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Rochester, MN Local Flavor

Restaurants, pubs, pizzerias, dessert shops serve you right

By Kevin Litwin on September 16, 2015

Diners sit outside in front of a brick walled restaurant on Historic 3rd Street in Rochester.
Rochester / Michael D. Tedesco

Savor the flavor of many excellent dishes at restaurants throughout Rochester. In fact, there is even a three-hour guided walking tour sponsored by Rochester Food Tours that describes the history, architecture and culture of downtown Rochester while sampling cuisine from specialty food stores and restaurants.

Here is some background on the cuisine scene in Rochester:

Upscale Dining

Be sure to try the lemon garlic rotisserie chicken at Chester’s Kitchen & Bar. The Hubbell House has seafood entrees like wild-caught walleye pike and ocean scallops. Other top spots for upscale dining include Grand Rounds Brew Pub, The Doggery, The Loop, Twigs Tavern & Grille, and ZZestThe Port and The Veranda are both in the St. James Hotel in Red Wing.

Casual Dining

Casual dining for the whole family is available at Beetle’s Bar & Grill, while all barbecue meats are smoked over cherry and apple wood at John Hardy’s Bar-B-Q. Also try the offerings at Canadian Honker, Charlie’s Eatery & Pub, Crossings Bistro & Bar, Dooley’s Pub & Restaurant, Fat Willy’s, Ground Round, Jimmy’s Pub (in Red Wing), Kathy’s Pub, Pappy’s Place, Potbelly Sandwich Shop, Roosters Barn & Grill, Roscoe’s Barbeque, Saints on Second Bar & Grill, The Half Barrel, Whistle Binkies, and Wildwood Sports Bar & Grill.


CiCi’s Pizza Buffet features a variety of specialty pizzas, simple pastas and salads, while Toppers Pizza offers late-night delivery. Other top pizza eateries include Broadway Bar & Pizza, North Mr. Pizza and zpizza.

Sweets and Smoothies

Chocolaterie Stam has sold fine European chocolates since 1913. Daube’s Bakery bills itself as a big-city bakery with a small town atmosphere. Flapdoodles has won several awards for its homemade ice cream. You Betcha Cupcake! offers flavors like red velvet, key lime and maple bacon. Other sweet-tooth stores in Rochester include Carroll’s Corn, Cold Stone Creamery, Freshens, Fudge Corner, Great Harvest Bread Company, Inta Juice and Tonic.


India Garden has provided authentic Indian dishes since 1997.  Be sure to sample the steak chorizos and coconut margaritas at El Loro Mexican Restaurant. Other excellent choices include Johnny Mango’s Pita Cafe, Mac’s Cafe & Restaurant, Nupa Mediterranean Cuisine, The Lost Cajun and Victoria’s Ristorante & Wine Bar.

Rochester Food Tours

Learn about the best downtown restaurants and specialty food stores with Rochester Food Tours, a three-hour guided walking tour that allows participants to sample several cuisines in the district. The tour is aimed at locals and visitors who want to broaden their knowledge of the foodie scene in downtown Rochester, all while guides talk about the city’s rich architecture and history. Tours are offered Fridays and Saturdays from April through October.


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