Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > New York State (exc. NYC) >
May 21, 2010 09:33 AM

Rochester downtown small local good food? Geneva?

I will be heading to Rochester soon for a conference, staying at the Hyatt which I am assuming is downtown. Are there any good, small, local, non-chain, not-expensive restaurants within walking distance of there? Or does anybody have a suggestion for lunch in Geneva?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. The Hyatt is downtown on the corner of Main and South. You have a lot of choices within walking distance. About a block south on South is Dinosaur Bar-b-que, not my favorite but others love it. It has its original location in Syracuse and another location in NYC. Two blocks to the west on Main Street is an out of the way Jamaican restaurant called Shirley's. It's only open for lunch, great home cooking, but you can walk in sometimes and not see anyone. It is not at all fancy but the curried goat and curried chicken are great. A few blocks to the east you have a number of restaurants on East Avenue. One of my favorites is Veneto, which is basically pizza, pasta and salads, but very good. Also on East Avenue is Golden Port which is an Asian restaurant combining dim sum, sushi and Thai. It's good but not great. Just off East Avenue on Charlotte Street is a mediterranean cuisine place called Eros. I love it, but it's a little pricey. More pricey is another place off East called 2 Vine. The food is good and it's a bit of a scene. If you do eat on East, stop by the Little Theatre after dinner for dessert and some jazz.
    Two places which are downtown but not within walking distance are Rocco and Rooney's. Rocco is Italian but with a modern twist. The food is fresh and well-prepared. Rooney's is one of the best restaurants in Rochester, but has one of the worst locations in a residential neighborhood in a marginal area. It's American cuisine but very well presented. It is expensive by Rochester standards but worth it.

    1. To help with the Geneva part of you question, there is a nice place sometimes billed as a 'gastropub' called Red Dove. I ate there this past weekend and was quite happy with the menu and drinks: food focuses on fresh ingredients with some locally sourced and there are about ten taps with well chosen microbrews. I had a grilled trout with tzatziki sauce accompanied by some cous-cous and braised swiss chard, washed down with some Victory Prima Pils. I would have liked a less new-worldly (with maybe more local Finger Lakes wines) by the glass wine list, but some will be pleased with that too.

      Located right in the center of town on Castle street, you might phone to see if they are serving lunch. The bartender told me they would be when the local tourism season kicks in. Oh, the little coffee bar/roaster just around the corner on Exchange St. does good work too.