Photo Credit: Jim Montanus

Wine & Dine

Trip Ideas & Itinerary 

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. Rochester and the Finger Lakes are home to some of the best wineries, craft brewing, and distilling, agriculture, and coffee roasters in the country.

Rochester is also in the midst of a craft beverage boom, and the city is growing in its recognition as a great place for beer. Today there are more than two dozen breweries in the Greater Rochester area. Rochester is also home to the Genesee Brewery, the oldest brewery in New York State and an iconic brand. Bring your appetite during your next visit to Rochester and check out these suggested stops.

Day 1 

Rochester Public Market
The Rochester Public Market is one of the oldest and largest public markets in the country – and is a must-see during your visit to Rochester. (The Public Market is open Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays). Vendors--occupying over 300 vending stalls on busiest Saturdays--offer local produce; produce from around the country and world; meats and seafood; eggs and dairy products; ethnic delicacies; prepared and packaged foods; specialty items and more. (Check out this video tour of the Rochester Public Market from the Dining Traveler). 

Black Button Distilling
A few steps outside of the Public Market you will find Black Button Distilling, the first grain-to-glass craft distillery to open in Rochester since Prohibition. Founded in 2012 by Jason Barrett, Black Button Distilling is a New York State licensed Farm Distillery and uses over 90% New York State all-natural ingredients to make all our spirits.

Rohrbach Brewing Company
Founded in 1991, Rohrbach’s is Rochester’s original craft brewery. Located in the Public Market District, Rohrbach’s is a Rochester original, and the Railroad Street Beer Hall is a must-visit. Visit Rohrbach’s and enjoy classic brews like the Railroad Street Scotch Ale and the Highland Lager. Or, try a seasonal brew like Kacey’s Christmas Ale or the dessert-in-a-glass Neopolitan Scotch Ale.

Genesee Brewery
No food and drink tour in Rochester is complete with a visit to Genesee Brewery. Genesee is New York State’s oldest brewery (founded in 1878!) and makes the Genesee line of beers, including the iconic Genesee, the refreshing Genny Light, and The Original Cream Ale. The brewery also offers a Pilot Batch craft brewery within the Genesee Brew House.

The view from the Genesee Brew House can’t be beaten– the brewery overlooks High Falls, a 96-foot waterfall in downtown Rochester.

For lunch today check out the Mercantile on Main and choose from seven different restaurant vendors inside the Mercantile, the first food hall in Rochester, NY. 

When it’s time for dinner, you will find no shortage of fantastic food in the Flour City. Head back to the Public Market District and enjoy Bitter Honey, or check out The Cub Room or Crisp in Rochester’s South Wedge neighborhood.

After dinner, visit Abbott’s Frozen Custard for a quintessential Rochester treat. The original Abbott’s location at Charlotte Beach on the shores of Lake Ontario has been serving up sweet frozen custard since 1926.

Day 2 

Living Roots Winery
The first urban winery in the Finger Lakes can be found in the Neighborhood of the Arts in the City of Rochester. Living Roots serves wines from both the Finger Lakes and Australia in a bright tasting room.

Sager Beer Works 
Located down the “laneway” from Living Roots is Sager Beer Works, one of the newest craft breweries in Rochester. Check out Sager’s rotating tap list and locally-sourced food menu in the brewery’s cozy tasting room.

Casa Larga Vineyard
Just outside of the City of Rochester, in the town of Fairport is Casa Larga, one of the oldest wineries in the Finger Lakes that specializes in Italian varietals and ice wines. Mark your calendar for year-round special events like the New York Ice Wine & Culinary Festival (February), Patio Parties (May-August) and the Purple Foot Festival (September).

20 Deep Winery
Rooted in Mendon, NY, 20 Deep is a family-run winery with brewery vibes. While obsessively devoted to craft and integrity, this wine is best enjoyed in the company of family and friends. Stories, camaraderie and good times always encouraged here. Plus, don’t forget to check out their upcoming events and wine experiences!

Enjoy lunch on Park Avenue, a pedestrian-friendly and picturesque street brimming with cafes, bistros and coffee shops. For dinner, check out Restaurant Good Luck – which was named one of the best bars in the U.S. – or Native Rochester, located steps from Geva Theatre Center.

Satisfy your sweet tooth after dinner with your choice of local chocolatier: Stever’s CandiesHedonist Artisan Chocolates or Laughing Gull Chocolates are all located in Rochester and offer unique and hand-made chocolate treats.