Discovering Rochester

by Rashmi Jeswani, Information Science and Technologies MS student

If you’re new to Rochester, there are plenty of spots to go to check out in the surrounding areas! Here is a list of my favorite places to hang out, get away from campus for a bit, or go out for lunch and dinner.

During the past year, I have had the opportunity to go out on dinners and lunches with my friends and discover the great food (and coffee!) that the city has to offer. Some of those are mentioned below:

Han Noodle Bar 

Hands down one of the best place to grab some Asian food in the city. Very affordable, nothing over $13 with a variety of Asian cuisine! Check out the pork belly buns and crab rangoons. You won’t be disappointed. Located next door to Dogtown.

Dorado

Small room vibe, nice outdoor seating on Park Ave. Excellent Mexican food and the best margaritas in town for those of age.

Sultan’s Lebanese Cuisine and Bakery

This place serves Middle Eastern classics like shawarma and savory flatbreads in counter-serve digs with a warm vibe. If you ever visit, definitely try their Chicken Shawarma Pita wrap and Shawarma plate or you can also order this online through GrubHub!

 

Genesee Brew House

Iconic brewery and restaurant in Rochester overlooking High Falls. Excellent burgers, accompanied brews from the oldest brewery in NY if you are of age.

Osaka Sushi

All you can eat sushi, expensive but very fun if you want to treat yourself or go out with a group. It’s about 10 minutes from campus. Side note, all you can eat is about $10 if you go for lunch!

 

Royal of India

There are a number of Indian restaurants in the city but this one has to be my favorite in terms of its resemblance to the food we get back home. They have $10 all-you-can-eat lunch buffets and a special dinner buffet on Wednesday nights! This place is a treat for people who love Indian cuisine. Royal of India is located in Park Point.

If you get sick of the 7+ different places to get coffee at RIT’s campus, feel free to go to some of these locations. These are spots I have picked because they have tables and are study friendly places, with tables available to work at. A quick drive, with a nice place to study off campus and keep buzzing. All are within 20 minutes from campus.

Spot Coffee

Wide open tables which are great for meeting with a group to study or work, great coffee and also good, affordable food as well!

Glen Edith

Smaller building than Spot coffee, but also very good for meeting with study groups or for projects. Very brightly lit and good modern aesthetic.

Java’s 

The original Java’s downtown, so if you like the coffee at Java’s on campus, go check this place out. Also very study friendly, or a good place for a date.

 

College Student Hacks for Wegmans!

One of the best parts of going to school in the Rochester area is undoubtedly all the Wegmans locations that are available. There are so many, for literally every occasion. Although each Wegmans stocks the same products, for the most part, each one has their little quirks that make them special. Several Wegmans locations within a short drive of RIT even have restaurants built-in.

The Pub at the Wegmans in Perinton

In the Perinton location, there’s the Pub, great for bar food and fried foods. The Pittsford location boasts the burger bar, and across the street is the “Next Door” restaurant. If you have the emotional strength to deal with the parking lot at the East Ave location, your reward can be trying out their Italian restaurant, Amoré. Because you will seriously need some comfort food after trying to secure a parking spot there. It will test you in ways you can’t imagine. But it is worth it. Some of the Wegmans locations have blessed us enough to have side lot parking (shoutout to the Calkins road location), usually located near the cafe entrance. There are fewer spots available but it typically gets less traffic than the main lot, and the spots are much closer to the cafe entrance compared to the main ones, so in weather like this (I’m looking at you, -20 degree windchill!) it really does make a difference and the feeling return to your toes much quicker when you’re not parking so far away. If you hate traffic, like I do, you can go at 9pm when it’s less hectic. Hey, you can even go at 11pm. 3am! Nothing is stopping you except for your own limitations because Wegmans is one of the few grocery stores that remains open for 24 hours. Don’t expect to queue up to the sub line or get some fresh soup if you’re rolling up to the store at 2am, but they will still have all of their prepackaged items available, and of course, the groceries, which is why you’re going in the first place right?

Speaking of subs, AKA submarine sandwiches for those who don’t know, Wegmans happens to make delicious ones. They make hot and toasty pressed subs as well as the cold ones. And I’ll let you in on a little secret: that delicious bread they use? It’s actually the same bread that they use at DiBella’s sandwich shops. So when that sub craving hits and the DiBella’s can’t be found, Wegmans has got your back. If you decide to be an adult and prepare your food instead of just buying, Wegmans has so many things that they do to make it easy for you. Need some carrots spiralized for that veggie spaghetti you’ve been telling yourself you’d try to make for the last 3 weeks? No problem. Got a whole chicken you want to butterfly, but don’t have the giant meat cleaver at home or the willingness to send poultry juice flying all over your kitchen with each hack of the knife? Wegmans has you covered. For pretty much anything. I haven’t been able to come up with something yet that they won’t do for me.

Last but not least, Wegmans makes it so easy for you to save money. Their store brand is as high quality as anything in there, and significantly cheaper. Just as an example, their Wegmans brand organic pasta imported from Italy and specialty balsamic vinegar and olive oils are such high quality and at a reasonable price point especially when you look at other brands and what they expect. Wegmans also offers digital coupons through their Shoppers Club program that are easy to sign up for and redeem. This is another one of the many things that makes Wegmans a great place to shop for college students because of how much they truly value their customers.