There's no easy way to describe Rochester's food scene.
There are dining traditions attributed to the community of immigrants — German, Italian, Polish, Greek — who settled the city, and there are additions made by an influx of new immigrants. There are several dining institutions that have lasted for decades, and then there are the pop-up kitchens that might last only for a night.
As the city steadily picks up on the latest trends, like farm-to-table cooking, prix fixe menus, and food trucks, there's always something new to try. And of course, it's all going to change within five years.
In this guide:
To give a snapshot of the city's culinary community as it exists today, City Newspaper's dining crew has compiled a list of its 10 essential Rochester restaurants. This round-up isn't so much a "top 10" list as it is a way to learn more about what the city has to offer through 10 businesses that have left a lasting, influential mark.
A Rochester trendsetter in his own right, Chef Art Rogers was a semifinalist for a prestigious James Beard Award in 2015 for his work with the farm-to-table restaurant Lento. Writer Leah Stacy profiled Rogers and his restaurant.
Like a little cherry on top, we round out this year's DISH with a round-up of dessert drinks in Rochester. Katie Libby takes a look at simple, coconut and chocolate infused pleasures — which are sometimes set on fire.
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