Exploring Rochester through Coffee Shops

One of the activities I enjoyed most during my semester abroad in London was exploring the city by experiencing its different coffee shops. My friends and I used this as a strategy for getting a closer look at London while still studying (coffee shops are great places to study).

One of my best friends at the University of Rochester, Sara, and I have started a new tradition to do the same in the City of Rochester. Every Sunday, we explore a new coffee shop. So far we’ve hit three: Glen Edith, Java’s, and Cafe Sasso. Read on for our reviews.

Glen Edith

Bright and airy coffee shop with people working and drinking coffee

This cafe plays an amazing playlist of music. Of course, I had to drown out some of the best songs while re-watching my Chemistry 131 lecture. Sara and I ordered avocado toast and soy milk lattes. But these were not just any old latte; they were lavender cardamom lattes. We felt pretty fancy in such a classy little shop, sipping our classy lattes.


Eclectic coffee shop with art all over the walls and a small bakery

I’ve been to Java’s plenty of times before because it is right next to the Eastman School of Music. There is a wide array of portrait art throughout the entire cafe. There’s a pool table downstairs and there are inspirational quotes written on the mirrors. I always get a cappuccino there. Definitely an eclectic vibe.

Cafe Sasso

A colorful coffee shop with art on the walls and people lounging and drinking coffee

Cafe Sasso won in our book in terms of aesthetic. The artwork is either touching, comedic, or just straight-up impressive. The furniture appears randomly thrown together but it all works well together. We had yummy sandwiches and coffee here.


What I’ve learned about Rochester so far is that its people are so friendly. There are seemingly endless hidden gems around the city in terms of restaurants, cafes, and shops. The city is definitely vegan and vegetarian friendly; almost everywhere I go has plenty of options, and good ones, in fact!

We have such rich history in the area, given that both Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass spent a huge chunk of their lives fighting for their respective beliefs here. We have tons of museums to explore, including the Strong Museum of Play and the Museum of Science. There is so much music and art to appreciate, too.

Plus, this new coffee shop tradition is filling in my mental map of Rochester and helping me to stay productive with my homework. We’ve had a great time getting to know more of the city and staying caffeinated along the way.

Be sure to find these spots when you visit!

About the author

Charlotte Pillow

I am a member of the Class of 2019. I am originally from Ridgewood, NJ. I am a student in the Dual Degree in Nursing program. I am majoring in nursing, public health, and interdisciplinary dance studies, and minoring in psychology. I am the president of the College Diabetes Network and a research assistant at the School of Nursing. For the 2017 spring semester, I studied public health at the University of Oxford.

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