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Rochester Public Market

Stacy Kowsz on Friday, 04 September 2009. Posted in Rochester & Monroe County

The Rochester Public Market makes the "Must Do" list for anyone moving to, living in, or visiting Rochester.  The Public Market opened in 1905 at its current location 280 North Union St, Rochester, which houses area for over 300 vendors both outside and inside. The Public Market is open Tuesdays and Thursdays 6am-1pm and Saturdays 5am-3pm year round (although it is significantly smaller during the winter).  For the true market experience, you should go on Saturday, which is the busiest day.  Tuesdays are the smallest, but weekdays can work well into a college student's schedule, and weekday shoppers are able to avoid the crowds. 

The vendors at market sell primarily fresh fruits and vegetables for the cheapest prices you'll find anywhere, but they offer so much more-bakeries, coffee, breakfast/lunch, meat and fish, eggs, honey, flowers, and shopping (clothing, hats, purses, kitchen utensils, trinkets galore!).  The whole experience is impossible to describe, but I'll tell you a few places you won't want to miss. 

VM Giordano Import, Inc. European Cheese Shop ( )
A cheese lover's heaven.  The Cheese Shop is open Thursday: 10:00AM to 1:00PM and Saturday: 5:30AM to 2:00PM.  They are located in the row of buildings that runs along one side of the Market area, near the coffee shops. 

Lots of cheeses to choose from-and samples of different cheeses.  They also have olives and other European imports, including their olive oil (they will tell you all about how it's made and probably let you sample that too). 

One other great thing about the Cheese Shop is the breakfast sandwich special.  It has the most delicious goat cheese spread on it-and I didn't even think I liked goat cheese.  This bagel sandwich makes me never want to eat normal cream cheese again. 

Rohrbach Brewery (
Rohrbach is a local brewery in Rochester.  They run a restaurant on Buffalo Road in Rochester, where their beers are on tap, but you can also find selections from Rohrbach at many Rochester bars and Wegman's grocery stores. 

Their location at the market is actually outside the market area.  You have to walk 2 minutes down the street to 97 Railroad Street.  This location is the primary manufacturing site for the brewery, and they offer tours, free sampling of a couple beers that are on tap, and growlers for sale.

Freshwise (
This place is awesome!  It's located in one of the shed stalls.  They sell vegetables that are grown locally in Penfield, NY, where they have a hydroponic greenhouse that can grow year round and also outdoor gardens.  They do not use any chemical sprays or pesticides.  Additionally, all profits go to fighting hunger through the Foodlink Foundation.  Everything about this place is awesome.  The best part is that the produce will stay fresh for so long.  I really recommend their salad mixes which always contain a mix of lots of different greens, and it will stay fresh for a long time. 

Juan and Maria's Empanada Stop (
This place is a very popular location to grab a quick, cheap bite to eat at the market.  They are open Tuesday: 08:00 - 14:00; Thursday: 08:00 - 14:00; Saturday: 07:00 - 15:00.  It's delicious Spanish food made by Spanish people, and for this reason, this small business endeavor has succeeded.  They also are always working to support our troops and their families. 

The Honey Man
The Honey Man is just what me and my friends call this vendor, who obviously sells honey.  He is always located in the shed space, and we love him because he's friendly and I can spend my spare change on a honey stick!