News & Opinion » Featured story

Best of Rochester

Readers' choice

Note: (Second-place winners are in parentheses.)


Live music club: Milestones (Water Street Music Hall)

Bar: Lux Lounge (Bug Jar)

Nightclub: Tonic (Vertex Club)

Gay bar: Muthers (Nasty D's)

Townie bar: Johnny's Irish Pub (Marge's Lakeside Inn)

Original band: Hi-Risers (White Hots)

Musician: Gap Mangione (Chuck Mangione)

Place to shoot pool: Six Pockets (Lux Lounge)

Place to play darts: Old Toad (Monty's Krown)

Bowling alley: Clover Lanes (Bowl-A-Roll Lanes)

Drag performer: Darienne Lake (Tie: Aggie Dune and Ambrosia Salad)

Small live theater: Downstairs Cabaret Theatre (Blackfriars Theater)

Small art gallery: Oxford Gallery (The Elizabeth Gallery)

Movie theater: Little Theatre (Cinema Theater)

Party district: East Avenue and Alexander Street (High Falls)

Happy hour: Lux Lounge (Johnny's Irish Pub)


Chinese: Golden Dynasty (Ming's)

Indian: India House (Thali of India)

Italian: Perlo's (Mario's via Abruzzi)

Thai: The King & I (Mamasan's)

Middle Eastern: Aladdin's (Sinbad's)

Mexican: Mex (Maria's)

Vegetarian: Atomic Eggplant (Aladdin's)

Vietnamese: Mamasan's (Dac Hoa)

Greek: Mykonos (Olive Tree)

High-end restaurant: 2 Vine (The Rio Bamba)

Outdoor dining: Jines (Magnolia's Deli)

Coffee bar: Java's (Spot Coffee)

Bargain: Tie: Bill Gray's and Aladdin's (Tie: Atomic Eggplant and Mark's Texas Hots)

Deli: Park and Oxford Cafe (Park Place Deli)

Diner: Highland Park Diner (Southwedge Diner)

Caribbean: Casava (LJ's)

Buffet: China Buffet (Old Country Buffet)


Venue: Frontier Field (Blue Cross Arena)

Pro team: Rhinos (Red Wings)

Golf course: Oak Hill (Shadow Lake)

Public basketball courts: Cobbs Hill (Charlotte Beach)

Hiking spot: Letchworth Park (Mendon Ponds Park)

Fitness club: Rochester Athletic Club (Mid-Town Athletic Club)

Bike route: Erie Canal Path (Genesee River)

Tennis courts/clubs: Cobbs Hill (Mid-Town)

Ice skating: Manhattan Square Park (Genesee Valley Park)

Sledding: Ellison Park (Cobbs Hill)

YMCA: Carlson MetroCenter (Monroe Avenue)

Downhill skiing: Bristol Mountain (Swain)

Cross-country skiing: Mendon Ponds Park (Durand Eastman Park)

Mini golf: Whispering Pines (Adventure Landing)

Skate park: X-Dreams (Parma Skate Park)


Local writer: Mark Hare (Scott Pitoniak)

Local artist: Tom A. Fox (Ramon Santiago)

Bartender: Joe at Havana Moe's (Dimitrio at Tapas)

Local DJ: Brother Wease (Mordecai Lipshutz)

Chef: Tony at Max of Eastman Place (Meg at Atomic Eggplant)

Politician to banish: Bill Johnson (David Gantt)

Most trustworthy politician: Louise Slaughter (Bill Johnson)

Most annoying public person: Bob Lonsberry (Bill Johnson)


College campus: University of Rochester (Nazareth College)

Festival: Park Avenue Festival (Corn Hill Festival)

Park: Highland Park (Ellison Park)

Place to walk the dog: Ellison Park (Cobbs Hill Park)

Make-out spot: Cobbs Hill (Durand Eastman Park)

Local point of pride: George Eastman House (High Falls)

Fishing hole: Irondequoit Bay (Braddock Bay)

Best construction project: Fast Ferry Terminal (The Sagamore on East)

Worst construction project: Lake Avenue (Fast Ferry Terminal)

Regional winery: Casa Larga (Dr. Konstantin Frank's Vinifera Wine Cellars)

Biggest public eyesore: Main Street (Fast Ferry)

Neighborhood: Park Avenue (Southwedge)

