkier ones from scratch.
Abbott’s Frozen Custard | Hedonist Artisan Ice Cream & Chocolates | LuGia’s Ice Cream
Best Italian Restaurant
Located in the Rochester Public Market, Restaurant Fiorella serves up casual farm-to-table Italian fare with a focus on fresh, locally-sourced ingredients.
Guido’s Pasta Villa | Ristorante Lucano | Rocco
Best Late-night Eats
When it’s late and you’re hungry, 18 varieties of hot dog toppings on Zweigle wieners nestled in French bread await.
Jay’s Diner | Mark’s Texas Hots | Swan Dive
Best New Restaurant
Limited hours of operation and delicious pan-cooked pizza with thick corner slices have kept demand up at this new joint on South Clinton Avenue.
Crumpets | F.L.X. Wienery | Velvet Belly
Best Mexican Restaurant
OLD PUEBLO GRILL
Among the best north-of-the-border Mexican fare anywhere. Known for its huevos rancheros.
Monte Alban Mexican Grill | Neno’s Gourmet Mexican Street Food | Salena’s Mexican Restaurant
Best Outdoor Dining
Genesee Brew House
Part brewery, part museum. The outside dining area offers diners and drinkers a gorgeous view of High Falls.
K2 Brothers Brewing | Native Eatery & Bar | The Owl House | Richardson’s Canal House
Originally an import from Batavia, this regional chain is all Rochester, with over 20 locations serving up pizza people love.
New Ethic Pizzeria & Café | The Pizza Stop | Pizza Wizard
This is the answer to customers who want Dogtown’s 18 varieties of hot dog toppings and Zweigle wieners on something other than toasty French bread.
Charlie’s | Charlie Riedel’s | Nick Tahou Hots
When you win Best BBQ, as Dinosaur did this year, taking the “Ribs” category usually follows.
56 Underground | Bubby’s | Good Smoke | Sticky Lips | J-Ribs
From the Rochester Roll to the Dragon Roll, this Japanese restaurant is known for its creative, expertly-rolled combinations.
Poke Sushi | Shema Sushi | Wegmans
Best Thai Restaurant
THAI MII UP
This local Thai chain doesn’t have to rope anyone into sampling its chicken satay, seafood pho, and yum goong.
Khong Thai Cuisine | ThaiYada | The King and I
Best Vegetarian/Vegan Restaurant
THE RED FERN
If you still think that vegetarian food is twigs and berries, visit The Red Fern and wipe that thought from your head.
New Ethic Pizzeria & Cafe | The Owl House | Voula's Greek Sweets
This local chain has had the market cornered on Best Wings in Rochester for years. From the standard Buffalo to the Catatonic and the Nawlins Blues, the options make Jeremiah’s wings soar.
Dinosaur Bar-B-Que | New Ethic Pizzeria & Café | Windjammers
Best Bar to Drink Alone
Drinking solo? There’s plenty to keep you entertained at this South Wedge watering hole — a kickin’ juke box, an outdoor fire pit, and cool art.
Angry Goat | Cheshire | Skylark Lounge
Best Beer Selection (Bar or Restaurant)
TAP & MALLET
Best bar for a beer, or two, or three. The rotating list of popular and rare sours, stouts, IPAs, and hard ciders from New York and beyond draw daily crowds.
Rochester Beer Park | Rohrbach Brewing Company | Three Heads Brewing | TRATA
Best Beer Selection (Store)
BEERS OF THE WORLD
Singapore? Spain? Sweden? Visit any country on the planet through this wholesaler and retailer of imported and domestic beers. Build your own six-pack with singe-bottle sales.
AJ’S Beer Warehouse | One Stop Brew Shop | Wegmans
FINGER LAKES COFFEE ROASTERS
This spot’s passion for the perfect cup is on display in every blend, single origin, and flavored coffee. Three blends are perennial favorites: Canandaigua, Seneca, and Lake.
Fuego | Java’s | Ugly Duck
SCHUTT’S APPLE MILL
Schutt’s has been making its crystal clear and sweet apple cider the same way since Paul “Great Grandpa” Schutt opened the place in 1918. Want your cider hard? Try Great Grandpa’s Grog.
Blue Barn Cidery | Seed + Stone | OSB Ciderworks
Good Luck is known for its inventive and flavorful cocktails as much as its food. Waiters know their drinks and bartenders have a knack for knowing what their customers want before they do.
Cheshire | Cure | The Revelry
Best Craft Brewery
THREE HEADS BREWING
Rotating seasonal craft brews, food trucks, a patio, and live music, Three Heads has it all.
Roc Brewing | Rohrbach Brewing Company | Swiftwater
BLACK BUTTON DISTILLING
Founded in 2012, Black Button Distilling is the first grain-to-grass craft distillery to open in Rochester since the end of Prohibition and it uses only locally-sourced ingredients.
Apple Country Spirits | Finger Lakes Distilling | Hollerhorn Distilling | Iron Smoke Distilling
This Culver Road nightclub highlights wannabe rock stardom every Thursday at 8 p.m. after bingo.
Brewster Mobile Entertainment | Firehouse Saloon | Temple Bar and Grille
Best LGBTQ Bar
Born to fill a void after the closing of some prominent LGBTQ-oriented nightlife spaces in Rochester, ROAR’s focus is on creating a unique safe space for the community. Check in throughout the year for LGBTQ events.
140 Alex Bar and Grill | Avenue Pub | The Bachelor’s Forum
Best Pickup Bar
The best place for drinking alone is, ironically, the best place to find love, too. Lots of personalities at Lux.
Radio Social | ROAR | Swan Dive
JUST JUICE 4 LIFE
Just Juice makers cold-press organic produce into raw, delightfully tasty seasonal sips. Get your Kale Ales, Beet Its, and Green Loves here.
Body Fuel | Breathe Yoga | Refresh Café and Smoothie Bar
Best Sports Bar
What goes great with this local chain’s award-winning wings? Watching football, of course. And baseball, and hockey, and soccer, and basketball, and anything that involves athletes running, jumping, and throwing things that us mere mortals can’t do.
The Distillery | Old Stone Tavern | TC Hooligan’s
Best Trivia Night
TAP & MALLET
Pop culture know-it-alls geek out at this Gregory Street establishment every Tuesday night at 7:30. Five categories, 25 questions, and resident quiz master Biggie in charge of the proceedings make for a fun night.
Old Toad | ROAR | Unter Biergarten
LIVING ROOTS WINE & CO.
An urban winery in the Finger Lakes and a not-so-urban winery in the Adelaide Hills region of South Australia run by the husband-and-wife team of Sebastian (an Aussie sixth-generation winemaker) and Colleen Hardy.
Casa Larga | Fox Run Vineyards | Dr. Konstantin Frank Winery
Best Wine Selection (Bar or Restaurant)
LIVING ROOTS/ROC URBAN WINERY
Located in Rochester's Neighborhood of the Arts, this winery has a bar, patio, and books private parties.
Apogee | Flight | Solera
Best Wine Selection
LISA’S LIQUOR BARN
Lisa Tobin Healey, a graduate of Brighton High School and the University of Rochester, recalls opening Lisa’s Liquor Barn in 1987 with the goal not being the biggest, but the best. CITY readers think she succeeded.
Century Liquor & Wines | Marketview Liquor | Pinnacle Liquor