Why Do So Many People Love Rochester?

Maybe it's because everyone here knows some ultra-secret hip place that no one else knows about, like Video Barn (a film-lover's paradise: foreign, horror, anime, arthouse, etc.) Greenwood Books (new and used works of fiction, art, poetry, philosophy, history, etc.), or Lakeshore Record Exchange, an independently owned record store specializing in alternative, jazz, pop, new wave, and new releases on CD and vinyl, vinyl toys, posters, and more.

Or maybe it's the more well-known experiences we all share together: the culture, food, music, and film that make Rochester truly one-of-a-kind.

Top Culture

Artisan Works
A behind-the-scenes view of artists at work and an enormous collection of eclectic pieces.
(585) 482-7890
Geva Theatre
Rochester's leading professional theater showing everything from musicals to American and world classics to world-premier works.
(585) 232-4382
The Baobab Cultural Center
An exotic, 6-foot-long mosaic on ArtWalk is the symbol of a fresh start for an African art gallery.
(585) 563-2145
Memorial Art Gallery
Part of the University of Rochester, this gallery is open to the public for both classes and tours.
(585) 276-8900
Monroe County Parks
Over 20 parks, each varied in its offerings—most are ideal for picnics, bird watching, hiking and sports like tennis, soccer, and disc golf.
(585) 256-4950
Mt. Hope Cemetery
America's first municipal Victorian cemetery offers tours on Sundays between May and October.
(585) 461-3494
Rochester Museum and Science Center
The science museum, nature center, and planetarium enable visitors to explore science, technology, and our region's cultural heritage.
(585) 271-4320
Rochester Public Market
A century-old tradition that offers fresh produce, flowers, fish, meats, baked goods, and ethnic delicacies. At night, the market opens for art exhibits and music performances.
(585) 428-6907
Strong Museum
Ranked by Child magazine as one of the Top Ten Children's Museums in the Country, Strong Museum encourages hands-on discovery.
(585) 263-2700
Susan B. Anthony House
Susan B. Anthony was a leader in the women's suffrage movement. In her home, now a National Historic Landmark, learn about the life and activities of this remarkable woman.
(585) 235-6124
Village Gate Square
A warehouse that has been converted into artist's studios and display space, restaurants, and one-of-a-kind shops.
(585) 442-9061
Writers & Books
Rochester's literary center.
(585) 473-2590

Top Food

The City of Rochester and its surrounding neighborhoods offer restaurants specializing in everything from pizza slices to dim sum. Residents and visitors alike never tire of the variety they find in local eateries. If you're in the mood for a few maki rolls, a rack of ribs, or a panini, you won't be disappointed.

All-natural dishes from the Mediterranean
(585) 442-5000
Bamba Bistro
Contemporary cuisine
(585) 244-8680
Casual Italian dining
(585) 427-7420
Beale Street Café
Authentic Cajun, a wide variety of barbeque, and live music
(585) 271-4650
California Rollin'
Sushi bar with an American flair
(585) 271-8990
Dinosaur BBQ
A wide selection of barbeque, burgers, steaks, and live blues nightly
(585) 325-7090
Equal Grounds Coffee shop
A really relaxing and friendly community coffee shop in the Southwedge
(585) 242-7840
The Distillery
Burgers, chicken wings, microbrews, and plenty of televised sports
(585) 271-4105
Golden Port Dim Sum
Dim sum portions and dinner entrees prepared to order
(585) 256-1780
Fox's Gourmet Delicatessen
Serving up traditional Jewish dishes and sandwiches
(585) 427-8200
India House
A variety of plates, ranging from lamb, chicken, seafood, and a vegetarian menu
(585) 271-0242
Java's Café
A cozy coffee and dessert lounge featuring live music and art
(585) 232-4820
American and Greek Specialties in the cultural district of Park Avenue
(585) 461-1280
The King & I
Authentic Thai cuisine
(585) 427-8090
Max of Eastman Place
Contemporary, high-end dining in the City's East End
(585) 697-0491
The Owl House
Fresh, made-from-scratch New American food prepared with ingredients sourced from local providers.
(585) 360-2920
Park & Oxford Cafe and Delicatessen
A vast menu offering dozens of wraps, pitas, and subs
(585) 242-8990
A huge selection of hot and cold subs, and custard
(585) 442-6463
Trendy Italian dining in a renovated sawmill factory
(585) 271-5000
Authentic Mexican fare
(585) 256-5980
Spot Coffee
Cofee, sandwiches, and dessert in a renovated Chevy showroom
(585) 613-4600
Sticky Lips
All things barbeque: pulled pork, brisket, ribs, corn bread, etc.
(585) 288-1910
2 Vine
Contemporary dining in the city's East End
(585) 454-6020

Top Music

Rochester's music scene is highlighted by countless hardcore, hip-hop, metal, and jazz acts. With venues (from basements to arenas) all over the city bringing in area and national artists, there's never a shortage of live shows. The following is a portion of the shows that have just happened or are coming soon:

  • Bob Dylan
  • Rickie Lee Jones
  • The Posies
  • Ben Kweller
  • Fun
  • Steel Train
  • Loudon Wainwright III
  • Enter the Haggis
  • Carbon Leaf
  • Jukebox the Ghost
  • Dashboard Confessional
  • Less Than Jake
  • Rusted Root
  • Joan Baez
  • Ron Carter
  • Emmylou Harris
  • The Low Anthem
  • Ben Folds
  • Overkill
  • Debbie Gravitte
  • Andrey Pisarev
  • Arlo Guthrie
  • GWAR
  • The Casualties
  • Matt & Kim
  • Felice Brothers
  • Mastodon
  • Kylesa
  • High On Fire
  • Torche
  • Social Distortion
  • Hank Williams III
  • Buddy Guy
  • Flaming Lips
  • Black Keys
  • Ringo Starr
  • Yes
  • John Legend
  • Pat Benatar
  • Blondie
  • Jeff Beck
  • Gladys Knight
  • Keb Mo
  • Herbie Hancock
  • Dave Brubeck
  • Tortoise
  • Black Cobra
  • Casiotone for the Painfully Alone
  • Cursive
  • Vampire Weekend
  • Interpol
  • Dum Dum Girls
  • Beach House
  • Sublime
  • Clutch

Top Film

Filmmakers from every part of the globe come here for visiting director series and film festivals. With the High Falls Film Festival showcasing the work of established and emerging female filmmakers, and the ImageOut Festival bringing films from gay and lesbian directors, the birthplace of film loves film. Here are a few hot spots for film lovers...

Little Theatre
For over 75 years, The Little has been Rochester's premier theater for independent and foreign films.
(585) 258-0444
The Cinema Theater
The only double-feature in town. And it's super cheap.
(585) 271-1785
George Eastman House
George Eastman's historic mansion, the International Museum of Photography and Film, and the Dryden Theatre are open for tours and screenings.
(585) 271-3361
  • Video Highlight
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    Student Profile: Renaissance Scholar