Most improved neighborhood: Southwedge (Corn Hill)

Public restroom: Wegmans (Bruegger's)

Parking: East End Garage (Eastview Mall)

Worst place for traffic: Henrietta (Ridge Road)

Best place to take out-of-town guests: Wegmans (George Eastman House)


Record/CD store: Record Archive (Tie: House of Guitars and Lakeshore Record Exchange)

Independent bookstore: Brownbag Bookshop (Gutenberg Books)

Toy store: KB Toys (Piccadilly's Toy Shoppe)

Men's clothing store: The Red Barn (Nahum Fine Clothing)

Women's clothing store: Silver Lining Apparel (Chico's)

Shoe store: DSW Shoe Warehouse (Shoe Concepts)

Jewelry store: Mann's Jewelers (Blueground Jewelry)

Grocery: Wegmans (Tops Markets)

Hardware store: Hunt's Hardware (Mayer Paint and Hardware)

Car dealership: Dorschel Automotive (John Holtz)

Video rental store: Blockbuster Video (Hollywood Video)

Tattooing service: Love Hate Tattoo (Physical Graffiti)

Thrift/consignment store: Goodwill (Volunteers of America)

Home furnishings store: Value City Furniture (Tie: Houseworks and Pier 1 Imports)

Place to buy an unusual gift: Parkleigh (Craft Company No. 6)

Most honest auto repair: East Avenue Auto (Schrader's Garage)

Cider mill: Schutt's Apple Mill (Mayer Bros.)

Barber: Rock's Hair Design (Tie: Ernie at Ness Barber and OK Barber Shop)

Hair stylist: World Hair (Hair Zoo)

Laundromat: Lilac on Park Avenue (Mr. Fluff)

Florist: Arena's (Fioravanti)

Local bank/credit union: ESL Federal Credit Union (HSBC Bank)

Comic book store: Empire Comics (Comic Etc.)

Corner store: The Corner Store (R's Food Market)

Sporting goods store: Dick's (Galyan's)

Gas station: Delta Sonic (Hess)

Driving range: Big Oak (Oak Hill)

Bike shop: Towners (Park Ave Bike Shop)

Arcade: Chuck E. Cheese's (no second-place winner)


Pizza: Chester Cab (Tie: Mark's and Pontillo's)

Baked goods: Little Bakery (Savoia Pastry Shoppe)

Bagels: Bruegger's (Bagel Bin Cafe)

Burgers: Bill Gray's Restaurant (Tom Wahl's Restaurant)

Sandwich: DiBella's (Magnolia's Deli)

Ice cream: Abbott's (Bruster's)

Sushi: California Rollin' (Plum House)

Seafood market: Pittsford Seafood (Captain Jim's)

Barbecue: Dinosaur Bar-B-Que (Sticky Lips Pit BBQ)

Soul food: Unkl Moe's (Beale Street Cafe)

Caterer: Lorraine's (Tie: Savory Thyme and Plunkett's Fabulous Food)

Fish fry: Captain Jim's (Pittsford Seafood)

Dessert: Phillips European (Cheesy Eddie's)

Subs: DiBella's (Pellegrino's)

Wine selection: Century Discount Liquors (Marketview Liquor)

Wings: Richmond's (Jeremiah's Tavern)

Local beer: Genesee (Rohrbach)

Beer selection, bar: MacGregor's (The Old Toad)

Beer selection, restaurant: MacGregor's (The Distillery)

Take-out: Sticky Lips Pit BBQ (Ming's)

Kosher: Fox's Gourmet Delicatessen Restaurant (Browntein's Deli and Bakery)

Hot sauce: Dinosaur Bar-B-Que (Nick Tahou Hots)


Local radio show: Radio Free Wease (Bob Lonsberry)

Local TV news anchorperson: Don Alhart (Gabe Dalmath)

Local commercial: Tie: Lori's Natural Foods and Mex (Tie: Record Archive and House of Guitars)

Local zine:City (Tie: Freetime and Lake Affect)

Local website: (


Best development for Main and Clinton: a casino (housing)

Retail store/restaurant idea Rochester most needs: IKEA (Tie: Macy's and Nordstrom's)

Best site for a new Wegmans: Mt. Hope and Elmwood (downtown)

Should we have a downtown casino? No: 249 (Yes: 181)

Have you ridden the fast ferry? No: 388 (Yes: 65)