Having an average temperature of 48 degrees, Rochester is not known as a mecca for remarkable weather. Despite this, it does play host to a restaurant scene with some excellent outdoor dining options. Below is our list of the top spots that you should visit when the climate warms up. These restaurants were picked based on three important traits: outside view, space/tables available, and quality of food. Let us know what you think of the list in the comments or tweet us at @SeizeTheWeekday.
NAPA WOOD FIRED PIZZA
573 S Clinton Ave, Rochester, NY 14620
napawoodfired.com – (585) 232-8558
Just voted ‘best pizza’ in City Newspaper’s 2015 Best of Rochester poll, Napa has one of the finest outdoor decks in town. The sprawling patio has numerous tables and an overhang for shade, which makes for a delightful outdoor experience.
Menu Highlights: Tasty signature pizza, fire-roasted chicken wings and house made gnocchi. Good selection of craft beers on tap.
175 N Water St, Rochester, NY 14604
panevinoontheriver175.com – (585) 232-6090
Set in the heart of the city, this classic Italian bistro has a side patio that sits right on top of the Genesee river. There are multiple tables, surrounded by plant life, that make for an elegant, ‘outdoorsy’ atmosphere.
Best Day to Visit: Monday for BYOB with no corkage fee on wine.
Menu Highlights: Chicken French, veal chops, penne vodka and filet mignon.
1290 University Ave, Rochester, NY 14607
mypomodoro.com – (585) 420-7201
The University Ave Pomodoro has been an attractive spot in town for a while – one reason is their outdoor patio. It recently got renovated, making it even better, with an over arching pergola, small grape vineyard and more table space.
Best Day to Visit: Tuesday for $25 pizza/wine bottle -OR- Wednesday for BYOB wine with no corkage fee. They also host a happy hour Monday through Friday from 4pm – 6pm.
Menu Highlights: Linguini limone, wood fired pizzas and cioppino.
3001 Monroe Ave, Rochester, NY 14618
monroes3001.com – (585) 348-9103
If you are looking for an outdoor eatery with a menu that is sure to suit everyone’s pallet, Monroe’s is your place. Their stone deck is a massive space, with multiple levels and a new fountain as the centerpiece.
Best Day to Visit: Wednesday for BYOB wine with no corkage fee -OR- Thursday for $6 appetizers at the bar. They also have happy hour on Monday through Saturday from 4pm – 7pm.
Menu Highlights: Chicken French and chicken parmesan.
93 Alexander St, Rochester, NY 14620
facebook.com – (585) 730-5025
This South Wedge cantina is somewhat hidden, but a premier destination for Mexican cuisine. Their back deck is lined with multiple picnic tables, creating the perfect setting for a margarita on a warm day.
Best Day to Visit: Monday for $5 margaritas -OR- Tuesday for $2.50 tacos -OR- Wednesday for $5 palomas -OR- Thursday for half-priced añejo tequila.
Menu Highlights: Tacos, empanadas, queso fundido and quesadillas. Excellent margaritas.
274 Goodman St N, Rochester, NY 14607
lentorestaurant.com – (585) 271-3470
The Village Gate restaurant scene has exploded over the past decade, but Lento is king with their highly coveted farm-to-table kitchen. Their outdoor seating stretches out into the shared courtyard with overhanging lights – making a wonderful dining atmosphere.
Best Day to Visit: Tuesday for $1 oyster night -OR- Wednesday for BYOB with no corkage fee on wine -OR- Thursday for $5 specialty cocktails.
Menu Highlights: Oysters, duck fat frites, calamari and traditional poutine. Cocktail focused bar area.
Schoen Place is one of the hot destinations in Rochester and Label 7 is one of the reasons why. The back deck has limited seating, but it is worth it for the people watching and canal view.
Best Day to Visit: Monday or Tuesday for BYOB with no corkage fee on wine
Menu Highlights: Chicken and waffles, grilled chicken wings, burger and angry ceasar salad.
690 Park Avenue, Rochester, NY 14607
doradoparkave.com – (585) 244-8560
There is nothing better than people watching on Park Avenue. And Dorado provides the perfect location for this sport, with tables situated right on the side walk. Grab one of their delicious margaritas and commence the watching.
Best Day to Visit: Monday through Friday from 3 – 6pm with $5 margaritas and $5 premium tequila shots.
Menu Highlights: Fish tacos, chorizo con queso, original enchilada and seared salmon. Remarkable tequila collection with a focus on margaritas.
384 East Ave, Rochester, NY 14607
citygrillrochester.com – (585) 222-2489
The spacious deck sits right on top of the corner of East and Alexander – the epicenter of social activity in Rochester. It has plush couches and during colder nights the fire pits are lit up. It now has a huge awning over part of the deck if the sun is a bother.
Best Day to Visit: Wednesday for no corkage fee on wine, half off bottles of wine, half off egg plant stack.
Menu Highlights: City Grill Burger or grilled cheese meatball sliders.
24 Winthrop St, Rochester, NY 14607
2vine.com – (585) 454-6020
2Vine has moved towards what they call a “Bistrotoria,” which combines a classic French bistro and the easygoing nature of an Italian trattoria. The result is a tasty new menu and remodeled space with a wrap around bar and more open layout. And the side patio is still one of the best in Rochester, providing a magnificent atmosphere due to the surrounded lattice work entangled with ivy.
Best Day to Visit: Monday or Tuesday for BYOB with no corkage fee.
Menu Highlights: 2 Vine chicken cutlet, Faroe Island Salmon and pappardelle with prosciutto pasta.
120 East Ave, Rochester, NY 14604
victoirebar.com – (585) 325-3663
If Belgium beer is your fancy, you need to hit the Victoire beer garden immediately. This outdoor oasis is sunken below street level and equipped with beautiful long wooden tables and a stone fireplace.
Best Day to Monday through Friday for half priced small plates from 2 pm – 5pm.
Menu Highlights: Braised wings, mussels, and Belgian grilled cheese. Remarkable selection of Belgian beers on tap.
145 Culver Rd, Rochester, NY 14620
tratarochester.com – (585) 270-5460
One of the only roof top decks in town that overlooks Cobbs Hill Park and 490 (unfortunately). There is a large bar area with several high top tables for dining. At night, the roped lighting overhead sets a nice atmosphere.
Menu Highlights: Burger and fish tacos.
Once a 100 year old packaging center, the brew house is now a revitalized building with one of the most breathtaking views of the High Falls. You can choose to sit on the side porch or the roof deck, for an even better view. There is also a museum, shop and tasting room on the first floor.
Best Day to Visit: Tuesday for $2 off growler fills -OR- Wednesday for keep the glass on a featured beer from 3pm – 6pm.
Menu Highlights: Bavarian pretzels and beef on weck. Excellent selection of beers, with all of the tasty Genny options on tap.
Tony D’s has become one of Rochester’s favorite restaurants due to its unique take on Italian cuisine. They have a magnificent view of the city skyline on their back porch that is heated for year round use. Tony D’s also has a remarkable wine selection that pairs nicely with their Italian entres.
Menu Highlights: Bianca pizza, arancini rice balls and meatballs.
Richardson’s is set on a lengthy plot of land running parallel to the Erie Canal. You can take a table on their spacious patio or grab a drink to sit in chairs right next to the canal.
Menu Highlights: Hamburger and salmon burger