Minnesota’s third most populous city is best known for its largest employer, the world famous Mayo Clinic. But the Med City deserves some attention for an elevated and varied dining scene, sure to delight locals and visitors alike. These are the best of Rochester, Minnesota’s best eateries.Read More
11 Dining Destinations in Rochester
Tracking down impressive cocktails, cheese stuffed burgers, cold pressed juice, and more
1. Five West
Five West Kitchen + Bar takes eaters out of downtown Rochester and into the less congested northwestern corridor of the city. With an inviting interior and large menu, this New American restaurant appeals to a wide array of customers. The breakfast/brunch offerings are especially delightful.
2. Forager Brewery
A solid kid’s menu makes this brewery and restaurant a surprisingly family-friendly dining option. Adults will also be satisfied by the wood-fired pizza selections, fun brunch choices, and classic pub grub. Plus, in a shocking twist, Forager’s beer offerings are varied, with both traditional draughts and experimental pours available.
3. Cheap Charlie's
Rochester, MN 55901
This old-timey, family-owned spot conjures up classic diner ambiance. Enjoy the bare bones neighborhood feel of Cheap Charlie’s, with an approachable price range, solid breakfast offerings, and traditional comfort food-focused menu. This restaurant should be especially easy to spot, with its signature pig greeter.
4. The Redwood Room
A longtime favorite for romantic date nights, this cozy eatery with retro vibes is sure to impress. Settle in with a martini and enjoy the ambiance of live music every night of the week. And consider trying the apple cider pork and mashed potatoes.
5. Victoria's Ristorante & Wine Bar
Known for its outstanding service, Victoria’s is a longtime Rochester tradition. This establishment takes advantage of its proximity to dairy capital Wisconsin, as all parmesan cheese is sourced from Eau Galle Cheese Factory in Durand, WI. Be sure to embrace the leftovers, as Victoria’s restaurant is especially known for its heaping portion sizes.
This elegant seafood-focused eatery brings Mediterranean coastal flair to the prairies of southeastern Minnesota. With a from-scratch kitchen, excellent wine list, and large menu, Pescara is not your average hotel restaurant. Be sure to sample some of the divine side dishes available during dinner service, like the smoked gouda hash browns, wild mushroom risotto, and brussels sprouts with pancetta.
7. Tonic Juice Bar
Health-conscious eaters should head to Tonic, a local kitchen and juice bar right across from Mayo’s famous St. Mary’s Hospital. This business is a bright and cheery gathering space, somehow complete with classic, hearty Eastern European family recipes and superfood smoothies featuring cold pressed juices. There are also tons of vegetarian and vegan choices as well as an excellent breakfast spread.
Rochester’s best burger is available at Newt’s, a low key dining establishment with three convenient area locations. The Works Burger is the most ordered, but thirteen other meat-tastic burger options mean all diners will be left satisfied. Those new to the Minnesota restaurant scene should be sure to try the famous Juicy Lucy, a double patty with a rich and gooey cheese center.
Even without its signature rooftop igloos, this Italian juggernaut still delights with hand-crafted pasta, a robust wine list and bar program, and a full gluten free menu. A focus on sustainably sourced, organic ingredients like Norwegian salmon help set Terza Ristorante apart. Pro tip: warm weather visitors should request to sit outside to enjoy the large and verdant patio setting.
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10. Mango Thai
This downtown Rochester spot offers both speedy carry out service and an upscale dine in experience. With a modern trendy aesthetic, wonderful service, and a large menu of Thai staples, Mango Thai does not disappoint. For those seeking excellent Thai flavors at a cheaper price range, head to Mango Thai’s sister restaurant in Northwest Rochester, Asia Fusion.
11. Bleu Duck Kitchen
A relative newcomer to Rochester’s dining scene, the high end Bleu Duck Kitchen occupies a historic building on the edge of downtown. Gourmet features like a fresh oyster bar, seasonally-inspired menu, and impressive cocktail list make this a perfect special occasion destination. Weekly Tuesday night “date night” and Wednesday night wine specials should entice even the most budget-conscious diners to give Bleu Duck a chance.