Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > General Midwest Archive >
Jul 25, 2006 06:21 PM

Heading to the Mayo ...

Clinic that is, not the condiment. What's interesting in the Rochester, MN area close to St Mary's Hospital and downtown?

I'm leaving this post open to all kinds of cuisine since we'll be there for 2 weeks and I'd love lots of recommendations for cool places to discover. Thx!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Gosh, nearly 10 years ago I had a lovely lunch at an Austrian/German cafe near the clinic. Hope it's still there and that 'hounds can identify the place to provide more details.

    6 Replies
    1. re: Melanie Wong

      Jasper's! It's Alsatian, actually. I had a nice meal there this past spring. They've got killer bread and desserts.

      1. re: mcgeary

        That sounds great too. I found the website, and Jasper's is related -

      2. re: Melanie Wong

        The name of the German cafe is Jasper’s Alsatian Bistro located at 14 3rd Street NW. I highly recommend it.

        Also downtown and worth a visit are City Cafe and RedWood Room. They are owned by the same company (Creative Cuisine Corporation) but have very different menus and feels. City Cafe is a little more upscale and offers a more diverse menu with nightly specials. The RedWood Room is more laid back with a smaller menu and features nightly musicians. You can check out their menus and more info at

          1. re: RustyCA

            Looking back on the six months that I spent in the Twin Cities, my simple lunch at Daubes and my dinner at Harbor View in Lake Pepin, WI on the drive back still stand out in my chow memory. Since you'll be there for 2 weeks, maybe you'll have time to swing up there. It changed hands last year, but perhaps someone local can give an update under the new owners.

            Harbor View -

            See you on the San Francisco board, Rusty!

            1. re: Melanie Wong

              The new owners were employees of the old owners. They've worked hard to preserve the very things about the Harbor View that made us all love it in the first place.

        1. My boyfriend and I recently dined at John Hardy's Bar-B-Q (929 Frontage Rd. W) and it was excellent. Very smokey meat and a great selection of sides like meaty baked beans and jo jo fries.

          I had the pulled pork and smoked turkey and he had ribs and pulled pork. Delicious!

          1 Reply
          1. re: MaggieB

            John Hardhy's was going to be my second entry...but you beat me to it MaggieB! This BBQ shack is the hands down favorite for all local Rochester BBQ fans. Their pulled pork plate is the defacto thing to order though their other meats are quite nice as well. There are two other BBQ joints in town that are good but can't really compare.

            Since I couldn't put my post in for JH, I'll make up for it by recommending The Hanagar. It's located close to the airport and features an eclectic array of salads, pastas, burgers, and sandwiches and soups.

          2. As noted above, your visit should allow time to visit good places within a reasonable driving distance from Rochester. I certainly second the comment about Harbor View Cafe in Pepin, WI. It is about a 75-minute drive from Rochester (cross the Mississippi at Wabasha and go north on Wisconsin highway 35 to Pepin, then turn left at Great River Roasters and go to the lakefront). Harbor View was purchased by two long-time employees of the founders a year ago, and little has changed. They do not take reservations or credit cards (cash or check OK). They have an extensive menu of main courses.
            Another dining place to consider is Nosh in Wabasha, now into its third year (about 60 minutes from Rochester). They are on Main Street, almost under the interstate bridge. They do take reservations, and have an interesting menu that focuses on locally available items (not as many second plates, but more salad and appetizer options and more first plate options)
            They also accept MC and Visa. With respect to Rochester itself, I think that John Hardy's and Roscoe's are head and head in the barbecue race. I would also mention Chardonnay, on Second Street SW between Mayo and St. Mary's Hospital, as a fine dining establishment. The have one of Minnesota's best wine lists. Finally, there is a new restaurant in Crossroads Shopping Center that has been open a few months and is getting favorable reviews, but I have not eaten there.

            2 Replies
            1. re: semiretired

              Thanks to you and KT for the update on Harbor View. Good to hear that this gem of a place continues.

              Here's my old post on discovering the "private stock" cheddar from Eau Galle on that road trip to Rochester and Lake Pepin.


              1. re: Melanie Wong

                That cheese sounds fabulous, Melanie. I will have to be on the lookout next time I'm out that way. Thank you for sharing the link. I especially enjoyed your admonition to MU against writing off the whole state of Wisconsin. :)

                I was at Harbor View about a year ago and it was still very much in transition--lots of remodeling going on, etc. In spite of it all, they still managed to produce a fabulous garden salad, that came alongside a pulled pork sandwich. For whatever reason, the salad with its tangy dressing, not the sandwich although I'm sure it was lovely, stands out in my memory. I'm assuming the remodeling is done with...


            2. Prescott's is the restaurant at Crossroads. Very nice menu, with comparable prices to other Rochester restaurant, but better executed. Not quite to the level of Nosh and Harbor View but my wife and I are happy we don't need to drive 45 minutes for an enjoyable dinner. They do a nice job with wines by the glass also. Unless you prefer steak and potato, that's where I would recommend. I have enjoyed Chardonnay also. It's setting is a bit more formal, and to date I like Prescott's enthusiasm and innovation.

              1. Because you're not going to always drive so far, I'd recommend the City Cafe for lunch.


                I cannot vouch for the dinner menu, but I considering the quality of the food I had at lunch, give it a try.

                We got a seat on the Patio and it was really a perfect 'get-away' from the hospital for an hour or so.

                If you go, get there before the traditional noon lunch hour, b/c it gets crowded with the Mayo workers.