Eating on a budget in Rochester, NY: eating out that won’t break the bank


Unless you’re tucked up with a terrific deal at the accommodation you’ve chosen to stay at (for instance, a Rochester Riverside Hotel wedding package), it’s likely you’ll want to sample the delights of Rochester’s fine dining and eatery options – but at affordable prices too, of course. In which case, you can’t go far wrong with any of these four suggestions…

Napa Wood Fired Pizzeria and Bistro

(5735 South Clinton Avenue and 687 Mosely Road)

Offering up two different outlets in two separate neighbourhoods (one in Southwedge; the other in Fairport), Napa Wood Fired Pizzeria’s where to head for some seriously good pizza, as you’d have doubtless guessed. High-quality meals for which you don’t have to fork out top-dollar prices is what you get here, while fresh salads and appetizer soups are perfect for rounding out mains. In particular, either restaurant’s an ideal venue for a lazy, indulgent Sunday brunch; the menu featuring a wide choice, which includes bread pudding French toast and, naturally, ‘hangover pizza’ (the latter featuring sausage gravy, scrambled eggs, bacon and home-fries – fitting then for whether you’re nursing an actual Sunday hangover or merely seeking to sate a big Sunday hunger!).

DogTown Specialty Hots

(691 Monroe Avenue)

The first thing that’ll strike you when you step through the doors of DogTown is just how many different ways there are to prepare a hot dog. This place makes, yes, a specialty out of it – and then some. Most of its meat-and-wrap offerings are, perhaps unsurprisingly, named after some of man’s most cherished best friends. For instance, there’s the Boston Terrier Dog – where Boston baked beans, of course, accompany two strips of bacon – while the German Shepherd is all about piling high sauerkraut (naturally) with sautéed onions. Lip-smackingly good? You betcha. You’ll find a good selection of veggie ‘dogs’ on the menu too, none of which (like their meat-filled counterparts) will break the bank; although specialty sandwiches do tend to be at slightly higher prices.

Aladdin’s Natural Eatery

(646 Monroe Avenue, 200 Park Point and 8 Schoen Place, Pittsford)

Yes, there is, indeed, a trio of outlets of this restaurant chain that focuses on cooking up a storm in very nutritious, preservative-free bites. Indeed, this place – or, rather, these places – are all about appealing to the conscientious and health- and social-conscious, given not just the attitude behind the food, but also the fact the chain’s employee-owned and -operated. Ethical then but efficacious too; meaning the grub’s fantastic, for sure.

For here, you’ll find the pasta dishes are delicious, the salads savour-worthy and the pita pocket sandwiches pretty much perfect. It’s also a well-thought-out and flexible menu (e.g. the fine homemade lentil and escarole soup can be supplemented, for a slightly higher price, with a helping of chicken). Meanwhile, you’ll probably find the choice of Mediterranean-themed dishes especially appealing.

Open Face

(651 South Avenue)

Finally, soups and sandwiches are the order of the day at the top eatery that’s Open Face, with special emphasis on freshness and affordability – great then if you’re visiting from one of the nearby hotels in downtown Rochester NY. Indeed, it’s most likely that, should you order a soup, a sandwich and a side here, the whole cat and caboodle’ll likely to set you back less than $10. You can’t say fairer than that – not least in upstate New York! And especially as, when it comes to sandwiches, the proprietors recognise it may be difficult to choose between the plethora of options available, so allow you to mix and match by putting two separate sandwich halves together. What a fine idea!